Friday, January 18, 2013

1 Peter 1:22-25

22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

Obedience to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ isn't just for Christians, it is what God commands of everyone (Rom 1:5-6). Yet not everyone will believe in and obey Jesus. Therefore what is written here is for us who believe, who by obeying the truth have purified our souls. Which must be distinguished from the purification of souls from our sins which only comes to us by the blood of Jesus Christ (and thus is a Work of God alone, ). And so here Peter is emphasizing the purification that comes to our souls when we obey the truth, and in this the Apostle Peter is emphasizing one primary commandment upon which all other commandments must be built on, and that is Jesus' greatest commandment to "love one another as I have loved you" (see John 13:34-35).  For when we obey the truth and love one another, all of God's commands take their proper place in our lives (see Romans 13:8-10). Indeed if we do not love each other, than all we have is religion! And as we have clearly seen, both in the Scriptures, and down through the many centuries of mans history, religion devoid of Divine love empowering it, is often only a destructive force, and not a redemptive one. Therefore we are to love one another "through the Spirit". For the Apostle Peter is here emphasizing that since we who believe are all born again by God's Spirit (vs 23) and thus we all have the fruit of the Spirit in us (Gal 5:22-23), we must all then obey the truth (and thus purify our souls) by walking in love towards each other. Which is not only a characteristic of the One true God, but also His Spirit (Gal 5:22-23), and thus is said to be the first fruit of the Spirit working in us who believe (1 John 4:7-8). And so Peter commands the brethren (and us all) to love one another with a pure heart. To live in obedience to Jesus Christ by loving each other (through the Spirit) as He has commanded us all to do. And thus to live, and keep on living, like Spiritually mature people of God should, and that is to love and receive each other based simply on the fact that each one had received the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus have His Spirit indwelling them. For in doing so they were not only finding a "kinship love" or brotherly amongst themselves, (as people who share a common bond or history do) but they were experiencing and living out a deep abiding love (agape love), that is only by God's Spirit within us, and thus transcends whatever personal "histories" they had amongst themselves, or current social standing, or personal likes or dislikes, or anything else that each person has, yet it is ultimately irrelevant, when Jesus Christ is forefront and center and keeping His commandment to love one another takes precedent. For it is only ones new life In Christ that matters when it comes to Christian love and fellowship (Gal. 3:26-29; 1 John 3:10-12). And thus by obeying the truth they were both individually and collectively purifying their souls, and no doubt strengthening their witness (both individually and collectively) for the Lord Jesus Christ as well, by loving each other as He commands us all. For without love there is no true Christian fellowship or character experienced or revealed (1 John 4:7-8).

And so Peter in verse twenty three to twenty five emphasises our "having been born again not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever." For what is born of corruptible seed, that is naturally, the physical body and it's attributes are temporary. Indeed they are born into sin and thus have no enduring qualities about them, for they are destined for the grave and decay. And thus the Scripture likens all flesh and all the "glory" of man to the grass and the flower, for just as the grass and flower rises only for a season, and then withers and falls away, so does all the glory of man (vs 24-25). That is why Peter is here emphasizing that we who believe have been born again, not by corruptible seed, but by incorruptible (that is by God's Spirit), through the Word of God which lives and abides forever. For as God Spirit Lives and Abides forever so does His Word, and so do those who believe it, and receive it, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is how one is born-again, not by trying to experience something "spiritual", but by believing in Jesus. For when one does they are then brought out of a state of being spiritually dead separated from God, into a state of being Spiritual alive united with God. And since God lives forever so are those who are born of Him. And thus we are said to be born-again, born from on High by God's Spirit who indwells our mortal bodies, bringing all of the fullness of God into us then (John 3:3-5; Col 2:8-10). And thus everything that we need pertaining to salvation comes to us by a gift of God requiring nothing other than our faith in the Lord Jesus crucified for sins and risen from the dead for our justification, to receive it all.
If you believe then receive it all, ask the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and life, for by doing so your confessing Him and your faith in Him, and when you do that you will receive all that God has done for you and has in store in you!
"For whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved" Rom 10:13

Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982




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