THIS PRECIOUS VALUE, THEN,
IS FOR YOU WHO BELIEVE: humin oun e time tois pisteuousin (PAPMPD):
(1Pe 1:8; Song 5:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Hag 2:7; Mt 13:44, 45,
46; Jn 4:42; 6:68,69; Phil 3:7, 8, 9, 10) (Isa 28:5; Lk 2:32)
He is preciousness, He is an honor,
He is everything that is glorious to you. You can never think highly
enough of Him, or speak well enough concerning Him. All the world
beside may disallow Him, but unto you He is precious.
“He is an honor,- He is your honor,
your glory, your boast.” It is an honorable thing to be a believer in
a Lord so glorious as He is, in a gospel so reasonable as His gospel
is, in promises so certain of fulfillment as His promises are, in an
atonement so effectual as His atonement is, and in a Master so
omnipotent as He is: “Unto you therefore which believe He is an
Peter 2 Commentary)
J B Taylor explains that...
its original context this reflected the Psalmist’s own jubilation at
his vindication over the enemies who had rejected him, but in its
liturgical setting in the Feast of Tabernacles the psalm came to refer
more to national than to personal deliverance. In rabbinical exegesis
it was accorded a Messianic interpretation and this prepared the way
for its use by Christ of himself in Mt 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17.
(Wood, D. R. W.. New Bible Dictionary InterVarsity Press)
The Precious value
(time from tío = pay honor, respect) refers to the
worth or merit of some object. It is the amount at which something is
The Greek word
time is used 41 times in the NT - Matt. 27:6, 9; Jn.
4:44; Acts 4:34; 5:2f; 7:16; 19:19; 28:10; Rom. 2:7, 10; 9:21; 12:10;
13:7; 1 Co. 6:20; 7:23; 12:23f; Col. 2:23; 1 Thess. 4:4; 1 Tim. 1:17;
5:17; 6:1, 16; 2 Tim. 2:20f; Heb. 2:7, 9; 3:3; 5:4; 1 Pet. 1:7; 2:7;
3:7; 2 Pet. 1:17; Rev. 4:9, 11; 5:12f; 7:12; 21:26 Notice that
(time) is a favorite word of Peter.
He also uses the related derivative adjective entimos (1784)
two times (Click),
this word pertaining to that which is highly regarded because of
status or to that which is esteemed as of considerable worth and thus
valuable or precious.
The Greek word
time reflects a manifestation of esteem (the regard with which
one is held), honor, reverence. Time is a valuing by which the
price is fixed or an estimation of the value of a thing. In the
present context, time is descriptive of the inestimable,
infinite worth of Christ our Rock.
In this passage Peter contrasts the significance of
the Living Stone to believers with what this same Living Stone becomes
to unbelievers who refuse to allow Him to become precious to them (by
believing in Him).
G Campbell Morgan comments that...
The declaration is not that
believers know the preciousness of Christ; it is rather that they
The idea of preciousness is
that of honour, and therefore of honourableness, that is, of the
qualities that are worthy of honour. This is the thought of the
statement, then. The qualities of Christ that create His preciousness,
His honour, are placed at the disposal of the believer.
Twice already had the Apostle
described the Lord as "precious" (see notes
1 Peter 2:4;
2:6). In both
cases the description was a declaration of God's estimate of Him. He
was the rejected of men, but with God He was elect, precious. We know
the things in Christ which made Him precious, honourable, in the sight
of God. They were the things of His purity, His love, His conformity
to all the perfect will of God. Here, then, is the wonder of this
All these things are
communicated to those who believe in Him. His very life 'and nature
are given to the believer, and, by the might of their working, make
that believer precious with His preciousness.
He is the living Stone, and
those who come to Him, who believe in Him, receive that very quality
of life which is His, and so they become living stones.
It is in the power of that
preciousness that they become "an elect race, a royal priesthood, a
holy nation, a people for God's own possession," and so are enabled
"to show forth the excellencies" of God.
Spurgeon comments that...
This text calls to my re-collection
the opening of my ministry. As a lad of sixteen I stood up for the
first time in my life to preach the gospel in a cottage to a handful
of poor people who had come together for worship. I felt my own
inability to preach, but I ventured to take this text:
Unto you therefore which believe he
I do not think I could have said
anything upon any other text. Christ was precious to my soul, and I
was in the flush of my youthful love, and I could not be silent when a
precious Jesus was the subject.
This is a text on which I think I
could preach in my sleep. And I believe that if I were dying and were
graciously led into the old track, I could with my last breath pour
out a heart full of utterance on this delightful verse. I am sure it
contains the marrow of what I have always taught in the pulpit.
the faith, the
obedience of faith)
means to consider something to be true and therefore worthy of one’s
trust. To accept as true, genuine, or real. To have a firm conviction
as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something or someone. To
consider to be true. To accept the word or evidence of.
pisteuo in the
which describes this belief as one's practice.
notes that pisteuo...
means to persuade, to cause belief,
to induce one to do something by persuading, and so runs into the
meaning of to obey, properly as the result of persuasion
In secular Greek
literature, as well as in the New Testament, pisteuo (pistis,
pistos) has a basic meaning of an intellectual assent or a belief that
something is true. Michel says that this use arose during the
Hellenistic period. During the struggle with skepticism and atheism,
it acquired the sense of conviction concerning the existence and
activity of the Greek gods. Thayer calls this the intransitive use of
the word which conveys the idea of to be sure or be persuaded that
something is a fact. This kind of faith does not require any action on
the part of the believer but only an intellectual acceptance. As
discussed below, James used this type of faith as an example of a dead
faith stating that "The devils also believe, and tremble" (James
secular Greek meaning that is the more common use in the New Testament
is the transitive or active use which means to "put faith in" or "rely
upon" someone or something. Sometimes it has even stronger meaning:
"To entrust something to another." In classical usage it denoted
conduct that honored a previous agreement, such as the honoring of a
truce between opposing armies (Iliad 2.124). The meaning of entrusting
something to someone is found in Xenophon (Memorabilia 4.4.17). An
example of this use in the New Testament is 2 Timothy 1:12. Paul said
I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed
unto him against that day (see note
2 Timothy 1:12)
(Comment: Here pisteuo means to trust in or rely upon Christ to
means to entrust oneself to an entity in complete confidence. To
believe in with the implication of total commitment to the one who is
trusted. As discussed below Christ is the object of this type of faith
that relies on His power and nearness to help, in addition to being
convinced that His revelations or disclosures are true.
and the verb pisteuo, mean
an adherence to, committal to, faith in, reliance upon, trust in a
person or an object, to be persuaded of or convinced of something, to
place one's confidence in, to trust.
can also mean to be confident about or to be firmly persuaded as to
something, and so Paul writes...
One man has faith (pisteuo)
that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.
(Here the believing conveys the sense of having an opinion, thinking)
As noted above,
pisteuo can refer to an heart belief (saving faith,
genuine belief that leads to salvation, this believing involves not
only the consent of the mind, but an act of the heart and will of the
subject) or an intellectual belief (mental assent, "head"
knowledge, not associated with bringing salvation if it is by itself),
both uses demonstrated by Jesus statement in John 11,
John 11:26 Everyone who
lives and believes (refers to genuine saving faith) in Me shall
never die. Do you believe (intellectually) this?
James 2:19 You believe
(pisteuo) that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe
(pisteuo), and shudder.
Comment: In this passage, James explains that not all believing
will result in salvation. The believing he is describing in this
passage is a mental or intellectual believing that is not associated
in a change in one's heart and thus in one's behavior or actions.
Belief in the New Testament sense that effects the new birth
denotes more than a "demonic" like, intellectual assent to a set of
facts or truths. The demons believe but they are clearly not saved.
Genuine belief does involve an intellectual assent and consent of
one's mind, but also includes an act of one's heart and will. Biblical
saving faith is not passive assent but an active staking of one's life
on the claims of God. The respected Greek lexicon author W E Vine
defines belief as consisting of
(1) a firm conviction which
produces full acknowledgment of God's revelation of Truth - (2Thes
2:12 -"in order that they all may be judged who did not believe
[pisteuo] the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.")
(2) a personal surrender to the
Truth (Jn 1:12 "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right
to become children of God, even to those who believe [pisteuo]
in His name") and
(3) a conduct inspired by and
consistent with that surrender.
is found 24 times in the
and the first use by Moses is one of the most important uses of
pisteuo in all of Scripture...
Genesis 15:6 Then he
(Abraham) believed (Hebrew = 'āman;
= pisteuo) in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. (Comment:
Note that in the OT, salvation was by faith, not works. Paul explains
that Abraham heard the gospel - see Galatians 3:8. It is also worth
noting that the Hebrew word for "believe" in this verse is 'āman
means to confirm, support or uphold and conveys the essential idea
that one remains steadfast. At the heart of the meaning of the root of
the Hebrew verb 'āman is the idea of certainty or firmness. The
derivatives reflect the concept of certainty and dependability. In
other words faith is not a blind leap into the dark but a confident
commitment to the One about Whom abundant evidence bears ample
testimony of His eternal, immutable trustworthiness. Faith is far more
than mere hope that something unlikely may happen. It is a deep,
internal certainty, rooted in our trust of what God has said.)
As alluded to above, Biblical faith or
believing is not synonymous with mental assent alone, which is not
genuine (saving) faith. For example, the apostle John distinguishes
two types of believing using the verb pisteuo, one of which is
only a superficial profession...
When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered
that He said this; and they
the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken. (Morris
Defenders Study Bible
writes "Note the superior
category of faith of the disciples to that of the "many" in John 2:23
who believed "when they saw the miracles," but soon fell away.
The disciples did not believe because of the miracles but because of
the Scripture and Jesus' words. It is far better to place one's faith
in God's Word than in signs and wonders.")
23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast,
(pisteuo) in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing.
(Note that their belief was
associated with His signs)
24 But Jesus, on His part, was not
(pisteuo) Himself to them, for He knew all men (Morris
writes "Although many in the Jerusalem crowd "believed in his
name when they saw the miracles" (John 2:23), Jesus did not "believe"
in them because He knew their hearts and knew their outward faith in
Him was only superficial)
25 and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning
man for He Himself knew what was in man. (The
Ryrie Study Bible
notes that "The contrast is between
people who put their trust (pisteuo) in Jesus, and Jesus, who
does not put His trust in people because He knows their motives
and thoughts. Enthusiasm for the spectacular is present in them, but
Jesus looks for genuine faith.)
In another example of believing
that falls short
of genuine saving belief John records that when Jesus spoke to the
Jews "who had believed (pisteuo) Him" (John 8:31) but as
their subsequent actions demonstrated their belief was not genuine for
Jesus accused them declaring "you are seeking to kill Me" (John
8:40) and after several heated exchanges, these same "believing" Jews
"fulfilled prophecy" and indeed sought to kill Jesus, picking
up stones to
throw at Him;
but Jesus hid Himself, and went out
of the temple. (John 8:59) (Comment: These Jews had a
profession but not genuine possession in respect to their belief in
writes that when pisteuo refers...
to the faith which a lost sinner
must place in the Lord Jesus in order to be saved, they include the
following ideas; the act of considering the Lord Jesus worthy of trust
as to His character and motives, the act of placing confidence in His
ability to do just what He says He will do, the act of entrusting the
salvation of his soul into the hands of the Lord Jesus, the act of
committing the work of saving his soul to the care of the Lord. This
means a definite taking of one’s self out of one’s own keeping and
entrusting one’s self into the keeping of the Lord Jesus. (Wuest,
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
Illustrated Bible Dictionary says that...
A belief that saves is one that
rests in the finished work of Christ; it trusts God alone for
salvation (John 3:16). Believers are those who have trusted God with
their will as well as their mind (see notes
R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
Larry Richards has an
excellent discussion on believing writing that...
Originally this word group
(pisteuo, pistis, pistos) seems linked with a more formal contract
between partners. It stressed faithfulness to the agreement made or
trustworthiness in keeping promises. In time the use expanded. In the
classical period, writers spoke of trust in the gods as well as trust
in people. In the Hellenic era, "faith in God" came to mean
theoretical conviction about a particular doctrine, a conviction
expressed in one's way of life. As different schools of philosophy and
religion developed, the particular emphasis given pistis was shaped by
the tradition within which it was used. The NT retains the range of
meanings. But those meanings are refined and reshaped by the dynamic
message of the gospel.
The verb (pisteuo) and noun
(pistis) are also used with a number of prepositions. "To believe
through" (dia) indicates the way by which a person comes to faith (Jn
1:7; 1Pe 1:21
"Faith en" indicates the realm in which faith operates (Eph
The most important construction is unique to the NT, an invention of
the early church that expresses the inmost secret of our faith. That
construction links faith with the preposition eis, "to" or
"into." This is never done in secular Greek. In the NT it portrays a
person committing himself or herself totally to the person of Jesus
Christ, for our faith is into Jesus. (Ed note: Leon Morris in
"The Gospel According to John"
agrees with Richards writing that "Faith, for John, is an activity
which takes men right out of themselves and makes them one with Christ"
indicating that Morris likewise understands the Greek preposition
eis in the phrase pisteuo eis, to be a significant
indication that NT faith is not just intellectual assent but includes
a "moral element of personal trust.")
One other aspect of the NT's use of
faith words is fascinating. Usually the object of faith is Jesus. Only
twelve verses have God as the object of faith (Jn 12:44; 14:1; Acts
16:34; see notes Ro 4:3, 5, 17, 24- see notes
Gal 3:6; 1Th 1:8
[note]; Titus 3:8
[note]; He 6:1
[note]; 1Pe 1:21
Why? The reason is clearly expressed by Jesus himself: "I am the way
and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through
me" (Jn 14:6). God the Father has revealed himself in the Son. The
Father has set Jesus before us as the one to whom we must entrust
ourselves for salvation. It is Jesus who is the focus of Christian
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency
- a highly recommended resource)
J. B. Lightfoot discusses
the concept of faith in his commentary on Galatians. He notes that in
Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, the definition of the word for faith
hovers between two meanings:
trustfulness, the frame of mind which relies on another; and
trustworthiness, the frame of mind which can be relied upon...the
senses will at times be so blended together that they can only be
separated by some arbitrary distinction. The loss in grammatical
precision is often more than compensated by the gain in theological
depth...They who have faith in God are steadfast and immovable in the
path of duty.
Faith, like grace, is not
static. Saving faith is more than just understanding the facts and
mentally acquiescing. It is inseparable from repentance, surrender,
and a supernatural longing to obey. None of those responses can be
classified exclusively as a human work, any more than believing itself
is solely a human effort.
Faith is manifest by not
believing in spite of evidence but obeying in spite of consequence.
John uses pisteuo to demonstrate the relationship between
genuine faith and obedience writing...
He who believes (pisteuo -
present tense = continuous)
in the Son has eternal life but he who does not obey (apeitho -
present tense = continuously disobey,
habitually, as their lifestyle)
the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John
3:36) (Comment: The verb apeitho conveys more an
attitude of unbelief but also involves deliberate disobedience,
conscious resistance to authority)
Charles Swindoll commenting
on faith and obedience in John 3:36 concludes
In John 3:36 the one who "believes
in the Son has eternal life" as a present possession. But the one who
"does not obey the Son shall not see life." To disbelieve
Christ is to disobey Him. And logically, to believe in
Christ is to obey Him. As I have noted elsewhere, "This verse
clearly indicates that belief is not a matter of passive
opinion, but decisive and obedient action." (quoting J. Carl
Laney)...Tragically many people are convinced that it doesn't really
matter what you believe, so long as you are sincere. This reminds me
of a Peanuts cartoon in which Charlie Brown is returning from a
disastrous baseball game. The caption read, "174 to nothing! How could
we lose when we were so sincere?" The reality is, Charlie Brown, that
it takes more than sincerity to win the game of life. Many people are
sincere about their beliefs, but they are sincerely wrong!" (Swindoll,
C. R., & Zuck, R. B. Understanding Christian Theology.: Thomas Nelson
(This book is recommended if you are looking for a very readable,
non-compromising work on "systematic theology". Wayne Grudem's work
noted above is comparable.)
Subjectively faith is
firm persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth, veracity, reality or
faithfulness (though rare). Objectively faith is that
which is believed (usually designated as "the faith"), doctrine, the
received articles of faith.
separate study of "the
True faith is not based on
empirical evidence but on divine assurance.
was translating the Scripture for
the South Sea islanders, he was unable to find a word in their
vocabulary for the concept of believing, trusting, or having faith. He
had no idea how he would convey that to them. One day while he was in
his hut translating, a native came running up the stairs into Paton's
study and flopped in a chair, exhausted. He said to Paton,
It's so good to rest my whole
weight in this chair.
John Paton had his word:
Faith is resting your whole weight on God. That word went into the
translation of their New Testament and helped bring that civilization
of natives to Christ. Believing is putting your whole weight on God.
If God said it, then it's true, and we're to believe it.
Nothing before, nothing behind,
The steps of faith
Fall on the seeming void, and find
The rock beneath -- Whittier
As the great British preacher C
H Spurgeon said...
Faith is the foot of the soul by
which it can march along the road of the commandments.
It will not save me to know that
Christ is a Savior; but it will save me to trust him to be my Savior.
I shall not be delivered from the wrath to come by believing that his
atonement is sufficient; but I shall be saved by making that atonement
my trust, my
and my all. The pith, the essence of faith lies in this—a casting
oneself on the promise.
Little faith will bring your
to heaven; great faith will bring heaven to your soul.
The great Baptist preacher
A faith that hasn't
tested can't be trusted.
Corrie ten Boom...
Faith sees the
invisible, believes the
unbelievable, and receives the impossible.
Faith, mighty faith, the promise
And looks to that alone;
Laughs at impossibilities,
And cries it shall be done. -- Charles Wesley
The great American evangelist, D
I prayed for faith and thought that
some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith
did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans,
"Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." I had up to
time closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible and
began to study, and faith has been growing ever since.
in his devotional Morning and Evening has the following devotional
thoughts on this verse...
As all the rivers run into the sea,
so all delights centre in our Beloved. The glances of His eyes
outshine the sun: the beauties of His face are fairer than the
choicest flowers: no fragrance is like the breath of His mouth. Gems
of the mine, and pearls from the sea, are worthless things when
measured by His preciousness.
Peter tells us that Jesus is
precious, but he did not and could not tell us how precious, nor could
any of us compute the value of God's unspeakable gift.
cannot set forth the preciousness of the Lord Jesus to His people, nor
fully tell how essential He is to their satisfaction and happiness.
Believer, have you not found in the
midst of plenty a sore famine if your Lord has been absent? The sun
was shining, but Christ had hidden Himself, and all the world was
black to you; or it was night, and since the bright and morning star
was gone, no other star could yield you so much as a ray of light.
What a howling wilderness is this world without our Lord!
If once He hideth Himself from us,
withered are the flowers of our garden; our pleasant fruits decay; the
birds suspend their songs, and a tempest overturns our hopes.
All earth's candles cannot make
daylight if the Sun of Righteousness be eclipsed.
He is the soul of our soul, the
Light of our light, the Life of our life.
Dear reader, what wouldst thou do
in the world without Him, when thou wakest up and lookest forward to
the day's battle?
What wouldst thou do at night, when
thou comest home jaded and weary, if there were no door of fellowship
between thee and Christ?
Blessed be His name, He will not
suffer us to try our lot without Him, for Jesus never forsakes His
own. Yet, let the thought of what life would be without Him enhance
His preciousness. (C H Spurgeon, Morning and Evening)
BUT FOR THOSE WHO
DISBELIEVE: apistousin (PAPMPD) de:
(1Peter 2:8; Acts 26:19; Ro 10:21; 15:31; Titus 3:3; Heb 4:11; 11:31)
But (de) - What a
woeful contrast! The preciousness of belief stands in stark contrast
to the danger of disbelief! One is reminded of Jonathan Edward's
sermon where he describes the treacherous fate of sinners barely held
as it were from the eternal fires of hell by only the web of a spider
- oh, woe filled disbelief! It behooves both saints (that we
would be swift and bold to proclaim the gospel while there is yet
light of day) and sinners (that they might rightly fear and flee to
find refuge in the Rock of Salvation while there is yet breath in
their lungs) to be reminded of the destiny and dreadful doom of
disbelief by reading this short an excerpt from Edward's awful (awe
Your wickedness makes you as it
were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and
pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would
immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless
gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence,
and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more
influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider's web
would have to stop a falling rock. Were it not for the sovereign
pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment; for you are
a burden to it; the creation groans with you; the creature is made
subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly; the sun does
not willingly shine upon you to give you light to serve sin and Satan;
the earth does not willingly yield her increase to satisfy your lusts;
nor is it willingly a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon; the
air does not willingly serve you for breath to maintain the flame of
life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God's
enemies. God's creatures are good, and were made for men to serve God
with, and do not willingly subserve to any other purpose, and groan
when they are abused to purposes so directly contrary to their nature
and end. And the world would spew you out, were it not for the
sovereign hand of him who hath subjected it in hope. There are the
black clouds of God's wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full
of the dreadful storm, and big with thunder; and were it not for the
restraining hand of God, it would immediately burst forth upon you.
The sovereign pleasure of God, for the present, stays his rough wind;
otherwise it would come with fury, and your destruction would come
like a whirlwind, and you would be like the chaff on the summer
threshing floor. (Sinners
in the Hands of an Angry God)
Those who disbelieve - Such
as the unbelieving Jewish leaders. They examined Jesus even
acknowledging that He had the "trappings" and works of divinity but
they refused to
accept Him as the long awaited Messiah, the Corner Stone. Why? Because Jesus did
not fit with their preconceived ideas of what the Messiah should be
like. And because they were rebellious and did not want to submit
their will to the will of God. And so they made (like all unregenerate
men do) the volitional choice, the definitive decision to reject Him
as Savior and Lord. And when that happens in one's heart and mind,
there is simply no other "way of escape" from the wrath to come! (cp
THE DANGER OF
from a = without +
= believing, faithful) means literally without believing. They
refuse to believe and thus are unfaithful. To disbelieve, to doubt or
not to acknowledge. To betray a trust. Unbelief is a failure to
respond to God with trust (pistis)
and at heart shows, not doubt, but rejection.
Vine feels that...
disbelieve” is the best rendering, implying that the unbeliever has
had a full opportunity of believing and has rejected it (Vine,
W E: Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament
Words. 1996. Nelson)
Apisteo is in the
indicates that this is their lifestyle. In other words the way
they carry on their life is in continual disbelief which is manifest
by their continual disobedience to God's Truth (compare
"belief/obedience" with "disbelief/disobedience" in Heb 3:18, 19-note).
Their lips may profess Christ as Savior, but their
life proclaims the undeniable reality of their disbelief.
Do not be deceived but remember Jesus' sobering warning noting
especially His "numerical" description of "not everyone...many"
- Mt 7:21-note,
Mt 7:22, 23 (where "does" [v21] and "practice" [v23] are
= one's general lifestyle, the "direction" of their life!)-note.
(cp Titus 1:16-note)
Someone may say they know Jesus but the more important
question is "Does Jesus truly know them"? In other
words, do they merely have a profession or truly have a possession (of
Christ and eternal life)? Do they possess...genuine belief or genuine
disbelief...heaven or hell? The question than is "If you say you
believe in Jesus, has this belief made a real change in your life?
Are you a new creation in Christ (2Co 5:17-note),
with new tastes, new desires, new interests, etc? And note well "new
creation" does not mean perfection in this life but it does connote at
least a general change in direction! To manifest a life of
continual disbelief is a "direction" that will inevitably lead one
to eternal separation from "the presence of the Lord [kurios]
and from the glory of His power" (read 2Th 1:6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
Apisteo is used 6 times in the NAS: (Mark
16:11, Mark 16:16, Luke 24:11, 41 - these all refer to disbelieving
Christ's resurrection. Apisteo is used to describe the Jews who are
listening to Paul's testimony of Christ in Acts 28:24.
See notes on the other two uses in Ro 3:3-note,
is translated disbelieve, not believe or faithless. Apisteo is
not found in the non-apocryphal
In this verse
Peter uses apisteo to
describe those who disbelieve and thus those who have rejected the
Stone, Christ Jesus.
interesting to note that the Greek Textus Receptus (Greek
manuscript used to translate the King James Version) does not use
apisteo here in verse 7 (as does the Nestle-Aland which is
the Greek manuscript which is the source of the translation) but
which it renders "disobedient". The meaning of these two verbs
is similar as one can discern from comparing the preceding word study
with the study of
a = without + peítho
= persuade) literally describes one who refuses to be persuaded and
who disbelieves willfully and perversely. Apeitheo in
means that these individuals
possess an attitude of unbelief because they deliberately disobey,
consciously resist and rebel against authority and finally manifest an
obstinate rejection of the will (truth) of God. The
indicates that this is their lifestyle or their habitual practice.
They live in continual disobedience to the Almighty, Holy God. To be
sure, we all disobey from time to time. That is not what Peter is
referring to here. Instead he is describing the individual with an
unregenerate heart who habitually, continually
disobeys (as a lifestyle) what he
or she knows to be the truth.
Unbelievers were constantly
rejecting, ridiculing, mocking, abusing, threatening, and persecuting
him—even while he was sharing the glorious news of eternal life with
Marvin Vincent in discussing
apeitheo in John 3:36
Disbelief is regarded in its
active manifestation, disobedience. The verb
means to persuade, to cause belief,
to induce one to do something by persuading, and so runs into the
meaning of to obey, properly as the result of persuasion...Obedience,
however, includes faith. (Ed Note: See discussion of phrase
obedience of faith at Ro 1:5-note).
(Vincent, M. R. Word studies in the New Testament Vol. 2, Page 1-109)
Peter also uses
apeitheo in the verse
below (1Peter 2:8-note), in
1Peter 3:1 (see
note), in 1Peter 3:20 (note)
and in 1Peter 4:17
where the renders it disobedient., in each of
these verses except
1 Peter 4:17) where it
is rendered "do not obey".
THE STONE WHICH THE
BUILDERS REJECTED: de lithos on apedokimasan (3PAAI) oi oikodomountes
(PAPMPN): (See related topic-
Messianic Prophecies; Torrey's
Prophecies Respecting Christ)
of Psalm 118:22
[lithon on apedokimasan (3PAAI) oi
oikodomountes (PAPMPD) houtos egenethe (3SAPI) eis kephalen gonias]
Peter quotes from Psalm 118:22. What reverence these inspired men had
for the inspired Book! The Spirit of God could have spoken fresh words
if he had pleased, but, as if he meant to honor above everything else
the Book which he had himself inspired, he “moved” Peter to quote the
ancient prophet and psalmist in confirmation of what he was writing.
Peter 2 Commentary)
C H Spurgeon
commenting on Psalm 118:22 writes the following note...
The stone which the builders
refused is become the head stone of the corner. Here the people
magnify God for bringing his chosen servant into the honourable
office, which had been allotted to him by divine decree. A wise king
and valiant leader is a stone by which the national fabric is built
up. David had been rejected by those in authority, but God had placed
him in a position of the highest honour and the greatest usefulness,
making him the chief cornerstone of the state. In the case of many
others whose early life has been spent in conflict, the Lord has been
pleased to accomplish his divine purposes in like manner; but to none
is this text so applicable as to the Lord Jesus Himself: He is the
Living Stone, the Tried Stone, Elect, Precious, which God Himself
appointed from of old.
The Jewish builders, scribe,
priest, Pharisee, and Herodian, rejected Him with disdain. They could
see no excellence in Him that they should build upon Him; He could not
be made to fit in with their ideal of a national church (Ed note: not
referring to the NT Church but used in a general sense of a gathering
of Israel) He was a Stone of another quarry from themselves, and not
after their mind nor according to their taste. Therefore they cast Him
away and poured contempt upon Him, even as Peter said,
This is the stone which was set at
nought of you builders
They reckoned Him to be as nothing,
though He is Lord of all. In raising Him from the dead the Lord God
exalted Him to be the Head of His Church (Ed note: This does refer to
the NT Church, the Body of Christ, which was a mystery hidden in the
OT), the very pinnacle of her glory and beauty. Since then He has
become the confidence of the Gentiles, even of them that are afar off
upon the sea, and thus He has joined the two walls of Jew and Gentile
into one stately temple, and is seen to be the binding Cornerstone,
making both one. This is
a delightful subject for contemplation.
Jesus in all things hath the preeminence. He is the principal stone of
the whole house of God. We are accustomed to lay some one stone of a
public building with solemn ceremony, and to deposit in it any
precious things which may have been selected as a memorial of the
occasion: henceforth that cornerstone is looked upon as peculiarly
honourable, and joyful memories are associated with it. All this is in
a very emphatic sense true of our blessed Lord, "The Shepherd, the
Stone of Israel." God Himself laid Him where He is, and hid within Him
all the precious things of the eternal covenant (He 13:20-note)
and there he shall for ever remain, the foundation of all our hopes,
the glory of all our joys, the united bond of all our fellowship. He
is "the head over all things to the church," and by him the church is
fitly framed together, and groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord.
Still do the builders refuse him: even to this day the professional
teachers of the gospel are far too apt to fly to any and every new
philosophy sooner than maintain the simple gospel, which is the
essence of Christ: nevertheless, he holds his true position amongst
his people, and the foolish builders shall see to their utter
confusion that his truth shall be exalted over all. Those who reject
the chosen stone will stumble against him to their own hurt, and ere
long will come his second advent, when he will fall upon them from the
heights of heaven, and grind them to powder. (C H Spurgeon's Exposition on
(apodokimazo from apo = from +
= to prove) means to reject as the result of examination and testing
of one’s qualification for an office. Later it came to mean to put out
of office or place, to reject, disapprove, refuse. The
describes their rejection as effective - as a past completed action.
Apodokimazo is used 9 times in the NT -
Matt. 21:42; Mk. 8:31; 12:10; Lk. 9:22; 17:25; 20:17; Heb. 12:17;
1Pet. 2:4, 7
Wuest writes that apodokimazo...
refers to the act of putting someone or something to the test for the
purpose of putting one’s approval upon that person and thus receiving
him, this act of testing being carried to
the point where no
further testing is needed, with the result that one comes to the
settled conclusion that the one tested does not meet the requirements
of the test and is therefore disapproved, repudiated. This Living
Stone in the Person of God the Son became incarnate, lived for
thirty-three years in the midst of Israel, offered Himself as its
Messiah, was examined by official Israel for the purpose of approving
Him as its Messiah, and then repudiated because He was not what
official Israel wanted in a Messiah. What a commentary on the totally
depraved condition of man’s heart.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
picture is that the perfect
Lamb of God, the Creator of the Universe, was rejected by His
creation, men who had carefully evaluated the perfect God Man and
found Him not "passing their test"! What a striking contrast with
scene John witnessed in heaven...
And I looked, and I heard the voice
of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the
elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands
of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy
is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and
might and honor and glory and blessing."
(See notes on
5:12)! And all
God's people say "Amen! Worthy is the Lamb Who was tested and Who was
found fully qualified to be the Redeemer of fallen mankind!"
When the Jewish
leaders looked at the Stone (Christ) Who "invaded" their religious
world, He was not wanted, did not fit in with their theological plans
and was useless and unfit for what they were building.
Men by their
Adamic nature are rebels to the core and thus continue to reject Jesus
for much the same reason -- they want to build their own "castles" the
way they want (Pr 14:12, 16:25) doing what is right in their own eyes,
living unrestrained by His call to holiness and godliness made
available through His indwelling Spirit: (cp Jdg 21:25-note,
rightly reminds us that as we speak forth the Gospel to the lost
we must remember
that the biblical
Christ is going to offend many people, for at least two reasons:
First, the cross of
Christ is offensive
(1Co 1:23). The cross humbles human pride. It tells people that their
own good works will not get them into heaven. It tells them
that they are sinners
who have offended a holy God. People don’t like that.
Second, Christ’s lordship
word study on kurios - "Lord")
offends people. Everyone likes the idea of an Aladdin’s genie-Jesus,
who will fulfill their desires. But a Christ who is Lord, who
confronts sin and demands obedience-- that’s another story! If you
proclaim Christ crucified and Christ as Lord, some will believe and be
saved. But others will reject Him and you. Be prepared!
Note that the dividing line is
belief versus unbelief (1Pe 2:7). Believing or not believing in Jesus
Christ separates people into two distinct camps. Believers are joined
to God and His people and one day will be exalted with Christ in
heaven. Unbelievers who do not repent are in the darkness, headed for
God’s judgment. Jesus Christ is the central issue in belief or
unbelief. Either He is the corner stone on whom a person puts his
faith and builds his life; or, He is a stone of stumbling
and rock of offense over which a person falls. What does Peter
mean when he says that unbelievers “stumble because they are
disobedient to the word, and to this they were also appointed” (1Pe
2:8)? Are some appointed to perish? Peter’s purpose here is to
encourage believers under persecution. Thus his point is that the
raging of the wicked is under God’s sovereign control, so that
believers need not fear (Ps. 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Those who disobey
God will not somehow thwart His eternal purpose. He will someday be
glorified in His saving His elect and in justly condemning the
reprobate. We are assured that the wicked will be punished.
And yet, those who are disobedient
are responsible for their sin, even if it is in line with God’s
predestined plan (Acts 2:23)! But, they need not remain in
disobedience and rebellion. God offers them mercy and forgiveness if
they will turn to Christ. He has “shut all up in disobedience that He
might show mercy to all” (Rom. 11:32). No one has piled up more sin
than God’s mercy can cover. Christ’s death is sufficient for the chief
of sinners. All may come and receive mercy at the cross. (Sermon)
THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER
STONE: houtos egenethe (3SAPI) eis kephalen gonias: (Ps
118:22,23; Mt 21:42; Mk 12:10,11; Lk 20:17; Acts 4:11,12) (Zech 4:7;
(ginomai) means to come into existence.
corner - This literally reads the head of the corner.
(kephale, English = cephalic) refers literally to the head (of
a body) and figuratively to describe persons of superior rank or high
status (1Cor 11:3), things that are uppermost, such as the capstone of
a building (Mt 21:42) or a leading city or capital city (Acts 16:12).
is used figuratively to refer to Christ as head of the Church, His
(gonia) refers literally to
an angle, a corner (point where lines, edges or sides converge, a corner
of a building and figuratively refers to the four "corners" of
the earth in the Revelation, referring to the four directional
extremities of the earth. A corner is defined as the place of
intersection of two streets or roads, an apropos definition when one
thinks of Christ Who is all and in all! The derivative word
(cornerstone, capstone) is
used by Peter in
modified by the word kephale (translated head, chief or very)
in 4 of the NT uses all of which represent a quotation from Psalm
118:22 and all of which refer to Christ. The phrase kephale
gonias (chief corner) is a Hebraism which refers to the final
stone in the building (according to the TDNT). The unique stone of the
pinnacle corner is Christ Himself, Who is also the temple's
foundation. He is both underneath all, upholding us, and above all,
crowning us as our glorious Head.
in its literal usage most often referred to the large stone placed in
the foundation at the main corner of a building. In biblical times,
buildings were often made of cut, squared stone. By uniting two
intersecting walls, a cornerstone helped align the whole
building and tie it together. In addition the cornerstone
occasionally referred to the top or final stone of a building
(capstone). Regardless of
which meaning one prefers, the important point is that Jesus is both
the Foundation Stone and the Capstone!
who believes in Jesus will come to experience that He is the Solid
Rock on which they can build their life in this present age and the
one to come and forever. Amen!
My hope is
built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand
seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His
covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall
come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
Christian Dictionary has an interesting note writing that
cornerstone also referred to...
The capital letter or gammadion
L in the Latin alphabet, used as the symbol of Christ as the
cornerstone. It was first used in the Roman catacombs in the fourth
century, and the practice continued into the Middle Ages. (Kurian, G.
T. Nelson's New Christian Dictionary. Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson
Unger writes that...
The term “cornerstone” is sometimes
used to denote any principal person, such as the princes of Egypt
(Isa. 19:13). Christ is called the “corner stone” in reference to His
being the foundation of the Christian faith (Eph. 2:20-note) and the
importance and conspicuousness of the place He occupies (Matt. 21:42;
M. F., Harrison, R. K., Vos, H. F., Barber, C. J., & Unger, M. F. The
New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press)
an interesting note on cornerstone writing that...
No doubt the original meaning was
some important stone, which was laid at the foundation of a building.
With the Canaanites, who preceded Israel in the possession of
Palestine, cornerstone-laying seems to have been a most sacred and
impressive ceremony. Under this important stone of temples or other
great structures bodies of children or older persons would be laid,
consecrating the building by such human sacrifice. This was one of
many rites and practices that Israel was to extirpate. (Bromiley,
G. W. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised. Wm. B.
Dictionary summarizes cornerstone as follows...
(1) the stone in a new building
laid first with great care and ceremony so as to ensure a straight and
level foundation; (2) the interlocking cornerstones that join and
strengthen two connecting walls; (3) the capstone at the top corner of
a wall; or (4) the keystone of an arched door or gateway, the center
and topmost stone that joins the two sides and supports the arch
itself (the most important stone in which the name of the city, the
ruler, and builder were often carved). (Freedman, D. N., Myers, A. C.,
& Beck, A. B. Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible Grand Rapids,
Mich. W. B. Eerdmans)
used 9 times in the NT...
Matthew 6:5 "And when you
pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and
pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to
be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Matthew 21:42 Jesus said to
them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures (Psalm 118:22)
'The stone which the builders rejected, This became the
= head) corner stone; This came about from the Lord, And
it is marvelous in our eyes '? (Comment: "Stone" is added by
Mark 12:10 "Have you not
even read this Scripture (Psalm 118:22): 'The stone which the
builders rejected, This became the
= head) corner stone (Comment: "Stone" is added by
Luke 20:17 But He looked at
them and said, "What then is this that is written (Psalm 118:22),
'The stone which the builders rejected, This became the
= head) corner stone'? (Comment: "Stone" is added
by the translators.)
Acts 4:11 "He is the stone
which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very
corner stone. (Comment: Peter alludes to Psalm 118:22 and
again the translators add the word "stone")
Acts 26:26 "For the king
knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence,
since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for
this has not been done in a corner.
1 Peter 2:7 (note)
This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who
disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, This became the
= head) corner stone," (Comment: Peter quotes
Psalm 118:22 and again the translators add the word "stone")
Revelation 7:1 (note)
After this I saw four angels standing at the four
corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so
that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.
Revelation 20:8 (note)
and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four
corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for
the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.
There are 30
uses of gonia in the (Ex 26:23, 24; 27:2; 1 Sam 14:38; 1 Ki
7:34; 2 Ki 14:13; 2 Chr 4:10; 25:23; 26:9, 15; 28:24; Neh 3:19-20,
24-25; Job 1:19; Ps 118:22; Prov 7:8, 12; 21:9; 25:24; Jer 31:38, 40;
51:26; Ezek 41:15; 43:20; 45:19; Zeph 1:16; 3:6; Zech 14:10) where it
is used most often literally to describe a corner of a building or the
Corner Gate of the Temple complex. For example in Job we read the
and behold, a great wind came from
across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house,
and it fell on the young people and they died; and I alone have
escaped to tell you. (Job 1:19 )
As a side note,
Job has another allusion to a corner stone although the
Greek is slightly different
On what were its bases sunk? Or who
laid its cornerstone, (lithos = stone + goniaion
= on or at the angle angle, related to
(Job 38:6) (Comment: Here Job describes God as the Creator
laying a cornerstone upon which to ‘construct’ the world.)
The living Cornerstone is the first stone laid. All other stones are
placed after it. It is the preeminent stone in time. (He 2:10, 6:19,
20, 12:2 - see notes
20, 12:2, etc). The Cornerstone is the supportive stone. All
other stones are placed upon Him (1Cor 3:11, Ep 2:20-note)
and held together by Him (Col 2:19-note).
They all rest upon it. It is the preeminent stone in position and
power. So it is with Christ; He is the support and power.
In sum, Peter pictures the Jews
throwing away the true Cornerstone, and then wound falling over the
Rock and be crushed in judgment by the same rock (Luke 20:17, 18; cf.
G Campbell Morgan...
This change in the Revised Version,
from the "unto you therefore that believe He is precious" of the
Authorized, gives a far better interpretation of the Apostle's words.
The declaration is not that believers know the preciousness of Christ;
it is rather that they share it. The idea of preciousness is that of
honour, and there-fore of honourableness, that is, of the qualities
that are worthy of honour. This is the thought of the statement, then.
The qualities of Christ that create His preciousness, His honour, are
placed at the disposal of the believer. Twice already had the Apostle
described the Lord as "precious" (see verses 4 and 6). In both cases
the description was a declaration of God's estimate of Him. He was the
rejected of men, but with God He was elect, precious. We know the
things in Christ which made Him precious, honourable, in the sight of
God. They were the things of His purity, His love, His conformity to
all the perfect will of God. Here, then, is the wonder of this
declaration. All these things are communicated to those who believe in
Him. His very life 'and nature are given to the believer, and, by the
might of their working, make that believer precious with His
preciousness. He is the living Stone, and those who come to Him, who
believe in Him, receive that very quality of life which is His, and so
they become living stones. It is in the power of that preciousness
that they become "an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a
people for God's own possession," and so are enabled "to show forth
the excellencies" of God. (Life Applications)
J H Jowett...
Now, let us assume that the
individual is ready for the fellowship. We have got the unit of the
family. We have got the “living stone.” cleansed, shaped, dressed,
ready to be built into the “spiritual house.” How, now, shall the
society be formed? What shall be its cement? What shall be its binding
medium, and the secret of its consistency? Here are the “living
stones”; what shall we do with them? “Unto whom coming . . . as living
stones ye are built up a spiritual house.” [1Pe 2:4, 5] “Unto whom
coming!” The living stones are to find their bond of union in the
living Christ. The alpha of all enduring communion is Christ. We
cannot prepare the individual stones without Christ. We cannot build
the individual stones into a house without Christ. He is the “corner
stone,” and the pervading strength of every enduring structure. What
is the implication of all this? It is this. We cannot have society
without piety. We may have juxtapositions, connections, clubs,
fleeting and superficial relationships, but the only enduring
brotherhood is the brotherhood which is built upon faith. Apart from
the Christ there can be no social cohesion. The “Word of God proclaims
it, and history confirms it. Every preposition seems to have been
exhausted by the Word of God in emphasizing the necessity of a
fundamental relationship with Christ—“in Christ,” “through Christ,”
“by Christ,” “with Christ,” “unto Christ.”
In every conceivable way Christ
is proclaimed as the all-essential. In seeking to create societies
we have therefore got to reckon with the Christ. We cannot ignore Him.
He will not be ignored. We either use Him or we fall over Him. We use
Him and rise into strength, or we neglect Him and stumble into ruin.
We either make Him the “head of the corner,” [1Pe 2:7, 8] or He
becomes our “stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence.” Societies and
families and nations, which are not built upon the Christ, fall to
pieces, thrown into ruin by the very “law of the spirit of life.” But
have not societies been built upon the Christ, and yet been far from
manifesting the glory of a radiant, family communion? Look at the
sects! Is not Christ the corner stone, and yet where is the sweet
communion? Ah! it is when the different communities have got away from
the Christ that their communion has been destroyed. It is when the
sects get away from the spirit of the Christ, when they become
wranglers about a letter, when they are heated by the fever of
personal vanity, and lust for the spoils of sectarian triumph—it is
then that the spiritual house collapses, and lies scattered in a heap
of inhospitable fragments. But when we build upon Him, when He, and He
only, is “the preciousness,” when all our personal aims are merged in
line with His, when we have the Spirit of Christ, then are we bound
into a gracious communion, into a vital and fundamental unity. And
into what is He prepared to build us? This chapter is overflowing in
the wealth of the figures by which it seeks to express the glorious
mission. He will build us into a “spiritual house,” [1Pe 2:5] a
spacious home, enclosing but one tenant, the gracious Spirit of God. (Epistles
of St. Peter)