Have you heard parents speaking to their children, “Grow up boy, Grow up girl.” What parents are meaning is that they want their children to behave for their age. They want their children to grow up. God also desires his children to grow up. The scripture tells its readers to grow up. In 1 Peter 2, Peter is asking the believers at Rome to grow up.
1 Peter 2:1-3 1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Peter starts with the word “therefore.” This refers to what was said in chapter 1.
So what was said before: 1 Peter 1:22-23 22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
See the two words: You have been born again by the word of God, so you need to love one another deeply. Because of that you are to rid yourselves of all attitudes and habits that are harmful to others. Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Now rid yourselves off or put off is a command. You have to put away these evil practices that do not conform to your new way of life. Since you are already made new creation, and you are been born again, be what you are called to be. Peter says grow up.
Christians are to put off or get rid of wrongful practices.
Romans 13:12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Genuine transformation will lead to loving one another. And genuine love leads to putting off all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander which hurts interpersonal relationships.
Evil That Harm Others
Malice is intention to do harm to others. It is when you ponder or premeditate over doing evil to somebody.
Deceit is trickery or falsehood. Jacob is an example for deceit.
Hypocrisy is pretending to be what you are not. This is is an outward show without an inward reality. It is used to refer to an actor on a stage who masks his real identity and assumes a role, who plays a part that isn’t the truth about his life. The Pharisees are examples of hypocrites. Luke 12:1 ..Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
Envy is jealousy. Solomon said in Proverbs 14:30 Envy rots the bones. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. See the harm it created: stripped him of his clothes, put him in an empty well, and sold Joseph to Egyptian merchants.
Slander is to harms a person’s reputation, bearing false witness against someone. Remember when Ahab could not get the vineyard of Naboth, Jezebel his wife planned the murder of Naboth by slander.
These sins aim at harming other people, while love seek the good of others.
Now see what Peter says: 1 Peter 2:1-3 1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Long For Spiritual Milk To Grow Up
It does not mean that these believers are new Christians. These believers are probably 30 plus years into their faith by no. Long for spiritual milk talks about eagerly desire for nourishment, growth.
What is this pure spiritual milk? It is the written word of God. The Scripture.
The word of God has been just mentioned in the previous sentences. 1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Peter 1:25 but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word that was preached to you.
What Does The Word Of God Do To Us?
The Word Of God Generates Life.
The word of God is life generating. We were born again by the living word of God.
The Word Of God Sustains Life.
The word of God is capable of nourishing and sustaining life.
The Word Of God Leads To Growth.
The word of God leads to maturity and growth in our Christian life.
Peter says, the word of God gave you the new birth, now long for that word of God by which you can sustain your spiritual life.
1 Peter 2:3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Listen, you consume the milk of God’s word and thereby you can taste that the Lord is good. The word of God is the very nature of God. Our Lord’s character is revealed in his word. So when one reads God’s word, one really tastes God.
Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
What Happens When You Taste The Milk? You Grow Up In Salvation.
1 Peter 1:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.
We are already saved. But for Peter salvation is also a future reality.
1 Peter 1:5 …. coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:9 …for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Salvation for Peter is also a future reality. So he is telling that we are being saved and there will be a future salvation, so for that we need to grow up by the pure word of God.
In conclusion, Christian life has to have growth. Growth happens when we read God’s word which enables us to love God and love people. We will put off things that will hinder our love to people.
Christian life is an organic growth of a believer from his new birth experience until the return of Christ. I believe we will continue to grow up even after the return of Christ because God is infinite and no one can reach God likeness.
Application Points | Grow UP:
1. Genuine Transformation Will Lead To Loving One Another.
2. Put Off Everything That Hinders Our Brotherly Love.
3. Crave God’s Word.
4. Grow Up In Your Salvation.