Summary: You must decide if that is all the closer you want to get to God. You see growing spiritually is not the same as growing physically. Physically you are going to grow whether you want to or not. Spiritually, it’s a choice. It’s something that we are to
By: Mark Engler, Mt. Vernon Christian Church, Mt. Vernon, MO
TITLE: Are You Still A Baby?
TEXT: 1 Peter 2:1-3
PROP: Christians will become stagnant if they don’t grow throughout their Christian
Are you still a baby? That’s the title to my sermon this morning. Now why would I even ask a question like that? Well, the answer is this. Because in many people’s Christian lives they remain Christian babies for years and sometimes they never grow up.
There was a time when every person in this room was a baby. I’m talking about being a physical baby now. And I can look at you all and know that you are no longer babies. You grew up and you become a man or a woman, and really, you have no choice in that. Physically growing is a natural thing to do and we will do it whether we want to or not.
In a spiritual sense that is not true. Let’s consider people that are just newly baptized. Now that person can be 10 years old, 25 years old, 50 years old, 75 years old. It doesn’t make any difference what age they are. When you’re baptized, no matter what age you, you are born again, and you become a spiritual baby. At that point you have a choice to make, and that choice is whether or not to grow in your spiritual maturity.
You must decide if that is all the closer you want to get to God. You see growing spiritually is not the same as growing physically. Physically you are going to grow whether you want to or not. Spiritually, it’s a choice. It’s something that we are told to do and for me as a preacher and a teacher it’s something that I’m told to help you to do. That goes for every other Christian in here as well. We are told to help and to care for our Christian brothers and sisters and that involves helping them mature in their spiritual growth.
(Read 1 Peter 2:1-3)
1. RID YOURSELVES OF SIN
Peter in this 1st verse of the 2nd chapter is telling Christians to rid themselves of their sins. We read these words and I believe a lot of us think that he is talking to non-Christians. That may not be so true in this church, but then again it might. Honestly, I don’t know what the first thought that comes to your minds are when Peter tells them to rid themselves “of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.”
I do know that most likely when a non-Christian reads these words that they think that Peter is talking to them. For the most part though I don’t think that Christians believe this and many passages like it applies to them. Most Christians view themselves as good people. Not people that maliciously harm other people. Or people that try to deceive other people. They don’t think of themselves as people who are hypocrites or who envy other people’s things. And they don’t think of themselves as people who would lie to another person. Those are things that we associate with the non-Christians.
But do you know that Peter associates all these things with Christians. Let’s look back at the 1st & 2nd verses of 1 Peter. (read it) You see what he says? He writes these words “to those who reside as aliens… scattered throughout.” Now folks I can pretty much guarantee you that he is not talking about people from another planets that are scatter throughout our world. He is talking to those of us that have a true home in heaven. When we are Christians we only reside on this earth for a while and in our bodies for a while, because our real home is in heaven with God.
So you see Peter is talking to you and to me, because he knows that at times these things still reign in our lives.
I think there is a lot in God’s Word that goes right over our heads because we don’t think that it is us that God is talking to. You may say, that’s right, there is a lot in the Word of God that goes right over my head because I don’t understand a lot of what is said in the Bible.
Do you know that every Christian has that problem? I’ve heard that said by people that are new Christians all the way up to Mr. Reese (professor of New Testament at Central Christian College) and Mr. Pelfrey (professor of Old Testament at Central Christian College). Matter of fact one of the things that Mr. Pelfrey is known for is saying 3 words and that is “I don’t know” and then he often follows that with “and neither does anybody else.” You see in all walks of our Christian maturity there are things that we just don’t get. And when we read them we don’t see that it applies to our life. But at the same time in all walks of our Christian maturity there are things that we can understand. And Peter is saying here that you were born again through the Word of God, therefore put all these aside.