The Enduring Word
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because
" All flesh
the glory of man[f]
as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
word of the LORD endures forever."
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
[The word for soul refers to the life, the mind, the innermost part of a man. The transformation brought by renewing your mind, purifies your life, by obeying the word of truth under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The result of this purification is Christian love. But please note this transformation is only possible after being born again. Too often Christians in the political realm decry the sin of the world without realizing this is their natural state. I do not hope for sinners to be more acceptable sinners, I hope for their regeneration in Christ Jesus.
The flesh and all it can achieve is temporary, but the things brought about by the word of truth will endure. The life of sin is short term gain for eternal loss, but the life of a believer is short term work for everlasting benefits.]
17 self justified
1 Peter 2
Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord
[The work of salvation is to separate you from your sin so that you can be made holy to God. This is a continuing process throughout your Christian life. This desire for the word of God and the growth it brings is evidence of your conversion. As babies desire their mother's milk, so we desire the food of the gospel. Notice the "if" in verse 3. Only if you have tasted the grace of God in salvation, will you have this desire to grow in Christ.
Romans 8 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
There is an old Gaither song called "The Old Rugged Cross made the Difference" and I love the truth of that song. Salvation makes all the difference, especially when the Spirit of Truth continues its work in our lives, growing in grace. We are separated from sin, separated to God.]
The Chosen Stone and His Chosen People
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
" Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame."
[The word for stone in verse 4 is "lithos" a stone cut for a particular purpose, Jesus was predestined before the creation of the world to be our redeemer, the cornerstone of our faith. The same word "lithos" is used in verse 5 for us. We are cut or formed in his image, for holiness, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and priests, not in the flesh offering the blood of animals, but in the Spirit offering our hearts to God through Jesus Christ. There is no shame, no guilt, for those who trust in Jesus, He paid the penalty for our sin, his blood atones for our guilt.]
7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
" The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,"
" A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense."
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
[Jesus is divisive. He is precious, only to those who trust in Him. The word for disobedient in verse 7 is "apeitheo" from which we get the word apathy. We have looked at this word before in Ephesians 2. Its literal meaning is without belief, both translations are correct because unbelief is disobedience to the gospel of Christ. Ephesians 2 makes it clear that those who are apathetic to the gospel are being prepared for the wrath of God. Their unbelief is their crime, their offense. The same Jesus they reject as savior will be their Judge. If you face Jesus as Judge, without first knowing him as savior it will be too late to repent. Those who do not bow in repentance will later bow in shame.]
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
[Verses 9 and 10 invoke parallels between the Old Testament priesthood and those who trust Christ Jesus.
In Exodus 28 God chooses the sons of Aaron, in John 15 in his discourse on the vine and the branches Jesus said "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit". Further parallels: priests are cleaned from sin before service (Leviticus 8, John 13); priests are specially clothed for service (Exodus 28, Isaiah 61); priest are anointed (Leviticus 8, Acts 2); priests are called to obedience (Leviticus 10, 1 Peter 1)]