Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO 1 PETER 2\\

This chapter consists of exhortations, in general, to a holy life;
and, in particular, to obedience to superiors. It begins with an
exhortation to lay aside various vices, which were unbecoming
regenerate persons, \\#1Pe 2:1\\ and, agreeably to their character,
as new born babes, to express a desire after the Gospel, which is
commended from its nature, being comparable to milk; and from its
quality, being reasonable, sincere, and unmixed; and from the end and
usefulness of it, a spiritual growth; and the argument engaging to
such a desire is the experience they had of the grace of Christ in
it, \\#1Pe 2:2,3\\ whose excellency is declared, under the metaphor
of a stone, said to be living, to be chosen of God, and precious to
him, though rejected by men; to whom the saints are encouraged to
come, as lively stones built up, a spiritual house, for the exercise
of the holy office of the priesthood, by offering up spiritual
sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ, \\#1Pe 2:4,5\\ and that
Christ is such a precious stone, is proved from \\#Isa 28:16\\ and
not only to God, but to all them that believe; though to them that
believe not, he is the stone of rejection, stumbling, and offence; to
stumble at which, and the doctrine of it, through disobedience, they
were of old appointed by God, \\#1Pe 2:6-8\\ but the character of the
persons the apostle writes to was very different, quite the reverse,
being chosen and called, and manifestly the people of God, and
sharing in his grace and mercy, \\#1Pe 2:9,10\\ and these he exhorts,
suitable to their state and condition, to abstain from sin, as an
enemy to their souls, and to live an honest life and conversation
among the Gentiles, that they, instead of speaking evil of them,
might, by beholding their good works, glorify God, \\#1Pe 2:11,12\\.
And particularly he exhorts them to obedience to civil magistrates,
both superior and inferior; partly from the author of them, they
being of the Lord; and partly from the usefulness of them to punish
wicked men, and to encourage good men; and also from its being the
will of God, by such obedience, to silence the cavils of foolish men,
\\#1Pe 2:13-15\\. And whereas it might be objected, that they were
made free by Christ, and therefore should not be the servants of men;
it is granted, that they were free; but then it is denied, that they
should use their liberty for a cloak of maliciousness: and besides,
it should be observed, that they were the servants of God, and
therefore ought to do what he enjoined them; and, among other things,
yield obedience to civil magistrates, \\#1Pe 2:16\\. And to this
purpose are various exhortations in \\#1Pe 2:17\\, and another
particular one is added, which is to servants, to be subject to their
masters, and fear them, whether they be good or bad, \\#1Pe 2:18\\
and then he comforts such that had bad masters, and encourages them
to bear the injuries they received from them patiently; because so to
do was grateful to God, and acceptable in his sight; and because they
were called unto it by him; and because of the example Christ had
left them in suffering for them, \\#1Pe 2:19-21\\. And this is
further urged from the character of Christ, who was without sin, and
yet suffered, and from his conduct, who, when reviled, made no
return, but left his cause with God, \\#1Pe 2:22,23\\ which leads on
the apostle take notice of the nature of Christ's sufferings in his
body on the cross, and the ends of them, which were expiation of sin,
healing diseases, and holiness of life, as a consequent thereof,
\\#1Pe 2:24\\ previous to which conversion, which is illustrated by
the former state and condition men are in, being as sheep going
astray; and by their present one, being returned to Christ, the
Shepherd and Bishop of souls, \\#1Pe 2:25\\.