Encouragement from First Peter

As I began to read through 1 Peter in preparation for a sermon series that will most likely begin in a few weeks, I took special notice of verse 1-3 of chapter 2. The whole chapter, and book for that matter, is written to encourage Christians to stand firm in Christ, trusting in the sovereignty of God, even in the midst of persecution (in 1 Peter the persecution seems to be primarily of the verbal sort). The thing about being mistreated by others is that there naturally arises within us a desire to self-protect, to lash out, or to answer back to the ridicule you are receiving. But Peter tells us “to 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” (1 Peter 2:1–3, ESV).

These are certainly good words for us to hear! We are to “put away” certain behaviors from amongst us and we are to “long for the pure spiritual milk”. I want so badly to be a part of a congregation that is passionate about doing away with sin and running to Christ and His Word. We need to put away all kinds of sin, but I think these sins are particularly applicable to us in our situation. We need to be a people who trust that God is truly in control of all things. When we believe this, we are truly free to live godly lives. We are free to keep our mouths shut when others slander. We are free to release bitterness and to give it to the Lord. We are free from envy and the temptation to act deceitfully. When we really trust (have faith) in God and believe that He is in control, it frees us to live as God has called us to live as we surrender fully to Him.

Let me encourage you to live trusting in God for all things. God is the one who protects, vindicates, and judges the hearts of men. Because of this, we are free to pursue God’s calling on our lives, being filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Gal 5:22-23) as we walk daily in the Spirit, trusting that He is leading us where He wants us to go. We are free in Christ! Let us walk in that freedom instead of becoming entangled in the bondage of sin .

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"Him we proclaim,
warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ."
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

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