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PROPER DIET -- Feeding On the Living and Abiding Word of God Enables Us To Grow In Aggressively Loving Others (2:1-3)

GOD’S FORMULA FOR BABY BOOMERS

INTRODUCTION

Spiritual Growth is very simple: Requires the Proper Exercise and the Proper Diet -- just like Physical Growth

4 Pictures:

1) Mr. Bloatburger -- Bad Diet (spends all day at McDonalds); No Exercise this guy can’t even move

2) Mr Couch Potato -- Diet might be OK -- but no exercise (doesn’t do any good to just lie on the couch and read your Bible all day without ever putting anything into practice)

3) Mr. Worked to the Bone -- Works hard all day long; loads of time in church and in various Christian ministries; but no nourishment; never spends any quiet time feeding on the Word

4) Mr. Spiritually Fit

Peter is talking about the need for Proper Exercise and Proper Diet in order to grow properly in our spiritual lives

What type of Exercise have we been called to??

1) Love one another 1:22

2) Spiritual Worship 2:5

3) Testimony 2:9 "proclaim the excellencies ..."

These are 3 very important activities that require a lot of spiritual muscle and strength -- What type of energy are we giving to loving one another and to worshipping God??

Should involve planning, making these things a priority, giving commitment of time and energy

In between 1:22 and 2:5-9 we have a key section about the Word of God 1:22 - 2:3

We have experienced the power of the Word of God in Regeneration -- causing us to be born again

1) that Word is living -- it has brought us into new life

2) that Word is abiding -- it is eternal and imperishable

its glory won’t ever fade away like the flowers of spring time

I. 5 GROWTH STOPPERS (or at least GROWTH STUNTERS) vs.1

In business, we talk about "Show Stoppers" = things that will stop you from closing a deal; if you can’t solve the problem, you can’t continue on; it stops you dead in your tracks

There are many things that are show stoppers in our Christian growth

"putting aside" -- a participle used with the force of a command; this is the necessary preparation for proper digestion of the Word of God; get rid of all this nastiness

You can’t try to cover up dirty, smelly clothes by just putting on an extra layer of clean, fresh clothing over top

What are these Growth Stoppers??

A. Malice -- most general word; then he will get more specific; all evil (kakia) = Meanness here

KNIFE in the back -- anything harmful, hurtful directed against others (because of context)

general, all-inclusive term for active ill-will; the vicious nature bent on doing harm to others

opposite of godliness; of goodness

B. Guile -- "to catch with bait" deceit, cunning, treachery -- Tricky

FISHHOOK WITH BAIT

trying to trick and mislead others to their disadvantage and our advantage

our ministry is not one of deception; or how we package things up; or manipulation

no confidence in the sovereignty of God; the will of God; the providence of God; we want to take things into our own hands and control things by hook or by crook

C. Hypocrisy -- pretending to be someone or something that you are not


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