Summary: Our actions reveals our beliefs...
Date Written: September 1, 2007
Date Preached: September 2, 2007
Where Preached: OZHBC (PM)
Sermon Series: A Study in 1 Peter
Sermon Title: You are called to walk the walk!
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 2:1-3
1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed, you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
A couple of weeks ago we ended CHAPTER ONE by talking about what it meant to be saved. I taught you that when we are saved that we can and should enjoy the privileges of being saved, but salvation also comes with responsibilities and duties for the believer and these responsibilities and duties cannot be ignored.
You heard me teach on how many believers love to claim the privilege of being a saved saint of God, but they actually run from and deny the duty and responsibility that comes with the salvation we enjoy!
You also heard me teach that salvation is a direct result of God’s mercy and grace and that we cannot do anything to earn that salvation and when we receive that salvation it should lead us to service to God! This is unlike what many believe today when they believe that their service to God leads to their salvation… this is a lie straight from the enemy!
It is only God’s grace and mercy that leads to our salvation… and NOTHING we do can save us! Like the Scripture in chapter 1 teaches, all we do is temporal and will eventually fade away…
But the salvation God provides is ETERNAL and will NEVER perish! Our corruptible body and soul will be purged and changed by the incorruptible Savior who will make us incorruptible on that great and final day!
And so that is where we are in the book of 1st Peter as we begin to study the Chapter 2. We have learned how Peter revealed who we are in Christ and it is Christ who is the ONLY provider of salvation!
And since we have been called by the incorruptible Christ in salvation, we must strive to live our lives as Christ has called us to live! It is like the Apostle Paul’s teaching in Eph 4:1 where he wrote, “…I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called…”
Here in Chapter 2 we find Peter laying out some instructions for the believer and what we need to do as believers. He does this because as sinners we have been called out of the darkness of this world and our tendencies are to fall back into that dark lifestyle… our lifestyle MUST change as believers, and that is my first point this evening…
1. Because we are saved we must change…(v.1)
1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking…
For us to be saved… that is God’s choice, but for us to live a saved life and a life worthy of the calling to which you were called… that is OUR choice! We must CHOOSE to live holy and set apart lives.
We must understand that Peter’s desire here is that we grow and mature in our walk with Christ and in doing so we will become great witnesses for Christ in this world! And it is here in v.1 that Peter teaches us that we are to lay aside or set aside things that are going to hinder our witness for Christ and our walk with Christ.
For us to be the healthy believers we need to be for Christ, we must make the volitional choice… in other words it has to come from our own heart and mind… we have to make the choice to willingly turn away from anything that can and will poison our walk with Christ!
In this particular verse we find Peter giving several examples of what we need to turn away from... the first is malice or anger that leads to violence, hate or evil toward others or toward God.
Now understand that Peter is NOT saying here that we cannot be angry, but that our anger cannot burn so brightly that it blinds us to living as Christ has called us to live.
A believer with malice in his or her heart is NOT focusing on Christ and is certainly not walking worthy of the calling of Christ Jesus. Anger in our hearts can open up wounds and when we do not treat those wounds properly, they begin to fester with malicious, hatred on our part.
And when malice enters the heart of the believer our spiritual health begins to suffer and when we are spiritually unhealthy, our spiritual witness goes downhill! And who is going to listen to a spiritually sick person for their eternal decisions? When we are spiritually sick it is very hard for us to witness and lead others to Christ!