To guileless feeding on the word by the sense of their privileges as
new-born babes, living stones in the spiritual temple built on Christ
the chief corner-stone, and royal priests, in contrast to their former
state: also to abstinence from fleshly lusts, and to walk worthily in
all relations of life, so that the world without which opposes them may
be constrained to glorify God in seeing their good works. Christ, the
grand pattern to follow in patience under suffering for well-doing.
1. laying aside--once for all: so the Greek aorist
expresses as a garment put off. The exhortation applies to
Christians alone, for in none else is the new nature existing which, as
"the inward man"
can cast off the old as an outward thing, so that the Christian,
through the continual renewal of his inward man, can also exhibit
himself externally as a new man. But to unbelievers the demand is
addressed, that inwardly, in regard to the nous (mind),
they must become changed, meta-noeisthai (re-pent)
[STEIGER]. The "therefore" resumes the exhortation
Seeing that ye are born again of an incorruptible seed, be not again
entangled in evil, which "has no substantial being, but is an acting in
contrariety to the being formed in us" [THEOPHYLACT]. "Malice," &c., are utterly inconsistent
with the "love of the brethren," unto which ye have "purified your
The vices here are those which offend against the
BROTHERLY LOVE inculcated above. Each succeeding
one springs out of that which immediately precedes, so as to form a
genealogy of the sins against love. Out of malice springs
guile; out of guile, hypocrises (pretending to be what we
are not, and not showing what we really are; the opposite of "love
unfeigned," and "without dissimulation"); out of hypocrisies,
envies of those to whom we think ourselves obliged to play the
hypocrite; out of envies, evil-speaking, malicious, envious
detraction of others. Guile is the permanent disposition;
hypocrisies the acts flowing from it. The guileless knows no
"sincere," Greek, "guileless." "Malice delights in
another's hurt; envy pines at another's good; guile
imparts duplicity to the heart; hypocrisy (flattery) imparts
duplicity to the tongue; evil-speakings wound the character of
2. new-born babes--altogether without "guile"
As long as we are here we are "babes," in a specially tender relation
The childlike spirit is indispensable if we would enter heaven. "Milk"
is here not elementary truths in contradistinction to more advanced
Christian truths, as in
Heb 5:12, 13;
but in contrast to "guile, hypocrisies," &c.
the simplicity of Christian doctrine in general to the childlike
spirit. The same "word of grace" which is the instrument in
regeneration, is the instrument also of building up. "The mother
of the child is also its natural nurse" [STEIGER].
The babe, instead of chemically analyzing, instinctively desires and
feeds on the milk; so our part is not self-sufficient rationalizing and
questioning, but simply receiving the truth in the love of it
desire--Greek, "have a yearning desire for," or "longing
after," a natural impulse to the regenerate, "for as no one needs to
teach new-born babes what food to take, knowing instinctively that a
table is provided for them in their mother's breast," so the believer
of himself thirsts after the word of God
Compare TATIUS' language as to Achilles.
sincere--Greek, "guileless." Compare
"laying aside guile." IRENÆUS says of
heretics. They mix chalk with the milk. The article, "the," implies
that besides the well-known pure milk, the Gospel, there is no
other pure, unadulterated doctrine; it alone can make us
of the word--Not as ALFORD, "spiritual,"
nor "reasonable," as English Version in
The Greek "logos" in Scripture is not used of the
reason, or mind, but of the WORD; the preceding context
requires that "the word" should be meant here; the adjective
"logikos" follows the meaning of the noun logos,
"Lay apart all filthiness . . . and receive with
meekness the engrafted WORD," is exactly
parallel, and confirms English Version here.
grow--The oldest manuscripts and versions read, "grow unto
salvation." Being BORN again unto
salvation, we are also to grow unto salvation. The end to
which growth leads is perfected salvation. "Growth is the
measure of the fulness of that, not only rescue from destruction, but
positive blessedness, which is implied in salvation" [ALFORD].
thereby--Greek, "in it"; fed on it; in its
"The word is to be desired with appetite as the cause of life, to be
swallowed in the hearing, to be chewed as cud is by rumination with the
understanding, and to be digested by faith" [TERTULLIAN].
3. Peter alludes to
The first "tastes" of God's goodness are afterwards followed by fuller
and happier experiences. A taste whets the appetite
gracious--Greek, "good," benignant, kind; as God is
revealed to us in Christ, "the Lord"
we who are born again ought so to be good and kind to the
"Whosoever has not tasted the word to him it is not sweet it has not
reached the heart; but to them who have experienced it, who with the
heart believe, 'Christ has been sent for me and is become my
own: my miseries are His, and His life mine,' it tastes
4. coming--drawing near (same Greek as here,
by faith continually; present tense: not having come once for all at
stone--Peter (that is, a stone, named so by
Christ) desires that all similarly should be living stones
CHRIST, THE TRUE FOUNDATION-STONE; compare his
An undesigned coincidence and mark of genuineness. The Spirit
foreseeing the Romanist perversion of
"Son of the LIVING God," which coincides with his
language here, "the LIVING stone"), presciently
makes Peter himself to refuse it. He herein confirms Paul's teaching.
Omit the as unto of English Version. Christ is positively
termed the "living stone"; living, as having life in Himself
from the beginning, and as raised from the dead to live evermore
after His rejection by men, and so the source of life to us. Like no
earthly rock, He lives and gives life. Compare
and the type,
disallowed--rejected, reprobated; referred to also by Christ
Himself: also by Paul; compare the kindred prophecies,
chosen of God--literally, "with (or 'in the presence
and judgment of') God elect," or, "chosen out"
Many are alienated from the Gospel, because it is not everywhere in
favor, but is on the contrary rejected by most men. Peter answers that,
though rejected by men, Christ is peculiarly the stone of
salvation honored by God, first so designated by Jacob in his deathbed
5. Ye also, as lively stones--partaking of the name and life
which is in "THE LIVING
Many names which belong to Christ in the singular are assigned to
Christians in the plural. He is "THE
SON," "High Priest," "King," "Lamb"; they, "sons,"
"priests," "kings," "sheep," "lambs." So the Shulamite called from
are built up--Greek, "are being built up," as in
Not as ALFORD, "Be ye built up." Peter grounds his
1Pe 2:2, 11,
&c., on their conscious sense of their high privileges as living
stones in the course of being built up into a spiritual house (that
is, "the habitation of the Spirit").
priesthood--Christians are both the spiritual temple and
the priests of the temple. There are two Greek words for
"temple"; hieron (the sacred place), the whole building,
including the courts wherein the sacrifice was killed; and
naos (the dwelling, namely, of God), the inner shrine
wherein God peculiarly manifested Himself, and where, in the holiest
place, the blood of the slain sacrifice was presented before
Him. All believers alike, and not merely ministers, are now the
dwelling of God (and are called the "naos," Greek, not
the hieron) and priests unto God
The minister is not, like the Jewish priest (Greek,
"hiercus"), admitted nearer to God than the people, but merely
for order's sake leads the spiritual services of the people.
Priest is the abbreviation of presbyter in the Church
of England Prayer Book, not corresponding to the Aaronic
priest (hiereus, who offered literal sacrifices).
Christ is the only literal hiereus-priest in the New Testament
through whom alone we may always draw near to God. Compare
"a royal priesthood," that is, a body of priest-kings, such as
was Melchisedec. The Spirit never, in New Testament, gives the name
hiereus, or sacerdotal priest, to ministers of the
holy--consecrated to God.
spiritual sacrifices--not the literal one of the mass, as the
Romish self-styled disciples of Peter teach. Compare
which compare with "acceptable to God" here;
Ps 4:5; 50:14; 51:17, 19;
"Among spiritual sacrifices the first place belongs to the general
oblation of ourselves. For never can we offer anything to God until we
have offered ourselves
in sacrifice to Him. There follow afterwards prayers, giving of thanks,
alms deeds, and all exercises of piety" [CALVIN].
Christian houses of worship are never called temples because the
temple was a place for sacrifice, which has no place in
the Christian dispensation; the Christian temple is the congregation of
spiritual worshippers. The synagogue (where reading of Scripture and
prayer constituted the worship) was the model of the Christian house of
worship (compare Note, see on
Our sacrifices are those of prayer, praise, and self-denying services
in the cause of Christ
by Jesus Christ--as our mediating High Priest before God.
Connect these words with "offer up." Christ is both precious
Himself and makes us accepted [BENGEL]. As
the temple, so also the priesthood, is built on Christ
(1Pe 2:4, 5)
[BEZA]. Imperfect as are our services, we are not
with unbelieving timidity, which is close akin to refined
self-righteousness, to doubt their acceptance THROUGH CHRIST. After extolling the
dignity of Christians he goes back to CHRIST as
the sole source of it.
6. Wherefore also--The oldest manuscripts read, "Because that."
The statement above is so "because it is contained in