Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 1 Peter 2:1-3

The “putting aside” here is not gradual or incremental. You can’t drag these sins along in your Christian life and get anywhere. You can’t have shorn all but slander, let’s say. That won’t work. The characterization then will be, he’s a great guy, except for the habitual slandering he engages in. No, you need to put aside all these propensities under the power of the spirit once and for all. Yes, there will be slip ups, but as Peter was counseled by the Lord, they’ll be nothing a good “foot washing” won’t fix. Then, with these dealt with, growth can occur. You’ll not be preoccupied with extracting pounds of flesh from people, but fixated on the pure milk of the word. It’s a telltale sign when one develops an unquenchable thirst for scripture. This normally means the decks have been cleared of the detriments and distractions that the enemy uses to keep our growth stunted. Here’s the key. Once you’ve tasted the grace of God, you want it more and more. This grace is incompatible with malice, deceit, envy, etc. These are unwanted spices and ingredients in the meal God wants us to voraciously devour. His word is pure. It goes down easy and produces steady growth. The Christian life doesn’t taste right when any of these practices are present, and if they are, hypocrisy is unavoidable. Pure milk unmasks sin and produces pure people.

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for nearly 45 years and counting.
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