Growing Up into Salvation

1 Peter 2:1-3 ESV

“So, put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation — if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Put Them Away

Do you know that we, as believers in Jesus, are instructed much in the New Testament to put away (to put off, to forsake) our sins? Some of it is a reminder of what should have already taken place in our lives if we have genuinely believed in Jesus. And some of it is exhorting and even warning us as believers that we must continue to throw off our sins.

[Eph 4:17-32; Rom 6:1-23; Gal 5:16-21; 1 Pet 1:14; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Tim 4:7; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 8:12-13; 1 Thes 4:1-8; Col 3:5-9; Eph 5:3-6; Heb 12:1-17; Matt 5:27-30]

For, Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. He shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God so that we would now honor God with our lives (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20).

Jesus Christ gave his life up for us on that cross that we might be crucified with him in death to sin, and that we might be resurrected with him to newness of life in him, in order that we might no longer walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh, but rather according to the Spirit (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 2:20; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

For Pure Spiritual Milk

The gospel of our salvation is all about putting off the old and putting on the new. It is about dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. By faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him, so this is now about that newness of life in him.

Instead of longing for and craving for what is of our flesh, now we long for the pure word of God, his gospel of salvation (the whole counsel of God). Instead of desiring to please our flesh, now we desire to please our Lord. Instead of thirsting after the pleasures of this world, we now hunger and thirst after Christ and his righteousness.

And this involves full surrender of our lives to Jesus Christ. We must present ourselves to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sin to following Jesus in obedience.

So, this is not something we do once a week on Sundays, or for 5 to 10 minutes a day for a short devotional time. This is every day, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, day and night. Our lives now belong to him, and he is our Lord and master, and he is the one now directing our path.

Since he is now our life, and our life now belongs to him, we want to grow in our knowledge and understanding of his word and how it is to be applied to our lives. We want to mature in our walks of faith and in obedience to him and to his word, so we want to study his word, to hear him speak to our hearts, so that we can follow him wherever he leads us.

1 Peter 2:4-5 ESV

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

A Spiritual House

The Spiritual house this is speaking of is the church, but not a physical building or a church denomination or a corporation under the state or a man-made organization or business marketed to the world. For, this is not physical, but spiritual.

The true church is comprised of all those with genuine faith in Jesus Christ, who have died with Christ to sin and who have been raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. It is not built with brick and mortar but with human lives.

Jesus Christ is the living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious. He is our cornerstone. He is our foundation upon which this church is built. This church is not built with human hands nor with human marketing schemes and tricks, but in Christ alone.

As living stones in this spiritual building, we as followers of Jesus Christ are being built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood. And to be holy means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made into the image of Christ.

And we ourselves are priests because we can all now go directly into the presence of Almighty God via faith in Jesus Christ, and we don’t any longer have to go through a human priest. For Jesus is our high priest and we are all priests because via his death he opened the way for us to come into God’s presence and to be in relationship with him.

But the sacrifices that we offer to God are not animals but our own lives as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is our acceptable worship of God/Christ. For, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Ps 51:17; Rom 12:1-2).

His Tender Mercies

An Original Work / January 26, 2014

Fear not! I’m with you.
Be not dismayed!
God watches o’er you.
Trust Him today.
He’ll lead and guide you;
Give you His aid.
He’ll love and keep you
With Him always.

Walk in His footsteps.
He’ll lead the way.
Trust in His love;
Believe that He cares.
He will not leave you.
Faithful He’ll be.
His tender mercies
Now you will see.

Fellowship with Him
Throughout the day.
Tell Him your heartaches.
He’ll heal always.
Rest in His comfort.
He is your friend.
Your faith He’ll strengthen,
True to the end.

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