Things to lay aside.. and things to take upBro. David Chancellor
3/21/1999 6:00 PM
1 Peter 2:1-3
"Wherefore" (1:24, 25) Because all flesh and the glory of man withers and falls away, because there are things enduring and things passing, there are things to be laid aside. Malice - intent to cause harm.
Malice is at work here. If these could have arranged it Lazarus would have been the first martyr because he did not fit into their view of correct religion. We don't carry the sword, the word of God, to hurt or harm people - "We aren't to whack people with it." We don't need to take the sword and whack on folks. We need to resist the devil and things that are wrong with it, but not use it to go after people with intent to harm. "Wherefore laying aside all malice..." We don't want to hurt people. Handle the word carefully because it will cut you when you are wrong just as it cuts others when they are ... Guile: deceitful cunning. You don't have to be sly to do the work of God. The truth can operate out in the open.
Guile works in the spirit.. "Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves...", but not deceitful. Have a guileless spirit. Jesus was guileless and was still able to give answers that people "could neither gainsay nor resist." The Pharisees had guile .. trying to trick Christ, but through the spirit of God he overcame. You don't have to trick people into something that's good .. (e.g., used car salesman.. noted for slick deals).. Hypocrisy: to pretend to be what one is not. We don't want to claim to be what we aren't. We don't want to try to convince ourselves or others that we are "supersaints" - just be where you are and keep on working up. Be "just plain ol' me", recognize where you are and be the best you can there and grow in the grace of God.
The ruler in great indignation because of the work of God, yet claiming to love and serve God. He was upset because it wasn't done according to "his plan." God doesn't have to work according to our plan; we should work according to him. Find God's plan/creed and work with that.. examine and see if it is just the traditions of men. We want to be in God's plan. Lay aside all hypocrisy - this man claimed to be concerned about keeping the word of God; in reality he wanted to keep his thing going. Examine the thoughts that come and go God's way - study out the thoughts that come. Envy: painful awareness of an advantage of others. We need not be seeking the advantage - to be stirring up envy. Don't be feeling bad because someone else feels good. God's gonna bless others - so rejoice with them. God will bless you too if you draw up to him. Envy works to make you feel bad when you're sitting on the stool of "do-nothing." If you feel you're missing out on the good things of God, maybe you need to apply yourself in drawing night to God.
Picture of envy. The Jews were envious "why're they going to listen to THEM?" How do you feel when you hear of God blessing in other congregations or of him blessing other saints? Is it "praise the Lord"? or is it "How come God isn't blessing here.. or blessing me?" Don't do as these Jews did. Our primary concern is that the truth gets out, whether it be through me or others. However they get it is how we want to get it. Being envious helps nobody. If God blesses someone else get where you can catch a little of it and enjoy it with them. Evil speakings: gossip. Lay aside gossip - it's not beneficial. If you need to talk that way about someone - talk to them or to God. Gossip usually happens in the person's absence (a tearing down) There's no benefit in our saying bad things about others. We can speak against the things that are wrong without carrying evil tales. We want to see things prosper and people edified. Anyone can tear things down, but it takes thought and effort to build up, encourage and edify.
Be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. In our nation many things are wrong, but many of the activists.. especially those that will cause harm.. are not in the right either. Show forth the nature and character of Christ... be plain in speech without the intent to harm, hurt or threaten people into doing right. Enflaming isn't right (working people up to wrathful indignation) but we should be stirred and concerned.
1 Peter 2:2
Desire the word of God so that you can grow. All the things mentioned to lay aside are a hindrance in our study of the word. When we study we should look for a way to grow and prosper in Christ. What is our purpose in reading? The word is the lasting part - we need to keep growing spiritually. Get some growth out of it - don't read to prove your point or to condemn someone or to whack someone. Are you in the word because you want to grow? If you go in with the other attitudes you may learn something, but you won't grow. Are we growing? We need to grow, to increase spiritually, so that our lives will improve. Read to learn and know and understand.
The tongue shouldn't be cursing and blessing. "these things ought not so to be" - the word of God shouldn't be used to cut people down. A wise man will be proved by his works. If it doesn't show in your life there's nothing to talk about. If you can't live it, what's the point of what you know. "Theory without application brings condemnation." If your life is contrary to your knowledge, you are a source of confusion. It comes back to the work of God in your life. It will have the things in verses 17 and 18. Produce the good fruit by pushing the other out of the way and digging into the word. If you've got a little taste of what's in there, take a big bite, that you can grow thereby. If you've tasted that it is good, you will have found that it is "musty".. you "must have" some more. We want to be growing spiritually all our life.