Ephesians; 1:4 - Election of church age believer, part 18.
3g. The elect are royal priests in the kingdom of God.
Peter opens his letter with the inheritance of the believer, and that though the believer is distressed with various trials, he rejoices over his secure inheritance in Christ because he has faith.
He then admonishes them to live in a holy manner and to love the brethren fervently, reminding them, that they are new creatures, born again of an imperishable seed.
1PE 2:1 Therefore, putting aside all malice [kakia = wickedness] and all guile [dolon = deceit] and hypocrisy and envy and all slander [evil speaking],
One might ask, “Well, what sins should I not put aside?” One would not think that Peter had in mind that only some sins should be put out of a believer’s life, however, kakia could be a word that is descriptive of all sin, meaning wickedness or evil.
Always ask, what is the therefore there for. Peter opens his letter to the elect according to the foreknowledge of God who are living amongst many unbelievers in Asia Minor, 1:1-2.
The elect have an inheritance, which they rejoice in though they go through various trials. The elect by faith endure these trials and are delivered and their faith is strengthened. The prophets spoke of the day when every believer would have the life of the Messiah, but they didn’t know when, 1:3-12.
Because of these truths, the elect are to gird their minds for action, be obedient, and be holy. They are to love one another from the heart, 1:13-25.
1PE 2:1 Therefore, putting aside [apotithemi: to put off from oneself] all malice [kakia = wickedness] and all guile [dolon = deceit] and hypocrisy and envy and all slander [evil speaking],
The elect are to lay all sin aside from themselves (middle voice). They are elected to be holy and without blemish (EPH 1:4). If we sin, we have an Advocate with the Father (1JO 2:1).
We don’t lose any spiritual blessing if we sin. We reap what we sow, but we don’t lose our election, inheritance, adoption, redemption, etc. We are forgiven of all sin. If we sin, we are under grace, meaning we continue to have God’s favor, which may come in the form of discipline. No believer will ever become sinless, but all believers are to put all sin out of their lives, walking in a manner worthy of their calling.
1PE 2:2 like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
1PE 2:3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
Peter may have taken this usage of newborn babes from:
ISA 28:9 [The men of Ephraim were apostate]
To whom would He teach knowledge?
And to whom would He interpret the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just taken from the breast?
The meaning is to yearn for the word of God like someone who has a clean slate for learning, and is not hindered by prejudices, biases, false doctrines, and corruption. The newborn is a blank slate who can be instructed.
The newborn mindset in the believer would not mean that he goes to the word of God in order to confirm some preconceived notion. For instance, a person may have been told that the church replaced Israel, and they have believed this lie. Then they go and read the word of God trying to prove it, and they take some scriptures out of context, allegorically interpret other scriptures, and leave out other scriptures. Rather, as newborn babes, we each learn the scriptures for ourselves, and as believer, royal priests we may.
One may say that he needs a pastor teacher. He is correct, but he is not to blindly believe everything another man may say about the word. Each of us are still responsible for the truth no matter who our teachers are. Hence, Christ had to warn us about false prophets, as did Peter, John, and Paul. Each believer must have his own conviction. If I have interpreted a certain passage a certain way, you may disagree, and if it is based on the scripture and your own conviction, then you should. If you disagree with most of my interpretations of scripture, then you should choose another teacher.
On the other side, the pastor cannot fear his congregation. He also has to come to his own conclusions as a new born babe searching the scripture. Unfortunately, some pastors have included false teaching that is popular to society simply so he can bring in more people, or bring in young people, or in the hope of keeping people. Some pastors get political. One church this year put the baby Jesus in their nativity scene inside a cage so as the protest immigration policy.
The pastor and the congregation have a partnership in the love of the truth, which they are both learning together, and in love and gentleness, one or the other receives correction when needed.
It is pure milk. The word “pure” in the Greek is the same word for “guile” in vs. 1, but with the negative alpha prefixed. It is guileless milk, meaning unadulterated or not tarnished by men who have different agendas than being humble students.
How will we know false prophets? We will know them by their fruit.
1PE 2:4 And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice [chosen or elect] and precious in the sight of God,
“choice” - adjective eklekton = a chosen out one.
The Son of God was chosen, predetermined, and foreknown, and all three are accounted to every believer as well.
1PE 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Christ is a living stone and each believer is a living stone. They have His life and all believers are priests unto Him.
Peter is addressing five provinces in Asia. The spiritual house is the body of Christ made up of all believers and not any one church.
The church is seen as a living house in which each individual member is a living temple of God.
Jesus used the same verb (being built) to Peter:
MAT 16:14 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”
Jesus is the foundation and Peter is one of the first living stones which will become the pillars of the apostles. One living stone at a time, the living house that is the church is being built up.