In the words of my Selected General Epistles professor, “1 Peter has become a dear friend.” It is a bastion of comfort, hope, and timeless reminders. Going through a tough time? 1 Peter is your book! This morning’s Morning and Evening encourages us to search our hearts with the spotlight of self-examination.
1 Peter 2:1-3 says:
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
2 Corinthians 13:5 is a great companion to today’s devotional.
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
Doubt has no place in a believer’s life. However, self-examination is a healthy and necessary component for assurance. As Spurgeon urges, we should not rest until we have a full assurance of our interest in Jesus.
Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.
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If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. — 1 Peter 2:3
“If.” Then this is not a matter to be taken for granted concerning every one of the human race. “If”—then there is a possibility and a probability that some may not have tasted that the Lord is gracious. “If”—then this is not a general but a special mercy; and it is necessary to ask whether we know the grace of God by inward experience. There is no spiritual favor that may not be a matter for heart-searching.
But while this should be a matter of earnest and prayerful inquiry, no one ought to be content while there is any such thing as an “if” about his having tasted that the Lord is good. A jealous and holy distrust of self may give rise to the question even in the believer’s heart, but the continuance of such a doubt would be an evil indeed. We must not rest without a desperate struggle to clasp the Savior in the arms of faith and say, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”1
Do not rest, believer, until you have a full assurance of your interest in Jesus. Let nothing satisfy you until, by the infallible witness of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with your spirit, you are identified as a child of God. Do trifle with this. Do not be satisfied with “perhaps” or “if” or “maybe.” Build on eternal truths; really build upon them. Let your anchor be cast into that which is within the veil, and see to it that your soul is linked to the anchor by a cable that will not break. Get beyond these dreary “ifs”; stay no longer in the wilderness of doubts and fears; cross the Jordan of distrust, and enter the promised land of peace, where the land ceases not to flow with milk and honey.
1 2 Timothy 1:12