The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Removing The Hinderances

"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice deceit, hypocricy, envy and slander of every kind" (I Peter 2:1).

On Saturday we looked at the necessity of the Word of God for spiritual growth. (the proceding verse in 1 Peter). We considered that as a healthy person has an appetite for food, so a healthy Christian has a desire for God's word. No appetite is a sign that something is wrong. Just before this, Peter enumerates some things which will lessen the desire for the Word of God, thus hindering our spiritual growth. They need to be eliminated from our lives if we are to mature spiritually.

First, we must rid ourselves of malice. Malice is harboring unkind thoughts about others. It infers an intent to "get even." If we feed on malice, resentments and bitterness will build up also. They need to be removed.

We must also remove all deceit, hypocricy and envy. Later in this book Peter wrote about Jesus, "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth" (1 Peter 2:22). Hypocrisy, pretense, insincerity, pretending to be what we are not must be eliminated. We may sometimes be envious of someone, what they have or the position they have attained. This kind of spirit will hinder our spiritual growth.

Slander in the form of gossip or some other type of evil-speaking can easily creep into our conversation. If we thought back of all the things we said last week, is there something we would want to change or not have said? Our talk may hinder our spiritual developement.

Do we recognize any of these hindrances in our lives. Peter said they have to be removed if we are to mature spiritually. If we do our part in confessing them to the Lord, He does His part in forgiving and cleansing. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

We are not only to remove these hindrances from our lives, but must nourish ourselves by feeding on God's Word. The Psalmist and Job give us the secret."I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Ps. 119:11). "I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread" (Job 23:12).

Have a wonderful week. Let your light shine for the Lord. Love mark Phil. 4:11

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