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 1st Peter chapter one that, as obedient children, we are not to be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance, but as he who called us is holy, we are also to be holy in all our conduct. And we are to conduct ourselves with fear (walking in the fear of the Lord), knowing that we were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from our ancestors, with the precious blood of Christ. And then we are instructed that, having purified our souls by our obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly (Christian family) love, we are to love one another earnestly from pure hearts.
Since this is how we came to faith in Jesus Christ, and since this is how we are commanded of God that we must live, therefore we are to put away from our lives all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander, et al. These things and these types of behaviors and attitudes and thinking are to be far from us. They are to no longer be a part of our lives. These should no longer be what we practice, but now righteousness, holiness, godliness, uprightness, self-control, and moral purity are to be what we put into daily practice.
And now we are to long for (crave, desire, seek after) pure spiritual milk (sustenance, nourishment), much like a newborn baby longs for mother’s milk or for a bottle (if the baby is bottle fed). Yet, this is not teaching that we should long only for the parts of God’s word which are easy to accept and which require nothing of us in the way of repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord and surrender of our lives to him. The metaphor is to be focused on longing for pure spiritual nourishment, to grow by it.
Thus, what this is teaching us is the essence of the gospel of our salvation. Our sinful practices should be put away from our lives and now we should long for the pure word of God in order that we might grow to maturity in our walks of faith in the Lord and grow up into our salvation, which is a process of a lifetime. For we are saved (past), we are being saved (present active), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus Christ returns to take his bride to be with him, but provided that we are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and we continue in that faith steadfast to the end.
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.”
When most people today refer to “the church,” they are usually referring to a building, to a specific physical location, to a church denomination, or to a non-denominational organization. And most of these organizations called “church” here in America are partnered with the government as corporations (businesses) under the state, and most of them are run just like businesses, too, being marketed to the world. And so many of them are following marketing schemes for how to build their “churches” (businesses).
But when the Scriptures refer to “the church” they are speaking of a body of believers in Jesus Christ. We the people of God are the church – not a building, not a church denomination, and not a business or a corporation under the state. Those are institutional churches (ICs) which are not the biblical church. For we are the building, and we are the living stones that make up that building, and we are being built up as a spiritual house, not as a physical structure of brick and mortar or of wood, stone and/or steel.
So, when the Scriptures teach that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, it is not speaking of these ICs and their gatherings, especially since most of them are not the biblical church, although they may have some genuine followers of Christ in their midst. And especially since most of them are not being conducted like a biblical fellowship of believers in Christ but they are businesses being marketed to the world, and thus many of them are being patterned after the ways of the world, too.
So the purpose of our gatherings is that we might be a holy priesthood of believers in Christ, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. And the main one taught in the Scriptures is that we are to die with Christ to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness. Our lives are to be surrendered to Christ in submission to him as Lord, and we are now to walk in holiness in obedience to our Lord and no longer in sin and for self, for Jesus delivered us from our slavery to sin to serve him in truth.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
All is Well
Songwriters: Michael W. Smith / Wayne Kirkpatrick
All is well all is well
Let there be peace on earth
Christ is come, go and tell
That He is in the manger
All is well all is well
Lift up your voices and sing
Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
All is well
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