In light of the glorious gospel- we are to become obedient. This obedience is shown by the growth of a sincere love.
Peter makes a simple command as to how to do this:
"So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander"- think about how this relates to a sincere brotherly love for people:
All malice- why do our hearts harbor malice? They do! The greek word here infers a desire for ill will. Desiring to stir up trouble even if it means breaking the law.
Every instance of deceit- this infers craftiness- where we plan and manipulate events- even withholding things to cause harm
Hypocrisy: which comes out of the guild of acting- pretending- showing a false pretense
Envy: a desire to take away
Slander: speaking evil
I guess my biggest hurts over the years has been when I have experienced these things from other human beings.
There have been times in my life where I know a person just hates me and I wonder why. I am a rival or it's just a plain misunderstanding- but nothing hurts more than to be a victim of a scheme, or someone smiles at you and turns around and does harm or spreads lies or twisted stories..... these are deep wounds.
And they should have no residence in a person who has the Spirit of Christ in them.
The passage here seems to indicate that it is a process....
4 As you come to him, a living stone nrejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 oyou yourselves like living stones are being built up as pa spiritual house, to be qa holy priesthood, rto offer spiritual sacrifices sacceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:A couple of observations: There is a universal dividing line- being with Christ or being against Him.
t“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
uand whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”7 So the honor is for you who vbelieve, but for those who vdo not believe,w“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
18 andx“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”
The experts of the world reject God's capstone and will reject you if you follow Christ.
But regardless- you are expected to walk like a royal champion:
Chosen by God- chosen race (repeated in vs 9)
Precious to HIM- His prized possession (vs 9)
a Holy Priest- a royal priest (vs 9)
Honored by God- God's people
"That you may proclaim the excellencies of Him-
the one who called you out of darkness into light"
And the result?
Because we belong to heaven- we should not live as though we are worldly.
11 Beloved, I urge you has sojourners and exiles ito abstain from the passions of the flesh, jwhich wage war against your soul. 12 kKeep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, lthey may see your good deeds and glorify God on mthe day of visitation.
I never will forget being given a hard time by my boss when I was a student intern at Briarwood Presbyterian church in the early 80's. He had worked with a few 'boys' out of my high school and he liked to goad us a little about 'being from Banks'- playfully insinuating that we were just some rag tag, blue collar, red necks.
He teased me about my wrinkled pants- "You came to work today in your pajamas?"
He laughed about where some of us lived - "You can take the boy out of East Lake but you can't take East Lake out of the boy."
He'd get tickled at our inability to pronounce things and our ignorance of 'culture'.
You have to believe me that: A) This was all in good fun and B) He was training us how to walk with kings and peasants without losing dignity ( He was just an old reformed Berry redneck himself).
But I never will forget when he had kind of set-up for me to take a former Miss Auburn out to dinner. It was nothing romantic, and I don't remember how it all worked out- but I was supposed to pick her up, take her to dinner, and take her home. You have to also know that I was living with some of the guys I was working with- so they were sort of spying on me, ready to report all the mess ups- this was Banks taking out a high society lady with Mountain Brook pedigree (I don't know if she went to Mountain Brook, but people in B'ham would get the analogy).
I knew what I was getting into- but I dressed up in my best ironed clothes, put on a starched shirt- picked her up- opened the car door, had a nice dinner, took her home, prayed with her, and said 'good night'.
The next day at work, my boss knew all the details- 'Jaybird, that is just amazing what a woman will do to raise a boy's standards!"The point is this- time to start pursuing the standards of a royal son and forsake the standards of a pauper.
A SECRET EDGE
Now, I know this is out of order, but I need to go back to the top of this chapter and point out a secret, a winning edge
2 kLike newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual lmilk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Think about that newborn baby and that raging, aggressive fight for food.
WHEN WE WAKE UP IN THE MORNING WE SHOULD LONG FOR THAT SPIRITUAL MILK, WE SHOULD CRAVE IT- WE KNOW HOW GOOD IT IS!
As we ingest the truth of the good news... the transition from pauper to Prince begins to grow. And the result is a beautiful life to the glory of God.