Summary: Exposition of 1 Peter 1:22-2:3
Text: 1 Peter 1:22-2:3
Title: Genuine Christian Behavior
Date/Place: LSCC, 7/3/05, AM
A. Opening illustration: “A Few Good Men” –conduct unbecoming of a marine.
B. Background to passage: Again Peter stresses points of behavior and conduct that will result from our being Christians. In this text he uses three different past tense verbs and phrases to describe the salvation event that he is assuming has taken place in their lives—“having purified…having been born again…tasted the goodness…” Peter even takes a few verses to expound on the permanence, purity, and trustworthiness of the means of our salvation—the incorruptible seed of the Word of God. Assuming salvation, Peter says that their lives should reflect that change in these ways
C. Main thought: In our text, there are three ways that our lives should reflect our conversion.
A. Love the brethren fervently (v. 22)
1. Peter states that there was a love for the brethren present among them currently. The word used is philadephia. Then Peter changes his word and uses the stronger and more common agapao. And as if the word wasn’t strong enough, he says to do it intensely, unfailingly, genuinely, without ulterior motives or play-acting. The words used give the text that warm family-like tone of love and genuine concern.
3. Illustration: being polite to people that you dislike at the office, LSCC people being available for one another, talking to Gena about the whole church coming to see the pastor in the hospital, care groups at Wake Cross Roads when Erika had surgery. Tell the story of Bill McDonald giving Gary $100 to cover bills that were behind. Look at the pictures of mission Rochester, and you see all these hugging people getting their picture taken everywhere.
4. If we are not careful we can begin to treat those in the church like neighbors instead of like family. Here in New England, it is almost anti-cultural to love in this way someone who is not blood related. But our culture does not determine our behavior. Not only does this mean that there are no active grudges between individuals and families, but there needs to be an active demonstration of love. How many times do to go out of your way for someone else in this body? Ladies are particularly good at this, and they are particularly bad at this. How many of you went to see Dayna and Daniel in the hospital when they were there for a month? How many of you helped Judy move this week? How many of you have prayed for a member of LSCC this week? Do the members of this church show that warm familial concern that translates into action?
B. Fight against old sins diligently (v. 1)
1. Peter uses wording here that is very common to Paul and James in that Christians are to lay aside the old vestiges of sin. This word meant to take off a piece of clothing and lay it aside. This list does not contain adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness, or other big sins, but it contains things that are tolerated by many churches. Malice is the desire of harm upon others. It is a general term for all sorts of meanness or badness. Deceit is any kind of treachery, trickery, or deception. This has to do with our motives for doing things. Hypocrisy means acting one way outwardly and a different way inwardly. Envy being jealous of the things that another has, in particular with prosperity. Evil speaking is backbiting, gossiping, and spreading rumors.
2. Col 3:8-9, Eph 4:22-25, James 1:21,
3. Illustration: Be killing sin or it will be killing you. It is easier to cry against one thousand sins of others than to kill one of your own. Mackenzie’s envy of her mother, the church that we were just in over in NY has all these things flourishing within its congregation, and I am not deluded enough to believe that these things have no place here.
4. As Christians, we still live in unredeemed bodies, and we still struggle with sin. But we must continually be laying aside these kinds of things. Not only external habits and things that are not good, but constantly taking stock of what is within. Every time we see a remnant of the old man, a pre-conversion behavior, a worldly habit or attitude, we must shed it as we would a sweat soaked shirt after a hard day’s work. It is a lifelong process, but one that if we stop or stall we begin to drift backwards.
C. Desire the Word passionately (v. 2)
1. Finally Peter, after having made a case for the enduring power and purity of the Word, commands Christians to desire it, to long for it, to crave it, to hunger and thirst for it. The imagery used is that of a hungry baby longing for the only nourishment it knows. Peter is trying to use the most powerful illustration of desire. More than a husband for a wife, more than that of a loved one left behind, more than a parent of a wayward child. Notice the purpose clause.