Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Peter 1:23 - 2:3 "The Living and Abiding Word of God Pt. 2"

Summary: According to our text, there are two characteristics which mark every follower of Christ, namely love for one another and desire for the Word of God. Interestingly, these are the two commands in the text as well. We are to love one another fervently from the heart, and we are commanded to long for the pure milk of the Word. On the basis of what? “For you have been born again…through the living and abiding Word of God.”



1. A. In 1 Peter 1:22 we have an active imperative in the Greek, (command) to love one another, and to do it fervently from the heart. Why is this so hard for us left to ourselves?



B. Notice verse 22 from the beginning. What kind of people are characterized by “a sincere love” without hypocrisy? How is this related to the “For” in verse 23? John 1:12-13, 3:3-8



C. On both sides, before and after the command to love fervently is the assurance that we who are born again now have this capability; it only comes from the transforming power of the Word of God. Is this what your lifestyle demonstrates? John 13:34-35, I John 2:9-11, 3:10-11, 4:7-8



2. A. Peter himself, so captured by the Word, describes it further in what fashion? 1 Peter 1:24-25



B. Everything is so temporary, is it not? But not the living and abiding Word of God. “THE WORD OF THE LORD ABIDES FOREVER.” Please explain the relationship of this with, “and THIS is the Word that was preached to you.” Acts 4:29-31, II Corinthians 3:12, Ephesians 6:19-20



C. It is no accident that the word “preached” means to proclaim with power, not to suggest. Men and women, if the Word of the Lord is that solid, that permanent, that trustworthy, then our proclamation of HIM must be solid as well. These are not the fickle suggestions of man; they are the resolute, never changing utterances of God. Do you have a calm, settled authority regarding the Word of God? Acts 4:8-13, II Timothy 1:6-12



3. A. “Therefore” on the basis of having been born again transformed by this living and abiding Word of God, we are to put aside five things which demonstrate the opposite of Christian love. What are they? I Peter 2:1



B. It is not enough to just NOT do these things; we must replace them with something else. What is that something else? I Peter 2:2



C. Is there ever a time in which we stop growing “in respect to salvation?” Then why do some of us act as if we don’t need this “pure milk of the Word” anymore? No wonder this is another active imperative in the Greek, (a direct and permanent command) to deal with our spiritual pride that demands the “meat of the Scriptures.” Real wisdom recognizes that we never outgrow the basics of the Christian faith. We never outgrow our dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, growing in that dependence upon Him is one of the greatest life long projects we ever have to face. And in our maturity, we are commanded to “long for the pure milk of the Word” with the intensity of “newborn babes,” not necessarily because we are “newborn babes.” It was at the pinnacle of his ministry when John the Baptist said, “He must increase, I must decrease.”
Should that not be the daily yearning in each of our hearts, to likewise live in dependence upon Him, that is, longing, longing, longing for this pure milk of the Word? John 15:4-5 Any and all kinds of learning can give you education. But only the Word of God will give you transformation. Life is short; start longing! Psalm 119:9-32

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