If you do an internet search with the words, “Total Cleanse”, you will get over 31 million hits! Most of these have to do with a diet. The idea is that you repair the parts of your body that have been subject to sugars and toxins that have been found to cause disease of enormous proportions and even those which cause death. You cleanse the body according these diets and then you replace nutrients through better and healthier eating.
People do this everyday to promote a healthier lifestyle.
What would happen if you and I would also do a total spiritual cleanse?
Our study in 1 Peter actually provides such a plan!
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Remember, whenever there is a “therefore” in scripture you have to go back a few verses to find out what the “therefore” is there for!
Last week, we answered the question “How then shall we live?” The emphasis was on Living in Hope, Living is Holiness, and Living in Harmony.
Coming off of those thoughts, Peter gives us a good riddance!
Nothing like a list of stuff like this right off the bat huh?
Maybe it might be a good idea to understand exactly what it means and why we should get rid of such a list.
Malice is simply desiring harm or suffering on another that comes from a deep seated meanness.
Deceit is concealment or distortion of the truth for the purposes of misleading or cheating.
Hypocrisy is the pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs that one does not really possess.
Envy is the feeling of discontent of covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, successes, or possessions.
Slander is defamation. It is a malicious or false statement or report, typically attacking one’s character.
These are some nasty things! Peter has created quite the list here! He is telling the CHRISTIAN that we should have not have any of these things in our lives! To me this seems like the ultimate spiritual cleans for one to rid themselves of all this!
Ask God to show you if there is any of these things in you.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Look at the root of it.
Nip it in the bud!
Pray for God to remove it and replace it with the opposite, which always is a biblical principle. implies this. Jesus made the comparison of an evil spirit leaving a house. It leaves and goes around trying to find a place to rest. But in doing so, it can’t find a place to rest so it says I will just go back to the house from which I came. Jesus goes on to say that the evil spirit goes back to the house and finds that it is nice and clean and in nice order, but the rooms are empty and it invites 7 other spirits to come back and live with him! The implied principle is that there should have been something occupying that house and the party of evil spirits wouldn’t reside there.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Replace malice with KINDNESS.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
b. Replace deceit with HONESTY.
A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.
Replace deceit with HONESTY.
c. Replace HYPOCRISY with SINCERITY
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Replace envy with CONTENTEDNESS.
d. Replace envy with CONTENTMENT. Paul said in that he has learned to be content in whatever situation he is in. One translation says I have learned to be content in whatever state I am in....(Even South Carolina or Tennessee!)
e. Replace slander with PRAISE.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
2. Ask God to change your cravings.
a. God’s word has life, gives life and nourishes life!
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
b. Sometimes our spiritual cravings turn to things of this world rather than to the scripture where we can do this replacement principle I have mentioned. In doing so, we don’t permit the word of God to satisfy our appetite. It is like seeing that “HOT & NOW” sign on at Krispy Kreme. You pull in there and get you 2 doughnuts that are freshly made and a big ole thing of milk, and temporarily you feel good. But what happens afterwards? For me I get a bit sluggish and crave more and more of those things! The problem is they are fried and coated in sugar. Although God’s word has been tested in the heat and it is sweet and soothing to our souls, it is a bit different isn’t?
b. Sometimes our spiritual cravings turn to things of this world rather than to the scripture where we can do this replacement principle I have mentioned. In doing so, we don’t permit the word of God to satisfy our appetite. It is like seeing that “HOT & NOW” sign on at Krispee Kreme. You pull in there and get you 2 doughnuts that are freshly made and a big ole thing of milk, and temporarily you feel good. But what happens afterwards? For me I get a bit sluggish and crave more and more of those things! The problem is they are fried and coated in sugar. Although God’s word has been tested in the heat and it is sweet and soothing to our souls, it is a bit different isn’t?
3. Get READY. SET, then GROW!
How old are you in your faith? Are you growing in your Faith?
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
2 Peter 3:
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
I have shared with you many times the love my grandfather had for gardening. He could grow anything. The reason that he was able to do so is because he worked the soil throughout the year making sure that the right amount of nutrients and care were put into it. He planted at the right times to yield the perfect harvest.
Just like my grandfather controlled his ability to garden, you and I can do the same with our spiritual lives! We can make sure we are being fed the right nutrients. We can replace those bad things with good things. But we have to start by yielding to Christ.
Jesus said, apart from me you can do nothing.