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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from the Epistles of Peter (I)

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Lesson 5 Sabbath, May 4, 2024

Living Stones

MEMORY TEXT: “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 2:5).

“Those who understand the truth for this time must take heed how they hear and how they build and educate others to practice.”—Selected Messages, bk. 3, p. 22.

Suggested Reading:   The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, pp. 272-274

Sunday April 28


a. Referring to Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 28:16), how does Peter illustrate Jesus Christ? 1 Peter 2:4, 6.

b. On what historical event is this illustration built? 1 Peter 2:7.

“In building the temple of Solomon the stones were entirely prepared at the quarry, so that when they were brought . . . the workmen had only to place them in position. . . .

“Not an instrument was to be used upon the stone when it was brought to the place of building. One stone of irregular shape was brought from the quarry to be used in the foundation of the temple. But the workmen could find no place for it. . . . There it lay unused, and the laborers passed around it or stumbled over it, greatly annoyed by its presence. Long it remained a rejected stone. But when the builders came to the laying of the corner-stone, for a long time they searched in vain for a stone of sufficient size and strength . . . [to] bear the great weight which would rest upon it. Should they make an unwise selection of a stone for this important place, the safety of the entire building would be endangered. . . .

“The attention of the builders was finally attracted to this large stone, and they examined it closely. It had already borne every test. . . . The stone was accepted, brought to its assigned position and found to be an exact fit.”—The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, pp. 36, 37.

Monday April 29


a. Although Jesus named Simon “Cephas,” which means “a stone” (see John 1:42; Matthew 16:18, 19), why could Peter not be “the rock” upon which Christ built His church? Matthew 26:73, 74; Galatians 2:11–13.

“Peter was prompt and zealous in action, bold and uncompromising; and Christ saw in him material that would be of great value to the church.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 488.

“Peter was not the rock upon which the church was founded. The gates of hell did prevail against him when he denied his Lord with cursing and swearing. The church was built upon One against whom the gates of hell could not prevail.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 413.

“Christ did not refer to Peter as being the rock upon which he would found his church. His expression, ‘this rock,’ applied to Himself as the foundation of the Christian church. In Isaiah 28:16, the same reference is made. . . . It is the same stone to which reference is made in Luke 20:17, 18. . . . Also in Mark 12:10, 11. . . .

“These texts prove conclusively that Christ is the rock upon which the church is built.”—The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, pp. 272, 273.

b. Give evidence that rather than being the foundation of the church, Peter was one of the various brethren in leadership. Galatians 2:9; 1 Peter 5:1; Ephesians 2:20, 21.

“James presided at the council [see Acts chapter 15], and his final decision was, ‘Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them [Gentiles].’ . . .

“This ended the discussion. In this instance we have a refutation of the doctrine held by the Roman Catholic Church that Peter was the head of the church. . . . Nothing in the life of Peter gives sanction to the claim that he was elevated above his brethren as the vicegerent of the Most High.”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 194, 195.

c. Whom did Peter consider to be the only solid rock and true foundation of the church? 1 Peter 2:3–6.

Tuesday April 30


a. Name one quality ascribed to Jesus and how it is to relate to the gospel message for sinners. 1 Peter 2:4 (first part), 7.

“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.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 367.

b. How do we know that even those familiar with the present truth are in danger of “stumbling at the word”? Romans 9:31–33; 1 Peter 2:8.

“The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones [at the SDA General Conference held in Minneapolis in 1888]. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love.”—Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91, 92.

“Some have been cultivating hatred against the men whom God has commissioned to bear a special message to the world. They began this satanic work at Minneapolis. Afterward, when they saw and felt the demonstration of the Holy Spirit testifying that the message was of God, they hated it the more, because it was a testimony against them. They would not humble their hearts to repent.”—Ibid. pp. 79, 80.

“I was shown the low state of God’s people . . . they had departed from Him, and had become lukewarm. They possess the theory of the truth, but lack its saving power.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 210.

“The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to our condition. How plainly is pictured the position of those who think they have all the truth, who take pride in their knowledge of the Word of God, while its sanctifying power has not been felt in their lives.”—Faith and Works, pp. 82, 83.

Wednesday May 1


a. How does Peter illustrate Christian growth? 1 Peter 2:5.

b. What does it mean to be a “lively stone” in God’s spiritual house? Ephesians 4:13, 15, 16. Contrast this to Revelation 3:1 (last part), 2.

“Now we have to work with these men who are really intelligent. . . . These rough stones we bring if possible into the workshop of God where they will be hewed and squared, and all the rough edges removed, and they be polished under the divine hand until they will make precious stones in the temple of God and shall be living stones emitting light. Thus they may grow up into a holy temple for God.”—Evangelism, p. 573.

“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, . . . 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.”—Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 461, 462.

c. What is the best “spiritual sacrifice” we may offer to God? 1 Peter 2:5 (last part); Psalm 51:17; 1 Samuel 15:22 (second half).

“Burnt offerings and sacrifices were not acceptable to God in ancient times unless the spirit was right with which the gift was offered. Samuel said: ‘. . . Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.’ All the money on earth cannot buy the blessing of God nor ensure you a single victory.

“Many would make any and every sacrifice but the very one they should make, which is to yield themselves, to submit their wills to the will of God.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 84.

Thursday May 2


a. What words of the Bible do we tend to boastfully apply to ourselves? 1 Peter 2:9 (first part), 10.

b. To what class of people only, can the above words from 1 Peter 2:9 be applied? 1 Peter 2:5, 9 (last part); Matthew 5:16; Romans 2:28, 29.

“He whose mind is enlightened by the opening of God’s word to his understanding will realize his responsibility to God and to the world, and he will feel that his talents must be developed in a way that will produce the very best results; for he is to ‘show forth the praises’ of Him who has called him ‘out of darkness into His marvelous light.’ 1 Peter 2:9. While growing in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, he will realize his own imperfections, he will feel his real ignorance, and he will seek constantly to preserve and put to the stretch his powers of mind, that he may become an intelligent Christian.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 37.

“God has a people who will not receive the mark of the beast in their right hand or in their forehead. God has a place for His people to fill in this world, to reflect light.”—The Review and Herald, April 15, 1890.

Friday May 3


1. How can I be sure to be building on Jesus rather than my own ideas?

2. Christ saw in Peter qualities that would be of great value to the church. What can I be doing to make my church better?

3. How might I be in danger of counting my years of faithful work for the church or my progress in various aspects of reform as a merit for salvation?

4. What can make me truly a “lively stone” in God’s temple?

5. What identifies a holy, “peculiar” Christian in contrast to one who simply claims the name?

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