Summary: What do you do when you feel stuck because you don’t have the kind of spiritual desires that you should, then for the believer there are some things that you can do to ensure spiritual growth. We will learn three things today about my growing spiritually.
What are we Craving?
Am service August 17th 2008
A great threat to spiritual growth is what is known as spiritual fatalism -- the belief or feeling that you are stuck with the way you are -- "this is all I will ever experience of God -- the level of spiritual intensity that I now have is all I can have; others may have strong desires after God and may have deep experiences of personal pleasure in God, but I will never have those because . . . well, just because . . . I am not like that. That’s not me."
This spiritual fatalism is a feeling that genetic forces and family forces and the forces of my past experiences and present circumstances are just too strong to allow me to ever change and become more zealous for God, or more fervent, or more delighted in God, or more hungry for fellowship with Christ, or more at home with spiritual things, more bold, or more joyful or hopeful.
Spiritual fatalism is tragic in the church. It leaves people stuck. It takes away hopes and dreams of change and growth. It squashes the excitement of living for and with Christ -- which is growth. So thousands of people live year after year without much passion for Jesus or zeal for his name or joy in his presence or hope in his promises well, that’s just the way I am. And they just settle in.
In this text God commands us not to be spiritual fatalists. (John Piper)
What this means is that if you feel stuck because you don’t have the kind of spiritual desires that you should, then for the believer there are some things that you can do to ensure spiritual growth. We will learn three things today about my growing spiritually.
Read Scriptures: 1 Peter 2:1-3
I. In order to grow spiritually we must be willing to let go of the old way of Life.
Vs. 1 “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,”
This passage clearly defines the attitude of an unbeliever. As a believer, if will ever experience all that I am intended to experience in my relationship with Jesus, then I must come to the knowledge that there are some things that I need to confess and get rid of in my life.
This passage begins with the words, “Wherefore” which is the same as “Therefore”. Anytime you start reading a passage of scripture and it begins with a “Therefore” you must ask you self the question what is that “therefore” , there for. (lets say that question together on the count of 3) Well I am glad you asked.
These five attitudes that are mentioned in this passage directly relate back to what we learned last week in the previous passage. We are to love one another with a pure heart fervently. The very things that we are to strip off are the things that dirty and soil our love. These five attitudes have to do with how we treat each another, with our behavior toward our Christian brothers and sisters.
The passage says “Wherefore laying aside” it means to take these things and literally strip them off just as you would strip off your clothes; we are to cleanse ourselves from all that defiles us.
A. As believers we must strip off "malice". The word means wickedness, all kinds and forms of evil, such as fornication (which is sex outside of marriage), adultery (which is sex with someone else other than your spouse) wickedness, covetousness, murder, backbiters, haters of God and His Word.
It could also mean deep-seated feelings against a person; hatred that lasts on and on; intense and long-lasting bitterness against a person. It means ill will, actually wishing that something bad would happen to a person. It means to be vicious, spiteful, and to hold a grudge. It means that a person has turned his heart over to evil:
= A person no longer has any good feelings toward the other person—none whatsoever.
= A person could care less if something bad happened to the person.
The statement is strong: as believers we are to strip off malice—in all of its forms. We are to be pure and clean, and we are to live pure and clean lives before our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
B. Believers must strip off "guile" or “deceit”. We must not purposefully deceive and mislead people; it means we must not be two-faced.
C. Believers must strip off "hypocrisies". The word means one who pretends, puts on a show, acts out something he is not. The word is plural it means All kinds of hypocrisies.
A person is a hypocrite when he acts as though he loves and believes God, but he does not live like God tells him to live, when he pretends to be following God, but he is living like he wants to live, when he shows a concern for the things of God, but his real concern is for the things of the world, when he professes to believe God’s Word, but he questions it and adds and takes away from it, when he promises, but he never intends to keep his promise.