Day 13: A Holy Priesthood

Wednesday is Cross-Reference day!  Feel free to look up the cross-references in your own Bible or follow the guide below:

Read 1 Peter 2:1-8 first.

Peter’s references to stones and stumbling blocks are built on Old Testament prophecies.  Check out Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 8:14, and Isaiah 28:16.  The Apostle Paul referred to these same prophecies in 1 Corinthians 1:23 and Ephesians 2:19-22.

Believers are being built together into a spiritual house.  It’s hard to build a house with just one stone!  What does this tell us about the idea of “lone ranger Christians,” or people who say “I love Jesus, I just don’t like the church”?

One of my personal questions from Monday was “what does 2:5 mean?”  Peter quickly switches metaphors from “spiritual house” to “holy priesthood,” and then throws in the sacrificial system to boot!  Here are some references that help shed light on what he means:

Leviticus 10:9-11, Ezekiel 22:26, and Malachi 2:6-9 show what priests were expected to do in the Old Testament.  One of their main jobs was to teach the people the difference between the holy and unholy, which corresponds very well with Peter’s overall theme of holiness.  Israel’s priests failed at their job, but God calls us through Christ to become a “holy priesthood,” showing the difference between the holy and unholy by our own conduct, even if it means persecution.  Romans 12:1 says that we offer our own bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God.  Like the priests of the Old Testament times, believers now have the ministry of reconciling others to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

In 1 Peter 2:9, Peter describes the body of believers in 4 ways:

  • a “chosen generation”
  • a “royal priesthood”
  • a “holy nation”
  • “His own special people”

How does this language compare with Deuteronomy 7:6-8?

Finally, compare 1 Peter 2:10 with Hosea 2:23.

Peter has spent a lot of time explaining the hope they have in Christ (chapter 1) and the special identity that believers have as God’s chosen people (chapter 2: 1-10).  Let’s try to keep these in mind as we study the rest of chapter 2 and the whole book! How does it give you hope to know that you are part of God’s “own special people”?  What type of responsibilities does this identity come with?

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