Reading for Today:
- Ezekiel 43:1–44:31
- Psalm 134:1-3
- Proverbs 29:7
- 1 Peter 2:1-25
Ezekiel 44:5–9 Mark well who may enter. Since the Lord’s glory fills the temple, it is sanctified (v. 4), and God is particular about what kind of people worship there. Sins of the past, as in chapters 8–11, must not be repeated, and if they are, those sins will exclude their perpetrators from the temple. Only the circumcised in heart may enter (Deut. 30:6; Jer. 4:4; Rom. 2:25–29), whether of Israel or another nation (vv. 7, 9). Many peoples other than Jews will go into the kingdom in unresurrected bodies, because they have believed in Jesus Christ and are ready for His coming. They will escape His deadly judgment and populate and reproduce in the 1,000-year kingdom. Such circumcision pertains to a heart which is sincere about removing sin and being devoted to the Lord (Jer. 29:13). In the Millennium, a Jew with an uncircumcised heart will be considered a foreigner (v. 9). “Uncircumcised in flesh” refers to sinners, and “foreigner” identifies rejecters of the true God.
1 Peter 2:2 desire the pure milk of the word. Spiritual growth is always marked by a craving for and a delight in God’s Word with the intensity with which a baby craves milk (Job 23:12; Pss. 1:1, 2; 19:7–11; 19:16, 24, 35, 47, 48, 72, 92, 97, 103, 111, 113, 127, 159, 167, 174; Jer. 15:16). A Christian develops a desire for the truth of God’s Word by: 1) remembering his life’s source (1:25; Is. 55:10, 11; John 15:3; Heb. 4:12); 2) eliminating sin from his life (v. 1); 3) admitting his need for God’s truth (v.2, “as newborn babes”; Matt. 4:4); 4) pursuing spiritual growth (v. 2, “that you may grow thereby”); and 5) surveying his blessings (v. 3, “Lord is gracious”).
1 Peter 2:11 abstain from fleshly lusts. Perhaps more literally, “hold yourself away from fleshly lusts.” In order to have an impact on the world for God, Christians must be disciplined in an inward and private way by avoiding the desires of the fallen nature (Gal. 5:19–21, where “fleshly lusts” include much more than sexual temptations). which war against the soul. “War,” i.e., to carry on a military campaign. Fleshly lusts are personified as if they were an army of rebels or guerrillas who incessantly search out and try to destroy the Christian’s joy, peace, and usefulness (4:2, 3).
1 Peter 2:13 submit yourselves. “Submit” is a military term meaning “to arrange in military fashion under the commander,” “to put oneself in an attitude of submission.” As citizens in the world and under civil law and authority, God’s people are to live in a humble, submissive way in the midst of any hostile, godless, slandering society (vv. 21–23; Prov. 24:21; Jer. 29:4–14; Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:1ff., 1 Tim. 2:1; Heb. 10:32–34). for the Lord’s sake. Though the Christian’s true citizenship is in heaven, he still must live as an obedient citizen in this world so that God will be honored and glorified. Rebellious conduct by a Christian brings dishonor on Christ.
DAY 26: How are Christians described in 1 Peter 2:9?
Believers there are described as “a chosen generation.” Peter uses Old Testament concepts to emphasize the privileges of New Testament Christians (Deut. 7:6–8). In strong contrast to the disobedient who are appointed by God to wrath (v. 8), Christians are chosen by God to salvation (1:2).
They are also called “a royal priesthood.” The concept of a kingly priesthood is drawn from Exodus 19:6. Israel temporarily forfeited this privilege because of its apostasy and because its wicked leaders executed the Messiah. At the present time, the church is a royal priesthood united with the royal priest, Jesus Christ. A royal priesthood is not only a priesthood that belongs to and serves the king, but is also a priesthood which exercises rule. This will ultimately be fulfilled in Christ’s future kingdom (1 Cor. 6:1–4; Rev. 5:10; 20:6).
And they are described as “a holy nation.” Another allusion to Exodus 19:6 (Lev. 19:2; 20:26; Deut. 7:6; Is. 62:12). Tragically, Israel temporarily forfeited the great privilege of being the unique people of God through unbelief. Until Israel’s future acceptance of its Messiah, God has replaced the nation with the church. “His own special people.” This combines phraseology found in Exodus 19:5; Isaiah 43:21;Malachi 3:17. “That you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you.” To “proclaim” means to tell forth, to tell something not otherwise known. “Praises” are excellencies, virtues, eminent qualities.
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.