Monday, April 27, 2020

The Rock Speaks (3)

After peering deeply into the salvation of grace... we are constantly reminded by Peter:

...According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus...

This now leads us into a response......A Higher Calling TO WALK like a KING.... and that is explored in today's reading.

1 Peter 2:1–12

[1] So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. [2] Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—[3] if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

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. There are some in this world who plot, scheme, and execute plans just for the pleasure of seeing their power produce results!

Hypocrisy: the term comes from the guild of acting- 'pretending'- showing a false pretense

Envy: a desire to take away from someone else and an anger that someone has something you do not have. It is ultimately a deep ingratitude toward God....

Slander: speaking evil. It is disgusting how many people pass along false information that destroys other people!

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. Maybe I am some sort of rival or it's just a plain misunderstanding; but nothing hurts more than to be a victim of a scheme! It is worse when someone smiles at you and then turns around and does harm or spreads lies or twist stories..... these are deep wounds!

And these things should have no residence in a person who has the Spirit of Christ in them.

If I am honest, the way some people have treated me at times in the past makes me wonder how they will be in heaven.... I call them "Christian jerks"... but I guess that can be me as well! We need grace!

The passage here seems to indicate that it is a process....

[4] As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 
[5] 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. [6] 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.”
[7] 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,”
[8] and

“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

[9] 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. [10] 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.

A couple of observations: 

There is a universal dividing line- being with Christ or being against Him.

The experts of the world reject God's capstone and will reject you if you follow Christ.

But regardless: We 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 as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. [12] 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. (ESV)

What a high and IMPOSSIBLE calling!

'abstain from the passions of the flesh'.... our default mode here is to immediately think of the party life (sex, drugs, and rock n roll).. but I believe it is much more than this. We must constantly fight our taste for the finer things. We must not be slaves to luxuries and indulgences. An idol is often a good thing that is elevated to a 'god' thing!

Every time I try to relate an analogy to this... it fails to capture my point...

How about a simple question:

What is the minimum lifestyle you will accept and still be happy with God?

Would it help to remind ourselves that Peter left it ALL on the shore of Lake Gennesaret and followed Jesus?


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] Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, 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.


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.

Next comes a crazy twist.... we are to walk as a chosen priest... and immediately Peter is going to tell us to be a slave..... 

Tomorrow's lesson will not be easy!

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