Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:8
Paul reprimands the Corinthian church for allowing believers in the church to openly live in sinful ways. He calls them to cast those types of people out and to live a certain way. They are to celebrate God with sincerity and truth.
The world lives by a standard that anything is acceptable. A person can live how he wants and everyone else must accept it, as long as he wants to live that way. Living in this way, allows a person to live in sinful ways with no concern that it is wrong. The world has no true standard that they must live by.
This type of thinking and living has been brought into the church since the time Paul was preaching the gospel message. There are people who live their lives in sin on purpose, while they are still going to church.
It is a common thing to see couples, who are not married, living together, while going to church and claiming to believe in Jesus. Churches are rising up all around the nation and world that teach that it is acceptable to live in a homosexual lifestyle, while being a believer. There are many other sinful lifestyles that are being lived out, as a believer, as though it is acceptable to God, that are directly stated against in the Bible. Many in the church have accepted these lifestyles as acceptable.
This is different from a person who is striving to overcome a sin, but still has problems. These are people who are living this way on purpose, despite what God’s word says. And the church accepts it.
God wants His people to live in sincerity and truth. Living according to His standards in full truth, not just in word or on Sunday.
Living as the world does, is a double standard. God’s word is truth and only one way.
Take a look at your life. Are there things in your life that you have accepted, that God is against?
Turn away from sinful lifestyles, and turn to Jesus. Live as He did, in full sincerity of heart and truth. Do not allow malice and wickedness to reign in your life and heart, but God’s love and righteousness.
Be who you say you are.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the ways of God; that you will live according to God’s standard; and that you will encourage others to live as God desires.
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” 1 Peter 2:1
The chapter before Peter writes that you are to be holy and to love others. Now he gives you a list of things to get rid of in your life. First is malice. Malice is wickedness, evil, trouble, or the underlying principle of evil which is present–even when not outwardly expressed. Every person has an inclination to evil because of the fall of Adam. How many times have you wished a person would die because of something bad he did to you? This is the malice you are to get rid of.
Next is deceit. This is the deceiving of other people. Most people in the church will state that they are not deceiving people. How often do you make statements that make you appear “good” and “righteous” when you are not really following those statements? Many people will state that they are doing good when in reality their day is horrible. This is deceit. Get rid of deceit.
Next is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is stating to do one thing while in reality doing something different. Often a person will state he is following Jesus, but in the very next breath curse someone or a situation. Some will speak against gossip while spreading gossip under the guise of prayer. Get rid of hypocrisy.
Next is envy. Envy is the displeasure a person has at another person’s gain. It is wanting what someone else has for your own glory. It can also be glorying in someone else’s misfortune. Remember you are to love everyone with the love God has for you–a self-sacrificing love. Do not be envious of what someone else has or what has happened to him. Get rid of envy.
Last is slander of every kind. Simply put, this is talking bad about someone else in order to hurt him. Slander is seen all the time in the news, all types of media, and entertainment. It is cutting someone else down to make you look better. Again where is love in slandering someone? When the leaders brought the prostitute to Jesus, He did not slander her by speaking of what she had done. Jesus lifted her up and told her to change and forgave her. You can find good to speak of every person, find that good and speak it. Get rid of all slander.
Today seek God in help to reveal these sins in your life. Some of these may be more prevalent than others in your life. Seek God for strength to get rid of those He reveals. Be filled with the Holy Spirit to change your heart, desires and actions.
I pray that today God will reveal sin in your life; that God will give you the strength to change your thoughts and actions to follow His; that you will act and speak in true love to every person you come in contact with; and that God will help you to have His loving heart towards all other people.