Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Living The New Life - In Loving One Another

1 Peter 1:22-25 - (C) 2009

Loving one another is the basic theme of these few verse of scripture. This is one of the strongest subjects of the New Testament--that of loving one another. The phrase "love one another" is mentioned 35 times in the New Testament, so it must be an important subject.

This subject is surrounded with some circumstances that make loving one another one of the most vibrant doctrines of the scriptures. In order to love one another properly we must understand some basic doctrines that give us strength to be able to accomplish this commandment.

First, we have the fact that we (those who love one another) have purified our souls by obeying the truth. Obeying the truth is the same as obeying the gospel. Obeying the gospel means that we have believed it (See Rom. 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?). When we believed the gospel, we obeyed the gospel (the truth), and our souls were purified, or sanctified, John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. This purification has given us a new life so that we can in a real way love one another.

We obeyed the truth through the Spirit of God, for without the Spirit we can do nothing. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22. The Spirit of God indwells us, for the Bible says in Rom. 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his; and if any man does not have the Spirit of God, he cannot love his neighbor in the true sense of the word.

Second, we have been born again, not by corruptible seed but by the word of God, that is the word of the gospel (See 1 Peter 1:25). This word lives and abides forever: it will never change or become corrupt as seed in the ground corrupts before it brings forth its stalk and fruit. Jesus died on the cross and came forth in his glory, but the gospel is the same in time and eternity. If we are born again with this incorruptible seed, then we can love one another truly.

Third, we find a comparison between the grass of the field and the word of the Lord. The grass "falleth away," but the word of the Lord (the gospel) never fades. It endures forever. The same word (gospel) that sustains our love one for another in this life will continue to sustain that love in timeless eternity future.

This love is an unfeigned love, one that is true and not deceiving. Having this kind of love is an evidence of our true salvation from above: 1Jo 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

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