Transforming Ordinary People into Extraordinary Followers of Christ

1 Peter – 1 Peter 2:4-12: A Portrait of our Special Calling

1 Peter – 1 Peter 2:4-12 – 5 of 18


Contrary to what some would have you believe, God doesn’t sit up in heaven with his jaw clenched and his arms folded in a settled state of disapproval. He’s not ticked off at his children for all of the times we mess up. No, he is a loving Father, and despite our sin, we are precious in his sight. Many passages make this point (check out Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 103:1-5, 11-14; Lamentations 3:25; Colossians 1:12- 14; James 1:17; Romans 8:31-32). As we continue our study of 1 Peter (2:4-10) God’s affirming love likewise is on display, through six “titles” he uses for his children:

[1] Believers are living stones being built up into a spiritual house (2:4-8). Jesus is the cornerstone and we are the living stones that make up that building. Each time someone trusts Christ as their Savior, another stone is quarried out of the pit of sin and cemented into place through the work of the Holy Spirit. And carefully overseeing this construction project is Christ himself, who is the hands on contractor of this eternal building (Matthew 16:18). But Peter tells us that to one, Jesus is a precious cornerstone, but for many he is a rock of offense (2:6). Which one is he…for you?

[2] Believers are priests who are serving in the same temple (2:5,9). In Scripture, priests offer up prayers, they bring spiritual sacrifices, they intercede to God on behalf of others, and they stay in tune with the spiritual side of life. While we’re not all pastors, every believer is a priest, set apart by God!

[3] Believers are a chosen race (2:9). But don’t get a big head—Deuteronomy 7:6-8 puts this into perspective! Being chosen by God says nothing about our strength or superiority, but rather about God’s grace, shown to us entirely apart from any merit on our part.

[4] Believers are a holy nation (2:9, cf. Philippians 3:20). Christians sing a different national anthem, and pledge our allegiance to a different flag—because our true citizenship is in heaven.

[5] We are a people for God’s own possession (2:9). Think about it. The value of even the most common things is enhanced if owned by someone significant: a book owned by Abraham Lincoln or Churchill’s desk. And these are mere men! Now think of the value of something that is owned by God! What incredible worth that bestows upon us! What inexplicable dignity!

[6] Believers are God’s people who have received his great mercy (2:10). It is as a result of God’s great mercy that we have become a people who are uniquely and exclusively owned by God (also see 1 Corinthians 6:9-20).

Understanding the fact that we are not our own makes all the difference in the world in terms of how we should live. For those who don’t share our faith in Christ, the earth is a playground to gratify our desires. For followers of Christ it’s the place where we battle against the lusts that wage war against our souls.


Live a clean life. Never assume that it makes no difference to unbelievers how we live. The truth is, they are watching! That’s why Peter us to abstain from fleshly lusts. A clean life is a powerful testimony of the reality and power of our faith.

Leave no room for slander. Our most convincing defense is found not in how vigorously we deny slanderous charges, but rather in the silent integrity or our character. Character will preach!

Do good deeds among unbelievers. Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 5:16, and illustrated it in the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).

Never forget that you are being watched by an unbelieving world.


Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large  that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)

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