1 Peter – Chapter Two IX

by Ed Urzi

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious” (1 Peter 2:4).

It seems that life is full of ironies. For example, the race isn’t always won by the fastest runner, recognition doesn’t always come to the most talented person, and the best team doesn’t always win the championship. In Romans chapter nine, Paul the Apostle noted another irony that relates to our text from 1 Peter 2:4: God had been found by those who weren’t looking for Him, while God’s chosen people had largely failed to recognize Him (see Romans 9:30-32).

How did such a thing occur? Well, Paul provides us with that answer…

“…they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said, ‘I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced'” (Romans 9:32-33 NLT).

So the message of salvation by grace through faith in Christ impeded those who sought to approach God through their own efforts. Those who preferred to approach God on their own terms thus rejected God’s plan for their salvation. Then there were others who dismissed Jesus for other reasons…

“Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense” (1 Corinthians 1:21-23 NLT).

Therefore, the Scriptures offer some important counsel for those who build their foundation upon the living, chosen, precious stone that is Christ…

“…no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames” (1 Corinthians 3:11–15 NLT).