The Duties of Believers

This section of First Peter deals with God’s Salvation and the duties of God’s people. We are not saved just to sit and soak, but to serve, to worship, to become more and more like Jesus.

Duties Concerning the Scripture (1 Peter 2:1, 2)
Desire pure or sincere milk – desire speaks to an intense yearning (Psalm 19:9, 10). Israel had shown no desire for the Word of God in the Old Testament, so when Jesus appeared, they viewed him in the same manner (Isaiah 53:2). The word sincere is literally unadulterated, meaning nothing is mixed with it.

Duties Concerning the Savior (1 Peter 2:3-8)

  1. He is God’s precious Rock. This stone was tried and rejected; Jesus flunked because he was not what they looked for in a Messiah. Here is the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise (Matthew 16:16, 18). The word rock or stone appears five times here, and is a theme throughout the Bible:
  2. He is a smitten rock to all who will drink (Exodus 17:6, 1 Corinthians 10:4, John 4:13, 14, 7:37-39)
  3. He is the precious stone to all who have drunk (1 Peter 2:3, 7)
  4. He is the chief cornerstone to the church (Ephesians 2:20)
  5. He is the stumbling stone to the Jews at his first coming (Romans 9:32, 33, 1 Corinthians 1:23)
  6. He is the head or final stone of the temple, to the Jews at his second coming (Zechariah 4:7)
  7. He is the smashing stone cut from the mountain (Daniel 2:34)
  8. He is the crushing stone of judgment to unbelievers (Matthew 21:44)

Duties Concerning the Saints (1 Peter 2:9, 10)
To serve as priests of God – some thoughts about the priesthood:

  1. Before the Law, the head of each family was the family priest (Genesis 8:20, 26:25, 31:54)
  2. When the Law was introduced, Israel promised to be a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6), but they violated the Law and the tribe of Levi became the priestly tribe (Exodus 13:2, 19:6, Numbers 8:16, Exodus 28:1)
  3. The church is now constituted as a kingdom of priests (1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6), which is a birthright, just as every descendant of Aaron was born to the priesthood (Hebrews 5:1)
  4. The priest had access to God; the high priest coming into the Holy of Holies only once a year (Hebrews 9:7). But the veil was torn, so now all believers have access to God through Christ (Hebrews 10:19-22) and our High Priest is already there (Hebrews 4:14-16, 9:24).

To shine as beacons of light (1 Peter 2:9) calling others out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Duties Concerning the Sacrificer, he or she offers:

  1. Self or a living body (Romans 12:1, Philippians 2:17, 2 Timothy 4:6, James 1:27, 1 John 3:16)
  2. Songs or praise to God, fruit from our lips (Hebrews 13:15, Exodus 25:22)
  3. Substance or living out what we say we believe (Romans 12:13, Galatians 6:6, Titus 3:14, Hebrews 13:2, 16, 3 John 1:5-8)
  4. Service, to do good (Galatians 6:10, Hebrews 13:16)
  5. Supplication and intercession (Colossians 4:12, 1 Timothy 2:1)

Salvation is a multistage event in the life of a believer: justification is being saved from the past (all of our sin) and becoming “just as if I’d never sinned;” sanctification is the life-long process of growing in Christ, into his image (Romans 8:29) and becoming more like him in thought, word and action; and glorification, which is the ultimate and final state of being in God’s presence, standing before him without sin. We did not do anything to earn salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9) because Jesus paid the price so we can enter into the Father’s presence.

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