About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapters 1 to 2:3
begins this section with the word "therefore."
When you see the word "therefore" we need to know why
it's there for. So, in the
context of what Peter has been saying, this section should be understood
in that light.
just spoke about the gospel message that the prophets in Old Testament
days predicted and in New Testament days preached by men inspired by the
Holy Spirit. He said that
angels are eager to look into this gospel.
So, because of this great salvation that has now come to his
readers, Peter encourages them to have "their minds prepared for
action." Note that Peter
uses the word "minds." Our
minds are very important as Christians, despite the post modern notion of
some today that our minds are secondary to our hearts.
Education these days seems to have been replaced by experience.
The simple fact is that there is no growth in the Lord without the
proper exercise and use of our minds.
If you leave your minds out of the maturing process you will not
mature as a Christian.
translation from the Greek text for the word "mind" would be
"thinking processes." Peter
is telling his readers, and us too, to prepare the way they think for the
needed action that lies ahead of them.
As I've said, thinking is important to the Christian, especially in
this postmodern era when serious analytical thinking has been replaced
with, "just give me the quick version."
idea that we need to get ready for action needs preparation of the mind.
I think many Christians donít think in terms of getting our minds
ready for action. We think in
terms of getting our hearts ready. We
think in terms of being inspired instead of being educated.
Peter is speaking of minds here because if our minds aren't
educated towards right thinking, we will not be prepared for right action,
and the persecuted situation these people found themselves in require
action based on sound reasoning, led and inspired by the Holy Spirit.
also speaks of being self-controlled."
Charismatic and Pentecostal Christians often speak of being
"spirit controlled," and that is very important.
I grant you that, but, there is a real truth here when Peter says
that we need to be in control of ourselves.
Being self-controlled means to get your life under control.
You taking charge, with the Holy Spirit's help of course.
We donít allow other things, or circumstances to be in charge of
our lives. That's our responsibility.
translations use the word "sober" instead of self-control and
that is actually a very good word to use here.
The Greek word "nepho" is translated as
"self-controlled" or "sober" here.
It simply means "to be free from any kind of external
this is why Christians are not to get drunk because they lose control of
themselves and once you lose control you don't know what will happen.
next piece of advice is once again futuristic in nature.
As I have said before, the Bible is full of such future references,
and those who ignore them do so at their own peril.
Peter says "to set your hope fully on the grace to be
given you when Jesus is revealed."
Peter was speaking of the return of Christ when he uses the words
"being revealed." He
used these words earlier. He
is telling his readers to set their hope on this future event which is
meant to help them in their present distress due to the persecution they
are experiencing by their anti-Christ government.
When things get as bad as they were back in those days for
Christians, setting your hope in your glorious future with Jesus is
important. There's not much
more you can do if you are on death row.
says that more grace will be revealed to us when Jesus returns.
I believe this is in reference to all that we will receive when we
meet Jesus face to face. We
will be rewarded for our works based on faith, based on our trust in
Jesus. A quick reading of 1
Corinthians 3 will tell you that any work you do in the service of the
Lord, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and done out of pure motives, will
be rewarded for.
use of the word "grace" that is in the future tense once again
tells us that we have not yet experienced all of God's grace.
There is more grace to be given us and that is seen in the era of
the new heaven and earth as seen at the end of the book of Revelation, or,
as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, when once and for all Jesus conquers the
last enemy of humanity, that is death.
verse 14 Peter tells his readers not to give into the evil desires they
had when they lived in ignorance. Before
they gave their lives to Jesus they were indeed ignorant of the things of
God. They gave into sinful
desires before they met Jesus. That
is only the natural thing to do. That
should no longer be the case. Once
again, Peter says that you are not to give into these desires.
Read this carefully. These
desires are not from satan. They
are your desires. At the core
of who we are, we are evil. That
is not religiously correct these days but it is Biblically correct.
As Christians we canít say that this is all the responsibility of
the Holy Spirit. It is our
job, with help from the Holy Spirit, to turn from evil desires.
fact that Peter tells his readers, who are Christians, not to give into
evil desires clearly tells us that Christians are quite capable of giving
into evil desires. I believe
this is the message Paul is teaching in Romans 7.
Until the moment we receive our glorified bodies, like Jesus'
glorified body, we will struggle with what Paul calls our flesh, or sinful
uses the word "conform" when speaking of these evil desires.
Conform suggests conforming to a life style.
At times we may give into evil desires, but Peter says donít
conform to them; donít pattern your life after them.
Donít make a lifestyle out of them. One
real reason why Peter may have said this is because of the temptation
these people would have faced. The
carnal nature of his readers would be tempted to give into the world's
system in order to escape all the suffering from their persecutors.
the Greek verb tense to "be not conformed" is a present middle
participle, this means that we are not to be those who allow our evil
nature to have control over us. The
Greek word translated as conform here means "to copy, shape, or
pattern something after another thing."
We are to pattern our lives around Jesus, not anything else.
In verse 15 Peter simply says, "Just as He who has called you is holy, so be holy in all you do." The Greek word "hagios" is translated as "holy" here and elsewhere in the New Testament. Hagios means "to be separated apart from something in order to be separated to something else." In Christian terms it speaks of being dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ, a dedication that should be evident in the way you live. We often think of being holy as being perfectly righteous or perfectly good, but I don't think that is what is being said here. I don't believe any Christian can be perfectly good and righteous in this life, even though because of the blood of Jesus God sees us just as righteous as He Himself is righteous, even though we are far from righteous. The point Peter is making here is that as Jesus was fully dedicated to God, so we must be fully dedicated to Him. As Jesus was dedicated to do God's will so we are to be dedicated to do the will of Jesus. Perfection is a different thing altogether.
I've just said, the word "holy" means to be taken out of
something in order to be placed into something."
In Christian terms Jesus has taken us out of the world and has
planted us in His world. In
John 15:19 Jesus told His disciples that He had taken them out of the
world. He said that they no
longer belong to the world but to Him.
Therefore, since the world hated Him, the world would also hate
them. It's just a matter of
fact. As our western world
becomes more anti-Christ in nature, the words that Jesus spoke to His
disciples in John 15 will apply to us Christians.
that Peter says "be holy in all you do," not simply "be
holy." We are holy, or
dedicated, because of the blood of Jesus that has purchased us.
taken out of the world and transplanted into Jesus' world does separate us
unto Jesus. This separation should have natural consequences. Our
actions should tell the world that we are in deed the separated ones.
was raised in an Evangelical group that called itself part of the Holiness
Movement. The Holiness
Movement was a group of churches that aspired to living a holy life.
The problem though was that they did not necessarily view holiness
in terms of dedication. They
viewed holiness in terms of obeying certain church rules, humanistic type
rules, that if you obeyed these rules you would be holy.
That is not holiness. It
is humanism. Holiness is
dedicated to Jesus and living as He would have us to live as seen in good
hermeneutical Biblical fashion.
does Peter tell us to be holy in the things we do? He
answers' this in verse 16. We
are to be holy because it is written in the Old Testament to be holy
because I am holy. See
Leviticus 11:44 and 45, 19:2, and 20:7.
Leviticus 11:45 in the NIV says that the Lord God told
verse 17 we see a number of things. Peter
says that "we call on a Father who judges each man's
word "call" is translated from the Greek word "epikaleo."
This word suggests an appeal that we make to God.
We make our appeal to God who judges all men.
That includes you and I. Since
God is our judge, this makes it easy for us to understand our English word
"call" in this verse. We
appeal to God for many things because we know that He will judge us.
says here that "God will judge each man's work impartially."
Despite the fact that we might believe that God has favourites,
Peter says He doesn't. Note
that this verse is not saying that God judges each man.
It says that He judges "each man's work."
I believe Peter is speaking of the works each Christian does in this
life. I could be wrong, but I
don't think Peter is talking about God judging the work of non-Christians.
I think Peter is saying what Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 3:10
to 16. There, Paul says that
we, the Christian, will have our works judged and tested, as gold is
tested by fire. Any work that
was not done out of heart felt love for Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, will burn
up in judgment. Only the work
we do based on true faith inspired by the Holy Spirit will survive this
judgment. Those works will be
is important to know that as Christians it is our trust in Jesus that
saves us. When we stand before
Jesus at this judgment, we ourselves are not judged because we are saved.
Our names have been written in the Lamb's book of life.
What is judged is our works. We
enter heaven because of our trust in Jesus.
We are rewarded according to our works done through faith and the
Spirit of God.
then goes on to say that since our works will be judged impartially by God
our Father, you should "live your lives as strangers in reverent
fear." Peter viewed
himself as a stranger in this world. He
was a stranger because his whole way of living was so different, so
strange, than the rest of the world around him.
All first generation Christians viewed themselves as strangers or
aliens in this world, and we should do the same.
We are to view our existence as Christians as strangers in a sinful
world. We may live among the
kingdom of men, but our true citizenship is in the
also says to live our lives in "reverent fear."
There should be a sense of fear when it comes to God.
In one real sense of the word we should be afraid of God.
I believe that in most cases these days, we have downplayed fear to
mere reverence. Fear means
fear. It's a simple as that.
Fear of God, or, being afraid of Him, should make us feel like
running from Him, but once we begin to run, we realize there is no place
to run. So, in thankfulness,
we run back to Him. We fear
the one we love and we love the one we fear.
Remember, Hebrews 12:28 says that our God is a consuming fire.
If God appeared to you and I right now in His essence, we would be
afraid. There is no doubt in
my mind about that.
not sure that the average western world Christian reverences God, let
alone fears Him. We take Him
for granted way too much. We
sin, thinking everything is fine because He will forgive us in the end.
As far as I am concerned, taking God's grace for granted is one
real bad sin.
Greek word "phobos" is translated as "fear" in this
verse. This word in first
century Greek culture meant "to flee" because of dread or terror
from the one fleeing from. It
should be noted that there is no corresponding word for our English word
"reverend" that we read in the NIV.
The word "reverend fear" is the NIV translators attempt
to try to portray what they think Peter is saying.
Personally, I think the NIV softens the meaning that I believe the
Greek text might well imply.
verse 18 Peter reminds his readers that they know that they were not
redeemed by such things as silver and gold, or money.
Peter obviously did not have a lot of trust in money.
The reference to money is not the focus of the sentence.
He tells his readers that their redemption was not paid for with
gold and silver that perishes. It
was in fact purchased with the very blood of Jesus, Godís Son.
word "redemption" or the word "redeem" has a Biblical
meaning. In secular life one
redeems a coupon at a store for certain products.
In the Bible the Greek word "lytroo" is translated as
"redeemed" or one of its derivatives.
In Biblical terms redemption is the process by which Jesus paid the
price to free us from the penalty of our sin.
You might say He was the coupon in the place of money.
Simply put, Jesus paid the necessary price to release us from our
bondage of sin and into the arms of God.
The price that He paid was His life.
One point to be made here is that he did not pay this price to the
devil as some think. He paid
the price to God His Father. The devil has neither part nor parcel in our
Roman culture the Greek word "lytroo" was often used when a
person would purchase a slaves freedom.
Gentile believers, therefore, would have a good understanding how
redemption worked because of the society in which they lived.
that Peter speaks of the reader's "empty way of life handed down to
them by their forefathers." For
Gentile believers the empty way of life handed down to them was
polytheistic paganism. For the
Jewish believers the empty way of life handed down to them was their
outdated and humanistic laced Judaism.
For us today, our empty way of life could be Christian tradition or
the secular world around us, depending on our upbringing.
Greek word "kenos" is translated as "empty" in this
verse. It means uselessness,
especially in terms of quality. Peter
views, and so should we, the life of the world, whether religious or
secular, as being useless, without any quality.
verse 19 Peter says that Jesus "was a lamb without defect."
This is in reference to the Old Testament sacrificial system.
In Old Testament times God commanded Israelis to offer the best
animal for sacrifices. This
was prophetic of the supreme sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Throughout the New Testament Jesus is seen as the Lamb of God who
has taken away the sin of the world. Jesus,
the perfectly sinless one, like all of those perfect Old Testament lambs,
was the sacrifice that has saved us from the wrath of God.
verse 20 Peter says that Jesus was "chosen before the creation of the
world." I'm not convinced
that the NIV's choice of the word "chosen" is a good choice.
The Greek word translated here as "chosen" is "proginosko,"
which simply means "to know beforehand."
It's made up of two words; one meaning "to know" and one
meaning "before." I'm
not saying that Jesus was not chosen before the creation of the world.
I'm just saying that this verse does not exactly say that.
With this understanding, does this verse suggest the pre-existence
of Jesus prior to creation? I
would say not exactly. That
beings said, there are other Scriptures that plainly say that Jesus is
eternal, without beginning and without end.
Revelation 1:8 and following is a prime example of this.
this verse says about God is that He foreknows all things.
He foreknows all things because He lives outside of our space and
time situation. Beyond that,
this foreknowledge is one of the major attributes of God.
verse also says something about Jesus and the salvation He has provided
us. Salvation was not a
thought that entered the mind of God after Adam and Eve sinned.
God knew Adam would disobey. It
was no surprise to Him. It
might well have been just part of God's plan.
though Godís plan of salvation was thought of well before creation, it
was instituted as Peter says "in these last days."
Here we see one of two meanings of the term "last days"
that is found in the New Testament. Peter
understood the last days to have begun at Pentecost in Acts 2 where he
also speaks of the last days. That
being said, the words "He was revealed" might well refer to
Jesus' birth, or, His revealing at the beginning of His three year
ministry. The other use of the
term last days applies to the time that is right at the end of this age,
right before the time when Jesus returns.
This time is also known as the Tribulation or the Great
verse 21 Peter says that it is "through Him (Jesus) that you believe
in God." This is
especially important in our day when everyone believes in a generic god
and also believes that there are different paths leading to this all
purpose generic god. This is
not the thinking of the Bible. Peter
specifically says that we believe in God through Jesus.
God is the Father of Jesus, and it is this God that Christians
believe in, give their lives to, and worship.
goes on to say that "God raised Jesus from the dead and glorified
Him." What does it mean
when Peter says that Jesus was glorified?
I believe the answer can be found in a careful reading of John 17.
This chapter is a prayer that Jesus prayed to His Father just
before He was executed. It is
the longest recorded prayer we have from Jesusí lips.
In it Jesus asks to be glorified with the glory He had with His
Father before the world began. What
Jesus was asking for here was to be re-united with His Father in the
oneness that they had before the incarnation, before He came to earth, and
before the world was created. We
thus ask when did Jesus get glorified.
I believe Jesus was glorified at His ascension, when He received
His new, what we call His glorified body.
He was ultimately re-united with His Father at His ascension.
a side note, it is my thinking that Jesus was not re-united in the exact
same way that He was before He came to earth.
I believe that God the Father and Jesus the Son were completely one
in essence, in nature, in being; however you might want to describe their
being. But, when Jesus went
back to His Father in Heaven He appears in Scripture as being distinct and
separate from His Father. To
me this shows the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
His eternal being, who He is, has been eternally re-arranged in
order to bring salvation to us. In
a number of places the apostle Paul uses the term "first born among
all creation" in connection with Jesus.
What I've jus said explains what Paul is thinking.
The eternal Word as seen in John 1:1 became flesh through child
birth. He rose from the dead
and ascended into heaven with a new kind of heavenly human body, thus
being the first born in this new creation.
ends this paragraph by saying that our faith, or trust in God, is based on
this very thing, that is the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus.
The resurrection and ascension are basic Christian Biblical truths.
They are necessary to believe if a person wants to be a real
often speak of the resurrection, but the ascension is just as important.
If Jesus had not returned to heaven to sit at the right hand of
God, He would not be the Lord over all things.
We would not have received the Holy Spirit into our lives.
verse 22 Peter says that "now that you have purified yourselves by
obeying the truthÖ" In
Greek, our English verb "have purified" is a perfect verb.
This means that this purification took place at one specific time
in the past but has continuous implications.
The one time in the past Peter's readers would have purified
themselves was when they handed their lives over to Jesus and were saved.
word "purify" is obviously an allusion to the Old Testament.
That being said, purification in New Testament terms has nothing to
do with obeying the Law of Moses. It
has everything to do with "obeying the truth," which means
obeying Jesus. Jesus was once
asked what men should do in order to do the works of God.
Jesus simply told them to believe, that is, to trust their lives
with Him. See John 6:28-29.
Simply put, obeying the truth in New Testament terms is all about
faith, all about trusting Jesus.
that Peter speaks of purifying ourselves in this verse.
You might say that it was Jesus who has purified us, not us.
It was Jesus who died on the cross, not us.
That is certainly correct, but what Peter seems to be saying is
that when we trust our lives to Jesus that leads to our salvation, that
act of trust, which by the way is helped along by the Holy Spirit, leads
to purification or cleansing from sin.
Although, it is the Holy Spirit that draws us to Jesus and helps us
trust Him, it is our responsibility to respond to the call of God.
I'm not a Calvinist who believes in what has been called
"irresistible grace," meaning that if God calls us to Himself we
don't have free will to say no. I
believe that we have free will. I
believe we can say no to God. I think this is very clear by the way people
the word "yourselves" in verse 22.
It is translated from the Greek word "psyche."
"Psyche" is normally translated as "soul" in
the New Testament.
this purification in mind Peter says that we as Christians must continue
to love our Christian brothers. Peter
must have believed that if one has genuine faith in Jesus, a ďsincere
loveĒ for the brothers should be evident.
Yet even though they have this love Peter encourages them to love
the brothers even more. I
believe he does so because of the suffering these people are going
through. In times of
persecution, in times of stress, people can get on each others nerves.
The worst part of people comes out of them.
Peter is encouraging his readers to allow the trust they have in
Jesus to be evident in the way they live with their brothers in the Lord
in severe times of trials.
23 says that "for you have been born again."
We love our brothers because we have been born again.
This means, as Jesus said in John 3:5 and 6, born again of the Holy
Spirit. We, if we have the
Spirit of God as we claim, have the ability to love our brothers.
new lives as Christians are based on an "imperishable seed."
The context of the word "seed" here applies to birth.
The seed that gives us new birth comes from the Holy Spirit.
He lives for ever and so will we.
It is our connection with this imperishable seed that gives us the
ability to love our brothers as we should.
the words "born again." Again,
the Apostle John uses these same words in John chapter 3 and also in his
letters. The conversion of
those Christians in the early church was so dramatic, so transforming,
that they equated it to being born again.
Being born again as the Apostle John states is when the Holy Spirit
comes into your life and lives within you. Paul,
in Romans 8:9 says that if you do not have the Holy Spirit, you do not
belong to God. Too many times
in our modern fast food style Christianity, we invite people to the altar
and ask them to make a decision for Jesus.
This is not being born again, especially if the Holy Spirit didn't
come into the lives of those at the altar.
You just don't say a sinner's prayer, walk away from the altar and
go on with life as you always have. Becoming
a Christian transforms your life in such a way that it's like being born
all over again.
calls Jesus the "enduring word (logos in Greek) of God," as does
John in John 1:1. The Word
that we see in Genesis 1 at creation was Jesus Himself.
John says it this way. "The
Word became flesh and lived among us" (John 1:14).
At this point the essence of Jesus was changed forever.
It's my thinking that when Jesus returned back to His Father, He
did not return as the Word He was at creation.
He returned as human but divine, with a glorified body.
This is why I say that Jesus' very existence was changed for all of
eternity. It was so changed
just for us.
verse 24 Peter backs up what he is saying by quoting Isaiah 40:6 to 8.
He uses these verses as a comparison between man and Jesus.
He has just said that Jesus was imperishable, and now he tells us
that man is like the grass of the field with its flower.
The grass withers and dies, while the flower fades away.
humans, we think of ourselves way too highly than we aught.
It sad to say, but in my opinion, I believe Christians view
themselves way too highly than they should.
The foundation to how we view humanity should be found in this
Isaiah passage that Peter quotes. Mankind
is temporal. We're not much
different than a blade of grass. Once
we have this established in our thinking, we can then add to it that
because of the Holy Spirit's life within us, we are more than a blade of
grass that perishes. Even
though we perish from earth, we live forever with Jesus and those who have
given their lives to him.
one sense of the word, humans are eternal beings.
We will live in eternity either with Jesus or in the
verse 25 Peter then says that "this is the Word that was preached to
you." Who preached this
Word? We know that Paul
was in these parts preaching the Word, but this word could have also been
preached by Peter Himself. It
is most probable that Peter spent time in the area in which he is
addressing this letter.
of this truth Peter has once again proclaimed to his readers, the truth of
Godís eternal Word versus manís mortality, Peter gives some specific
commands. In chapter 2, verses
1 he says, "rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy,
envy and slander of every kind."
If these Christians had to be warned of such things, then it is
quite clear that they were being tempted to do these things.
Again, when thinking of the stress these men and women were under,
the temptation to do these things would have been strong.
does not matter what generation of Christians you find yourself associated
with, the tendency to fall back into sin is always present.
The particular kind of sin Peter addresses are relational.
It was important for his readers to not sin in these ways, just to
keep everything on an even keel in the time of tremendous suffering and
persecution from their anti-Christ culture.
These Christians could not afford discourse among themselves.
Greek word translated as "malice" here is "kakia."
This is a badness in terms of quality.
It's often translated as "wickedness" in the New
English the word "malice" means "the intent to do
Greek word "dolos" is translated as "deceit" here.
This word means "fraud or craftiness." I think the words
"hypocrisy," "envy," and "slander" are
pretty much self explanatory.
of involving yourself with such sin Peter tells his readers in verse 2 to
"crave pure spiritual milk."
What is spiritual milk? It
is pretty well accepted that when the New Testament writers speak of
spiritual milk, they are speaking of the Word of God.
In Peterís case that would be the Old Testament, and even parts
of our New Testament that he would have access to, including the writings
of Paul which Peter makes reference to later on.
Greek word "logikos" that is found in the Greek text here is
translated here as "word" in the King James Bible.
You will note that the NIV does not translate "logikos"
in its translations.
That is too bad because it is an important word in this passage.
It tells you what spiritual milk is.
The NIV leaves it up to the reader to define spiritual milk.
That should not be because Peter, as seen in the Greek text does
that for you.
You will notice that the Greek word "logikos" looks a lot
like the Greek word "logos" that is translated as
"word" in many places in the New Testament.
This Greek word has a bit of a twist to logos in that carries the
idea of "a rational approach to one's thinking process."
This emphasizes the rational aspects of the Word of the Lord.
uses the adjectives ďpure spiritualĒ when speaking of the Word of God.
Godís Word is both pure and spiritual; yet, some corrupt or
misuse the Word which makes it impure.
When we apply the word "spiritual" to the Word of God,
that is the Bible, we're not talking about some kind of magic here. The
words in the Bible are just words, but, when the Holy Spirit takes these
words and burns them into our lives, they become more than words on a
page. They become the power to
live by. This is why Bible
study, with the help of the Holy Spirit and wise teachers, is so
important. Peter's readers
could not have survived their trials of persecution without the reality of
God's Word enabled by the Holy Spirit, and neither can we.
Our problem today is that Christians are so Biblically illiterate
that the Holy Spirit cannot bring any of the Word to our attention when
needed. There is no Word in us
that the Holy Spirit can empower us with. That's why I say that many will
not survive the trials that lie ahead of us in this present anti-Christ
culture in which we live.
verse 2 Peter says that it is through this milk that you grow up in this
salvation. This tells me
that a person can be saved but not grow up in the salvation he has.
Growing up means to become mature, which indicates living right
with all understanding and wisdom. For
many Christians today who have not put much emphases on the Bible, it is
impossible for them to grow up into being mature Christians, and we wonder
why we donít see more of the power of the Spirit.
word "crave" in verse 2 is a good translation from the Greek
text. Peter is really talking
about a craving. Anyone who
has ever had a craving for some particular food, which is all of us, knows
what the word craving means. It's
this kind of craving that Peter says the Christian should have for the
God. Again, I just don't see
that in many Christians these days. Without this craving for God's Word,
you will remain a baby Christian and many baby Christians die.
ends this section in verse 3 by saying, "now that you have tasted
that the Lord is good." To
me the word "tasted" here suggests the beginning of things.
You first taste new food to see if you like it.
Once you like it, you do more than taste it.
You eat it and you continue to eat it.
Peter says that these people have tasted that the Lord Jesus is
very good. Now that the taste
test is over, delve into the things of the Lord and start to grow from the
sincere milk of the word. Tasting
is only the first step. One
normally eats what he tastes, and if he really likes what he tastes, he'll
the pure milk of the word being fed to baby Christians, I'd like to
compare it to human babies. Babies
need milk to survive and grow into healthy children.
They cannot live on hugs and kisses alone. I
compare this to the modern church whose leaders simply want to inspire
their people with inspirational sermons.
This is like hugging and kissing the congregation and hoping they
will grow into mature Christians. It
doesn't work that way. The way
the congregation will grow into mature Christians isn't by inspirational
hugs and kisses style sermons. Growth
comes by instructional teaching of the Word of God.
In far too many cases, we have replaced good instruction with poor
inspiration, and no wonder we have so many emaciated Christians in the