The first half of this chapter contains these words:
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation-- 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.As believers we are to long to know God more. The more we know God, is to lead us to want to know even more of God. Just as a wee baby cries out for milk, we are to cry out to God for more food. :) These words lead me to ask myself.. do I cry out to God to know him more? Oh I do want to be a believer who does this. I want to know God more. The more I know him, the more I am able to put off behaviours such as malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander.
4As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5you 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. 6For 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."
7So 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.
Did you know that Jesus is both the cornerstone and the capstone of the "church". This are building terms. A capstone is the topmost stone. It is "The high point; crowning achievement". The cornerstone is the bottom-most stone. It is the stone that everything rests on. It is the "stone forming a part of a corner or angle in a wall". Without a good cornerstone or capstone the whole building will, over time, fall apart. So without Jesus, we have no church.
No wonder then that Jesus is such a bone of contention for so many folks eh? Consider it... more people reject Jesus for some really odd reasons, than those that just accept him. We know that Jesus lived and walked upon earth. We know that Jesus died. We know that he rose again from the dead. These are historical facts. And yet people try time and again to deny the truth of it. If people are able to reject Jesus the Christ, they are able to reject God because only through Jesus does one know God and only through Jesus is the church of God built.
The last half of this chapter deals with our behaviour towards others.
verses 11-12 tells us that we need to be careful about how we live so that those around us can see that we live good and blameless lives. That their words against us will fail because we are an honourable people. This will help them to glorify God... and that my friends is a main reason why we are God's people. That we may show HIS glory to the world. So watch how you live. Be honourable and decent and self-controlled. It's important.
verses 13-17 tell us that we are subject to different authorities. We need to be obedient to them, insofar as they don't violate God's will. We need to submit to the police, and to the judges and lawyers and leaders and so forth. We are to
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God.
The rest of the chapter reminds us to treat our employers with respect and honour, regardless of how they treat us. If we are treated poorly, and still do good, it is to our credit. Christ suffered for us, we can suffer as well. As God tells us
But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God
So as you can see, there is just SO much in this chapter to think about and mull over. Can you see why I just so like this book of the bible? :) Enjoy reading it! It'd be lovely if you shared your thoughts on it with me. I'd love to know what you are learning too.