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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #8
Posted: October 4, 2006

I PETER 2:1-5

We continue our study this week of I Peter, which we have entitled ‘The God of All Suffering’.  I want to look at Chapter Two, verses 1-5 where Peter deals with ‘The Life of the Believer’.  The text says, Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

Many base the assurance of their salvation on a prayer they prayed, a profession they made, or a birth date in the front of their Bible.  All of these things could be (I’m not saying they always are) symptoms of religion.  Salvation is not religion but a relationship with a holy God.  Our assurance should not find its roots in what happens back there but in the fact we are walking with Him, talking with Him, and He is telling us we are His own.

Let us look at four things Peter says should be in the life of the believer.  In verse 1 we are told the believer should evidence ‘A Life Of Separation’.  The phrase, ‘laying aside’ means to put away once for all.  The root of the verb implies a separation, complete right about face, or 180-degree turn.  Peter mentions five sins we should lay aside.  The first is ‘malice’.  This refers to any kind of wickedness or depraved acts that affect others.  The second is ‘guile’.  The word means to catch with bait, craftiness, tricky and deceptive.  It is the New Testament word for Jacob.  In Chapter 2, verse 22 we are told that no guile was found in Christ.  The third sin is ‘hypocrisies’.  The word implies to judge from behind a screen or mask.  It means to hide the true identity by assuming the manner in speech of another.  The fourth sin is ‘envious’.  This word means to shrivel, spoil, or ruin because of jealousy that causes spite or ill will to another.  The fifth sin is ‘evil speaking’.  It is the idea of an act of speaking down to another person, defaming or slandering.  They must be once for all put away.

The second evidence that would give the believer assurance would be ‘A Life of Sustenance’.  (Vs. 2)  The phrase ‘newborn babe’ is only used in the manger scene story.  The picture is taken from Isaiah 28:9 of a dependent nursing child.  The word ‘desire’ means an intense yearning or craving.  This babe desires sincere milk, which is guileless milk.  This is an unadulterated, pure like Him milk.  This is the word in its entirety, not just the simple things of God.  It is the only thing of sustenance that causes growth and maturity in the life of the believer.  The true believer craves the Bible.

When the Word of God sustains, you will find the Lord to be gracious. (Vs. 3)

In verse 4 Peter tells us there must be ‘A Life of Steadfastness’.   The word ‘coming’ implies a habitual intimate closeness.  The ‘living stone’ is a foundational rock for building upon.  Christ is our ‘Rock of Ages’.  He was ‘disallowed’ which means to test and to be found worthy.  This stone was chosen of God, precious, and of a rare value. 

In verse 5 we are told we should live ‘A Life of Sacrifice’.  The ‘lively stone’ of verse 5 is the same word as the ‘living stone’ in verse 4.  To be in Him we take on His identity.  We are His dwelling place.  The ‘holy priesthood’ and ‘sacrifice’ speaks of the brazen altar.  We are to die to self and become a living sacrifice.  This is much bigger than the religious profession of prayer or putting a birth date in the front of our Bibles.  This is a living intimate relationship with the person of Christ.