Peter wrote to the five districts of Asia Minor in his writings. And in his writings he talks about the absolute need to accept Jesus for who he is. But the world has trouble accepting Jesus and instead rejects him. What is interesting is that Peter would take his reader back to God’s promises found in the Old Testament.
Peter says that when we accept and strengthen our souls with the redeeming power of Jesus, he is now speaking of immediate ramifications of that decision. When Peter mentions the things that Christians should not do, we have to believe that these were issues in these communities. When Peter says to “rid yourselves”, it was an ongoing directive. Not something to do once, but to keep putting these things off.
Malice is an ugly word. It is a latent appetite for conflict with others. To rid ourselves of deceit means to have pure intentions and attitudes. Hypocrisy comes from a stage actor. They would wear a mask to become someone else. We are called to be genuine and who you are. Envy is a motive that is driven by jealousy. Slander is tearing someone else down by undermining the truth. This is not telling hard or difficult facts about someone, but using half-truths and lies against someone.
So after showing what shouldn’t be done, now Peter is pointing toward some characteristics Christians should have. Instead of having a appetite of malice, but instead replaced with a craving for spiritual milk. This is not the same as the critical references to milk in 1 Corinthians or . This is a positive reference meaning that we feed on that which is beneficial to our Christian growth. And once we have tasted that the Lord is good, to continue forward.
As we come to Jesus, we begin to change. We have this relationship with God that is ongoing, real, and marked by praise. Peter then references the prophetic scripture in , that when we stand on the cornerstone of Jesus, we are then being built into a spiritual home.
When we live fully in the truth of God’s promise, it hurts and frustrates even more when the world rejects Jesus. Because we understand the wonderful nature of new life. We want them to experience Jesus. But the world will stumble over Jesus as a stone in their walk. Meaning that in some sense they cannot avoid it.
When, not if, they are confronted with Jesus in their lives, they either believe he is a precious stone to become a foundation in their lives, or he becomes a stumbling block. When Peter talks about a “rock that makes them fall” it can be said that Jesus is a rock of offense. When people reject Jesus, it isn’t just something they will ignore. But they will be come angry and fight against Jesus’ message. Destiny, as mentioned by Peter, is then the eternal position a person is in per their response to Jesus.
An now that we have chosen the life giver, we now are lifted up as worthy members of God’s family. Through grace and mercy we are elevated to a position of being chosen and holy. Not because we earned it, but because we accepted the gift.
But as we interact with the world, we will experience those who will react to what they see as offensive. Some believe that an unbelief in something means that it is not true. But we can show them that truth is not what we create. It is something that exists outside of us. Some believe that they have to know and follow the rules before salvation is possible. But Jesus can show them that it is only in following him and accepting salvation as a gift. That then our hearts are changed to become a holy people.
2:1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. (ESV)
2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (ESV)
5:1 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. 3 Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”;
6 as he says also in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (ESV)
4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, (ESV)
28:1 Ah, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,
and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome with wine!
2 Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong;
like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters,
he casts down to the earth with his hand.
3 The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim
will be trodden underfoot;
4 and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
which is on the head of the rich valley,
will be like a first-ripe fig before the summer:
when someone sees it, he swallows it
as soon as it is in his hand.
5 In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory,
and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,
6 and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
7 These also reel with wine
and stagger with strong drink;
the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink,
they are swallowed by wine,
they stagger with strong drink,
they reel in vision,
they stumble in giving judgment.
8 For all tables are full of filthy vomit,
with no space left.
9 “To whom will he teach knowledge,
and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from the milk,
those taken from the breast?
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little.”
11 For by people of strange lips
and with a foreign tongue
the Lord will speak to this people,
12 to whom he has said,
“This is rest;
give rest to the weary;
and this is repose”;
yet they would not hear.
13 And the word of the Lord will be to them
precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little,
that they may go, and fall backward,
and be broken, and snared, and taken.
14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers,
who rule this people in Jerusalem!
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
and with Sheol we have an agreement,
when the overwhelming whip passes through
it will not come to us,
for we have made lies our refuge,
and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;
16 therefore thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion,
a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
17 And I will make justice the line,
and righteousness the plumb line;
and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”
18 Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through,
you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it passes through it will take you;
for morning by morning it will pass through,
by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20 For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on,
and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21 For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim;
as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused;
to do his deed—strange is his deed!
and to work his work—alien is his work!
22 Now therefore do not scoff,
lest your bonds be made strong;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
from the Lord God of hosts against the whole land.
23 Give ear, and hear my voice;
give attention, and hear my speech.
24 Does he who plows for sowing plow continually?
Does he continually open and harrow his ground?
25 When he has leveled its surface,
does he not scatter dill, sow cumin,
and put in wheat in rows
and barley in its proper place,
and emmer as the border?
26 For he is rightly instructed;
his God teaches him.
27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin,
but dill is beaten out with a stick,
and cumin with a rod.
28 Does one crush grain for bread?
No, he does not thresh it forever;
when he drives his cart wheel over it
with his horses, he does not crush it.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
he is wonderful in counsel
and excellent in wisdom. (ESV)
7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, (ESV)
9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, (ESV)