Posted On July 23, 2018

1 Peter 2:1-3, “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.”

The conjunction, “so” in today’s passage is a big deal. It is such a big deal that if you miss it, you miss the entire logic and strategy behind the Apostle Peter’s letter to the exiles he’s writing to. Peter has just spent a whole chapter reminding these suffering Christians of a few things.

He’s reminded them:

  • Salvation is the sovereign work of our Triune God (1 Peter 1:2-3).
  • Salvation is imperishable (1 Peter 1:4-5).
  • Salvation makes grief temporary (1 Peter 1:6).
  • Salvation makes suffering purposeful (1 Peter 1:7).
  • Salvation is historic. In other words, believers are in the company of the Prophets of the Old Testament (1 Peter 1:10-12).
  • Salvation makes it possible to presently hope (1 Peter 1:13).
  • Salvation makes it possible to be holy (1 Peter 1:14-15).
  • Salvation makes one grateful for the gift more precious than silver or gold (1 Peter 1:18-21).

The conjunction, “so” has behind it all the weight of the first chapter. And in our passage today, Peter tells these suffering believers that repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin.

In other words, to express faith in Christ one must also “put away” sinful desires. Malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander are expressions of sinful desires that are not characteristic of believers.

This begs the question, “How do we know when a desire is sinful?”

We know a desire is sinful when we:

(a) desire that which God forbids

(b) desire a good thing too much

I am going to guess these believers Peter challenged fall into the category of desiring a good thing too much. . These believers were dispersed and being persecuted for their faith. It is very possible that in the midst of the persecution they began to respond sinfully because they wanted to go home. Maybe these believers desired the persecution to be over, the suffering to come to an end.

These aren’t wrong desires in and of themselves. But somewhere along the way, they began to desire home, an end to persecution, and an end to suffering too much. They began to desire it more than they desired the God who created them and provided salvation for them in Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This I believe is what caused the sinful expressions of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. When we desire good things too much, we sin to get them, and we sin when we don’t get them.

James warns us of this in James 4:1-3 when he states, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”

James is concerned about what is causing fights and quarrels. Sinful desires cause these external sins, and as Peter reminds us, they must be “put away.”

Now, what is Peter’s remedy to put away sinful desire and behavior? It is too long for the “pure spiritual milk” so that believers may “grow up into salvation.” Peter is saying, “take in the testimony of the Apostles. Renew your minds by God’s Word. Be sanctified! Be transformed!”

Interestingly enough, the Greek word for milk (gala) indicates that Peter isn’t commending Bible scholarship to these believers. He is telling them to get back to the pure and simple message of the gospel, not because it is shallow, but because it is rich, accessible, and will conform you more into the image of Jesus.

Believer, feast on Christ.

Related Posts

Why God Forgets Our Sins

Why God Forgets Our Sins

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “Does God forget our sins?” What you’ll hear in this episode The Lord Forgives and Forgets Our Sin. The Christian and Assurance. Forgiveness and Assurance. The Apostles Creed and Forgiveness. Micah and...

Road Signs

Road Signs

Daniel 9:13-14, “Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth.  The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for...

Who is Israel?

Who is Israel?

Romans 11:7-10, “What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8 as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” 9 And David...

Dave Jenkins- Contending for the Faith Without Being Contentious

Dave Jenkins- Contending for the Faith Without Being Contentious

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave considers the importance of growing in and pursuing gentleness with fellow Christians, why effective Christian engagement has five biblical correction, and instruction, and why Christians must be committed to sound doctrine...

The Lives of the Puritans

The Lives of the Puritans

We live in a day where Puritan works are constantly gaining in popularity. The Banner of Truth is to be thanked for sparking this revival of interest. We should also be thankful to Joel Beeke with Puritan Theological Seminary and Reformation Heritage Books for their...

Keeping Grace Gracious

Keeping Grace Gracious

Romans 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Good works are an essential part of the Christian life. We see in Romans 1:5, for example, that Paul was called to preach so that the “obedience of...

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Roundup 7/23/2018-7/28/2018 - […] Feasting on Christ by Joey Tomlinson https://servantsofgrace.org/feasting-on-christ/ […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share28
Tweet11
Reddit
Email
Buffer