I Peter 1:22-25

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

LOVE FOR THE BRETHREN

INTRODUCTION:

 

In our last message in I Peter we saw that we have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb, without blemish and without spot. How we appreciate our conversion!

 

In I Peter 1:22-25 , we see that, as we learn more and more about our salvation, it should make a difference in the way we live our lives.

We see that –

    I.     BELIEVERS HAVE PURIFIED THEIR SOULS BY OBEYING THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL – I Peter 1:22 A

 

I Peter 1:22 a – Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit. . . .

 

Seeing that ye have purified is because (i.e. since or inasmuch as) you have purified (or cleansed). Its tense indicates an action completed in past time with its result continuing on. They had purified or cleansed their souls; and as a result, their souls remained pure or clean. In God’s sight, the souls of saved people are pure or clean.

 

Your souls refers to the seat and center of their inner lives. Your soul is the real you which has been redeemed. It is not just your physical body.

 

In obeying the truth suggests the means by which believers have purified or cleansed their souls. In is understood in the sense of through, by, or by means of. It is through obeying the truth that you have purified (or cleansed) your souls or by means of obeying the truth that you have purified your souls.

 

What they have obeyed is the truth. It is a specific obedience which amounts to believing the truth or believing the gospel message. Christianity viewed believing the gospel as the supreme act of obedience. Therefore, seeing ye have purified (or cleansed) your souls in obeying the truth is equivalent to saying because you have purified (or cleansed) your souls by believing the gospel message.

 

Through the Spirit refers to God the Holy Spirit, and it indicates that the believer was saved through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The believer heard the message of salvation, and the Holy Spirit brought conviction to his heart that the message was true. He believed it, thus responding to the wooing ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Intermediate Agent in purifying or cleansing our souls by applying the blood of Christ to them. God the Father is the Direct Agent.

Next, we see that –

  II.     BELIEVERS HAVE A GENUINE FONDNESS FOR FELLOW-BELIEVERS - I PETER 1:22B

 

I Peter 1:22 b – Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren. . . .

 

Unto unfeigned love of the brethren expresses the end result of their purifying or cleansing their souls. As a result of believers having purified or cleansed their souls, they have a genuine fondness for fellow believers.

 

Unfeigned is unhypocritical, genuine, sincere, or without hypocrisy. It means that it is not a love which is put on.

 

Love of the brethren is brotherly love. It means that their salvation has given them a genuine fondness for believers.

In addition, we see that –

 III.     BELIEVERS MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER IN AN ALL OUT MANNER – I PETER 1:22C

 

I Peter 1:22 c – . . . See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.

 

When they believed, their souls were purified; and they became Jesus’ disciples. As a result they now have a fondness for other believers. However, the end in view is that they should have a genuine love for one another; but this is not always found to be so in practice. Believers’ love for each other must go beyond fondness.

 

Consequently, Peter wrote, See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.

 

See that ye love one another is a command, not a mere suggestion or only a good idea.

 

Ye is you (plural) and indicates that all believers are to obey this command. It is not intended for just a few of us. Simply stated, it means love one another. If we desire to be right with the Lord, we must love each other in spite of our faults. This means that you must love me and that I must love you.

 

One another is each other.

 

Out of a pure heart is out of a clean heart and implies out of a heart that is free from sin. Your heart was cleansed from sin at the instant of your salvation, and it remains clean or pure.

 

Fervently indicates how believers are to love each other and suggests eagerly or constantly. Believers have been saved to this end, and they ought to live like it.

 

The idea expressed by see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently is illustrated in many New Testament Scriptures. The word translated love means to give yourselves completely on behalf of others without expecting anything in return.

 

John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

I John 4:7-12 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

 

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

I Corinthians 13:4-8 4 Charity [i.e. love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

 

How can we love one another with a pure heart fervently? In our own strength, we can’t. However, we don’t have to do everything in our own strength. God the Holy Spirit enables us to love our fellow believers in the way God wants us to love them.

 

Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Moreover, we see that –

 IV.     BELIEVERS HAVE BEEN BEGOTTEN OF INCORRUPTIBLE SEED, i.e. OF DIVINE SEED – I Peter 1:23 A

 

I Peter 1:23 a – Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

 

Verse 23 provides the reason believers ought to love one another fervently.

 

Being born again is understood in the sense because you have been born again, since you have been born again, or inasmuch as you have been born again. Its tense indicates action completed in the past with its result continuing on. They had been born again in the past, and they remained born again. They had not lost this salvation. Its tense further indicates that its action occurred before the action of love. You must be born again before you are able to love others with the sort of love which gives itself completely on behalf of others without expecting anything in return.

 

Being born again is the same term used in verse 3 where it was translated hath begotten again.

 

We see that they had not been born again of corruptible seed.

 

Of suggests by means of corruptible seed.

 

Corruptible suggests perishable, subject to decay, or subject to destruction. Believers have not been born again by means of seed which would rot or decay.

 

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to corruptible seed.

 

The seed with which believers have been begotten again is incorruptible, which means imperishable, not subject to decay, or not subject to destruction.

 

Incorruptible is the same term used to describe our inheritance in verse 4.

 

We have been begotten by God. We are of His seed. We are, therefore, His children. His seed remains in us. As a result, each of us has a new, sinless nature.

 

I John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed [i.e. God’s seed] remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God [i.e. because of God He has been begotten].

Finally, we see that –

   V.     BELIEVERS HAVE BEEN BEGOTTEN THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD – I PETER 1:23B-25

 

I Peter 1:23 b-25 – 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

 

Lest there be any doubt about what this incorruptible seed is, Peter specifies it as by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever.

 

By introduces the means by which this incorruptible seed brought about our new birth and is understood in the sense of through the word of God or by means of the word of God.

 

This means is the word of God. Although one sometimes has difficulty distinguishing between the Scriptures as the written word of God and Christ as the living word of God, the word of God in this verse is best understood as referring to the Scripture. Even though everything said in this passage about the word of God could also be said about Christ, it is best understood as the Scripture because, had Peter intended it to mean Christ, he would have had no difficulty saying so. Since he did not indicate that this refers to Christ, it is best taken as referring to the Scripture.

 

Paul supports this idea in Romans 10:17 where he wrote, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

Grammatically, although which liveth and abideth forever may be understood as describing either God or word, in this context the statement in verse 25 that the word of the Lord endureth forever refers to word rather than to God. God’s word remains forever just as He does. Now a person’s word is only as good as He is; but in this case, inasmuch as God is absolutely perfect, His word is also perfect.

 

Abideth means remains, stays, or continues. God and His word live and will continue to live forever, i.e. to live eternally.

 

I Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.

 

Verses 24 and 25 describe why the word of the Lord endures forever in contrast to why a man’s word does not endure.

 

For introduces a reason and is used in the sense of because.

 

The reason a man’s word will not endure forever is because all flesh is as grass.

 

Humanity is composed of flesh, and humanity has only a temporary existence as does grass or hay.

 

All the glory of man is all the magnificence of man and suggests the magnificence or splendor of humanity.

 

Man is the generic term for human being rather than the term for an adult male, and it includes females as well as males. The magnificence or splendor of humanity is like the flower of grass in that it is only here for a short while.

 

As the flower of grass suggests is like the flower of grass.

 

The grass withereth suggests the grass dries up or the grass becomes dry. When the grass dries up, the flower thereof [i.e. the flower of it (i.e. the blossom of the grass)] falleth away, i.e. falls off, falls away, or falls from the grass. This means, of course, that the flower dies or perishes. This is a picturesque way of saying that a man will not live forever; he can expect to experience physical death. By contrast, God will live forever. Therefore, God’s word is everlasting. A man’s word may outlive him, but he has no guarantee that his word will be kept after he has died. In God’s case, however, there is no death. Therefore, God’s word will stand the test of all eternity.

 

I Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

 

But introduces a contrast between what is said in verse 24 regarding the temporariness of man and the permanence of God.

 

The word of the Lord is what is said or what is expressed. It gathers all the divine teachings as a unified whole. The fact that it is the word of the Lord suggests that the Lord has spoken it.

 

Endureth forever indicates that it remains, lasts, persists, or continues to live forever.

 

And continues the thought and is used in the sense of now.

 

This refers to the word of the Lord which lasts forever.

 

It is the word which was preached unto you, i.e. the gospel message. It is not like the grass which fades or withers away and dies. Since the word of the Lord is what endures forever, and since it is that same word which was proclaimed to these believers and which they, in turn, believed, their salvation is sure. In this they rejoice. Meanwhile, they must live as believers ought to be living, as citizens of heaven who will live with Christ throughout all eternity.

CONCLUSION:

 

Our souls have been forever purified by believing the Gospel message.

 

God has given us a genuine fondness for believers.

 

However, our love for believers must go beyond a genuine fondness. We must love them with a pure heart and with an all-out love because we have been begotten by God and have an imperishable seed. He used the Word of God to bring about our conversion.

 

Let’s be in the Word of God daily, seeking to put it into practice in our daily lives and thereby allowing the Holy Spirit to produce the characteristics of Christlikeness in our lives.