We Need to Grow Up in Christ

1 Peter 2:1-3 ESV

“So 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.”

We read in 1 Peter 1 that, as obedient children, we are not to be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance from before we knew Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives. But as our Lord has called us to be holy, we are to be holy in all our conduct. And having purified our souls by our obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, we are to love one another earnestly from a pure heart.

So, we are being taught here that we are to be obedient to our Lord, that we are not to be conformed to the passions of the flesh, and that we are to be holy (unlike the world and like Christ) in all our conduct. Then we are instructed to put away all malice, deceit, and hypocrisy, etc. And we are to long for the pure word of God so that we may grow up and mature into salvation. And this is the essence of the gospel of our salvation.

We are not saved from our sins and bound for heaven on a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ, or by words we may repeat after someone else in a prayer after which we are congratulated that we are now part of God’s family and that heaven is now guaranteed us for when we die. No! We must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and then we must continue to put sin to death and to walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands.

So, you can’t be saved from your sins and be on your way to heaven if you are still holding on to your sinful practices (habits) and if sin has not been put to death in your life so that you can now live as slaves of righteousness in walks of obedient faith in Jesus Christ. We need to put all sins to death with Christ and then grow in our walks of faith through feeding on the word of God and via obeying the teachings of Scripture which are for us to obey.

1 Peter 2:4-5 ESV

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

The church is not a building. It is not a church denomination. It is not a business nor a corporation under the state (the government). Yet, that is what many who claim to be followers of Jesus have made it to be. So, when you walk into a church building you are not entering the house of God. For God the Father/Jesus/the Spirit live within the hearts and lives of those who are following Jesus Christ with their lives in obedient walks of faith.

The church is not something that can be built with human hands nor organized and developed with human business goals and marketing schemes. They may call it “church,” but that doesn’t make it the church. For the church is all people who are walking in fellowship with God in purity of devotion to him who have died with Christ to sin and who are living to God and to his righteousness by God’s grace and in his power and strength.

We are living stones in God’s building, which is spiritual, not physical (not brick and mortar). And we are being built up (brought to maturity) as a spiritual house (not a physical one) to be a holy priesthood, separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made into the likeness of Christ. And we offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God which are our lives as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (Rom 12:1-2).

1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

We are not chosen by God just to have our sins forgiven so that we can one day go to heaven. We are chosen by God to be his possession. He now owns us. He is our Lord (owner-master), and we now are to surrender our lives to him and to submit to his will for our lives and to obey his commands as a matter of our life practice. And we are to be those who are spreading the good news of our deliverance from sin and of our walks of faith in the truth.

1 Peter 2:11-12 ESV

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

We are to no longer be partakers in the pleasures of this sinful world for our Lord called us out of the world to be separate, unlike the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. So that makes us sojourners (strangers, visitors) on this earth and heaven is now our home. And so we are to live our lives as though heaven is our home and as though we are no longer a part of this sinful world.

Therefore, we are to abstain from the passions of the flesh which wage war against our souls. For God’s grace, which brings us salvation, instructs (trains, teaches) us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. And we are to walk in obedience to our Lord in obeying his teachings and in going wherever he sends us and in doing whatever he has called us to do.

Our conduct is to be honorable always, and not just when others are watching us. This is for our salvation. But also when we live honorably, in obedience to our Lord, when the ungodly speak against us as though we are evildoers, they should be able to see our godly behavior and it should stand as a witness to them and it should encourage them to want to know Jesus and to follow him in obedience, too.

Basically, the Christian life is not just a free ride to heaven. Yes, Jesus paid it all. His grace is God’s gift to us. We can do nothing in ourselves to earn or to deserve our own salvation. But Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. So, if we continue to live in sin, deliberately and habitually sinning against our Lord, we don’t know him, and heaven is not our eternal destiny. So, please take this to heart.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

Caution: This link may contain ads
P.S. This is not an endorsement of the singers other than as musicians

3 thoughts on “We Need to Grow Up in Christ

  1. Good morning Sue, and God bless you….thank you for your words this morning…they are food for the soul and spirit…and I concur with your thoughts and prayers. Your message resounds firm and solid with me, and reminds me of the saints who have gone before us who wrote very similar messages….

    Liked by 1 person

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