1 Peter 2 begins with Peter’s exhortation that the newborn believers exiled in Asia Minor would desire the pure milk of the word so they would grow. Spiritual milk is the gospel of salvation and the resulting new identity we have in Christ. Eph 2:1-10 This is the foundation of Christianity and reality itself. If indeed you are in Christ, you are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor 5:17 If indeed you are in Christ you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Your identity is in Christ. Col 3:3-4
I prefer meat.
We made it to 1 Pet 2:4 in our Bible study last week.
…Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 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. 1 Pet 2:4-5
Peter is quoting from Isaiah and Psalms. The stone which the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone. Psalms 118:22 “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, and a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Isaiah 28:16 Jesus is the living stone, rejected by men, but chosen by God. …the chief cornerstone. We the church are living stones being built into God’s building. 1 Cor 3:9 Once again, the foundation laid by the Apostles is the Gospel. It is the template for reality. If that foundation is changed or corrupted the whole building will burn and collapse. 1 Cor 3:20-14 It is for this reason that Paul gives such a very dire warning.
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8-9.
Peter goes on to say that the purpose of God’s building (His people) is the offering of spiritual sacrifices. In the past, not even kings could offer sacrifices but only Levitical priests. In 2 Chronicles 26, the Lord struck King Uzaiah with leprosy for daring to offer incense on the altar of incense. Today believers are a Holy Priesthood. Our spiritual sacrifices include the sacrifice of praise, acts of charity, and submission to spiritual authority. Heb 13:15-17 We are to walk in love as Christ loved us. Eph 5:2 Most importantly we are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. Rom 12:1-2 “Self” must be slain on the altar before we come boldly (as holy priests) to the throne of grace. Heb 4:16 This includes but is not limited to our self-image and facades, our pride, our rights, and if necessary our very lives. Rev 12:11 Not loving our lives onto death is a scary thought. But Jesus told us to fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which can destroy both soul and body in hell. Mat 10:28 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Prov 9:10 This also is spiritual milk. Fear phóbos (terror) of the Lord is the terror associated with the idea of ignoring or rejecting Him. It begins with the recognition of our littleness, our weakness, our brokenness devoid of wisdom and understanding. As we mature, phóbos leads to reverence and awe more than terror as we behold and appreciate the awesome wisdom power, and grandeur of our sovereign God in the context of the Spirit of (our) adoption as sons… Rom 8:15 The reverence and awe that flows from sonship is a function of love and gratitude.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Sometimes suffering is where the meat begins. Rom 8:16-17
Understanding the necessity of suffering only comes with maturity grown from a diet of spiritual meat. The transition from milk to meat begins when we find ourselves less and less consumed with self e.g. my identity, my calling, my comfort, my rights etc., and become so enamored with Him and His will that self drops away. You know you are eating meat when the words you’ve read a thousand times jump off the page and give way to deeper revelation and awe.
One of the most awe-inspiring, faith-building albeit mind-boggling aspects of God’s word is that scriptures written in the past tense may describe future events. For example, Isaiah wrote about Jesus in the past tense seven hundred years before He was born. David did the same in Psalms 22. Spiritual meat that reveals deeper truth nourishes faith that can endure testing and be proven genuine. 1 Pet 1:6-9
Why would God write about the future as if it already happened?
Did he intentionally confuse us? After all Solomon did write that, …he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecc 3:11 In my experience, scriptures that conflict with my existential perceptions and understanding of creation, time and distance bring me to a crossroads of awe and doubt. Do I lean on my own understanding, remain wise in my own eyes and doubt the validity of the text? Prov 3:5-8 Or do I trust God’s word that tells us He saved us before He created us and allow the paradox to birth revelatory awe in my soul?
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. Eph 1:4
Trust the Science.
As is often the case, the science with which so many try to refute God’s Word repeatedly validates it. Four hundred and fifty years before Jesus was born Solomon wrote That which is, already has been; that which is to be already has been; Ecc 3:15 Today the Theory of Special Relativity in quantum physics states that everything that is going to happen has already happened.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? … Rom 11:33-34, Isaiah 55:8-9, Job 38:4-7
According to these physicists, while everything that ever will exist already does exist, it is the act of observation on our part that brings each moment into what we call physical or experiential existence. The Bible uses the word “fulfillment”. If that sounds weird or “New Agey” then consider this.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1
What if we replaced the aforementioned “act of observation” with “faith”? Lots of believers attempt to walk this out individually, especially regarding healing. Miracles and healing do happen. However, statistically speaking, more often nothing happens. Now you might conclude that my observation of the “nothing” is the problem. But denial and faith are not the same. Perhaps the reason we fail to manifest the power that should attend our roll as priests is the fact that what we call the body of Christ amounts to what Art Katz called an aggregate of individuals doing their own thing. Perhaps the problem is that we are consumed with “My Identity” rather than
Ephesians 4:11-16 is the cry of my heart amidst pipe dreams of “unity in community” based on games, social gatherings, dinners, and birthday parties. Our identity will only be found when we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; We can get together over a taco at the drop of a dime. But to come together in His Word, according to His Word to search out the mysteries of His word Prov 25:2…well ya know I’m really tired and besides I have a birthday party to get to”… But what if unified corporate belief in His Word that produces faith Rom 10:17 is what is required for His biblical blueprint to be made manifest as reality? Ephesians 4:11-16
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting… Ephesians 4:11-16
The guiding principle behind the Acts 17:11 Bereans Bible Study is that we all see in a mirror dimly. 1 Cor 13:12 Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Rom 10:17 It follows that we all see and hear better when we do it together. Holy Spirit is our teacher. John 6:13
Still, how can unity of the faith happen when almost no one wants it? How do I know that no one wants it? Because as I showed in our previous post only 6-9% of professing Christians and 37% of pastors in the US have a Biblical worldview based on the Word that God exults above ALL His name. Psalms 138:2.
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Heb 5:12-14