Trials From Without - Lesson 8 - Priorities
1 Peter 2:1-3
1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander
2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation
3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
Peter certainly champions the notion of being real. That focus flows out of the holiness of God. 1 John 1:5 asserts, “God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” Nothing hidden or duplicitous, nothing shady, just one whole entity with no division or hypoacrisy. As you surrender to Jesus and the Holy Spirit they will conform you to holiness of the Father. This will likely entail the removal of some things from your heart so that new things can come.
Our text is a lot like James 1:21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. Some things left over from the Old Man have to be purged so that holiness can happen.
Both Peter and James advocate a powerful reception of God’s Word, but it can’t happen when the heart isn’t purified and ready. If you are having a struggle to study and understand your Bible you might want to look here first. Peter has five deadly attitudes or actions that have to go.
Malice — this word speaks of an evil habit of the mind that results in doing evil to others. It has to do with a person’s character and how evil lurks about in their life and from time to time acts out. Peter said to put it aside.
Deceit — it means to bait. Fraud, guile, or craftiness. Audulterating information in order to manipulate or trick. Deceit has to go also.
Hypocrisy — a sin that is denounced in Scripture like no other. Jesus indicted the Pharisees again and again for their’s. It simply means putting on an external appearance that covers up the evil and corruption on the inside. Hypocrisy corrupts the conscience and that prevents holiness of life. Get rid of it.
Envy — Peter is speaking of bursts of envy. It means jealousy and the pain felt at the sight of excellence or happiness in someone’s life. It’s quite similar to covetousness which is to want something even at someone’s expense. Envy makes a person incapable of anything good and always results in evil. Don’t need this.
Slander — has to do with speaking evil of someone. Ironically slander may be factual, but it is being spoken with the intent of tearing the person down. This one is really deceptive and misleading even as it causes division and faction in the Church. We could live a long time without slander.
Once these things are gone it’s time to move on in the Word. James said to put aside filthiness and wickedness and then with humility receive the implanted Word. Filthiness is sexual/moral impurity. Wickedness is evil in heart and act. You can’t receive the Word as baby’s milk or implanted if your heart has any of these sinful traits. So ask God what He sees in you.
Repent of any sin.
Call on the Holy Spirit to fill and control you and then get into the Word.
Nurture a great longing for it, meditate on it, memorize it, surrender to Jesus so that He can live it through you.
You will grow with respect to salvation; you will experience the saving of your soul in practicality. This life will protect you from destructive trials.