1 Peter 2:1-3
Why laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, all evil speakings,…
I. CHRISTIANS ARE TO "GROW" — "grow unto salvation." This implies present immaturity — that they have not yet reached "the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." Their hope is ofttimes indistinct and tremulous, even when it is not averted from its appropriate object. Their holiness is stained by innumerable defilements of the flesh and the spirit. Their fear dissolves into a carnal security or a worldly dissipation. Nor does "brotherly love continue." But if they are Christians indeed all these elements of the new creature exist at least in the germ. Growth may be slow, and, for a time, even imperceptible. Obstructed by the remaining constitutional taint of the old nature, it may be hindered also by unfavourable circumstances, by the diseases incident to childhood, or through neglect of the appropriate means of growth. But the tendency is there, and that tendency is to be fostered by Christian education.
II. THE PARTICULAR MEANS HERE SPECIFIED BY WHICH THIS GROWTH IS TO BE PROMOTED is "the sincere milk of the Word."
III. But, in order to the profitable use of even the pure milk of the Word, there are CERTAIN CONDITIONS PREREQUISITE.
1. There is, first, the necessity of spiritual life. Without it, as there can be no growth, so neither is there any desire after the means of growth,
2. If the soul is to enjoy the full benefit of the provisions of grace it must also be careful of its spiritual health, avoiding all occasions of disease, and especially maintaining a constant guard against the evil tendencies of its own constitutional taint.
3. When the soul has thus been "purified of malice and wickedness," one unfailing sign of its healthy condition is a "desire" — an earnest desire — for the nutriment of the Divine Word.
4. If we would grow by means of the Word it is important that we use the Word for that end.
IV. THE MOTIVES BY WHICH THIS EXHORTATION IS ENFORCED.
1. In this growth itself there is blessing enough to be its own motive and great reward. There are other considerations, however, suggested by the text. Observe —
2. The introductory word, "wherefore," literally "laying aside, therefore," etc., referring back to the illustrious attributes of the Word, as these had been set forth at the close of the first chapter. It had there been magnified as the Word of the Lord, as the incorruptible seed, as the living, abiding, everlasting Word. Seeing, then, says Peter, this precious Word decays not, grows not obsolete, and can as little be exhausted as it can be superseded by the word of man or of angel, what remains but that ye "follow on to know" it, "give yourselves wholly" to it, and drink deep, drink daily, drink forever of the Divine fountains. This might the rather be expected of them as —
3. In the third place, they had already experienced the regenerating power of the Word, "as newborn babes." This is not so much a comparison as a reason. If, moreover, they remember still that they are but children, what more natural than that they should be ambitious to grow?
4. And finally, as they had been made subjects of the gospel's regenerating power, so they had likewise tasted the sweetness and blessedness of its revelations. "If so be" — or if indeed, as you profess, and as I fully believe — "ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious," good, kind. You "tasted," and you are well aware that you did no more than taste, "of the heavenly gift," of that which shall be the eternal satisfaction and joy of all the redeemed. With what confidence, then, in your ready compliance may I not say, Open your mouths wide and the good Lord will fill them. Enlarge to the uttermost both your capacities and your desires, and you will still find this cup of blessing, this river of God, as full as at the first.
(J. Lillie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,