I Peter 2:1-3 says: “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”  Are you growing in your relationship with the Lord?  Just because we have been saved for 10, 20, 30, or even 50 years, does not mean that we should stop growing in our relationship with Him!  Are we closer to the Lord this year than we were last year?  Is our knowledge and love for the Word of God growing?  According to these verses, three actions should be constant in our life if we are growing.  These three verses are connected to the previous verses in I Peter chapter 1, which mainly talk about our salvation and sanctification.  The last few verses of I Peter chapter 1 tell us that we should have unfeigned love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and ends with: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.  And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”  “Wherefore”, because we are born again, we are to do these three things.  The first action is “laying aside”.  We should be laying aside all malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and evil speakings!  They are all the sins of our old nature. Romans 13:12 says: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”  Malice means “the vicious disposition and desire of our old Adamic nature, the extreme enmity of the heart, a disposition to injure others without a cause for mere personal gratification, or a spirit of revenge, unprovoked spite”.  God help us not to have malice toward one another!  Guile means “deceit, cunning, crafty with the view to deceive on purpose”.  Hypocrisy means “a false pretense; a false appearance of virtue”.

It is easy for us as believers to put on our Sunday best like a mask!  The world is full of hypocrisy, but it ought not to be in the believer!  What about envies?  It is the evil, ill feeling we have when someone else has prospered.  Envy and jealousy are twins.  How about evil speakings?  It means “to speak down or to defame, to slander”.  These things are all the opposite of brotherly love!

Next, we should desire the sincere milk of the Word of God so that we may grow in our relationship with God!  It says as “newborn babes”, we should desire it!  Babies can be messy and stinky!  They do not understand, they cry, they are hard to communicate with, and they have to be fed often!  So, the analogy is that we should desire the Word of God like a newborn baby desires milk.  With a baby, the goal is to learn to feed itself.  As a Christian, we should be able to take the Bible and feed ourselves with daily Bible reading!  Newborn Christians, do not always understand; they cannot quite get the spoon to their mouth, they need help.  Whether we need help or not, the goal is to grow in our relationship with God.  We are responsible for our own growth!

The last action is to taste.  Taste that the Lord is gracious.  If we have tasted the graciousness of the Lord, we should want to grow!  What does the phrase: “…tasted that the Lord is gracious”… mean?  It means that we have been saved.  We should naturally want to grow in the knowledge of the Lord.  We should have a longing for spiritual food.  It is sure proof that we are saved.