When You Obey the Truth

22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. 1 Peter 1:22 

When Peter writes, “…when you obeyed the truth,” he is referring to the Gospel. The Gospel calls us to repentance and belief; we either obey the Gospel, the truth, or we reject it. Now, it’s notable that for Peter, the most important next step in obedience to the Gospel is to love each other, to be family.

I kinda like that; to obey the truth means becoming a family. How can you love your church like family today?

Obedience

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:18-25 (day five) “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,”
It would seem that Peter is teaching that purification of the soul happens by our “doing” (obedience to the truth). While there is activity and action required, if you study the original language, it gives a completely different perspective. In the Greek language, there is an interesting connection between hearing and obeying. They both have the same root word (akouo)- we get the word acoustics from it. But the word obey has another word attached to it (hupo) we get the word hyper. The word translated from the Greek obedience literally means “hyper hearing”.
So, Peter is communicating that even in our doing, there is great hearing or listening (to the truth of scripture) required. Reading, praying, preaching, studying (interaction with the scriptures) are all needed and necessary to guide and inform our actions so that they may in fact purify our souls.

Obedience is not hyper- doing. It is hyper-hearing.

Are you faithfully hearing the Word??

Living and Enduring

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:18-25 (day four)

Verse 23 – “for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.”

What does it mean when it says ‘living and enduring’?  Webster’s dictionary defines ‘living’ as active, functioning, full of life and vigor.  ‘Enduring’ is defined as lasting and durable, eternal and imperishable.  We can apply these definitions together to describe the word of God as active, growing, complete in life, unchanging, everlasting and imperishable.  We can always depend on it being there…it has authority to give life…it will never change.

The Bible…God’s Word…was inspired by the Holy Spirit, given to the prophets and biblical writers, protected from heresies, and preserved through the ages.  The Bible has given us everything we are to believe and do.  Everything we need to know for God’s glory is in the Bible. God speaks to us through His Word…since it is living and complete, we do not get to pick and choose what we will obey.  Our God is an awesome God!

Power

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:18-25 (day three)

“You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood…”

When the power goes out, you’ll surely catch yourself trying to flip the light switch on; you’re so accustomed to lighting up a room in this way that it’s become second nature. But then you realize: the thing you’ve counted on has failed you. When something that has always before seemed to meet the need with precision and immediacy suddenly doesn’t, that’s distressing. At the scale of the human soul, Peter says, possessions, power, and plans have always been overrated. For now, the lights will eventually come back. But one day, all remedies will fail, save one. Only Christ can do what you thought those things could do. And they don’t love you, either. Christ does.

The Word

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:18-25 (day two)

But the word of the Lord endures forever. vs. 25

Peter walked with Jesus. His experience was unique to only a few, and we can marvel at the stories told to us through these who sat at Jesus’ feet. This is noteworthy, to be sure, but I am struck by Peter’s knowledge of scripture and the insight he shares as he combines who he knew Jesus to be with what was prophesied. Peter was grounded in the word, and he uses this as a starting place for his defense of the gospel of Jesus. Isn’t that an incredible testimony. Peter assures us that although we will not have the same experience as the apostles, we have God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. We are well equipped. Peter’s foundation in scripture only strengthens his message. The same can be said of us!

Re:Verse Blog – 9/12/22

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:18-25 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through 1 Peter 1:18-25 in our Fall Re:Verse Series: “To Be Holy Like Jesus” A Study in 1 Peter.

Conformity

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:10-17 (day seven) 

 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance. vs 14

Conformity is inevitable. The question is what image are are we being conformed to. Children are the epitome of this inevitability. “Nature vs Nurture” shows us there are things that we all have engrained in our DNA, but we still take on traits and customs of the environment we are surrounded by. We are conformed by what is around us. If you want to be conformed into the image of Christ, you cannot continue to surround yourself with the things that led you astray in your past. Sometimes those are people, environments, or different stressors. When placed in those situations, it is easiest to revert back to what we once were instead of who God wants us to be. If we want to be conformed into holiness, then we will need to surround ourself with holiness. What image are you being conformed to?

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Phil 4:8

Born Again

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:10-17 (day six) 

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

There is nothing quite so dramatic as new birth. For nine months we wait, all the while a little human being mysteriously and miraculously is being formed in its mother’s womb, AND then at just the right time a new life arrives in dramatic fashion.  New life’s presentation is followed by great joy, adoration, blessing and praise!

Borrowing the words of Jesus, this is how Peter describes the reality of this new life we have been given. And what a great way to summarize our present condition as chosen foreigners (v. 1), a stark contrast between now and our former life.

There is only one thing more dramatic than our new birth (which our new birth in fact points to), our bodily resurrection. Both realities are inseparable; in fact Paul writes

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn (speaking of his resurrection) among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:29

We are and will be a dramatically different people! So, let’s be glad! AND let’s take action and really live BORN AGAIN!

 

Thinking

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:10-17 (day five) “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

It’s an old SNL quote, “It was my understanding there would be no math.”  References a lack of ability or desire to use the brain (the comedy is that you get to figure that part out). I wonder how many believers would have that same perspective. “I was under the impression that I wouldn’t have to think in order to grow my faith.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  R.C. Sproul writes, “ It is true that what you think in your mind will never get you into the kingdom of God until it reaches your heart, but we have been created by God in such a way that the pathway to the heart is through the mind. We cannot love with passion that which we know nothing about.”

Peter is declaring that an active and engaged mind is absolutely essential for spiritual growth (in this passage it is hope). What we think, may be just as important as what we feel. Don’t check your brain when you come to church or open the scriptures. According to the scriptures using your mind is mission critical for spiritual growth (hope and transformation). “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Be Holy

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:10-17 (day four)

The Holy Spirit was at work in our world long before Pentecost.  The message that the prophets delivered, of salvation, was given to them by the Holy Spirit.  They searched and discovered that it was given for you and me and it comes with a command.

The word, ‘therefore’, in verse 13 is a cause and effect word.  Because of verses 10-12, our response should be…prepare our minds and fix our hope on the grace of Jesus.  The command given is repeated from the book of Leviticus…”You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Holiness is not an option in the Christian life.  We cannot ‘pick and choose’ how we will live our lives.  We are to be like the Holy One who called us.  How then will we live?  We have the call of the Spirit and the example of Christ…Peter tells us not to be conformed or compromised by the world…be HOLY!