1. What do you think God is trying to tell us (His people) by calling us “living stones” and a “holy priesthood” in 1 Peter 2:4-9?
  2. In 1 Peter 2:10, Peter tells us that we were once not “a people.”  Technically, I think this reveals that the majority of people receiving this letter were from a Gentile background.  Before the time of Christ, the people of God were Jewish (either by birth or conversion.)  Peter is saying that because of what Christ has done, these Gentile converts now have the joy of being a part of the people of God (and all the blessings that provides).  I think there is something deeper here, though.  From a Jewish perspective, there were two types of people:  Jew and Gentile.  However, from a Gentile perspective, there were many different ethnicities.  Remember in 1 Peter 1:1 we find that Peter is writing this to a collection of believers scattered across a diverse ethnic region.  Peter is not just telling them that they are God’s people, but that collectively, they are “a people” together.  Though they may feel alone or isolated in their communities, they are a part of a privileged people group . . . the people of God.  Just as one stone does not make a temple but requires many stones stacked together, so they are not just a solitary Christian, but one stone among many as a part of the Body of Christ, the people of God, a living temple.  In many ways, this passage is a call to fellowship for Christians.  This passage pulls believers together as fellow “stones,” members of the people of God.  When you think of the Christian life, do you think of it more as a personal issue, or more as a corporate issue?  If you viewed the Christian life as being a part of the corporate “people of God” what difference would that make?
  3. 1 Peter 2:11-12 calls believers to live a distinctive life so that those around them who do not know Christ will eventually be impacted by the testimony of our lives.  Just as the physical Temple in Jesus day was a picture of God’s glory for all to see, so the lives of Christians are a public testimony to our God.  In what ways is God challenging you today through this passage to live a more “distinctive” life for Him?

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