1. With Purity (verse 1)
2. With Passion (verse 2a)
3. With Purpose (verse 2b)
4. With Pleasure (verse 3)

One of the key things to remember in studying the Scriptures is that you are always seeking to discover the main thought of the section that you are studying. It’s always there someplace. It’s your task to try to figure it out.

You can discover this main theme in several different ways. If you are looking at a large section of Scripture, like an entire book of the Bible, you can look for themes that are repeated often. For instance, here in 1 Peter, we have seen this theme over and over again of how we ought to continue to bear up under sorrows when suffering unjustly, knowing that we have an inheritance awaiting us. Or, as I have put it, “Suffer Now, Glory Later.” This theme is all throughout the book.

If you are looking at a smaller portion of Scripture, like a chapter or paragraph, often the repetition of words brings the clue. For instance, in Ephesians, chapter 1, which all of our flocks have been looking at in recent days, we have seen the phrase, “to the praise of His glory” repeated on three different occasions. This highlights you to the fact that this might well be the main point of the chapter.

Now, if you come down to a single verse or a single sentence, often the way to find the main theme is to look for the simple sentence. That is, reduce the entire sentence down to the simple subject and the simple verb. That’s what we want to do in our text this morning, which is one long sentence. As you read the text below, try to figure out the simple sentence.

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

When you take away all modifying words, you come up with boil it all down, you can come up with the simple command: Long for the milk. The subject is the implied, "You." The verb is "long for." The direct object is "the milk." It helps a little bit to expand this sentence a little bit, “Long for the pure milk of the word.” If you have an New International Version in your laps, your version reads, “Crave pure spiritual milk.” If you have a New King James, your version reads, “Desire the pure milk of the word.” They all are communicating the main point of how we ought to have a desire for the word of God. Everything else modifies this central command.

Appropriately, I have entitled my message this morning, “Desire the Word.” This is the main command in our text. This is the burden that I want you to have on your heart as you leave this morning. God commands you to desire his word. And it’s not merely that God wants you to think favorably toward his word. It’s not that God wants for you to tolerate what the Scriptures say. He wants you to have a strong desire for His word!

The Greek word used here is epipoqew(epipothew), which often is used to describe one’s desire to be with others in their company. In writing to Timothy, Paul says, “I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy” (2 Tim. 1:3-4). To the Philippians, Paul wrote, “God is my witness, how I long for you with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:8). When Timothy returned from the Thessalonians, Paul was able to write, “Now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also [long] to see you” (1 Thess. 3:6).

I’m sure that many of you have experienced homesickness. You are off and away and you want nothing more than to see your loved ones at home. Perhaps your husband is off on a business trip. Perhaps your kids are off to college and you want to see them in the worst way. You are thinking about that day when you will finally be together once again. You are dreaming about that day You can’t wait until the day arrives that you have the opportunity to see your loved one again. This is the sort of attitude that Peter commands his listeners to have regarding the word of God. We ought to crave and desire and long for and love the Word of God, as of a loved one who is far away and soon to be coming home.

Throughout the scriptures, there are various passages in which others have expressed this same desire. "As the deer longs for the water brooks, so my soul longs after you" (Ps. 42:1). The Septuagint writers (who translated the Hebrew into Greek near the time of Christ) used this same word to translate these words in Psalm 42:1. “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day" (Ps. 119:97). “And I shall delight in Your commandments, which I love!” (Psalm 119:47). “I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Your commandments” (Psalm 119:131). “I long for Your precepts" (Psalm 119:40). Job gave the testimony, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). (See also Psalm 19:10).

These sorts of attitudes are what Peter is calling us to have regarding the Scriptures. That's what he means by "the pure milk of the word." The Scriptures ought to be our desire and delight. We ought to crave them and love them and pursue them.

Peter calls us to be like Pavlov’s dog. I trust that you remember how Pavlov carried on experiments with his dogs. He found that he could induce his dogs to salivate merely by ringing a bell, which signified that dinner was coming. When we have an opportunity to learn from God’s word, we ought find ourselves salivating in anticipation of the feast that will soon be set before us.

Peter calls us to be like Erasmus, who said, “When I get a little money, I will buy books , and if any is left, then I buy food.” We ought to turn our resources toward the Word of God. If we have money. If we have time. If we have resources. Our heart’s desire ought to be for the word.

In our text this morning, Peter gives us four ways in which we are to desire the word. Here’s the first way. Desire the word, ...

1. With Purity (verse 1)

“Therefore,” looking back to the word that was preached to you and that you received, “putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, ... long for the pure milk of the word.”

Peter lists out here five sins that he instructs us to put off in our pursuit of the word. It’s really easy to understand why he would say these things. Because, there is a way in which sin in our lives will keep us from the word of God.

Picture yourself in front of your favorite meal. Perhaps you like steak and potatoes. Perhaps you like Chinese food. Perhaps you like Mexican food. Whatever it is, picture yourself, like Pavlov's dog, salivating before your meal. Now imagine that someone comes along with a fist full of sand. He sprinkles the entire load of sand upon your food. What has happened to your desire for the meal set before you? Suddenly, it has disappeared. I don’t care how much you like your meal, with sand coating the top if it, you aren’t going to want to eat it, because the sand would filter down and coat the entire plate of food.

This is the same effect that sin has upon your desire for the word of God. If there is sin in your life, you won’t have an appetite for the word. You just won’t. Throughout the Bible, you don’t see wicked people who love God’s word. On the contrary, it’s always the righteous, who are following the ways of God, who have a desire and delight for the ways of God as detailed in His word.

For instance, ...

- “Those who follow after wickedness ... are far from Your law" (Psalm 119:150).
- “Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek Your statutes" (Psalm 119:155).
“The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 10:4).
“Fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7).

The reverse is true as well. Should you have an appetite for the word of God, you will be helped in your battle against sin. Time after time in the opening chapters of Proverbs, Solomon repeatedly tells his son to remember his words and to keep his commandments, because, they will help keep him from enticing sinners (1:10) and evil men (2:12) and adulteress women (7:5). “My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, ... Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course” (Prov. 2:1, 9). The Psalmist said, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You" (Psalm 119:11). The Word deep within the soul helps to keep the believer from sin.

In the front of John Bunyan’s Bible, he wrote the following truism, “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.” Peter knew this. As he counsels his readers to long for the pure milk of the word, he first counsels them away from sin. Peter says, “The first way in which you are to desire the word is in purity.” Put aside all malice. Put aside all deceit. Put aside hypocrisy. Put aside envy. Put aside all slander. Don’t walk in these ways. Let’s spend a few moments thinking about each of these sins.

a. Malice. This is talking about general wickedness or badness. In this way, this first term serves as a sort of umbrella which covers all of the sins listed below. In chapter 2, verse 16, it’s translated as “evil," when Peter said, “Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil.” Peter says, “Put away all forms of wickedness and evil.”

b. Deceit - This word has its focus upon evil, crafty scheming and planning. The idea of deception is at its root meaning. It describes one who speaks with an ulterior motive, like the false apostles in Corinth who disguise themselves as apostles to gain an advantage (2 Co. 11:13). When the religious leaders gathered together to destroy Jesus, “they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth [or, by deceit] and kill Him” (Matt. 26:4). Peter says, “Put away all crafty, deceitful, scheming plans. Be open and honest and truthful, as Jesus was.” Peter mentions later in verse 22 how Jesus “committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” Follow His example.

c. Hypocrisy - We looked at this word two weeks ago (in 1:22). This word also has the idea of deception at is root. But, rather than trying to deceive others to trap them in wickedness, this word gets at the idea of deceiving others as to your true self. The hypocrite says one thing, but does another (Matt. 23:3). The hypocrite will take great efforts to look good on the outside, knowing full well that he’s not that way on the inside (Matt. 23:25). It’s easy to see why hypocrisy would lead us away from the word of God. The last thing that a hypocrite wants is for someone to know his secret life. It’s his goal in life to hide his true self. But, God’s word pierces us deep into our hearts. It exposes our true self. Peter says, “Do you want to desire the word of God? Then pretend no longer.”

d. Envy - This term describes your resentment of another person because of what they have, which you wished that you had. Envy can manifest itself is many different ways. You may see it in jealousy in what others have. You may see it in coveting what others have. You may see it in stealing from others so that you can have. You may see it in your sin against others to deprive them of the happiness that you wish that you had yourself. You will definitely see it in your lack of love toward those who have what you want. All of these sorts of things come from envy.

e. Slander - Literally, this word means “to speak down.” Rather than building others up (1 Thess. 5:11), this word describes the process of bringing others down with your words. It means speaking badly of others, and often unfairly. Peter uses it in chapter 2, verse 12 in which the Gentiles “slander you as evil doers,” when, in fact, you are doing righteousness. In this way, they are unfairly speaking badly of you.

Well, there they are, five sins that will hinder your pursuit of the word of God. Isn’t it interesting to note that all of these sins have to do with other people. It’s not merely sin that you commit against God that will hinder you from the Bible. Rather, it’s sin against others that will hinder your desire for the Bible. Do you want to desire the word? Then live with purity. Avoid sin.

Desire the word, ...
2. With Passion (verse 2a)

This comes from the beginning of verse 2, “like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word.” When it comes to the word of God, you ought to desire it with passion, like a baby longs for milk!

Many (if not all) of us have witnessed this. We have heard the cries of the infant, desiring milk. We have seen the infant, red in the face because of being worked up in desiring milk!

Recently in the Brandon household, we have experienced this firsthand. Less than six months ago, we welcomed our fifth child into our home. And so, for these past months, we have been experiencing the metaphor that Peter uses. If any of you have seen our baby, David, you know that he loves to eat. In fact, there have been times that I have affectionately called him, “chunky” because of how round he is getting.

Over these months, my wife and I have noticed a few things regarding his desire for the pure milk. I want to share them with you, because you can take almost every observation that we made and can carry it over almost directly over to the way in which all of us ought to desire the pure milk of the word.

a. Milk is the sufficient nourishment for David. It’s an amazing thing that all that David has eaten for the first four months of his life was milk. And yet, contained in the milk was all of the needed nutrients to grow his skin and his hair and his eyes and his blood vessels and his bones. And in the case of David, the milk he drinks contains enough fat to make him a bit chubby. It is the same with the word of God. In the Scriptures, you will find all the nourishment that you need to grow spiritually. "The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple" (Psalm 19:7) It’s all that you need for the growth of your soul, as it directs you to God.

b. When David eats, he really eats. He often gulps down his milk, with gulps so loud that all in the room can clearly hear him. This takes place especially as he begins to eat on an empty stomach. There are times that he is so hungry that during his first few minutes of eating, you would think that he’s been told that he has to be finished eating in five minutes. It is the same with the word of God. “I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Your commandments" (Psalm 119:131). We ought to consume the word of God. Here on Sunday mornings, you ought to be attentive. At home, you ought to scour through your Bible. In your thoughts, you ought to be constantly meditating upon the truth found in the Scriptures.

c. Milk is the only thing that will satisfy David. As an infant, he’s not capable of eating pork chops or green beans or even crackers. He wants his milk. Until he gets it, he won’t be satisfied. It is the same with the word of God. You can saturate your daily experience with all sorts of Christian activity, but ultimately, it’s only the Scriptures that will satisfy your soul. “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces" (Psalm 119:72). It’s the word of God that satisfies the Psalmist.

d. After He has eaten, he is very happy. Whenever he finished his meal, you can visibly discern on his face a deep contentment with life. His stomach is filled. He is satisfied. All is going well. It is the same with the word of God. “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth" (Psalm 119:103). When you have tasted and filled yourself on the Word of God, you will be a satisfied soul.

e. He wants his milk frequently. Though he drinks his milk and is satisfied by it, we know that it is only a matter of time before he is going to be crying again for some more. In his case, he eats six or seven times each day. Never is he ultimately satisfied. He always wants more and more and more and more. It is the same with the word of God. "Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous ordinances" (Psalm 119:164) The idea here is that it’s a continual thing with the Psalmist and the word of God. His day is saturated with the Bible. One dosage in the morning isn’t enough for the day.

f. David’s cries for milk are the ways that he expresses his desires. God has made him in such a way that an empty stomach gives him pain. This pain then causes him to cry. It’s not a sinful cry. Rather, it’s a cry of need! Nothing can satisfy that desire, except for his milk. It is the same with the word of God. “My soul languished for Your salvation; I wait for Your word. My eyes fail with longing for Your word" (Psalm 119:81-82).

g. The first thing that David does when he awakes is eat his milk. The last thing that David does before he goes to sleep at night is eating his milk. When David awakes in the morning, he knows that it’s time for breakfast. He’s not happy until he has his morning allotment of milk. Before David dozes off to sleep, he needs to have his fill of milk. In fact, this past Friday evening, we put him to bed, but he cried and cried. He wasn’t quite finished eating. So, Yvonne gave him some more. Finally he was content and ready for bed. Now, this isn’t necessarily how you must have it with the Bible. But, it is a good practice. This was the practice of the Psalmist. “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words" (Psalm 119:147). “At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous ordinances" (Psalm 119:62).

God’s word is the priority of the Psalmist first thing in the morning and a priority late at night. It reflects a heart the has a passion for the word of God. As Robert Murray M’Cheyne said, “Never see the face of man till you have seen His face who is our life, our all." [1]

We have seen how we need to desire the word (1) with purity (verse 1), (2) With passion (verse 2a), and now, our third point. Desire the word, ...

3. With Purpose (verse 2b)

We see this in the last half of verse 2, where we see a purpose clause, “long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” In other words, the reason for longing for the pure milk of the word is for the purpose of growing in your salvation. Literally, Peter says, “so that by it you my grow into salvation.” I believe that Peter’s is talking here about growing in maturity, ultimately until that final day when our salvation is “revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). But, let us not lose the thrust of Peter's emphasis. He didn't merely exhort us to desire the word to grow in maturity. His exhortation has every bit to do with our salvation. Our faith will culminate someday in the "salvation of our souls" (1 Peter 1:9). Until that day, we need to use the means that God has given us to grow in our faith, that we might finally rest in our salvation.

Our intake of the word of God is what helps us grow in maturity. If you see a chubby little infant, you know he has been drinking his milk. It’s obvious. You can see it. If you see a growing teenage boy, you know that he has been consuming large amounts of food. Likewise, to grow in your salvation, you need to take in constant doses of the word of God. You can’t expect any child to grow into an adult unless they constant, daily meals, over a long period of time. Likewise, to grow in your salvation, you need to constantly nourish yourselves of the word of God.

Several places in the Scriptures, people are admonished for failing to have the proper intake and application of the word of God into their lives. Paul told those in Corinth, ...

1 Corinthians 3:1-3
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

Paul speaks about how these people were still infants. They never grew up to be strong men. Instead, they were fleshly individuals, with jealousy and strife among them. Why? Because they never really took hold of the simple word they received. Instead, they continued in their sin and fleshly desires. They never grew up.

The writer to the Hebrews used the same illustration, ...

Hebrews 5:12-14
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

He says that you are not growing in the truth. You are only used to milk. You can’t handle the solid food. You haven’t made the transition from the “elementary principles of the oracles of God” to “the word of righteousness.” Their problem? They weren't growing. What did they need? They needed to take the word of God into their lives and apply it and grow in their maturity. [2]

Here is the principle: the better you eat, the better will be your growth. If you maintain a diet of potato chips and cheese puffs and Twinkies, you aren’t going to grow strong and healthy. If you attempt to live on ice-cream and candy bars, the only way that you will grow is outward, as all that sugar turns into fat. If you go for days at a time without eating, you will be anemic and week. But, a healthy, balanced diet, of all of the basic food groups will allow your body to grow strong. The more diligent your diet, the better will be your growth.

One of the keys to a strong, healthy diet is a purpose behind what you are eating. This is what Peter says. And this is my point this morning. Desire the word with a purpose.

An athlete will diligently watch his diet, so as to eat only what is healthy for him. It doesn’t have anything to do with taste. Rather, it has all to do with the purpose. He will gladly drink down a protein shake that doesn’t taste so good, if he knows that it will make him stronger. He will gladly follow a regimen of taking vitamins and supplements, if that’s what’s needed to help him run a little faster.

Why is it that children often want to have a snack before they eat their dinner? They don’t understand that such a snack, though tasty, will ultimately curb their appetite for what is really needed, a well-balanced diet. They don’t understand the purpose behind the foods that they eat. But, get them to understand the purpose, and it will go a long way in their eating habits. This is what Peter is doing. He’s giving us purpose of why we ought to intake the word of God into our souls. It’s how we grow.

Do you want to grow in your faith? Then pursue the Scriptures. Do you want to be a godly man or woman? Then long for the Bible. Do you want to see your life more and more devoted to God? Then crave the word of God.

Over the years, as I have given this advice to people, particularly men, I have heard the reply, "Well, I'm just not a reader." Thereby, they have found an excurse for not pursuing after God's word with any degree of diligence. Now, I can understand and sympathize with this difficult. But, over the years, I have seen these same people scour non-Biblical books if they were really interested in the subject. Also, I have seen people who have become readers when they understood the purpose behind it all. As Christ had opened their eyes to the glory of the gospel and through they had hardly read anything before in their lives, with an understanding that the word would grow them in their maturity, they have come to be voracious readers. Why? They understood the purpose behind their pursuits.

Would the truth be known, you would be a reader if you had strong enough reason to do so. Would the truth be known, you would eat just about anything, it you strong enough reason to do so. Children will eat their vegetables if they know that discipline is coming if they don’t. Contestants on a reality will eat the grossest thing, if the prize money is high enough. People will take their medicine if their life is at stake. The key to all of it is purpose and goal.

This came home to be a few years ago, in my acquaintance with a woman who has been struggling with “primary sclerosing cholangitis,” (PSC) the same liver disease that took Walter Payton’s life. For the past 10 years, she’s been up and down in her health. She has tried many different types of medicines to take. Early on, I remember when she was trying some organic medicines, that she was taking this green powder, which she mixed several spoonfuls into a large glass of water, which she would drink. It was called, “Blue Green Algae Superfood.” It was a totally organic food, which is sold at many health stores. Many drink this stuff to be healthy apart from any specific health concerns. [3]

At one point, I remember having the opportunity to taste this stuff. When I smelled the powder, is smelled like lawn clippings. I believe that it is merely ground up seaweed. I took a spoonful or two and mixed it into a large glass of water, which turned the water this pond-scum-green color. I could barely get one swallow down my throat, because it tasted so bad.

I’m sure that this friend of mine initially had the same response to this sort of drink, but eventually, she overcame it, because she knew that it was the “Blue Green Algae Superfood” or her life. As she began drinking this wretched stuff, she began feeling better. And soon, she even began to enjoy the taste, not because it was so particularly tasteful, but, because it represented health and life to her. At one point, she was drinking several tall glasses of the stuff each day. What allowed her the ability to guzzle this stuff down? It was the overall purpose of why she would drink it. It made her feel better. It helped to extend her life.

The word of God will do this for your soul. It will bring great blessings upon your life. As you take it in and apply it, you will grow unto salvation. This leads nicely to my last point this morning. Desire the word, ...

4. With Pleasure (verse 3)

Notice what Peter says in verse 3, “if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” I believe that Peter’s point here is that his urging us to desire the word ought not to be some painful thing for us. As I exhort you to desire the word, don't hear it as duty. Hear it as delight. We ought to find pleasure in the word.

The good news about God’s word is that it tastes like candy. God’s word isn’t chopped up seaweed, that smells like lawn clippings, that we are forced to eat. Rather, God's word is sweet, like honey. David said, “They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb” (Ps. 19:10). Jeremiah experienced this when he said, “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts” (Jer. 15:16). This is the perfect description of what Peter is describing. The word of God that you are tasting become a sweet joy, because of our relationship with the Lord. Jeremiah had experienced the call of God upon his life ("I have been called by Your name"). And thus, the words were sweet to him.

Have you experienced the kindness of the Lord in your life? What an amazing thing the gospel is. We who have rebelled against the Lord and sinned against Him with a high hand can be brought near to Him through the blood of Christ. We don’t have to pay for our sins. We don't heave to make it up or spend years in purgatory. We simply need to come to Jesus, hating our sin. And the promise of the gospel is that Jesus said, “the one who comes to Me, I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37).

What kindness is that? And then, when you realize that such words are typical of the sorts of things contained in the Scriptures, you will want to read them.

If you have tasted of God's kindness to you, then you have come to realize that God is for you and not against you. You have come to experiences the joy of knowing God. and, there is nothing that you want more than to experience more and more of His kindness, which drives you to his word. And then, as you experience Him more, you want more. This is the path of Peter's exhortation this morning.

Peter's words are like the words of Jesus, "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And he who loved Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose myself to him" (John 14:21). As we hear God's word and obey it, Jesus will love us and disclose Himself to us. As Jesus does this, we will have a greater desire to obey God's commandments. As we obey, Jesus will disclose Himself to us further, giving us more desire to obey. This is what Peter was telling us.

At this point, I hope that you can see how it is that Peter can exhort us to long for the word. I don't know whether or not it hit you as strange, but it's awfully hard to tell others to desire something. It's like telling my wife, "Honey, I want you to desire football!" Over the years, I have tried. I have said, "Yvonne, there's a game on the television, will you come and watch it with me?" To her credit, she had tried on a number of occasions, but it simply doesn't capture her attention like it does for me. It's easy to understand. I'm a football fan. So, I like football. She isn't a football fan. So, she doesn't like it.

An exhortation to desire the word may sound as strange as telling someone, "Crave green beans." We don't tell someone to have a craving for food. People either like certain foods or they don't. It's silly to tell them this. If you don't particularly like green beans, then you might say to the one exhorting you, "It's easy for you to say. You like green beans. But, I don't. It is difficult for me."

Perhaps some of you this morning may have experienced the same thing. "Desire the word??! Steve, you are a pastor, it's easy for you. But, it's different for me. This is difficult." Now, there is some truth this, as I have more time and energy to be able to be committed to the word. However, it's not an excuse. Peter's exhortation didn't come to pastors. He gave it to all Christians. We all ought to find a delight in the pure milk of the word.

So, how can you desire the word? Here's a simple piece of advice: pray for God to give you the desire. He's the only one that can give it. But, if you pray something like this, "God, I know that your word is the path to my growth in salvation. I'm finding it difficult now to have such a desire. Please help me to desire it." Surely God would answer such a prayer.

I want to close with one last comment about the context of 1 Peter. As I mentioned earlier, the theme of Peter's epistle is "suffer now, glory later." We all ought to realize that any suffering that we experience in the present life is God's plan (1 Peter 4:19) as someday we will be in a place where there is no trial and hardship. But, until that time, we all face difficulties in this life. At times the severity of these sufferings is greater and at times it is less. The best way to prepare for these trials is by devoting yourself to the word today.


This sermon was delivered to Rock Valley Bible Church on November 18, 2007 by Steve Brandon.
For more information see www.rvbc.cc.

[1] Memoir and Remains of R. M. M'Cheyne, p. 29.

[2] Notice how Peter uses the imagery of being an infant in a positive way. He’s saying that we ought to be passionately longing for the word like infants. But Paul and the writer to the Hebrews are using the imagery of being an infant in a negative way. They said that the people never grew up in their faith. So, be careful in taking metaphors from one area of Scripture and think that they need to be used in the same way in other portions of Scripture. Let each context stand on it’s own.

[3] After my message, I found that there were several families in the church who regularly drink this for their own health. In talking about these things, we had a good laugh.