1 Peter 2 Bible Study and Questions

by David Peach · Print Print · Email Email

The book of 1 Peter was written specifically to the Christians who were scattered during the persecutions of the first century. However, the content of the book is applicable to all Christians at any time and is a general book of encouragement for spiritual growth and holiness. The book is believed to have been written by Peter between 60 and 65 AD.

The second chapter of the book covers the topics of growing, being and doing. All of this flows from the conclusion of chapter 1. In that beginning chapter Peter tells the readers that God’s Word endures forever and therefore should be studied and preached.

Growing

Because of this desire to study God’s Word, Peter tells us in the first three verses of chapter 2 that we will grow by laying aside certain things and desiring other things in their place. The things that we should put away for the sake of our spiritual growth are: malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, and evil speaking (v 1).

Malice is ill-will towards others, or even a desire to injure your brother. It speaks to wickedness and depravity. Guile is a craftiness or deceit. We’ve all probably dealt with a salesman who we thought might be deceiving us. As growing Christians, we should desire to be open and honest with those around us. Whereas guile seems to be more about the things we say, hypocrisy is about the way we live and act. Both are being deceitful. Envy and jealousy is something we learn as children. Left unchecked it grows into a controlling emotion. Evil speaking is backbiting and defamation of others. These are characteristics that should not be in the life of a Christian.

Once these things are removed, then there is a spiritual growth that can take place because of the pure Word of God having control in our lives. Like a baby desires milk, we should desire God’s Word. But a baby can also be spoiled with inappropriate food. That is what happens to us when we don’t make a consistent diet of the Bible. When you taste the graciousness of God then you get a greater hunger for His Word and His Person (v. 2, 3).

I Peter is believed to have been written by Peter between 60 and 65 AD.

1 Peter is believed to have been written by Peter between 60 and 65 AD.

Being

Verses 4 through 10 teach that we are living stones and people of God. God builds a spiritual house with these living stones. As people of God we are called to proclaim the praises of God.

Christ, though rejected by men, was the way God chose to bring us to Himself (v. 4). Then God chose us to be living stones which He uses to build a spiritual house. We are to be a holy priesthood to minister to God through spiritual sacrifices. These sacrifices, presumably our own selves, are accepted by God through Jesus Christ (v. 5).

Christ is the cornerstone of this spiritual building. We are partakers in this building with Him. This was foretold, Peter tells us, in previous scripture. Isaiah is the prophet who gives us this insight in Isaiah 28:16 (v. 6). For those who believe in Him, they are integrated into this building—the body of Christ (v. 7). For those who do not believe, Christ—the cornerstone—becomes a stone of offense, or a stumbling block (v. 8). This is explained in the Old Testament in Isaiah 8:14 and in Psalms 118:22.

But for those who believe in Christ as the way of access to God, they become the children of God. They are chosen to be a royal priesthood to Him. They are a chosen people by Him. They are a holy nation in Him (v. 9). What a wonderful calling God has given to those of us who believe in Him. He has chosen us to be His people!

We, who are called out of darkness into light, are called to proclaim His praises. Not only to proclaim, but to live out by being His people (v. 9). In the past we were of the world, but called out to be the people of God. We previously had no mercy, but now possess the mercy of the living God (v. 10).

Doing

Now that we are growing into mature Christians and being the people God intend us to be, it is time to do the things that testify to others. Sometimes people get the being and doing in the wrong order. They think they can do good things to make themselves into the children of God. But the truth is, you must be a child of God to have the ability to do the things of God. Those who are not saved can do good things, but their good actions do not save them.

This section of the chapter is further broken down into three parts. We are reminded how to live as pilgrims, citizens and servants.

As people who are temporarily passing through this world, we should conduct ourselves in a Christ-honoring way. We are instructed to abstain from fleshly lusts (v. 11) and to live among the Gentiles in such a way that we point them to God. Those who don’t believe in Christ can come to a knowledge of Him when they see the godly conduct of the Christians around them (v. 12).

Peter then addresses Christians as citizens. While we do not belong to this world, we do have to live in it. We must submit ourselves to the authorities around us. That may be fellow citizens, kings, or governors (v. 13, 14). These authorities are in place to protect us from evildoers (v. 14). As those who are submissive to authority, we can silence those who would deride the name of Christ (v. 15). We are free men in Christ, but still obedient to God and those authorities He allows to be over us (v. 16). We are to live in honor to all men, love our fellow Christians, fear God and honor the king (v. 17).

Finally Peter speaks to Christians as bond servants and slaves. This was an actual position for some of the original recipients of the book. But the implication is for all Christians to live in this submissive way. We should submit with respect for those good and gentle masters as well as those who are cruel and harsh (v. 18). It is worthy of God’s praise when we endure this difficult life with grace. Sometimes people are persecuted because their own actions bring this upon them, but God is honored when we endure unjust and unnecessary persecution for His sake (v. 19, 20). Christ is our ultimate example in this. He suffered persecution, not for His own sins, but because of ours (v. 21-23). He bore the punishment of our sins upon Him on the cross (v. 24). Therefore we should live in righteousness and turn again to the shepherd and overseer of our souls (v. 25).

Questions Based on 1 Peter 2

1) What is the difference between malice and guile?

2) What is it that baby Christians should desire?

3) What are the four things that verse 9 says we are before God?

4) What is meant when the Bible talks about us being strangers and pilgrims in this world?

5) How have you responded to unjust treatment? According to verses 19 and 20, did you respond properly?

6) Who is our greatest example for proper response during persecution?

Take a look at this similar article: Romans 14 Bible Study

Resource – The Holy Bible, King James Version

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