Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Growing Process

"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."   1 Peter 2:1-3

Today we are going to look at two segments of Scripture from the pen of Peter.  We recently wrote about the middle part of this chapter, Jesus, the Living Stone, and Christians becoming like living stones, built into a spiritual house. Since the time of that writing, I have looked back at the paragraph which was before that teaching by Peter, and the paragraph after.  This will not only help us to better understand Christians as living stones, but will let us remember where we came from, and where we are going as God's children. 

The first three verses in 1 Peter 2 give us a list of things which do not belong in the ranks of a "living stone" which is being built into a spiritual house.  That's why Peter is saying, "If these things are a part of you, then get rid of them."  The list includes things like malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. When we stop and think about it, those things really don't fit in with spiritual house building. 

Then Peter suggests to those who rid themselves of those things, should be like babies, desiring the pure spiritual milk which will help them grow up in their salvation.  That reveals to us we are looking here at folks who have "tasted the goodness of the Lord," but still have some growing to do as they rid themselves of the bad things which do not belong in the life of the Christian.  Remember, Peter is getting ready at this point to teach them about Jesus, the Living Stone, and through him, they themselves can become like living stones and used in the building of the spiritual house.  So now, the last paragraph, which comes after the lesson on living stones. 

  "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."  1 Peter 2:9-10

Peter, an old sinner himself, is writing to sinners who are on the road to straightening out their lives from the ground up. We have noted it begins with spiritual infancy and feeding on the spiritual milk.  From that, there is growth and the living stone analogy.  Now notice in these last verses, Peter  calls them a "holy nation."  He continues with description phrases like "God's special possession" and "called out of darkness into his wonderful light."  

Almost as a benediction Peter informs them at one time they were "not a people but now they were the people of God."  Then he reminds them of the love behind such a drastic change when he says, "once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."  

His love and mercy are still that powerful, and still available to us as we yield to his call and allow him to lead us through his transforming power.  Now that you have tasted the goodness of the Lord, let his transformation begin in you. 


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