Summary: Exposition of 1 Peter 2:4-8
Privileges of Believers
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
What are some of the privileges or honors that believers have as worshipers of God?
Throughout Scripture, God seeks to inform believers about how truly special and privileged they are. In Ephesians 1:3, we have every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. In Romans 8:17, we are co-heirs with Christ. In the beatitudes the Kingdom of Heaven is ours and ours alone (Matt 5:3-11). After the beatitudes we are called the salt and light of the earth (v. 13, 14). God wants his children to know how special they are, so they can live out this high calling and these high privileges. We must continually renew our minds to know what God has done in us (Rom 12:2). This is especially important in a world that cannot properly evaluate our worth and in fact persecutes us.
First Peter 2:4-8 is no different. This passage trumpets the honor and privileges of Christians. In fact, when it says in verse 7: “Now to you who believe this stone is precious”, almost all commentators disagree with this translation. It is better translated: “So the honor is for you who believe” as in the ESV.
There are many honors and privileges that come to those who believe in Christ. No doubt Peter wrote this to encourage the saints who are being persecuted for their faith. Peter not only describes the believers’ privileges in Christ but also talks about those who reject Christ and “stumbled over him.” The beauty of these believers is shown as more glorious against the backdrop of those who stumble and dishonor Christ. Believers should stand in awe at the overflowing grace in their lives from God.
In fact, the privileges that are talked about in this passage would be even more wonderful to Jewish believers who would see the Old Testament analogies of Israel being shown in the church.
Big Question: What are some of the honors and privileges we have as Christians according to 1 Peter 2:4–8?
Believers Have the Privilege of Continually Coming to Christ
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him.
The phrase “as you come to him” is a present participle that has the meaning of “as you continually come to him.” This is not just salvation, but coming to Christ in worship, prayer, and through the Word of God on a daily basis.
We have the right to come to “the living stone” that was rejected by men, but was chosen by God and precious to him. The word precious really means “there is nothing like him.” That is our privilege. We have the right to continually come to Christ and God through him. Listen to what Hebrews 4:15-16 says:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (emphasis mine).
Because our Savior can understand and sympathize, this should encourage us to continually approach his throne to receive mercy and grace.
This is a tremendous privilege. Let us not neglect times of prayer, for they are not a burden but a great privilege. It is at his throne that we find mercy, forgiveness for our sins, and grace to help us. What is keeping you from enjoying this precious privilege?
Application Question: What things commonly keep you or other believers from using this privilege of continually coming to Christ?
Believers Have the Privilege of Being Built into the House of God
You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (emphasis mine).
In this text, we are compared to living stones that are being built into a house. We are living stones because Christ is the first living stone—the foundation of the house (v. 6). The paradox of a “living” stone is seen simply in comparison to the Old Testament house of God, the temple that was made of dead stones.