Lesson 9—More Than Just Any Word
Scripture: 1 Peter 2:1-2
Lesson Goal: To gain a better understanding of the importance of God’s Word in our lives.
“Love for and delight in God’s Word always marks the truly saved” (MacArthur).
The true believer’s delight in God’s Word is the dominant theme of the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Chapter two of 1 Peter is about growing spiritually as a true believer. In these verses we are taught the importance of growing and maturing in our walk of faith. This chapter will help us in moving forward in our faith and growing up spiritually.
1 Peter 1:1-2—These verses flow out of the previous chapter and are connected with the word “therefore” which draws our attention back to the subject of the Word of God. Peter understood and wants his readers to understand the life changing power of the Word. True believers should exhibit and reflect this change in their daily lives. Peter wants his readers to understand their journey of life is truly a lifetime of growing.
(Verse 1) “Laying aside” follows “therefore.” As a result of “therefore,” there are some things that do not belong in the life of the child of God (the true believer). As a believer, we are to separate ourselves from these things. We are to do this by “laying aside” these things.
Greek word Apotithēmi, “lay aside, put off.” This word is used in Romans 13:12 when Paul urged the Romans to “cast off” the works of darkness. This word is also used in Acts 7:58 when they “laid down” their clothes at the feet of Saul. We are instructed that there are things in our lives that we need to “lay aside.”
➢ What does it mean to have the Word of God implanted into your heart?
➢ What are you doing to plant the Word of God in your heart?
➢ How important is it to you that the Word of God is implanted into your life?
➢ How much time did you spend reading or listening to the Word of God this past week?
Do not include time reading or listening in church. Circle the most accurate answer:
1 minute 5 minutes 10 minutes 30 minutes 60 minutes
Following the instruction to “lay aside,” Peter gives his readers instructions concerning some specific things they need to lay aside. Five things in particular are mentioned, and note, all five of these have been stated in the former passage. Peter has instructed his readers to love one another with genuine and pure hearts. Now they are instructed to “lay aside” or “put off” the things which hinder their spiritual growth. These things ultimately affect their love for one another.
In ancient Christian baptism ceremonies, those being baptized customarily took off and discarded the clothes they wore to the baptism. Following their baptisms, they put on new robes they received from the church. Exchanging clothes symbolized the salvation reality of laying aside the old life and taking up the new. Read Romans 6:3-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24.
“Malice,” not simply malice but “all” malice
The word malice has several meanings: Wickedness, all kinds and forms of evil, the holding of grudges and acting out of these grudges against others, concealed anger, unforgiving spirit, deep-seated feelings against a person, anger and hatred that last on and on.
Malice means that a person has turned his heart over to evil and it is evidenced by actions and attitudes that desire to inflict pain, harm, or injury on another person.
“Deceit,” all deceit
Deceit refers to dishonesty, to speaking or acting with ulterior motives. It speaks less than the full and complete truth. It is an attitude that hurts others for personal gain.
This word comes from a verb meaning “to answer.” Originally, a hypocrite was simply a person who answered. Later the word came to mean “to act,” as in a person who is acting out a part and literally meant one who wore a mask to hide one’s real self. Hypocrisy simply means attempting to be what you are not. Notice that Peter used the plural form of hypocrisy—the Greek word “hypokriseis,” meaning all kinds of hypocrisy.
“Envy”—a desire to have or possess what belongs to someone else (the Greek plural “envies” is used here). Envy produces a displeasure brought by the prosperity or success of others.
“All evil speaking”—slander of every kind. It specifically speaks to running others down. It deliberately assaults the character of others. It is any speech that harms another and includes criticism that boasts one’s self.
Peter instructs that none of these practices should have any place in the life of the true believer. In obedience to the Word of God, believers are to rid themselves of such attitudes and actions.
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word.
“God’s word has life, gives life and nourishes life” (Wiersbe).
Peter warned his readers to “lay aside” certain wrong actions and attitudes that would hinder their appetites, desire, and spiritual growth. Just as a newborn craves milk, the true believer should crave God’s Word.
Questions for Life Focus
Ask yourself: How is my craving for the Word of God? (If you need help answering, go back to the question at the top of page 28.)
Why do I need to read and study the Word of God? (For help, read Psalm 119:11)
Would you ask God to give you the desire to read His Word?