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About-Him.Com Devotional 11-26-2016
1 Peter 1:22-25 - Unto Unfeigned Love of the Brethren
Last week our study concluded with 1 Peter 1:18 which spoke of us having been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. Peter continues which some practical application of the gospel.
Text: 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
When we heard the gospel story of how the Lord Jesus bore our sins on the cross of Calvary, we recognized that we were a sinner in need of God’s saving grace. We were convicted of our sins by the Holy Spirit and we cried out in repentance. God heard our cry and applied the blood of Jesus. At that moment we were accepted of God and our souls were purified and made clean (Jn. 1:12-13; I Cor. 6:11). Did you ever feel so clean as that day when you felt the weight of the load of sin lifted from your shoulders? You had perfect peace with God and you loved everybody. As the verse says, you had “unfeigned love of the brethren.” Quite simply, Jesus was living His life through you (Gal. 2:20).
Text: 1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 ¶ For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
We were begotten of our earthly fathers by corruptible seed. Many of us have medical conditions that can be traced right down the family tree. All of us had a sin condition that goes all the way back to our father Adam. Our spiritual DNA was such that we had a sin nature that was in rebellion against God and prone to sin. We loved darkness rather than light (Jn. 3:19), and we definitely didn’t have love for anything or anybody.
However, and it’s a big however, when we received Jesus we had a spiritual DNA transplant. Our old nature was replaced by His nature which is incorruptible. When we were born of God, we were made partakers of His divine nature (2 Pe. 1:4), and His very nature is love (1 Jn. 4:8). I have an orange tree in my back yard, and before long I expect to pick some oranges. If pears start to appear, I will have to conclude that something is wrong with my tree, wouldn’t you say? Jesus said that men would know us by our fruits.
Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Yes, we received incorruptible seed at our new birth, and this seed produces after it’s kind. We have all the attributes of God in our spiritual garden, but that garden has to be watered and cultivated. We have to put some work into it.
When it comes to loving one another, perhaps we should stop and consider just how God loved us. He didn’t love us because we were somebody or were lovable. He set Israel straight on that matter. He set His love on them in order to keep His promise to father Abraham to redeem his seed out of bondage.
Deuteronomy 7:7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye [were] the fewest of all people:
8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
We were incapable of loving Him, except that He first loved us (1Jn. 4:19). We didn’t choose Him, He chose us as unlovable as we were and often are (Jn. 15:16). God showed His love for us by condescending in flesh (1 Jn. 1:1,14) and bearing our sins on the cross of Calvary (2 Cor. 5:19).
John, the apostle of love, had some positive things to say on the subject:
1 John 3:1 ¶ Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
He also had a few negative things to say:
1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
1 John 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.
1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
The apostle James had something to say on the subject also:
James 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?
We are to have unfeigned love our brothers and sisters from a pure heart and love them fervently. Jesus had a lot to say about true love in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5-7). Things like going the second mile, returning good for evil, turning the other cheek, allowing ourselves to be defrauded, praying for those who misuse us and lending to those who ask without expecting repayment.
Well, things are getting a bit uncomfortable in Matthew , let's see what Paul has to say on the subject.
1 Corinthians 13:1 ¶ Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 ¶ Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Paul didn’t cut me any slack either. I recognize that my love is not perfect. All I can do is cry out, “Lord, let me love others as you loved me."
A chorus comes to mind which was written by Nancy Harmon.
Let you love flow through me, let your love flow through me
Make me a blessing, Lord, wherever I may be
Keep me pure, keep me clean
So that You may be seen
Let your love, let your love flow through me
Song: My God, My King and My Redeemer
People need loving the most when they deserve it the least.- John Harrigan
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