Summary: Once you have tasted of the goodness of Jesus nothing else will do.
Living The Experience
Text: 1 Peter 2:1-3
1. Illustration: "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." - Brennan Manning
2. So how do we fix this problem?
3. Peter gives us three suggestions...
a. Living Like We Mean It
b. Living To Crave
c. Living The Experience
4. Let's all stand as we read together 1 Peter 2:1-3
Transition: Peter's first suggestion is start...
I. Living Like We Mean It (1).
A. Get Rid Of
1. Remember that Peter's purpose here in this letter is to show us how to live right side up in an upside down world.
2. In this chapter he gets right to the heart of the matter. He starts out with, "So get rid of all evil behavior."
a. The word "so," probably better understood as "therefore," refers back to the end of the previous chapter where it talked about "loving each other deeply."
b. What Peter is getting at here is that we need to lay aside all those things that prevent us from loving each other in this way.
c. The phrase "get rid of" is actually not a command, although most English translations render it that way. It actually borrows it foce from the verb "crave" in the next verse.
d. Why did Peter call the believers to to get rid of all evil behavior and attitudes? Quite frankly, because it destroys love which is the cheif characteristic of followers of Jesus.
e. The phrase "get rid of" is usually used in the NT for putting off sin or anything that hinders our spiritual growth.
f. We must understand that the things to which Peter is calling us to rid ourselves of is not a one time event, but it is to be a life long process.
g. We need to diligently work our ridding these things from our lives (Matthews, New American Commentary: 1 Peter).
3. Peter now continues a list of things that we are better off without. He says, "Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech."
a. You will notice that the sins that Peter lists here are those that destroy the unity and effectiveness of the church.
b. The first sin listed, deceit, could refer to wickedness in general, but can be better understood as malice.
c. Harboring ill-will for another destroys the love, trust and unity that should and must exist in the church.
d. Hypocrisy, on the other hand, introduces pretense and disingenuousness so that trust necessary for love vanishes.
e. Hypocrisy (hupokrisis), which originally identified an actor who wore a mask. It refers to spiritual insincerity and pretense.
f. The word describes any behavior that is not genuine or consistent with what one really believes or says he believes
(MacArthur, MacArthur New Testament Commentary – 1 Peter, 98).
g. In addition, envy is also contrary to love, for instead of desiring the best for someone, it hopes for their downfall or prefers the advancement of oneself rather than joy for others.
h. Envy (phthonos) defines the attitude of those who resent others' prosperity. It often leads to grudges, bitterness, hatred, and conflict (MacArthur, 98).
i. All unkind speech, an imitative word designed to sound like the whispers and tattles reported behind someone's back in gossip and backbiting. It referred essentially to defamation of character (MacArthur, 98).
j. All unkind speech is not limited to spreading false stories about others but also involves running down others.
k. On the contrary, love looks for and finds good in others and avoids speaking what is negative (Matthews).
B. Living Like Jesus
1. Illustration: There is a story about a man who was walking down the street. He passed a used-book store, and in the window he saw a book with the title, "How to Hug." He was taken by the title and, being of a somewhat romantic nature, went in to buy the book. To his chagrin, he discovered that it was the seventh volume of an encyclopedia and covered the subjects "how" to "hug." Everyone knows that the church is a place where love ought to be manifested, and many people have come to church hoping to find a demonstration of love—only to discover an encyclopedia on theology.
2. Living right side up requires putting off our old ways.
a. Romans 13:12 (NLT)
The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.
b. Right side up living is about being different.
c. It's not about looking out for number one, but it's about surrendering ourselves to the only number one - Jesus.