I 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.”
If we are following Jesus Christ with our lives, malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander should not be a part of our lives. But I will tell you here that there may be a reason why these are all together in one list, for they do go hand-in-hand. For, people who are deceptive, if they are professing faith in Jesus Christ, are hypocrites. And people who are liars and hypocrites usually don’t like people who are honest and who walk with integrity. And so they may treat them with malice, and they may slander them, and it may be indeed because they envy them, like Cain envied his brother Abel and murdered him. So, don’t be like that!
Instead, what are we to be like? Now, when it says here, “Like newborn infants” it is not saying that we should be like the spiritually immature. What this is saying is that we need to crave and long for the pure word of God, our spiritual milk (and bread and meat), like a newborn baby craves his mother’s milk, with that same intensity and passion and longing and desire, like if we do not have it that we will literally die. Why? Because we need the word of God in our lives so that we can grow up into salvation. And then notice what it says next.. “if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
Now, this makes sense, for if we have tasted that the Lord is good, that means we are people of genuine faith in Jesus Christ, and if we are, then malice, envy, and hypocrisy, et al should not be a part of our lives. For if we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and if we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, then our hearts have been transformed of the Spirit of God away from living in sin to now living to God and to his righteousness. So we should no longer be walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh but now according to the Spirit.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]
I 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.”
What comes to mind here is Romans 12:1-2 where we are taught that we are to give our lives to the Lord as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our acceptable worship of him. And so we are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world but we are to be transformed of the Spirit of God in heart and mind away from living in sin to now desiring the Lord and hungering after his word and wanting to obey him in all ways.
I 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.”
We who follow Jesus Christ with our lives are called to be his holy people in all of our conduct. And to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from this sinful world because we are now being conformed to the likeness (character) of Jesus Christ. And then we are to follow our Lord in obedience in doing what he has called us to do, and he has called us to proclaim the excellencies of God/Christ who called us out of darkness into his light.
I Peter 2:11-12 ESV
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
Although we live on this earth and we live among the people of this world we are not to love (prefer) the world as our own. We are not to do the same things in all the same ways as people whose hope is not in the Lord. We aren’t to watch all the same TV shows and movies and videos and TikToks, and we aren’t to listen to all the same music, and play all the same games, etc. And definitely we are not to be engaged in sexual immorality. So, we must use good judgment about the things we watch and listen to.
Actually, we who are followers of Jesus should not be wasting away our days watching what is senseless and worthless. Now, I am not going to be legalistic about this. I do watch an occasional (safe) video myself, sometimes about animal rescues or about cooking recipes or people singing or people creating art or making things or a news clip, etc. But these things should not be consuming our time. And they definitely should not be replacing the time reserved for God. For this is what the Scriptures teach:
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV
Basically, what this all comes down to is who is Lord of our lives – ourselves or God? Are we truly the Lord’s possession? Does he own us? Are our lives committed to him to following him in his ways and in his truth? Are we walking in obedience to his commands (New Covenant) or are we going our own way doing our own thing without regard for what our Lord wants for our lives? Do we make compromises with the world? Or are we living holy and pure lives surrendered to Jesus Christ?
For Jesus Christ did not call us and save us so we can continue to live like we did before we believed in Jesus. He did not call us and save us so we could just claim him as Lord and yet not submit to him as Lord. He called us to be his holy people. He called us to lives of servitude to him, to go where he sends us and to do and say all he commands us to do and say. And he has called us out of living for the passions of our sinful flesh to now walking in truth and righteousness for the glory and praise of God.
And then please know this. If, after we make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, we continue on living in sin, doing what our flesh dictates, sinning against God deliberately and habitually and rebelliously, we are not in genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. We don’t know God and we do not have fellowship with God nor do we have salvation from sin. And if we continue on that course and we don’t change, we will not have eternal life with God. And Jesus will say he never knew us and to depart from him.
So, please take this to heart. Forsake your lives of sin and follow Jesus in obedience to his ways today.
[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”