Good morning and Welcome to Church! As we continue this morning in our study through 1 Peter, we are talking about learning and practicing to live out holiness every day.
As we study this morning, I would like to bring a very special point to mind (or, maybe just a point that I find very important and special). This is the point that I would like to draw your attention to. We are blessed that we have the full Canon of Scripture to read from and guide our lives daily. What that means is that we have the full complement of scripture readily available to us including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament. And, most importantly, we believe that God has ordained the gathering and assembling of these all these writings (“books”) into what we call “the Bible”.
But, I think it is worth remembering that the early Church wouldn’t have had that great privilege. In the days of the early Church, and for much of the history of the New Testament Church, Christians would have had very little of the New Testament Canon of Scripture. They probably didn’t have the luxury of studying through and comparing books of the Bible. Their Pastors and Elders probably didn’t spend hours building deep doctrinal and hermeneutically detailed sermons that crossed and combined all the various teachings throughout the Bible.
The reason I think it’s interesting and worth noting is that they very well might have just had one letter. It is very possible that some in the early Church only had this one letter from Peter. And, even in that, they probably didn’t have a copy of it. They probably had just heard it read. So, because they would have had so little, I believe that they would have made a great deal out of the significance and importance of each and every word.
As we study today, we will see that the Apostle Peter tells us that we are to rid ourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. I think we could spend a lifetime just focusing on ridding ourselves of those 5 things as we strive for holiness in our every day lives.
All for Jesus,