The Book of I PETER
James J. Barker
- Many years ago,
the great preacher, H.A. Ironside, was traveling by train in Canada from one
preaching engagement to another.
- Seated next to
him and his family on the train was a Roman Catholic priest, a Franciscan
wearing a long robe.
- H. A. Ironside
initiated a friendly conversation, and soon the priest asked him what type of
work he was engaged in. Ironside
replied that he was "a catholic priest engaged in missionary
- The priest
looked suspiciously at Ironside's plain business suit as well as his wife and
children, and said, "I think you are jesting with me. Surely you are not a
"Yes. I am indeed a priest; I am
thoroughly serious with you."
- "But you're not
wearing a Roman collar," the priest said.
explained, "I did not say I was a Roman priest. I said I was a catholic
- From this point
on Ironside was able to explain the Scriptures to the Roman Catholic priest and
give him the Gospel.
- I have never
tried this approach when witnessing to priests, but Ironside was correct (I
Peter 2:5, 9). All true
believers are priests.
- And the word "catholic" means
- Baptists generally shy away from some of these words,
and others such as bishop, sanctuary, and sacrament because they have been
corrupted by the Roman Catholic Church.
- But the priesthood of believers is a Bible doctrine and
one of our Baptist distinctives.
Bible is our only
Autonomy of the local
Priesthood of the
Two ordinances (Believer's
Baptism and Lord's Supper)
Individual soul liberty
(freedom of religion -- Rom. 14:12)
Two offices (Pastor &
Separation of church and
- Tonight we will consider this important doctrine -- the
spiritual priesthood (I Peter 2:5).
SPIRITUAL GROWTH (2:1-3)
(2:1) connects chapter 2 with chapter 1.
Because we are "born again" by the Word of God (1:23), we need to grow
spiritually "as newborn babes" (2:2).
- Just as little
babies need much guidance and instruction, so do baby Christians
- Christians are
to lay aside "all malice and all guile" (2:1). Some believers lay aside some
malice and some guile, but we must lay it all
- "Malice" is the
harboring of evil thoughts against another person. Malice encourages antagonism and
hostility, anger and bitterness. It is the opposite of love.
- "Guile" is
deceit, trickery, and dishonesty.
This would include students cheating on exams, and adults cheating on
their taxes. It would include money scams, Ponzi schemes, shady business deals,
laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies..." (2:1). Insincerity and pretense is always
offensive but especially when practiced by religious
- Our Lord's
sharpest words were directed at the scribes and Pharisees. In Matthew 23, our Lord said over and
over, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" (23:13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27,
laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies..."
(2:1). Envy is a terrible sin. Acts 7:9 says Joseph's brothers "moved
with envy" when they sold him into Egypt.
- Matthew 27:18
says Pontius Pilate knew that "for envy" the Pharisees wanted Christ crucified.
- Proverbs 27:4 says, "Wrath is cruel, and anger is
outrageous; but who is able to stand before
- "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and
hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings" (2:1).
- Evil speaking would include gossip. I heard about a woman who came forward
at the invitation and told the pastor, "Pastor, I am laying my tongue on the
altar." He said, "Sister,
this altar isn't big enough for your tongue!"
- Evil speaking would include backbiting, slander, and
- This is all part of our carnal nature. That is why Ephesians 4:22-24 says,
"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is
corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your
mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in
righteousness and true holiness."
- For spiritual growth, we must "desire the sincere milk
of the word," that we may grow thereby (2:2).
- The sins referred to in I Peter 2:1 stunt our
spiritual growth. Studying God's
Word nourishes spiritual growth (cf. II Peter
- It is a great blessing for me as a pastor to see
Christians growing in the Lord. On
the other hand, it is discouraging to see others remain immature and carnal (cf.
I Cor. 3:1-3; Heb. 5:11-14).
- In I Peter 2:3, Peter is quoting Psalm 34:8, "O taste
and see that the LORD is good."
- I love that old song:
Have you “tasted that the Lord is gracious,”
walk in the way that’s new?
Have you drunk from the living
There’s Honey in the Rock for
- In these next five verses, there are four references to
the Lord Jesus Christ being our chief corner stone."
- The corner
stone represents the entire foundation of the building. Ephesians 2:20 says,
"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone."
- Our Lord is also called "a rock of
offence" (2:8). Christ
is the Rock of Ages. The
church is built upon Christ, not Peter (as the Roman Catholic Church teaches).
Corinthians 3:11 says, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid,
which is Jesus Christ."
Corinthians 10:4 says, "For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed
them: and that Rock was Christ."
- This Rock is Jesus, Yes
He's the One
This Rock is Jesus, the only One
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.
- Daniel the
prophet referred to Christ as "a stone was cut out without hands" (Dan.
- When He
returns, this Stone will smite the image that became a great mountain and filled
the whole earth (Dan. 2:35). That
is a prophecy of our Lord coming back to defeat the antichrist and his one-world
- To those of us
who have trusted Christ, He indeed is "precious" (I Peter 2:7). But to those who do not believe He is "a
stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence" (2:8).
- Sinners stumble at the Word of God but unless they
repent they will stumble into hell.
- Sinners "stumble at the Word" (2:8), not because they
cannot understand it, but because they will not obey it. Note the word "disobedient" (2:7,
- Mark Twain said, "It is not the things in the Bible that
I cannot understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand that bother
- Peter quotes
Psalm 118:22 -- "The stone which
the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner" (cf. I Peter 2:7).
- Our Lord quoted this Scripture several times. He said in Mark 12:10, " And have ye not
read this scripture; The stone which the builders
rejected is become the head of the
SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES (2:5,
- All New
Testament believers are priests (2:5, 9).
Ours is a spiritual priesthood.
- Ours is a "holy
- Ours is a
"royal priesthood" (2:9).
- A holy
priesthood is important. Isaiah
52:11 says, "Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD."
- It grieves me
that so many of the Roman Catholic priests are immoral. Many are drunkards. Many are
- And it grieves
me that many sincere Roman Catholics follow them blindly. Our Lord said, "If the blind lead the blind, both
shall fall into the ditch" (Matt. 15:14).
- Unlike the
Levitical priests who offered up animal sacrifices, our sacrifices are strictly
For example, our bodies are
to be presented as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2).
We are to "offer the
sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving
thanks to his name" (Hebrews 13:15).
Sacrificing our time doing
good (Hebrews 13:16).
The sacrifice of giving and
sharing (Hebrews 13:16).
- Our priestly
ministry involves showing forth the praises of God who has called us out of
darkness into his marvellous light (I Peter 2:9).
- Isaiah 43:21
says, "This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my
- Israel often
failed to show forth God's praise, and regrettably the New Testament church has
- Those without
Christ are in "darkness" (I Peter 2:9).
It is our job to reach them with the Gospel.