Pure with unfeigned love
Peter challenges his readers to purify their souls but this can only be done by obeying the truth. This can only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit. This is why an unbeliever in Jesus Christ does not even have the ability to listen to this Apostle who just happens to be Peter on being holy before God.
Peter also writes about unfeigned love for the brethren. We are supposed to love one another with a pure heart. This is to be done fervently which is not always easy but notice that Peter is urging his readers to be pure before God and we can only love our brothers and sisters if we have a pure heart. This is an example of the vertical and the horizontal. I think of the cross Jesus Christ died on which had a vertical board and a horizontal board. There are many reasons Jesus had to die on a cross but this is symbolic of our relationship with God and people.
The Apostle then tells us how we became born again which is not of corruptible seed but of uncorruptible by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. Peter then goes to an earthy example by saying all flesh is as grass and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. Then he gets more specific by saying the grass withereth and the flower thereof falleth away. This is a reference from Isaiah 40:6 - 7. Then the Apostle goes back to the original subject by writing the word of the Lord endureth for ever. Then he comes all the way home by writing this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. First Peter gave background and then he gets personal with his audience in a good eternal way.
Peter switches his subject matter again by pointing to specific sins that will destroy the soul. Why --- because he originally was urging them to be pure before God and people. There were transgressions that were brought to his attention that would render a person to a lifestyle of not being holy before God. Of course the red flag came up with Peter being very spiritual at this point writing the book of 1 Peter. He wanted them to lay aside all malice and all guile. Then he speaks to the hypocricisies, people with the spirit of envy and all evil speakings.
He knew that there were new Christians that he was writing to and all these sins would make them very vulnerable to the world and they would drift away from their faith in Jesus Christ. He says as newborn babes that desire the sincere milk of the word that you might grow in the Lord. How could they grow if malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy and evil speakings were present in some cases? These new believers in Jesus Christ were already interested in learning the Bible so Peter adds you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. Let me just quote the original text so you can read it and perhaps make reference to this passage if need be in this particular study of the Bible.
(22) "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (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." 1 Peter 1: 22 - 25.
(1) "WHEREFORE laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, (2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (3) If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious." 1 Peter 2:1 - 3.
Every sincere believer in Christ purifies his or her soul. The Bible is the best place to go for purification in our hearts whether we are living sinful or holy. There is one stipulation and that would be if we hear the truth we have to obey God in His word or we will not be purified in our hearts by the truth. We do not shape truth, truth shapes us so to be in a position of our heart possessing the proper soil in our spirit is vital to allowing the Holy Spirit to work through our soul. The aid of the Third Person of the Trinity is something most people do not have in their hearts. This is so important because the souls of Christians have to be purified before we can love one another unfeigned. We will not be able to have charity / love towards one another unless we have a pure heart.
Peter also makes the point that it is our duty to love our brothers and sisters in Christ with a pure fervent heart. You would be surprised at the number of believers in Jesus Christ who believe this practice is an option. If a person does not know the Lord that is one thing but if a person is redeemed by Jesus Christ this obligation doubles where there is a spiritual relation. We are now brothers and sisters in the Lord.
In verse 24 and 25 the Apostle Peter explains the vanity of the natural man. He or she will stay in this condition because nothing can make him or her a substantial person unless one becomes born again through Jesus Christ of incorruptible seed. If a person makes this eternal decision hopefully he or she will have the word of God in their possession set before them in the preaching of the gospel. If we were to look at the most good looking strong individual this person is still a withering, fading dying creature. Beauty, strength, vigor, wealth, wit or honor are like the flower of the grass which soon withers and dies away. What Peter just describes is a perishing creature and corruptible. The only way for this person to reverse his or her plight is to accept Jesus Christ into their heart. This is the only way to preservation of everlasting life. You can stay in your unredeemed state but you will die just like the flower and enter into the second death which will last for eternity.
The Apostle Peter is now at the point where he desires to talk about certain sins. The first is malice. This is settled overgrown anger. This person refuses to let it go or does not know how but it will inflame an individual to design mischief. Guile is the next sin which is deceit in words. The word hypocrisies is in the plural tense which means all sorts of hypocrisies. Envies is a longing at the good and welfare of another. Evil speaking against another is defaming a person.
The best Christians need to be warned against the worst sins. We are only sanctified in part because Christians are still capable of sin and liable to these particular temptations. We can have great service to God but if our duties to people are lax we can not please Jesus Christ nor will it profit us spiritually and our reward in heaven will be less.
Peter desired his readers to eat wholesome spiritual food so they could grow. This is a strong and constant desire for the word of God. The Apostle made it very clear that the milk of the word has to be sincere and not adulterated by the sinful mixtures of men. These new Christians are referred to as new - born babes. This new life in Jesus Christ requires suitable food. For example infants desire common milk and their desires towards it are frequent. New believers in Jesus Christ must also desire the word of God so they can grow spiritually. If a person has a strong desire for the word of God for the right reasons of learning about Jesus Christ this is evidence of a true Christian. These new believers in Christ will grow in the wisdom of God and more grace will be bestowed in their hearts.
The last verse I will be going over is Peter is writing that these honest Christians had tasted the goodness of God. He infers that Jesus Christ is gracious to His people and has in His heart a fullness of grace. If you desire to feel the graciousness of the Son of God who is in your heart then taste it through the Bible. We can not taste at a distance so by experience be united to Jesus Christ in faith through the word of God. The greatest heavenly servants have tasted the grace of Jesus Christ.
If you will notice in this article the Apostle Peter is talking about new Christians. He had a heavy heart because there were certain sins in Christian fellowships that would discourage new believers in Jesus Christ. If you are not a Christian at least through this writing you will have a little street smarts as to what can happen in a gathering of believers. I am not saying it will but the possibility is present.
Now may be a good time for you to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. Just like this passage of Scripture says read the Bible with an earnest and sincere heart and do not get discouraged if you do not understand a biblical precept because even the greatest theologians get confused on some passages in the Bible. God sees our hearts and knows if we are honest before Him. I hope and pray that you just made that all important eternal decision.
God Bless you,
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