Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Peter 2:7

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Unto you therefore which believe - Christians are often called simply “believers,” because faith in the Saviour is one of the prominent characteristics by which they are distinguished from their fellow-men. It sufficiently describes any man, to say that he is a believer in the Lord Jesus.

He is precious - Margin, “an honor.” That is, according to the margin, it is an honor to believe on him, and should be so regarded. This is true, but it is very doubtful whether this is the idea of Peter. The Greek is ἡ τιμὴ hē timēliterally, “esteem, honor, respect, reverence;” then “value or price.” The noun is probably used in the place of the adjective, in the sense of honorable, valued, precious; and it is not incorrectly rendered in the text, “he is precious.” The connection demands this interpretation. The apostle was not showing that it was an honor to believe on Christ, but was stating the estimate which was put on him by those who believe, as contrasted with the view taken of him by the world. The truth which is taught is, that while the Lord Jesus is rejected by the great mass of people, he is regarded by all Christians as of inestimable value:

I. Of the fact there can be no doubt. Somehow, Christians perceive a value in him which is seen in nothing else. This is evinced:

(a)in their avowed estimate of him as their best friend;

(b)in their being willing so far to honor him as to commit to him the keeping of their souls, resting the whole question of their salvation upon him alone;

(c)in their readiness to keep his commands, and to serve him, while the mass of people disobey him; and,

(d)in their being willing to die for him.

II. The reasons why he is so precious to them are such as these:

(1) They are brought into a condition where they can appreciate his worth. To see the value of food, we must be hungry; of clothing, we must be exposed to the winter‘s blast; of home, we must be wanderers without a dwelling-place; of medicine, we must be sick; of competence, we must be poor. So, to see the value of the Saviour, we must see that we are poor, helpless, dying sinners; that the soul is of inestimable worth; that we have no merit of our own; and that unless someone interpose, we must perish. Everyone who becomes a true Christian is brought to this condition; and in this state he can appreciate the worth of the Saviour. In this respect the condition of Christians is unlike that of the rest of mankind - for they are in no better state to appreciate the worth of the Saviour, than the man in health is to appreciate the value of the healing art, or than he who has never had a want unsupplied, the kindness of one who comes to us with an abundant supply of food.

(2) the Lord Jesus is in fact of more value to them than any other benefactor. We have had benefactors who have done us good, but none who have done us such good as he has. We have had parents, teachers, kind friends, who have provided for us, taught us, relieved us; but all that they have done for us is slight, compared with what he has done. The fruit of their kindness, for the most part, pertains to the present world; and they have not laid down their lives for us. What he has done pertains to our welfare to all eternity; it is the fruit of the sacrifice of his own life. How precious should the name and memory of one be who has laid down his own life to save us!

(3) we owe all our hopes of heaven to him; and in proportion to the value of such a hope, he is precious to us. We have no hope of salvation but in him. Take that away - blot out the name and the work of the Redeemer - and we see no way in which we could be saved; we have no prospect of being saved. As our hope of heaven, therefore, is valuable to us; as it supports us in trial; as it comforts us in the hour of death, so is the Saviour precious: and the estimate which we form of him is in proportion to the value of such a hope.

(4) there is an intrinsic value and excellency in the character of Christ, apart from his relation to us, which makes him precious to those who can appreciate his worth. In his character, abstractedly considered, there was more to attract, to interest, to love, than in that of any other one who ever lived in our world. There was more purity, more benevolence, more that was great in trying circumstances, more that was generous and self-denying, more that resembled God, than in any other one who ever appeared on earth. In the moral firmament, the character of Christ sustains a pre-eminence above all others who have lived, as great as the glory of the sun is superior to the feeble lights, though so numerous, which glimmer at midnight. With such views of him, it is not to be wondered at that, however he may be estimated by the world, “to them who believe, he is precious.”

But unto them which be disobedient - Literally, “unwilling to be persuaded,” ( ἀπειθὴς apeithēs) that is, those who refused to believe; who were obstinate or contumacious, Luke 1:17; Romans 1:30. The meaning is, that to them he is made a stone against which they impinge, and ruin themselves. See the notes at 1 Peter 2:8.

The stone which the builders disallowed - Which they rejected, or refused to make a cornerstone. The allusion here, by the word “builders,” is primarily to the Jews, represented as raising a temple of salvation, or building with reference to eternal life. They refused to lay this stone, which God had appointed, as the foundation of their hopes, but preferred some other foundation. See this passage explained in the Matthew 21:42 note; Acts 4:11 note; and Romans 9:33 note.

The same is made the head of the corner - That is, though it is rejected by the mass of people, yet God has in fact made it the cornerstone on which the whole spiritual temple rests, Acts 4:11-12. However people may regard it, there is, in fact, no other hope of heaven than that which is founded on the Lord Jesus. If people are not saved by him, he becomes to them a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence.

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.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Unto you therefore which believe - You, both Jews and Gentiles.

He is precious - Ὑμιν ουν ἡ τιμη τοις πιστευουσιν· The honor is to you who believe; i.e. the honor of being in this building, and of having your souls saved through the blood of the Lamb, and becoming sons and daughters of God Almighty.

Them which be disobedient - The Jews, who continue to reject the Gospel; that very person whom they reject is head of the corner - is Lord over all, and has all power in the heavens and the earth.

Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 288-9

Are acceptable spiritual sacrifices made to God when men who are placed in positions of great responsibility magnify themselves and dishonor God? That has been done, and God looks upon their course with displeasure. Instead of growing up into Christ, their living head, manifesting His divine attributes to the world, they have grown earthward. Self has been regarded as of great importance, and selfishness has attached itself to their work. Devotion to God has not been seen; spiritual life in Jesus Christ has not been developed. TM 288.1

God cannot give His wisdom to men who look upon their position as sufficient excuse for turning from Bible principles to their own finite judgment, as if a position in the work of the Lord gave them liberty of speech, and power to pass resolutions and devise plans and methods that are not in accordance with God's will. Such need to learn that elevated position has no power to sanctify the heart. God permits them to hold these positions that He may prove whether they will reveal the character of God or the character of weak, finite humanity, which has never been fully under God's discipline; but positions have no power to develop a man's character. It rests wholly with the man himself to prove whether he will work himself, which means that Satan will work him, or whether he will be worked by the Holy Spirit. TM 288.2

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 54.4

It is our privilege to enjoy sweet communion with God. Precious to the believer is His atoning blood, precious is His justifying righteousness. “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” 1 Peter 2:7. OHC 54.4

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 332.3

Satan is our destroyer, but Christ is our restorer. We must put faith into constant exercise, and trust in God, whatever our feelings may be. Isaiah says: “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” You can say with the psalmist, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord sent ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.” “Unto you therefore which believe He is precious.” Consider the fact that the Lord has given His only begotten Son, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (The Review and Herald, May 19, 1896). LHU 332.3

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 461-2

Hear the only correct way for each human being to do if he would have a safe, all-round experience. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, [for there is a work to be done, that is neglected at the peril of the soul], this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Carry this out, as a test of pure and undefiled religion, and the blessing of God will surely follow. FE 461.1

“Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded.” Mark the figure presented in verse five: “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.” Then these lively stones are exerting a tangible, practical influence in the Lord's spiritual house. They are a holy priesthood, performing pure, sacred service. They offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God. FE 461.2

The Lord will not accept a heartless service, a round of ceremonies that are really Christless. His children must be lively stones in God's building. If all would give themselves unreservedly to God, if they would cease to study and plan for their amusement, for excursions, and pleasure-loving associations, and would study the words, “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's,” they would never hunger or thirst for excitement or change. If it is for our true interest to be spiritual and if the salvation of our people depends on our being riveted on the Eternal Rock, would we not better be engaged in seeking for that which will hold the whole building to the chief corner stone, that we may not be confused and confounded in our faith. FE 461.3

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