What is “pure” in this world? Ways of living are corrupted in various ways, there is constant friction as everyone wants to do “what is right in their own eyes” as the very last words in the Book of Judges tells us of that era. In reaction to this our opening quotation from the writings of Peter are very appropriate – as an essential counter-weight – to tip the scales in our minds towards God.
The break between chapters 1 and 2 in Peter’s 1st Epistle is unfortunate; start reading from v.24 in ch. 1 and see what a meaningful (and blunt) message Peter is making. “ ‘All flesh is like grass … the grass withers … but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And this word is the good news that was preached to you, so put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation” [-to 2 v.2]
In those days, far more than today, newborn babes had to be fed on their mother’s milk if they were to survive in a meaningful way – remember how Moses, the babe in the bulrushes survived? (Exodus 2 v.2-9)
We take in Peter’s point “the word of the Lord remains forever” – but that word is being watered right down today – often only little bits are being quoted so they can support humanistic reasoning.
We need the purity of God’s word more than ever if we are to “grow up to salvation.” Just 2 weeks ago in Hebrews we read that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword … discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” [4 v.12] Humanly speaking – it is ‘dangerous’ to read God’s word carefully!
But Peter links the word with Jesus who was “the word made flesh.” He says “you come to him as a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious” [v.4]. He then observes what at first seems remarkable, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood …” [v.5]
In v. 9 we see that believers are called “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you (we!) may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” That “light” becomes so marvelous as we feed our minds on Scripture and “grow up to salvation” that we have less and less difficulty in putting out of our minds the things of the world that once had some degree of attraction for us.
Let us all make sure we have plenty of “pure spiritual milk” every day.
By Bro D.Caudery
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