As Obedient Children
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.”
In 1 Peter 1 we read that, as obedient children, we are not to be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance, but as he who called us is holy, we are also to be holy in ALL OUR CONDUCT (1 Pet 1:14-15).
For, Jesus paid the ransom for us to be delivered out of our slavery to sin. He did this by shedding his blood for us on that cross. He died that we might be crucified with him in death to sin, and that we might live to him and to his righteousness for his glory and praise (1 Pet 1:17-21; 1 Co 6:19-20).
Therefore, we are to put all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander, and the like, away from our lives, for Jesus died to set us free from our bondage to sin so that we might now be slaves of God and of his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Tit 2:11-14).
We are not to be like newborn infants in the sense that we should be immature and childish and self-indulgent. The point of this is that, just like babies crave their mother’s milk, we should crave the PURE word of God with that same passion and desire.
For, the whole point of us craving the PURE (unadulterated) word of God is that we might grow to maturity in Christ, and that we might GROW UP into salvation to maturity in our walks of faith so that we are living holy in all our conduct. And holy is set apart (unlike, different) from the world.
And then we have another one of those “if” clauses from the Bible, of which there are many, which says that this is conditional. God’s promises to us are conditional, and not just upon what he has done, but upon what we do in response to what he has done for us (Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Col 1:21-23).
For, not everyone who says “Lord, Lord,” or who professes faith in Jesus Christ, is truly in Christ by genuine God-persuaded faith in Jesus Christ. For, IF we are still walking according to the flesh, and IF we are not walking (conducting our lives) according to the Spirit, we don’t have eternal life (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 5:16-21).
We Are the Church!
1 Peter 2:4-8 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. For it stands in Scripture:
“’Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’
“So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“’The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,’ and
“’A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.’
“They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.”
The church, which is the body of Christ, is not a building. It is not an organization or a denomination or a corporation under the government, although this is what many have made it to be. It is the people of God who have surrendered their lives to Christ to be their Lord and Savior.
So, wherever true followers of Jesus are gathered together in His name, the church exists. So, the church is not something we go to. We are the church. We are the living stones in God’s building, which is his church. We, the people, are a spiritual house (God’s house).
And we are being made to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. And Scripture says that presenting our bodies to Christ as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, is our acceptable worship of God (Rom 12:1-2).
And how do we function as the body of Christ? We ought to have leaders who are equipping us for ministry and who are providing us with ministry opportunities so that from Christ, his body (us), joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when EACH PART is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love (Eph 4:11-16).
But not everyone believes in Jesus Christ, not even everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ. For, the Scriptures define true believers as those who have died and are dying daily with Christ to sin and who are living to Christ and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
So, if you think that you have believed in Jesus because you prayed a prayer or you made some public acknowledgment of him as Savior of your life, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are saved or that you are bound for heaven when you die. For, if you walk in sin, you will die in sin (Gal 5:16-21).
Who Genuinely Believes?
1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we belong to Christ. We’re his possession. We’re no longer our own, for we were bought back for God with the blood of Christ. Therefore, we are to honor God with our lives. We are to no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life for us (1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15).
So, as his possession, as his people, we are to be doing what he has willed and what he has called us to do, one item of which is to proclaim him and his excellencies and his gospel message to a world in darkness and to the false “church,” which is still living in darkness.
And the message is that Jesus Christ died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness in his power and strength. For, faith in Jesus Christ results in us being crucified with Christ in death to sin and us being resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-32).
An Original Work / October 3, 2013
Based off Isaiah 53
Gospel message, who believes?
Jesus Christ died on a tree,
Saving us from all our sin,
So we might be cleansed within.
Had no beauty found in Him,
That we should desire Him.
Man of sorrows, suffering;
Crushed for our iniquities.
Surely He has borne our griefs;
From our sadness, brings relief.
Bore the stripes; forsaken, He,
So forgiven we might be.
We, like sheep, have gone astray,
Each of us turned his own way.
Jesus calls, “Repent today;
My commandments, now obey.”
Jesus said, to come to him,
We must die to all our sin.
Crucified with Him, we live,
Walking in His righteousness.
Suff’ring servants, we will be,
Taking His identity on us,
When confessing Him
As our Savior, Lord and King.