Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
“But the word of the Lord endures forever. Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” 1 Pet 1:25
Spiritual success is the ultimate prosperity for a true believer.
Ever since, I met the Gospel Truth of God’s Righteousness that comprises Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection, I have learned that the real difference between a successful life and a failed life is not in the ability of the person. The secret of a successful spiritual life is not in victories or perfection but in the desire, drive and determination of the true believer.
In 1 Pet 2:1-7a, the Scripture passage emphasizes three key ingredients needed to attain our ultimate spiritual prosperity in Christ.
- The Diet vs 1-3
In this passage, Peter reckons that the spiritual diet of a believer is an integral part that defines one’s spiritual success. He points out the kind of food (traits) to be removed from our diet and what is to be embraced in order to replace those removed. Peter urges a true believer to reject wickedness, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander that is categorized as bad food. In dietary terms, these are junk food loaded with empty calories and without any nutritional value. It is obvious that each item is opposite to the nature of Christ.
We are to have a diet of unadulterated milk. Peter describes two items to describe the spiritual food that we are to feed on. One is ‘unadulterated’ which means not to dilute, pollute or weaken. The second word Peter uses is ‘milk’ associated with a baby’s diet. Our spiritual diet should build strength and fight immunities. It must be pure and nutritious Word of God. Nothing to be added to it, nothing to be taken away and it should not be adulterated. Peter wants us to reject eating junk food and to feed on the pure rich milk of God’s Word.
- The Desire vs 4-5
The desire of a true believer is equally important as the diet for spiritual prosperity in Christ. In these verses Peter moves from the internal issue of what we eat to the external area of how we built. As with food, there is something to reject and something to embrace. Peter says that we come to a Living Stone, one rejected by man but accepted by God. He tells us that when we come to the Stone, we become living stones as well, stones which are used to build a spiritual house for a holy priesthood. God uses the baptism and death of Jesus as the cornerstone of what would be the church of God.
The one thing that unifies true believers into one body is that we believe by faith in the Righteousness of God that declares how Jesus received the sins of the world from John and died on the cross for all man. To find the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we must unite with God’s Church to endure the rejection of the world, be focused on the will of God and die to our old nature. To be a great spiritual house (church) and to enjoy ultimate prosperity we have to decide who we are building our lives for and where we are building it. If we want to please the world, then we will build for money, position, prestige, comfort and ease. If we build for God, then God would lead us to line up with that One Living Stone for us to attain ultimate prosperity in Christ.
- The Destiny vs 6-7a
Peter has pointed us to success by looking inward at our diet, by looking outward to the life we are building (desire) and now he points us forward by stressing the finish line of our faith (destiny). Like earlier there is a word of rejection and acceptance here. Peter tells us that those who put their faith in Jesus as their cornerstone will not be rejected or put to shame. In fact, he says that God will honor those who honor His precious Stone. This honor or rejection will take place in the final judgment in the future. Peter is simply telling us that what we decide now will determine our honor or shame in Christ.
The ultimate decision on God’s acceptance or rejection of a person is tied to their acceptance or rejection of Jesus. It is not our works that will save us but our faith in God’s Righteousness . Dear friends, let us feed on a proper spiritual diet, desire and determine our destiny in Christ to attain ultimate prosperity.
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