God's Desire, Life-Study of 1 Peter, Message Nineteen, pp. 161-162


Scripture Reading: 1 Pet. 2:11-20

First Peter 2:1-10 reveals God's goal; it shows us what God desires. God wants a built up house and a priesthood for His expression. Both the house and the priesthood must be corporate. This is indicated by the four collective nouns used in verse 9: race, priesthood, nation, and people. First, God wants a house in which to dwell. As we all know, a house cannot be built of a single piece of material. On the contrary, a house can be built only of many different materials put together. In addition to a house for His dwelling, God wants a priesthood for His service. God does not desire individual priests; He desires a priesthood, a corporate body of priests, for His service.

The house and the priesthood, both of which are corporate entities, are for God's expression. This is indicated clearly in 2:9: "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." Telling out the virtues of Him is a matter of expressing Him. To tell out the Lord's virtues simply means to express Him according to what He is. God is rich in virtues. For example, He is loving and kind. Both His love and His kindness are virtues. Actually, all of God's attributes are His virtues, and we should tell out these virtues. Whenever we preach the gospel and teach the truth concerning the Lord, we should tell out His virtues. But unlike the practice of many Christians today, this telling out should be a corporate matter, not an individual one.

We need to turn from traditional, religious teachings and come back to the pure Word. We grow by taking in the guileless milk of the Word so that we may be transformed. Then we shall be built up into a house for God's dwelling and a priesthood for His service. Furthermore, we shall become God's expression in His virtues. These are the main points of the second section of this Epistle, 2:1-10. In 1 Peter chapter one we have God's economy to bring forth His full salvation so that we may have His life to have a holy manner of life and to have genuine love for the brothers. In 1:1-2 we see that the pilgrims in dispersion are under the operation of the Triune God. Then in 1:3-25 we have the full salvation of the Triune God and its issues. In chapter two we see the matter of growth in life and its results (2:1-10). First we grow by feeding on the milk of the Word unto full salvation (2:1-3). Then we are transformed unto the building up of a spiritual house for God's dwelling, a holy priesthood for God's service (2:4-8). Following this, in verses 9 and 10, we have the telling out of the virtues of the One who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Peter may have been a fisherman, but he was very intelligent. After studying Peter's two Epistles, I have become fully convinced that this fisherman had a scholarly mind. However, in order to appreciate the beauty of Peter's thought, we need to dig deeply into his writings.