Be Holy: Love Sincerely
1 Peter 1:22-2:3: Be Holy: Love Sincerely
22Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,23since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;24for“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,25but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 1So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.2Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Here again we see the result of the truth that we are a new person in Christ Jesus. Peter’s obedience centers on “brotherly love.” When Christ is a reality in our lives and we understand the truth of the gospel, we will become motivated by love and act in accordance with that love. Note we have been “born again!” That language has been overused by the church, but it is a great image. It shows that our salvation is like being born a second time and that second birth is spiritual and imperishable. It is similar to Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John 3. In order for us to have a relationship with God, we need to be changed by God’s power, not our own. It is “Good News” that we no longer have to do religious works in order to be saved. Christ has come to establish His new eternal kingdom and we are called to be part of it. That’s good news! Because of this we can put away malice, deceit and hypocrisy. We are no longer controlled by the world’s system with all of its desires and lusts. We literally have “tasted” the goodness of God. This is so important to realize. God is GOOD! Our anxiety and depression in the midst of suffering is often connected to our lack of belief that this is true.
- How do you “purify your soul?”
- Is it possible to purify yourself?
- How is this different from a Hindu understanding of purification?
- What is so “good” about this news?
- How does the good news shape our identity?
- How does the good news shape our obedience?
- What does it mean to “taste” the Lord?