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,
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
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.