1 Peter – Chapter Two VI

by Ed Urzi

“So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech” (1 Peter 2:1 NLT).

When faced with the natural inclination to strike back against those who hurt us, it is often difficult to respond in a manner that aligns with the admonition given to us here in 1 Peter 2:1. Whenever we struggle with the desire to engage in such behaviors (or others like them), it is important to be honest with God concerning such things as we seek His help to overcome them. Since “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13), honesty is the best policy in this area.

In addition, there are two important Scriptures that should influence our thinking on this subject…

“If we’ve become united with him in a death like his, certainly we will also be united with him when we come back to life as he did. We know that the person we used to be was crucified with him to put an end to sin in our bodies. Because of this we are no longer slaves to sin. The person who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:5-7 GW).

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24 NIV).

We can overcome the inappropriate and unhealthy behaviors listed here in 1 Peter 2:1 when we recognize that they have been crucified with Christ. Thus, we can acknowledge that Jesus has carried those sinful attitudes and behaviors into death.

Nevertheless, we should also remember that death by crucifixion was often slow and agonizing. Those who were subjected to crucifixion might live for several days before they succumbed to death on the cross. The same could said of the inappropriate attitudes and behaviors that once defined our lives as well. Much like the physical act of crucifixion, the crucifixion of our old nature may involve a painful and difficult process that occurs over time.

Therefore, the Scriptures offer us a warning and a promise…

“So then, my friends, we have an obligation, but it is not to live as our human nature wants us to. For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children” (Romans 8:12-14 GNT).