Summary: Christians cannot stay the way they are, and Peter urges his people to do away with evil things and set their hearts on that which can nourish life.
Text: 1 Peter, Chapter 2 (KJV)
1Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby: 3If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious4To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.7Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,8And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the Word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.11Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 18Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.19For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
1. Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
2. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby:
3. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious
Christians cannot stay the way they are, and Peter urges his people to do away with evil things and set their hearts on that which can nourish life.
The apostle mentions that the first undesirable characteristic is “malice,” which marks an unregenerate man and is very unbecoming to those born again. Nor is it consistent with the relationships of the brethren and the character of children, or newborn babes, who are without malice and do not bear and retain it. “All” of this is to be laid aside, towards all persons whatsoever, and in every form, and every instance of it.
The first persons the apostle mentions were born again and therefore ought to love one another. He urges them to stop using offensive language, contrary to their character as regenerate men and contrary to brotherly love. He (Paul) advises against them using such malice (evil, wickedness), and to “lay them aside,” either as weights and burdens, which was not fit for newborn babes to carry; (see Hebrews 12:1 ) or like old worn-out clothes and filthy rags, they should be stripped off because they were very unsuitable to their new character and profession.
Some things must be stripped off, like a filthy garment and all the “evil” practices of “unbelieving” men—malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and all evil speaking. These five undesirable characteristics represent all the character faults of the heathen world, which hurt the great Christian virtue of mutual love. There can be no mutual love as long as these evil character faults exist. We will focus on the other “undesirable characteristics” as we move through verse 1.