February 28, 2024

1 Peter 2:1–3
1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Having accepted Christ as our Savior also means accepting Him as the Lord of our lives. If one joins the military, one of the first things he or she does is to exchange their clothing from civilian to military. When we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord, we have joined the army of God. We remove the things of our lives that are not of God and put on the clothing, uniform, of Christ.

Anything that defiles us as believers is to be removed. We no longer serve the things of this world. We now stand with Christ AND His followers. We do not stand alone but as one unit working together. Along with this we love one another. (And yes, not all are loveable, but we are to love.)

Anything that defiles us as believers, followers of Christ must be removed.

What do we need to rid ourselves of so we can live for Christ? We first must choose to love each other; love is a choice not a feeling. We are to love one another with a pure heart. This comes from God. Anything that would dirty our love for others must be stripped off.

We must strip off malice. Any wickedness and all kinds and forms of evil must be removed. We no longer live for the world but for Christ.

We must strip off anything that would be deceitful. Christians are not to be two-faced. We cannot live for Christ in the church and the devil outside the church. We do not deceive or mislead others. We speak the truth of God in love.

We must strip off all hypocrisy. We do not pretend to be Christian. We do not put on a show of Christianity. We are Christian. The world can see through a false Christian faith. We cannot pretend love. If we do not love God, then we cannot truly love His church.

We must strip off envy. We cannot covet what another person has. Envy can lead us to wish the other person did not have what he does because we do not have it. Envy does not wish the best for others but for ourselves only.
We must put away evil speaking. We stop criticizing, judging, backbiting, gossip, and condemnation. We do not talk about and tear down other people. We do not talk about other people behind their backs. Jesus said in Matthew 7:5 “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Being a part of God’s church, His army, is more than just going to church every now and then. It is a lifestyle change. We live Christ because we love Him. We are the Bride of Christ. He becomes our life. We desire Him to be our life. It ain’t boring. It is exciting being a faithful member of the Army of God.