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1 Peter 2:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

To whom coming, as unto a living stone - This is a reference to Isaiah 28:16; : Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation. Jesus Christ is, in both the prophet and apostle, represented as the foundation on which the Christian Church is built, and on which it must continue to rest: and the stone or foundation is called here living, to intimate that he is the source of life to all his followers, and that it is in union with him that they live, and answer the end of their regeneration; as the stones of a building are of no use but as they occupy their proper places in a building, and rest on the foundation.

Disallowed indeed of men - That is, rejected by the Jews. This is a plain reference to the prophecy, Psalm 118:22; : The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

Chosen of God - To be the Savior of the world, and the Founder of the Church, and the foundation on which it rests; As Christ is the choice of the Father, we need have no doubt of the efficacy and sufficiency of all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of a lost world. God can never be mistaken in his choice; therefore he that chooses Christ for his portion shall never be confounded.

Precious - Εντιμον· Honourable. Howsoever despised and rejected by men, Jesus, as the sacrifice for a lost world, is infinitely honorable in the sight of God; and those who are united by faith to him partake of the same honor, being members of that great and glorious body of which he is the head, and stones in that superb building of which he is the foundation.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

To whom coming - To the Lord Jesus, for so the word “Lord” is to be understood in 1 Peter 2:3. Compare the notes at Acts 1:24. The idea here is, that they had come to him for salvation, while the great mass of people rejected him. Others “disallowed” him, and turned away from him, but they had seen that he was the one chosen or appointed of God, and had come to him in order to be saved. Salvation is often represented as corning to Christ. See Matthew 11:28.

As unto a living stone - The allusion in this passage is to Isaiah 28:16, “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” See the notes at that passage. There may be also possibly an allusion to Psalm 118:22, “The stone which the builders disallowed is become the headstone of the corner.” The reference is to Christ as the foundation on which the church is reared. He occupied the same place in regard to the church which a foundation-stone does to the edifice that is reared upon it. Compare Matthew 7:24-25. See the Romans 9:33 note, and Ephesians 2:20-22 notes. The phrase “living stone” is however unusual, and is not found, I think, except in this place. There seems to be an incongruity in it, in attributing life to a stone, yet the meaning is not difficult to be understood. The purpose was not to speak of a temple, like that at Jerusalem, made up of gold and costly stones; but of a temple made up of living materials - of redeemed people - in which God now resides. In speaking of that, it was natural to refer to the foundation on which the whole rested, and to speak of that as corresponding to the whole edifice. It was all a living temple - a temple composed of living materials - from the foundation to the top. Compare the expression in John 4:10, “He would have given thee living water;” that is, water which would have imparted life to the soul. So Christ imparts life to the whole spiritual temple that is reared on him as a foundation.

Disallowed indeed of men - Rejected by them, first by the Jews, in causing him to be put to death; and then by all people when he is offered to them as their Saviour. See the notes at Isaiah 53:3. Psalm 118:22; “Which the builders refused.” Compare the Matthew 21:42 note; Acts 4:11 note.

But chosen of God - Selected by him as the suitable foundation on which to rear his church.

And precious - Valuable. The universe had nothing more valuable on which to rear the spiritual temple.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Evil-speaking is a sign of malice and guile in the heart; and hinders our profiting by the word of God. A new life needs suitable food. Infants desire milk, and make the best endeavours for it which they are able to do; such must be a Christian's desires after the word of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ is very merciful to us miserable sinners; and he has a fulness of grace. But even the best of God's servants, in this life, have only a taste of the consolations of God. Christ is called a Stone, to teach his servants that he is their protection and security, the foundation on which they are built. He is precious in the excellence of his nature, the dignity of his office, and the glory of his services. All true believers are a holy priesthood; sacred to God, serviceable to others, endowed with heavenly gifts and graces. But the most spiritual sacrifices of the best in prayer and praise are not acceptable, except through Jesus Christ. Christ is the chief Corner-stone, that unites the whole number of believers into one everlasting temple, and bears the weight of the whole fabric. Elected, or chosen, for a foundation that is everlasting. Precious beyond compare, by all that can give worth. To be built on Christ means, to believe in him; but in this many deceive themselves, they consider not what it is, nor the necessity of it, to partake of the salvation he has wrought. Though the frame of the world were falling to pieces, that man who is built on this foundation may hear it without fear. He shall not be confounded. The believing soul makes haste to Christ, but it never finds cause to hasten from him. All true Christians are a chosen generation; they make one family, a people distinct from the world: of another spirit, principle, and practice; which they could never be, if they were not chosen in Christ to be such, and sanctified by his Spirit. Their first state is a state of gross darkness, but they are called out of darkness into a state of joy, pleasure, and prosperity; that they should show forth the praises of the Lord by their profession of his truth, and their good conduct. How vast their obligations to Him who has made them his people, and has shown mercy to them! To be without this mercy is a woful state, though a man have all worldly enjoyments. And there is nothing that so kindly works repentance, as right thoughts of the mercy and love of God. Let us not dare to abuse and affront the free grace of God, if we mean to be saved by it; but let all who would be found among those who obtain mercy, walk as his people.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 367

Then as you meet from Sabbath to Sabbath, sing praises to Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood” let the heart's adoration be given. Let the love of Christ be the burden of the speaker's utterance. Let it be expressed in simple language in every song of praise. Let the inspiration of the Spirit of God dictate your prayers. As the word of life is spoken, let your heartfelt response testify that you receive the message as from heaven. This is very old-fashioned, I know; but it will be a thank offering to God for the bread of life given to the hungry soul. This response to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit will be a strength to your own soul and an encouragement to others. It will give some evidence that there are in God's building living stones that emit light. 6T 367.1

While we review, not the dark chapters in our experience, but the manifestations of God's great mercy and unfailing love, we shall praise far more than complain. We shall talk of the loving faithfulness of God as the true, tender, compassionate shepherd of His flock, which He has declared that none shall pluck out of His hand. The language of the heart will not be selfish murmuring and repining. Praise, like clear-flowing streams, will come from God's truly believing ones. “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” “Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.” Psalm 23:6; 73:24, 25. 6T 367.2

Why not awake the voice of our spiritual songs in the travels of our pilgrimage? Why not come back to our simplicity and life of fervor? The reason why we are not more joyful is that we have lost our first love. Let us then be zealous and repent, lest the candlestick be moved out of its place. 6T 368.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 319

The children of God will be triumphant. They will come off conquerors and more than conquerors over all the opposing, persecuting elements. Fear not. By the power of Bible truth and love exemplified in the cross, and set home by the Holy Spirit, we shall have the victory. The whole battle before us hinges upon the observance of the true Sabbath of Jehovah.... 3SM 319.1

I can write no more now, but I say, Give no ear to heresy. Cling to a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” he will comfort and bless you, and will give you joy in your heart. Praise the Lord that we have clear light, and a plain, distinct message to bear.—Letter 118, 1900. 3SM 319.2

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 595-99

Not in their own power did the apostles accomplish their mission, but in the power of the living God. Their work was not easy. The opening labors of the Christian church were attended by hardship and bitter grief. In their work the disciples constantly encountered privation, calumny, and persecution; but they counted not their lives dear unto themselves and rejoiced that they were called to suffer for Christ. Irresolution, indecision, weakness of purpose, found no place in their efforts. They were willing to spend and be spent. The consciousness of the responsibility resting on them purified and enriched their experience, and the grace of heaven was revealed in the conquests they achieved for Christ. With the might of omnipotence God worked through them to make the gospel triumphant. AA 595.1

Upon the foundation that Christ Himself had laid, the apostles built the church of God. In the Scriptures the figure of the erection of a temple is frequently used to illustrate the building of the church. Zechariah refers to Christ as the Branch that should build the temple of the Lord. He speaks of the Gentiles as helping in the work: “They that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord;” and Isaiah declares, “The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls.” Zechariah 6:12, 15; Isaiah 60:10. AA 595.2

Writing of the building of this temple, Peter says, “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4, 5. AA 595.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1116

(Romans 3:31.) Christ, Not the Law, Crucified—The law of the ten commandments lives and will live through the eternal ages. The need for the service of sacrifices and offerings ceased when type met antitype in the death of Christ. In Him the shadow reached the substance. The Lamb of God was the complete and perfect offering. 6BC 1116.1

The law of God will maintain its exalted character as long as the throne of Jehovah endures. This law is the expression of God's character.... Types and shadows, offerings and sacrifices had no virtue after Christ's death on the cross; but God's law was not crucified with Christ. Had it been, Satan would have gained all that he attempted to gain in heaven. For this attempt he was expelled from the heavenly courts. He fell, taking with him the angels he had deceived. And today he is deceiving human beings in regard to the law of God (Manuscript 167, 1898). 6BC 1116.2

(1 John 3:4.) An Infamous Lie of Satan—God did not make the infinite sacrifice of giving His only-begotten Son to our world, to secure for man the privilege of breaking the commandments of God in this life and in the future eternal life. This is an infamous lie originated by Satan, which must be made to appear in its false, deceitful character. This law that Satan so much desires to have regarded null and void, is the great moral standard of righteousness. Any violation of it is an act of transgression against God, and will be visited with the penalty of the divine law. To all the inhabitants of the world who make void the law of Jehovah, and continue to live in transgression, death must surely come (Manuscript 72, 1901). 6BC 1116.3

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