In December we celebrate the birth of Christ. All the other stuff that surrounds Christmas is not the main reason for Christmas. Christ left Heaven and came to earth so that He could ultimately go to the cross and pay the price for our sins. He was then laid in a tomb but on the third day He walked out of that tomb. Later He ascended to Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf. Because He accomplished that we have been made sons and daughters of God. We who have trusted in Christ as Savior and Lord have become children of God. In light of this new birth, in light of our accepting this Good News, the Apostle Peter says this:
1 Peter 2:1-2
NAU 1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,
2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
The word ‘malice’ there, is a generic term for sin. It is an all-inclusive word for sin. Just in case you don’t see your pet sin on the list it is included in that word. One preacher said it is sins “junk drawer.” Peter is exhorting us that in light of the fact that we are saved we need to set aside sin. If we are honest we will admit that setting aside sin is not easy. Sin wants to draw us in. Sin wants to entangle us. Our natural desires, our factory wiring if you will, is prone to sin.
However, Peter gives us a path to overcoming sin. Like newborn babies we need to long for the pure milk of God’s Word. The word for ‘long’ there has to do with a strong desire. This is the kind of longing a hungry person has for food. This is the kind of longing a young couple has to be with one another. This is the longing that we might have for a loved one that has gone on to be with the Lord. We need to long for the Word of God, for the things of God, so that we will overcome the things of the world.
This tells me the answer to overcoming sin is not simply to try to avoid sin, but rather to reply the desire to sin with the desire to know God more. “Lord help us to desire to know you more and to long for you more that we might not be drawn away into sins that entangle us and destroy us!”