Read: 1 Peter 2:1-10 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Explain: Grammatically, 2:1 is connected to 1:22. This is how we are to love one another from the heart. We are to “put away” the things that are detrimental to loving others. We are to proactively throw this stuff out of our lives.
Q1: How is the fact that we cannot work for our salvation sometimes make us forget that we must work out our salvation? What is the different between working for and working out our salvation?
Q2: What are some human cravings that are natural or common to all people? What are some cravings that are not natural or that we can pervert?
Q3: What some good and bad cravings that are not static or built in and how do we develop or change these cravings? (cravings for addictive drugs, power, money. Cravings for healthy foods, connected love for others)
Q4: How do we develop a craving for God’s word? (Do you believe this is practically possible?)
Explain: Isaiah was a prophet to the Southern Kingdom, Judah. He spoke of God’s future judgment, a time when Judah would fall, about 100 years after he died. He also spoke of God’s future hope, this hope was the coming of Christ. This would happen about 500 years after he died. Peter quotes from Isaiah 28 when he writes, “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.” The people mock Isaiah in this chapter, they don’t believe him or trust in God. They will put their confidence in Egypt to protect them from their enemies. They throw a drunken party and believe they, not God controls their destiny.
Q5: How does considering Isaiah’s life of faithfulness in the face of opposition and the lack of visible fruit help you think about your own life?
Q6: Isaiah had an epic vision that would have helped him maintain passion for his work. (Is. 6) Do you think having this experience would have been enough in itself? Why or why not? What evidence do you find in Scripture that past experiences are not enough in themselves to maintain long term faithfulness?
Q7: How does verse 1 Peter 2:9,10 help shape the big “WHY” of the Christian life?
Read: “My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13
Q8: How does Jeremiah’s description of the sins of the people correlate with our attempts to find meaning and life apart from God’s purposes? What are some specific examples of “broken wells” that people often dig?
Q9: What does your “life behind the plow” feel like to you now? Do you often lack of sense of the larger “why” or do you feel you are able to hold to biblical purpose with some consistency? Be as honest as you can. Do you feel hopeful, cynical, bored, or some other emotion, what word or words would you use to describe your feelings?
Pray: Ask God to give you craving for his word. Ask God to give you an ongoing sense of the epic “why” in the midst of life behind the plow.