Summary: 4 Pictures of what a Christian is loke. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 1-10.
• A reporter was interviewing an old man on his 100th birthday.
• "What are you most proud of?" he asked him.
• "Well, " said the man, "I don’t have an enemy in the world."
• "What a beautiful thought! How inspirational!" said the reporter.
• "Yep," added the centenarian,
• "I’ve outlived every last one of them."
• Every form of life has its enemies;
• Insects have to watch out for hungry birds,
• Birds must look out for cats,
• Cats must look out for dogs etc
• We humans have our enemies;
• We are constantly fighting germs which cause infections and disease
The Christian too has his enemies:
• One of those is what the Bible calls ‘sin’.
• Verse 1 starts this passage by mentioning five sins, enemies to avoid.
• A party of school children were being showed around a hospital;
• And the nurse who was giving them a tour round asked if anyone had any questions;
• One child asked,
• "How come the people who work here are always washing their hands?"
The nurse gave the answer;
"They are ’always washing their hands’ for two reasons.
First they love health; and second, they hate germs".
I AM GOING TO DIVIDE THESE VERSES UNDER 4 HEADINGS:
(A). Children in the same family (vs 1-3):
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good”.
When a person becomes a Christian they are ‘born again’:
• They become the children who are not only related to God;
• But also to the other members of his family.
• When you were born physically you were born immature;
• You had to grow through various stages to become mature (ill: childhood, teenager etc)
• Spiritually that is also true, no-one is born mature, that is the complete package;
• All of us were reborn as spiritual babies and must learn to grow up.
• With physical birth; if a baby is healthy and feeds on the right things (i.e. milk);
• It will automatically grow into a healthy child.
• Spiritual parallel there;
• Every Christian also needs to feed on healthy, nutritious food.
In verses 1-3 Peter gives us two principles to help us grow as Christians:
• Verse 1: What to avoid,
• Verse 2-3: What to crave.
• When you and I have a meal, we have a choice.
• We can eat junk food or we can healthy.
• Our physical and mental health will be affected by that choice;
• A diet of constant junk food into our bodies will result in us becoming unhealthy.
• But if we feed our body on good healthy, nutritious food;
• Then that too will also produce visible results.
There is of course a spiritual parallel to that illustration:
• As Christians what we allow into our hearts and minds;
• Will also affect our spiritual health.
• So Peter tells us two important principles at the start of this chapter.
• Verse 1: What to avoid if we want to be spiritually healthy.
• Verse 2: What to crave if we want to be spiritually healthy.
(1). What to avoid (verse 1)
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy,
and slander of every kind”.
• There are five unhealthy traits that Peter outlines for us in this verse;
• They all refer to the way we treat other people.
• They are not just ’personal’ sins that affect only our lives;
• They are sins that have an effect on others.
Peter’s instruction in this verse is very simple:
• He says; ‘rid yourselves’ of these sins:
• Notice he is placing the responsibility on us and not on God!
Quote: Eleanor Roosevelt:
“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words.
It is expressed in the choices one makes.
In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves.
The process never ends until we die.
And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”
Our lives have been described like a garden:
• In which we choose whether we allow weeds and stones to dominate;
• Or whether we want plants and beautiful flowers to flourish.
THE POINT PETER IS MAKING FROM VERSE 1 IS SIMPLE:
• We must make the right choices if we want to be spiritually healthy,
• There must be a turning from what is wrong to a turning to what is right.
(2). What to crave (verse 2-3)
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good”.