“Love for and delight in God’s Word always marks the truly saved.”
– John MacArthur
Does a love for and a delight in God’s Word describe your view of Scripture?
John 8:31-32 – So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Job 23:12- I have not departed from the
commandment of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his
mouth more than my portion of
Jeremiah 15:16 – Your words were found, and I ate them,
and your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart,
For I am called by your name,
O Lord, God of hosts
Peter in his first letter desired that the saints to whom he was writing would have this same type of desire for God’s Word as we see in the above passages. He writes,
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
So (therefore) put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
1 Peter 1:22-2:3
Peter commands his audience to long for the pure spiritual milk of the Word of God. They have purified their souls by their obedience to the truth resulting in a brotherly love. They have been born again through the word of God but this word is not just any word. It is imperishable. It is living and abiding. It “remains forever.” The word of God is not something that will rot or die or pass away. Again, it is living and abiding. It will not fade.
Peter goes on to say that this word that brought life, this word that is imperishable, this word that remains forever is the good news that was preached. It was the gospel. Since this word had brought life Peter says that the believers should put away (ongoing laying aside of sin) all malice—desire to harm someone else, all deceit (literally means bait)—dishonesty, hypocrisy—behavior that is not consistent with what one says he believes, envy—resentment over other’s advancement, and all slander—defamation of character. These sins are in direct contrast to the brotherly love they had already put on earlier in 1:22 and are not fitting to characterized one who has been brought to life by the word of God. The believers are to long, like a newborn infant longing for its first feeding, after the pure (undiluted, uncontaminated) word of God that provides real life-giving sustenance. They are to do this so that they may grow up to salvation. The verb here is actually passive and would read “so that it may grow you up to salvation.” It is the word of God that the Spirit of God uses to mature believers in their faith. The Word of God brings life, sustains life, and brings life to its full maturity.
Peter ends verse 3 with a bit of a question. The longing for the word of God is a natural response—if indeed one has tasted that the Lord is good. The question is meant to cause the readers to pause and ask if this is in fact true of them. The presumed answer was that they had tasted that the Lord is good and therefore they would long for the pure spiritual milk of God’s word so that they may grow up to salvation.
Friends, we must also pause and answer the same question. Have we tasted that the Lord is good? If so, do we long for God’s Word like a newborn infant longs for its first feeding. As ones who claim to have been given life through God’s Word do we continue to live by God’s Word?
By His Grace Alone,