The Pre-Requisites For Growth In The Word

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Friday, 17 February 2017



1 Peter 2:1-2

1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,  2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

James 1:21

21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.


In 1:22-25 Peter presented the importance of God’s Word in the regeneration of people. In this second chapter of his epistle his thought progresses to the growth of believers by feeding on God’s Word (2:2).

The apostle firstly tells us how believers must prepare themselves to grow through the in-take of God’s Word. Abstinence from sin is a pre-requisite for our growth in the Word. So in verse 1, Peter exhorts us to "lay aside" sins. They should not be allowed in our lives, if we were to grow in the Word.

Five categories of sins that hinder one’s growth in the Word are mentioned. Interestingly, all the five groups of sins mentioned here refer to the way we relate with others. They are our sins, which offend others. This warning against such sins ties in with Peter’s emphasis on truth and brotherly love in chapter 1 verse 22. However, it does not mean other kinds of sin do not affect spiritual growth. It is just that offences against fellow brethren must be dealt with for they will hinder our spiritual growth.

Let us understand the nature of these sins that hinders our growth. First, "All malice." The word ‘malice’ denotes ‘a spirit of ill will with a desire to get even.’ A child of God should not entertain thoughts of retaliation. Second, "All guile." The original word for ‘guile’ has the idea of ‘deceit’. Christians should never knowingly engage in any deceitful business or practices. Third, "Hypocrisies." It is pretence. Our natural tendency is to paint a perfect picture of ourselves and the worst possible picture of the one whom we got into trouble with. Let us not ‘cover up’, but confess what we are before the Lord. Fourth, "Envies." It is an unwarranted desire for something that belongs to someone else. This unconsciously creates a feeling of resentment against the owner. Envy and jealousy are like two sides of a leaf. Believers must rejoice in one another's progress. Fifth, "Evil Speakings." Christians must take great care to guard their mouth from uttering words with evil motive and purpose. Evil communications can greatly curtail Christian growth. These five sets of sins are not only marks of spiritual immaturity but also hindrances to one's spiritual growth. Abstinence from these sins will draw us one to another and to God.

The next pre-requisite for spiritual growth is a strong desire for the sincere milk of God's Word. Christians' desire for the Word must be like the new-born babies' intense craving for milk. Only with that kind of desire for the Word can Christians grow. Souls that don't crave for sin will crave for the Word.


"Sin kisses, but kills." "The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible."


Lord, let Thy Word increase, and sin vanish from my heart.