Reading the Word
1 Peter 1:22–25 (ESV)
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
Understanding the Word
Peter has previously encouraged his readers to look beyond their present circumstances to the hope they have in Christ. He has also instructed them to live holy lives as they continue to live in the world, even though they are surrounded by ungodliness and persecution.
Now, Peter tells these believers that their lives ought to be marked by sincere love for one another. Why? Because they have been born again through the living and eternal word of God. Love is the natural result of new life.
Applying the Word
Most Christians will acknowledge that we are called to love one another. But what does Peter mean by “a sincere brotherly love”?
That word sincere is the one that gives us trouble. The Greek word means “genuine” or “without hypocrisy”. The love that is being described is true love, not just superficial. Peter is not just asking his readers to play nice and get along. He is telling them to truly love one another. That means to take a genuine interest in the each other’s welfare and to work towards the best for each other.
How often do we fail in this area? How often are we content to pretend we are OK with someone when we know we are not? How often do we deal with another person by simply avoiding them altogether? Do we truly believe that is the love we are called to show towards fellow believers?
May our love be sincere as it issues forth from the new life we have been given through God’s word!
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