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1 Peter 2:1: So Put Away All Malice And All Deceit And Hypocrisy And Envy And All Slander.

1 Peter 2:1
[1] So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. (ESV)

The key word in this verse is the word, "so." Peter is saying that in light of what was just previously said, here is how we should respond. He just finished describing how we have been born again by the imperishable seed of the word of God. Because we have been born again in this way we ought to put away all of the things that are part of our old way of living.

This begs the question, "Just how bad were we before we were saved?" Did we really have malice in our hearts? There are many times in the New Testament where the word for malice is used to describe the evil that is within us. The wickedness within us would also include the practice of deceit and hypocrisy and envy and slander. Listen to Paul's words to Titus:

Titus 3:3
[3] For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. (ESV) This idea of passing our days in malice and envy. This description of internal wickedness is something more than an occasional thing that we fell into. It speaks of a nature that is completely corrupted. Depraved.

Because we have been born again by the Lord himself, it is imperative that we have a completely different nature. Be encouraged, my friend. When we yield to the Lord, and ask him to take away this "internal malice" he will surely do it. We allow him to clean us out, and then we seek to follow his Holy Spirit's leading in our lives. The Spirit of God will always lead us into truth and righteousness.

Are you still finding elements of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander in you? Ask the Lord to clean you, daily. Begin to look for the Holy Spirit to help you walk in ways of righteousness. Follow his lead.