Today’s bible study is 1 Peter 2:1-3: 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.
This is a very large passage to swallow and may need a few big swallows to help it go down. The words are long, the admonishments intense and the teachings huge. We are told first to rid ourselves of all malice and deceit, hypocrisy, and envy and slander of every kind. Malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander are part of the human condition, the human mind set and of our everyday dealings with other people.
We feel malice toward those who hurt us or treat us unjustly. We use a tiny bit of deceit every time we put on makeup or color our hair. We smile when someone tells a bad joke of when we are asked to do something we do not want to do. We envy our friends who wear better clothing and drive newer cars. And slander – how many times have we heard political candidates slander each other recently? How often have we slandered, either knowingly or unknowingly, with neighborhood or workplace gossip?
But are we bad people? Must we give all these up right now? According to Peter’s teachings, the answer is: Yes. It’s not going to be easy for many of us, especially those of us who have not been Christians for long or taken our faith seriously. It’s like being told to give up desserts, smoking, drinking, speeding, cursing, telling rude jokes and being late for work all at once. It seems impossible.
Yes, with contemplation, prayer, and the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit, it is possible. And, as we begin to give up these things, our hearts will be more open, our minds more peaceful, our sleep more restful, our love more sincere, and our faith greater. God wants us to come to Him empty, waiting to be filled. Empty of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander, and nearly everything else that our human frailties are heir to, God will fill us with the love and peace of the Holy Spirit and we will have no room for these negative and often hurtful feelings and behaviors.
We are further taught to crave pure spiritual milk. There are many, many references in the bible to babies and little children. God wants us to feel the innocence of little children and come to Him craving to be nourished. Yes, we can nourish our physical bodies quite nicely with hoe cooking and fast food, but only Jesus can provide sustenance for our spiritual beings. Only He can fill us so that we no longer crave. God can fill us with the pure milk of salvation through Hid only son, our Lord.
Finally, we are reminded that the taste we have been given of the Lord is good. How often have we shared in communion in our congregations as Christians and partaken of the proclaimed body and blood of Christ? How many times have we slipped a wafer or a tiny piece of bread into our mouths and proclaimed it to be the body of Christ which was broken for us? How often have e sipped the wine or grape juice symbolic of the blood which Jesus shed for us? And what is it? Is it bread and juice? Is it wafers and wine? Or is it something more? In actuality it is bread and juice. There is no question that it was produced, purchased and served just like any other food. But, being sanctified, it becomes, at the very least, symbolic of the body and blood of our Lord and Savior. And in that capacity, it can fill our spiritual hunger with blessings beyond our comprehension.
You might also like to read:
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- Kentucky Bible Study Examiner, Timothy Edwards
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series
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