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.
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.
The Lord has permitted misfortunes to come to men, poverty to press upon them, adversity to try them, that He may thus test those whom He has placed in more favored circumstances; and if those to whom He has entrusted His goods are faithful, He declares them to be worthy to walk with Him in white, to become kings and priests unto God. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” TM 287.1
“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evilspeakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 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. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” TM 287.2Read in context »
Centuries before the Saviour's advent Moses had pointed to the Rock of Israel's salvation. The psalmist had sung of “the Rock of my strength.” Isaiah had written, “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.” Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 62:7; Isaiah 28:16. Peter himself, writing by inspiration, applies this prophecy to Jesus. He says, “If ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious: unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house.” 1 Peter 2:3-5, R. V. DA 413.1
“Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11. “Upon this rock,” said Jesus, “I will build My church.” In the presence of God, and all the heavenly intelligences, in the presence of the unseen army of hell, Christ founded His church upon the living Rock. That Rock is Himself,—His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail. DA 413.2
How feeble the church appeared when Christ spoke these words! There was only a handful of believers, against whom all the power of demons and evil men would be directed; yet the followers of Christ were not to fear. Built upon the Rock of their strength, they could not be overthrown. DA 413.3Read in context »
In Isaiah's prophecy, Christ is declared to be both a sure foundation and a stone of stumbling. The apostle Peter, writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, clearly shows to whom Christ is a foundation stone, and to whom a rock of offense: DA 599.1
“If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 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. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient.” 1 Peter 2:3-8. DA 599.2
To those who believe, Christ is the sure foundation. These are they who fall upon the Rock and are broken. Submission to Christ and faith in Him are here represented. To fall upon the Rock and be broken is to give up our self-righteousness and to go to Christ with the humility of a child, repenting of our transgressions, and believing in His forgiving love. And so also it is by faith and obedience that we build on Christ as our foundation. DA 599.3Read in context »
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 319.2Read in context »