March 7 - 1 Peter 1:22-2:3

Friday, March 7, 2014

1 Peter 1:22-2:3 – Love Sincerely

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, 

         “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”  

And this is the word that was preached to you. 

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Peter has declared that we should be holy and then that we should fear God. Before the first chapter is complete, he exhorts his readers to do one more thing … love each other sincerely. Being a Christian is more than just being in relationship with God, it also requires us to be in a relationship with other Christians. To do that, we must love each other … sincerely and deeply.

Why are we to love each other? He gives two reasons. The first is that we have been purified by obedience to the truth. This is the process of sanctification, being made holy. The second reason is that we have been born again. We have set aside our old lives and come into a relationship with God. God is love … love is God's essence and by living in His will, we will reflect His love.

The eternal relationship that we have with God is the same relationship with have with each other, because each of us is born again. Our salvation is not ours alone, but ours in community with other Christians.

From Isaiah 40:6-8, Peter reiterates that the word of God endures forever. This word is the Good News of Jesus Christ … the salvation that comes from knowing Him personally. It was promised to Israel by Isaiah when they were in exile in Babylon and it has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

God is love. Our salvation comes from him and cannot die for God's word endures forever. Thus, we are to love.

Therefore, since God is love and his word endures forever, we are commanded to put away all evil that would separate us from each other and from God. Malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander are things that destroy love. Our responsibility … the command we received from Jesus Christ is to love God and to love others (Matthew 22).

The translation of 1 Peter 2:2 into English is weak. "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk..." His words actually contain much more passion than we read. Imagine an infant who is impatient for milk and has arrived at the end of its wait.  We are to be voracious and hungry … to crave with passion, pure spiritual milk so we can grow into maturity as loving members of the Kingdom of God.

Peter encourages his readers to grow up. We are to be holy, we are to fear God and we are to love.