Purified to Really Love
1 Peter 1:22
April 5th & 6th, 2008
The resurrection changes everything, and this includes our relationship with those around us. Our text today says we are to have a sincere brotherly love, and to love one another earnestly from a pure heart. Does the world understand love??? A woman named Marie writes the following letter to her former fiancé only weeks after they broke their engagement.
No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you!
P.S. And congratulations on winning the state lottery.
To often the world views love in this conditional, “what’s in it for me” kind of thing. Contrast this view of love with these words from 1 Peter 1:22 “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another deeply from a pure heart.” In the first instance the love was based on a less than pure motivation, a “what can I get out of this situation”. I’m not complete, so I need to “take” from others in order to get complete. Yet as Christians, through Christ and his resurrection we are pure, holy and complete. The difference between Christianity and the world’s view of love is that we love first from a state of completeness. Secondly in Jesus Christ there is a storehouse of love given in us that cannot be exhausted, and it is on that basis we are called to love one another deeply. This sort of love is not based merely upon feelings, but it is sacrificial. It is a love that has as its basis our Savior and his love for us In John 13 Jesus says “A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”. This is a pure love, a love which is unconditional God places on his people. It is that love which frees us not just to love one another, but to also love one another deeply from the heart.
What does this love
look like in our lives.? We get some clues from our Epistle reading today. First
it is based upon and impartial Father.
Remember when David was chosen as King, through Samuel God went to the
sons of Jesse and one by one he rejected the many sons of Jesse. He asked for someone else, and up came David
a young shepherd boy. He chose David, and he said to Samuel “Do not consider his appearance or his
height, for I have rejected him. The
Lord does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord Looks at the heart.”
(1 Samuel 16:7) In other words God does not choose those he
loves based upon the lovable ness of the person in front of him. He does not choose based on the usefulness of
those in front of him. This is the way
it has always been. To the Israelites,
God’s chosen people, it was said “The
Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more
numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and
kept he oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty
hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king
does he show that love? It says in verse
18 that he has ransomed you from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers. He is impartial, and he ransomed us from
futility. Futility; that is life without
talks about it being a chasing after wind, a aimless purposeless life. This is a life following in Adam’s
footsteps. This is a life that finds
out that things one thought were of utmost importance like work, school, money are not really that
important. This week in our chapel here
at school we had someone here from mainland
We a have been rescued from futility by our impartial Father, and thirdly the text says we are now strangers, or exiles here on earth. Our identity, what makes us who we are as Christians also makes us different then the world. There is a sense where we will not fit into this world, and we never will. What makes the Christian tick and what makes the world tick are two different things. One is based on what one gets before the end of all things comes. The other says we have already been claimed by this Jesus; therefore our motto according to our new nature is what can I give. Again, the world says that love is ultimately about what is in it for me, while in Christianity we are empowered to love and forgive as we has been loved and forgiven.
one another deeply. 1 Thessalonians
4:9-10 says “Now about brotherly love we
do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love
each other. And in fact, you do love all
the brothers throughout
love, based on an impartial Father who has rescued us from a futile life
through the blood, and who puts us in a world were we are exiles or strangers,
also involves sacrifice. Sacrifice has little “what’s in it for
me”. A few years ago, the Harry S.
Truman Library in
At the end of this our text, after we are asked to love one another deeply, he once again reminds us whose we are in Christ Jesus. We have also been born again Not on our own, but through the living and enduring Word of God. Everything else fades, becomes futile in the end, but his Word remains for ever.
Does this “Love one another deeply” exhortation come natural to believers, probably not. We have failed to love, and indeed to love deeply as we should. Yet, especially in that situation we are to be reminded of our impartial Father who through Jesus has rescued us from our futile life and now allows us to live as strangers here on earth. This good news Word does not fade away. It has been placed on us and is to be shown to the world. So love, love deeply. Why? Lottery or no lottery its what Jesus and those who follow him are all about. Amen.