A Remedy for Envy

1 Peter 2:1–3, Part 2

The new birth produces love in every true believer in Jesus Christ, and it also weans us off our old sinful desires, like envy. But we have to be able to spot these deadly desires within us. In this lab, John Piper zeros in on several common iniquities, and explains how we wield the word of God against them.

Principle for Bible Reading

When you come across a list in the Bible, stop and examine it. Why did the author include the things he did? Why not include other things? Try and define each item in the list, and look for similarities, differences, and connections between them.

Study Questions

  1. Look at the lists of sins in 1 Peter 2:1. Why might Peter have included the sins he did and not others in this case?
  2. If we’re going to battle these specific sins, we need to be able to identify them. Take each of the sins and try to define them in your own words.
  3. What weapons does 1 Peter 2:1–3 give us for fighting these specific sins? Try to explain practically how the truths Peter highlights wean us off of these sinful desires.
Piper: “We cut the root of sin by being more satisfied in God.”

Introduction/Prayer (00:00–02:42)

The Fruit of the New Birth (02:42–05:33)

  • What effect does it have on our lives that we have been born again by the living and abiding word? (1 Peter 2:1–3)
  • We already learned that love proceeds from our new birth. (1 Peter 1:22)
  • “So” (Therefore) in 1 Peter 2:1 says that the new birth also purifies us from malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander.
  • This is what it means to “grow up into salvation” — we love more, and are less consumed with wickedness — and that happens as we satisfy ourselves with the spiritual milk of the word of God. (1 Peter 2:2)

Investigating Iniquity (05:33–12:37)

  • Slander is the only one that’s an action.
  • Malice is a disposition of the heart to want to hurt people. It’s a summary of the other evils we commit against others.
  • Deceit is a desire that other people believe what is not true.
  • Hypocrisy is a species of deceit that conceals things about ourselves.
  • Envy and slander go together in this list. Envy overflows at its worst in slander. (1 Peter 1:20)
  • When we’re filled with spiritual milk, we become content with who we are in Christ. The desires for hypocrisy and deceit fade away. (1 Peter 2:1–3)
  • The remedy for envy comes from knowing and tasting the goodness and kindness of the Lord (1 Peter 2:3). His mercy and his kindness will make envy seem utterly inappropriate.
Piper: “God, wean us awful the terrible desires we have for sin with your kindness.”