Scripture Text: 1 Peter 1:22 – 2:3
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Main Idea: The more of God’s grace we taste here the deeper our longings grow for what’s to come.
Have you ever gotten a taste of something so good that you just had to have more of it?
This week we’ve had a taste of summer in April and it deepened my longings for the reality of summer. My dad used to say, “There are few things in life that can beat a Michigan Summer.” I agree with him. But I will say that there is absolutely nothing that can beat the glories of heaven. This got me thinking about the transition from the Winter to Summer, we call it Spring. Do you know that we live as believers in springtime? What do I mean?
Before grace entered our lives and we were rescued from our sin, we lived in a perpetual Winter. That is, we were dead spiritually. However, the grace of the gospel entered in and activated life inside of us. Not only did grace bring tastes of life, but it also brings the promise of Summer: the fullness of eternal life. The death of winter, what we know as sin in the old us (B.G. – Before Grace), is being done away with inside of us. We have now tasted what’s to come through the grace of God in our salvation (A.G. – Active Grace).
We do not yet fully taste the summers of heaven, but we are getting a taste of them just like we got a taste of summer this past week. Grace is working, both the death of the old man in us, and the life of the glories of the new man that God is working in us. And we long for the appearing of our Savior, so that we will embrace the fullness of life in the presence of God. That is the grace of eternity.
In 1 Peter 1 we see the depths and riches of God’s grace to us. I see them as the beginnings of the tastes of God’s grace to us. God graciously initiates the new spiritual birth that He generated in our hearts through faith in Christ (1:3); provides for us an inheritance kept in heaven for us, of which we get a taste of now through the presence of the Spirit of God living within us (4); guards us and our faith in these dark and turbulent days, assuring us that He graciously keeps us til the day when we will receive the fullness of our salvation (5).
I. The taste of grace has brought to life within us expressions of genuine love (22-25a).
Genuinely loving each other cannot be based on our feelings toward each other because our feelings won’t always mesh with this command. Some of us have a hard time getting along; yes, even in the family of God. The command to genuinely love one another always, is not rooted in our fickle feelings.
Root #1: This genuine love is rooted in our same faith (22).
Root #2: This genuine love is rooted in the imperishable seed by which we’ve been born again (23-25a).
Love is a fruit produced from the taste of God’s gracious rescuing work that has taken place in the believer. Love is a choice that requires that we bring our feelings and emotions in line with who we know and what we know. This is the churches predominant witness to the world: how we love one another.
II. The taste of grace has brought to life within us deep longings for the Word of God (25b-2:3).
If we are to grow in the graces of our salvation then we must feed our longings for spiritual milk of the Word of God. Grace has produced the longing for the Word and by God’s grace we must feed the longings. The same grace that saves us also sanctifies us.
• Question 1: How do we nurture this longing for the Word of God so that the longing deepens?
“Like newborn infants…”
• Question 2: Why do we nurture this longing for the Word of God?
“That you may grow up into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
Grace through the gospel has brought life to these new longings to grow in the Lord and to love our brothers and sisters. Infants aren’t taught to crave milk. They long for it naturally. Genuine believers don’t have to be taught these cravings of loving community and growth in the Word of God. They long for it supernaturally, but we must feed these desires.
Walk the Word: Application Questions:
• What is your spiritual appetite like for the Word of God? Are you reading/meditating/memorizing God’s Word regularly in your life?
• What areas of your “old man” (Before Grace self) might be serving to stunt your spiritual appetite for God’s Word? Are you given to any of the maladies Peter mentions in 2:1 (malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander)? Which one(s) might require repentance?
• Consider forming a battle plan to starve whatever is stunting your spiritual growth and feeding on the Word of God daily through reading, memorizing, and meditating on scripture (Active Grace self).
• Do you have strained relationships with brothers/sisters in Christ? As you feed on the Bible spend time daily reflecting on the love of God towards you even when you were ungodly, sinning, and an enemy of His. Pray regularly to ask God to help you to choose love. Give thanks for His love for you and for those you’re struggling to love. Pray for those you’re struggling to love regularly.
For Gospel meditations get the book “50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die” by John Piper. Here’s a link to a free download: https://www.desiringgod.org/books/fifty-reasons-why-jesus-came-to-die
• Consider what it would look like to have a loving conversation with that one you’re struggling to love. Have you truly done all that you can to live at peace with that person? Be courageous and seek to extend grace and seek grace from that person.
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