1 Peter 2:1-2 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Growth is essential for all of us. We cannot remain a baby until we die for it is not normal. We may want see a baby so cute, kissable, and adorable etc., to remain as he is but, it is not what God intends him to be. Christians too must grow spiritually and morally not only physically. We must continue living a holy life. The five sins listed by Peter here are sins that destroys fellowship and distracts our ability to hear God speaking to us through the Word thereby retarding our spiritual growth. We cannot have right relationship with God if we have no right relationship with man.
I. Lay aside the five sins that destroys relationships.
A. Laying aside means to put off, to put away. It’s a call for change of attitude. I may even call it repentance from the sins listed below.
1. Malice – A desire to harm others or to see others suffer. The intent, without just cause or reason, to commit a wrongful act that will result in harm to another. Malice and maliciousness are the same thing. Malice delights in any hurt that happens to someone we do not like. You may not harm others you don’t like but you rejoice when you see them get hurt. Malice destroys fellowship. The opposite of malice is goodness, friendliness, gracious or good in character. We should not allow malice in our hearts.
2. Guile -in the sense of deceiving; fraud, subtilly, treachery. The word “guile” ordinarily has to do with deception in a sinful sense. Genesis uses this word for Jacob’s deceit and trickery to get his brother’s birth right (Gen. 27:35). John 1:47 uses “guile” differently in Nathaniel. This means that he was not two faced but was an honest man. The new reality of life in Christ means that we be guileless as to what is evil (Rom. 16:19). In love we may now overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21). If evil is a force that disrupts fellowship, the love that comes from Christ makes true fellowship possible again.
3. Hypocrisies – a hypocrite is a pretender; a false professor; one who hides his true identity. The Greek word hypokrites refers to a play actor who wore a mask to represent an identity other than his own. Hypocrisies is plural and covers all sorts of hypocrisies. In matters of religion, it is counterfeit godliness. In relationship, it is counterfeit friendship, an enemy who pretend to be a friend. A hypocrite is afraid to show who he really is. He cannot take criticism that is why he wears a mask. He is a double person, natural and artificial. He is the opposite of a courageous person. The Lord Jesus Christ was the opposite of all hypocrites. His life is open to all. He is beyond reproach. God wants us to be ourselves, an open book. Biblical examples of hypocrites are the Pharisees, Judas, and Ananias and Sapphira, who pretended to be generous but in reality not.
Illustration: Adolph Hitler
He made free use of Christian vocabulary. He talked about the blessing of the Almighty and the Christian confessions which would become the pillars of the new government. He assumed the earnestness of a man weighed down by historic responsibility. He handed out pious stories to the press, especially to the church papers. He showed his tattered Bible and declared that he drew the
strength for his great work from it as scores of pious people welcomed him as a man sent from God. Indeed, Adolf Hitler was a master of outward religiosity—with no inward reality!
4. Envies – envy is a feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another. To feel resentful or painful desire for another’s advantages or possessions. Envy is in plural sense since there are many types of envy. There are envies towards people, status symbol, material things, etc. The author of a fourteenth-century preacher’s manual wrote that envy was “the most precious daughter of the devil because it follows his footsteps by hindering good and promoting evil.” The author might have added that Envy has a sister named Malice, and the two usually work together (Titus 3:3; 1 Peter 2:1). Envy causes inward pain when we see others succeed, and malice produces inward satisfaction when we see others fail. Envy and malice usually generate slander and unwarranted criticism; and when these two sins hide behind the veil of religious zeal and self-righteousness, the poison they produce is even more deadly. Envy is the enemy of satisfaction and contentment. Time spent in worry about the superior status or accomplishment of others is time wasted and encourages dissatisfaction. The Word of God says that God is faithful. If He is, why worry about what others have?
Illustration: Jealousy .vs. Envy
There is a distinction between jealousy and envy. To envy is to want something which belongs to another person. “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house, his wife or his servant, his ox or donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” In contrast, jealousy is the fear that something which we possess will be taken away by another person. Although jealousy can apply to our jobs, our possessions, or our reputations, the word more often refers to anxiety which comes when we are afraid that the affections of a loved one might be lost to a rival. We fear that our mates, or perhaps our children, will be lured away by some other person who, when compared to us, seems to be more attractive, capable and successful.
5. All evil speaking – slander, defamation, backbiting, to speak against. The Bible tell us not to speak evil in the book of James. James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. We should not hurt the reputation of others by words. All evil is in plural again. There are many different kinds of slander and gossip. It may take the form of blasphemy, profanity, bearing false witness, passing on something that is not true or would be better left unsaid. God does not want us to gossip, backbite, defame, or speak against other people
None of these should have any place in those who are born again. Rather, in obedience to the Word, believers are to lay it all aside, just like taking off a dirty clothes and putting on a new one after taking a bath.
II. Desire the pure milk of the Word
A. As babies need milk for food to begin physical growth, so babies in Christ needs pure spiritual milk if they are to grow spiritually.
B. This can only be obtained from God’s Word.
C. There are so many Bible version which claim to be God’s written Word, but only the King James Version is the most accurate translation of the preserved Word of God.
D. We are all born again through the Word (1 Pet. 1:23), and must grow through the Word.
E. As we grow however, we must soon begin to partake the “strong meat’ of the “word of righteousness” (Heb. 5:12-14)
Now that you are born again, you should lay aside the five sins mentioned here by Peter. Do you want to grow spiritually? Then read your Bible, not just any Bible but only the King James Version. Read it, meditate on it, and be blessed by it.