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Seven Critical Challenges for Living in This World (A Study of I Peter 2): Good Riddance!

Some of you are aware that I’ve been engaged in a daily Bible reading program with my friend Frank in New Jersey for a couple of years or so. We choose a book of the Bible and read the same chapter each day for a week — then move on to the next chapter after that. Our procedure is quite simple and is explained here.

Well, I’ve started a small group of four men who are doing this kind of daily Bible reading and we’ve worked our way through Philippians and I Timothy, and are now going through I Peter. We drop each other a short email on Sunday about something we’ve learned in our reading together.

In reading through I Peter 2, I believe there are seven critical challenges that Peter gives us that are particularly relevant for us right now in our world. Here’s the first —

Of course, a proper understanding of this verse should take us back to I Peter 1 and all that the Apostle says there. His use of “therefore” builds on such powerful truths as: we have been born again (v. 3), we have an inheritance waiting for us (v. 4), we have a faith of greater worth than gold (v. 7), we possess an inexpressible and glorious joy in knowing Christ (v. 8), we have every reason to pursue holiness (vv. 13-16), we are to purify ourselves by obeying the truth (v. 22), etc.

In light of all that, we are to do some house-cleaning! We are to “rid ourselves” of certain specific sins: malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Got any of those? No? Then I guess this first challenge doesn’t relate to you.

Today’s Challenge: Take a cold, hard look at yourself this morning and ask, “Where do I find evidence of these five filthy sins in my life?” Follow with a second question: “How do I get rid of them?”

 

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2021 in I Peter 2

 

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Colossal Truths from the Letter to the Colossians! GET BUSY GETTING GODLY! (Part 3)

We continue our study in Colossians 3 about how we should get busy getting godly. Let’s look at the second two challenges in this passage:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

In his book No More Mr. Nice Guy, Stephen Brown makes the point that “God don’t make no wimps!” God does not want us to be wimpy when it comes to growth in the Christian life.

In verses 5 and 8 of our passage this morning we are told to (1) put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature, and (2) rid yourselves of all such things as anger, etc. These are active, almost violent images of execution and extermination!

First we are to put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature. And Paul gives us a list so we are not left in the dark: five specific sins are mentioned — sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed. We are to execute these! And Paul adds for good measure that greed is idolatry!

Second we are to rid ourselves of certain other sins. And he gives us a list so we are not unclear: five specific sins are given — anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language (v. 8).

Do most Christians naturally think of the Christian life as involving EXECUTION and EXTERMINATION? I don’t think so. We set out on a path of simply being nice. And that’s no way to deal with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language!

The challenge today? Pick one of those nasty ten — and consciously ask God to help you KILL IT! Ask the Lord to help you SQUASH IT like that cockroach you discover under your kitchen sink! Don’t hesitate! Stomp it to death!

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2019 in christian life

 

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Why Believe? (Part 1)

I met my Canadian friend John FirefoxScreenSnapz072while playing online chess.  I have a number of games going — and I lose most of them — but it’s a great way to meet new people.  Occasionally, I get to share a bit of the Good News about Jesus with them.

This is not John’s picture to the right.  But he is a gentleman in his 80’s and comments regularly on my blog.  (You can read his comments if you wish — they are found at the end of several of my blog posts).

John argues against the Christian idea of God, what the Bible has to say about salvation, and, essentially, why we should be religious at all.

Recently John wrote: “In your first reply you stated that we are all sinners and therefore we need a Savior. This has been said so often by so many people nobody seems to question this any more. Is this not also along the line of selfishly trying to make our guilt to be carried by someone else? Shouldn’t we rather be thought that our actions (sins ??) are our own and take responsibility for them, regardless of possible punishments ? Wouldn’t you agree that humanity would be better off with this kind of thinking?”

How would you answer John?  (I’ll post my response in a few days).

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2013 in online chess

 

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