God’s chosen scatterlings desire His Word

1 Peter 2:1-3 – God’s chosen scatterlings desire His Word, by Rev. Colin Pretorius.

How important is the Bible to you? As Christians we believe that it is the Word of God, don’t we, but how important is it really to us? How much time do we spend in it? How much time have you spent in it in the past week? The past month?  Last year Lifeway Research did a study amongst regular churchgoers asking them these questions, and the answer was quite disappointing. One would have expected people who attend church – protestant people at that! – to place a huge importance on spending time in God’s Word – and not just quality time but also quantity time. But about 12% of those surveyed said they rarely if ever read the Bible – and remember these were churchgoers, folks, not just a bunch of “randoms” on the street. A further 16% read the Bible once or a couple of times a month, with 12% reading it once a week.[1] That means that 4 out of 10 people who view themselves as Christians open their Bibles once or less than once a week! What a tragedy that is! If the Bible is God’s Word, if it is the inspired Word of God, if it is the way God speaks to us, if it is useful for teaching us, correcting us, rebuking us and training us in righteousness, if it matures us in our faith, if it is the Word of life and the wellspring of all wisdom, then how can so many Bible-believing people see it fit to spend so little time with God in His Word! Where do they find spiritual nourishment? And it is about the im­port­ance of God’s Word for spiritual nourishment and sanctification that Peter speaks to the scattered believers in our passage this morning.

We’ve seen over the past weeks how Peter instructs these scatterlings about what Christian living looks like. He’s reminded them that they have been chosen by God – they are God’s elect, even if they’re living as strangers and aliens in a foreign land. He’s reminded them of how blessed they are despite their circumstances. Not only are they blessed because of God’s election, they’re also blessed with His amazing grace, new birth in Christ and the sure hope of salvation and eternal life – to name just a few. As we saw two weeks ago, their – and our – election should flow out into lives of joyful hope and obedience to God. Living for Jesus in this way is a picture of our sacrificial love for Jesus and also for our neighbours  –the type of love that caused Jesus to come to die for us on that old rugged cross. This is the context against which today’s passage is set. It is against this context that Peter says[2]

So 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] Aaron Earls, Few Protestant Churchgoers Read the Bible Daily. Lifeway Research, lifewayresearch.com, 2019-07-02. Cited 2020-08-26.

[2] 1 Peter 2:1-3.