But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
(1 Thessalonians 5:1-5)
It does no one any good to know the truth and refuse to live it. It does not benefit the body of Christ for us to be called and hide our calling. It’s time to take responsibility for what we know from the word of God.
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking, lay aside:
All Malice: The desire to do harm or mischief, having evil intentions (undermining, discord, stirring up). Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32).
All guile: Deception, to intentionally mislead or confuse.
Hypocrisies: To say one thing and do another, to disguise one’s true thoughts and intentions.
Envies: Thoughts that belittle others to raise ourselves, coveting the goodness of God in the lives of others.
All evil speaking: Speaking anything contrary to the truth of God, especially for self-serving purposes.
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
To desire what is sincere is to develop an appetite contrary to that of the world around you. Babies are born with an innate need for their mother’s milk. They demand it, and they refuse to be satisfied with anything less than the thing they desire. We need the plain, honest truth of scripture. We need to believe the literal word of God. It seems the focus of the world is the next new wave. Everyone wants to be in “the know.” We want to be entertained by what is unique or innovative. While actually, the plain and honest truth we find in scripture, if embraced and practiced, would put all the world's knowledge to shame. Babies grow exponentially from the simple milk they receive, and Christians grow to be more like Christ by obeying the truth they already know.
(I Corinthians 3:18-10)
3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
The imagery of Jesus as the rock who was rejected of men has its origins in the old testament. At one point, Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock and covered by the hand of God so that he could get a glimpse of the father. That rock that Moses struck that saved the nation from thirsting to death was yet another picture of Christ.
The stones of the altar in the tabernacle and in the temple were not to be carved by men but naturally formed by God. Jesus wasn’t a product of the wisdom of the nation of Israel, but Jesus was the creator of all things and the God of Israel and the entire universe before the beginning of the world. Rocks are not known to be gracious. But we “have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” The truth of God was made visible in the perfectly sinless life of Jesus. Yet, by choosing to go to calvary on our behalf, the “rock of God” became our gracious redeemer. A place was made for us to hide in the rock.
Not only is He our rock, He is a living stone. All life originates in Christ, and as our resurrected Lord, He has defeated death for all of eternity. Jesus is alive forever, without the possibility of death. He is the cornerstone, the most important part, and the chosen one of God. He is precious. Our lives, our futures, our hopes, our purposes, and our eternities are built upon the solid foundation of Christ. We are also living stones. He has made us, the church, to be partakers with him in all the blessings of God the father. We are, by the transitive property, precious and chosen. We are a priesthood with the ability to offer to God sacrifices that He will accept in Christ Jesus. If we are in Christ and Christ and the father are one, we receive the benefits and total acceptance God the Father has bestowed on his beloved Son.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Not everyone will find safety in the rock that is Jesus. By refusing to believe the word of God literally spoken and by compromising the word of God to fit their own agenda, many will be tripped up by Christ. They will be offended by Him. Verse 8 indicates that Jesus is the key to all scripture, if you stumble on the truth of who He is, you will not be able to understand the Bible at all, and it was intentionally given to us this way.
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
The gospel is simple, yet no one will ever, with a human mind or heart, be able to completely understand and explain it. God has made the way to Heaven plain, but no one will find a new way to arrive there. Christ alone is the way. The truth is often inconvenient and will set you at odds with a fallen and sinful world you are constrained to live in. But the truth is seldom complicated. It is fathomlessly profound but so easy that a child can accept and obey it. In Christ, we have all the treasures of Heaven, a relationship with our heavenly father, and the keys to wisdom and understanding in this present world, and outside of Him, we grope horrifically in the darkness of confusion, grasping at one failed philosophy after another hopelessly with ever-increasing desperation and despair. Those who have accepted the unspeakable gift of salvation through Jesus Christ have been chosen, have received mercy, and live with a purpose.
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!