Phil Cox Phil Cox

Recent Columns

Home page
Recent Columns
Previous Series
Phil's background
Preaching engagements
Creation and science
Contact Phil

Stubbington Baptist Church
Acorn Christian Healing Foundation
Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith

God is with you - Part 9

1 Peter 2v1

First do no harm

12th May 2017

In the NIV, Romans 8v37 tells us that Christians are "more than conquerors" through Christ. A more precise translation would be "super-conquerors". Perhaps today we can say that means that Christians are super-heroes. Through the redeeming blood of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, God has made us super heroes.

If you've ever watched a super hero movie, you'll know they get in some difficult situations, It's not easy being a super hero, and they're in danger from all sorts of things, and they struggle with all sorts of opponents, but they win in the end.

And you are a super hero. You get to win in the end.

We've already seen that 1 Peter is a challenging book, but that it's also a very comforting and encouraging book. We've read in 1 Peter 1v19 that we have been redeemed with the most precious thing in the universe - the precious blood of Christ, so that we will live for ever with Jesus, and then Peter urges us to live in reverent fear of the wonderful God who has given us new birth (1 Peter 1v23).

At the start of Chapter 2, Peter says:

1 Peter 2v1
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

Do this because, if you're a super hero, you don't want those kinds of attitudes. If you are growing to become like Jesus, then you will put this sort of stuff to death. In Matthew 16v24 Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me."

Let's be honest. Everyone of us occasionally feels like a little bit of malice wouldn't go amiss, because he deserves it; a little bit of deceit to protect myself; a little bit of hypocrisy because we're all pretending to be better than we are, so why shouldn't I? a little bit of envy because he's got more that I have and it's not fair; and a little bit of slander.

I'm told that the Greek word translated "slander" here doesn't just mean what English law means by it. In England, slander means telling lies about somebody, but the Greek word means any kind of speaking with intent to hurt another person, whether true of false. It's saying anything to them, or about them to somebody else, that hurts them.

And we can pretend we're not doing it. We can introduce a hurtful remark with, "Just for prayer brother, let me tell you", or, "I just want to share the burden of my heart for our brother". We can speak in a way that sounds very spiritual, but which hurts our brothers' reputation and therefore hurts our brother.

Let us put to death any of these desires in our hearts, and so become more like Christ. This is a process, but I like to think we're better at this stuff than we used to be, and we will be better at it that we are.

One test of the mature Christian is that every word that falls from his lips is kind.

As they say in the medical profession, "First, do no harm."