One of the most saddening realities we find in the church today is the superficial or loveless relationship between siblings in Christ. Sometimes the unity of Christians in a local church is only as strong as the unity of strangers at a baseball stadium who happen to be rooting for the same team. But this is not how the church is supposed to be. Peter writes,
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, – 1 Peter 1:22
Notice in this verse that 1. We are saved for love, 2. a love that is a. Sincere, b. Brotherly, c. Earnest, and d. Pure.
1. We are saved for love.
Now, we’re not saved only for love, but we are at least saved in part for that reason. Peter writes, having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth. The truth, here, is the gospel. And when one has believed the gospel, they have been washed by the blood of the lamb, and their souls have been purified. Peter looks at that as a past event.
This past event, he writes, is for a sincere brotherly love. The act of salvation is for many ends. In other places in Scripture we see that we are saved for the glory of God, we are saved to have newness of life, we are saved for good works which God prepared beforehand, we are saved for the service of God, and, here, we are saved for a sincere brotherly love.
It’s part of the “why”. In other words, we weren’t saved only to have a relationship with Him. We were also saved to have a relationship with one another. That’s what we mean when we say that we are to have a gospel-driven love.
How important is it to you to have relationships with fellow believers, in light of having been saved by Jesus?
Having established that we were saved for love, Peter describes what that love looks like.
2. This love is to be…
Peter calls this love sincere, as opposed to insincere. Love should not be facetious or deceptive. It should be true. Such is the kind of love we should have for each other.
It’s a sincere brotherly love, as opposed to an unfamiliar love. Christians are more than friends; they’re family. And just as families are supposed to be tight, so should the church family be tight.
We are to love one another earnestly, as opposed to lazily. As friends in the world need to be intentional about their friendship, all the more should Christians be intentional and earnest about their brotherhood.
We are to love one another earnestly from a pure heart, as opposed to an impure heart. Christians are not to be “frenemies”. Their brotherly love should be pure, as Christ’s love for His church is pure.
Christian, are you striving toward this kind of love? If not, what’s holding you back? You have purified your soul by your obedience to the truth. May it be for a sincere brotherly love, by His grace and for His glory.
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