Questions to Consider
1. What word does verse 1 start with? Review lesson 2 (link above) #7. What does the pivot word “so” mean in this verse? You may find it helpful to summarize chapters 1-2 in a “hinge sentence” (chapter 1 on the left, chapter 2:1-12 on the right, and the “So” in 2:1 as the hinge).
2. Peter uses several metaphors in this chapter. Can you identify each of them and explain the point he’s trying to make with each?
3. Read verses 1-3. One of the themes of the New Testament epistles is growing from spiritual immaturity as a new Christian to spiritual maturity in Christ. Consider verses 1-3 in light of these passages. What do verses 1-3 explain to us about growing toward maturity in Christ? What do these verses tell us to do? What does Peter mean by “if indeed you have tasted…” (3)? (hint)
4. Examine verses 4-8, focusing on what these verses say about Jesus. Who is “him” in verse 4a, and how is He described in 4b? If you haven’t already done so in #2, explain the stone/rock metaphor in 4-8. Why would God choose to represent Christ as a “living stone” (4), a “cornerstone” (6,7), and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense” (8)?
Now focus on what these verses say about Christians and our relationship to Christ. Why are we called living stones in v.4 as Jesus was in v.3? How does “being built up as a spiritual house” (5a) return to the theme of maturing in Christ? What is the purpose (“to be”) of this maturing? (5b)
Use your cross-references and think back to what you know about the Old Testament priesthood. Why does Peter say Believers are a “holy priesthood”? (5) What “spiritual sacrifices” do we offer, how do we offer them “through Jesus Christ,” and why are these sacrifices only acceptable to God when offered through Jesus Christ (e.g. Are things like prayer, praise, and worship acceptable to God if the person offering them isn’t a Believer? Why not?)? (5)
Explain the honor that comes with being a Believer. (7) Explain the unbeliever’s dishonor in rejecting, stumbling over, and taking offense at Christ. (7-8)
5. Study verses 9-10. Which characteristics, attitudes and actions of the Believer, and which attributes of God, would cause Peter to describe us as…
A chosen race-
A royal priesthood (And what’s the difference between a “royal” priesthood and a “holy” priesthood (5)?)-
A people for His own possession-
How do each of these descriptions indicate that Believers are consecrated (“set apart”)? What is the purpose (“that you may” – 9b) for which God sets us apart from the world?
In Scripture, the word “passion” does not always indicate sexual desire. It can simply mean strong feelings, emotions, or urges about anything, (the way someone today might say, “I am passionate about stamp collecting,” or “Hiking is my passion.”) as it does in verse 11. Bearing this in mind, how do passions of the flesh (about anything) wage war against our souls? How is abstaining from passions of the flesh a “spiritual sacrifice” (5), and why is it spiritually healthy to abstain from these passions? If we do not abstain from these passions of the flesh, but rather indulge them, what impact will that have on our ability to keep our conduct among the Gentiles (unbelievers) honorable? (12) What is the purpose (“so that” – 12) of holy living in an unbelieving world?
7. Explain how verse 1 and verse 12 are similar and serve as “bookends” for this passage (1-12).
8. Explain the connection God makes in this passage between holy living and evangelism.
Think about the various “spiritual sacrifices” you offer to God as a Christian. What is an additional sacrifice you could offer Him this week?
Suggested Memory Verse
(Every week of our study, you’ll see a suggested memory verse like the one above. You are welcome to grab the memory verse pic to use as your screensaver or wallpaper on your phone or computer, print it out and stick it somewhere you’ll see it frequently, or use it in any other way you wish to help you memorize the verse.)