What an amazing, giving, sacrificing God we discover in the Scripture. Earlier, in 1 Peter 1:20, His word tells us that “before the foundation of the world,” it was “predetermined” that Jesus would become the perfect substitute for sinful man. This will be the grateful theme of all eternity.
Peter writes to those who “have purified [their] souls by obeying the truth.” The word for purified means “something set apart for a special purpose.” This purifying act was completed in the past (perfect-tense form), but it implies the necessity of an ongoing consecration to a mission in order to effect spiritual progress “by obeying the truth.”
The believers began by trusting in the gospel and continued to live it by obeying all the truths in full trust as they learned them. Paul wrote, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Col 2:6).
The “so” indicates that the purpose of our new life is “to show sincere mutual love” or “brotherly love.” Jesus gave a new commandment that would have an evangelistic impact: “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (Jn 13:35NLT). This love was to be sincere, from a word meaning “without pretense, acting or faking, but genuine or true”: a forever, lifetime, family love.
The command to “immediately begin to love one another” requires a decisive commitment of the will rather than an emotional response. This love is decided not by the attractiveness of the object but by the desire to benefit another person.
We are instructed to love “earnestly,” a physiological term meaning “to stretch a muscle or limb to the maximum capacity.” Metaphorically it means “earnestly” or to do everything possible. The two terms are used in 1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” How do you love your brethren?
God is not asking for sacrifices that will be forgotten, “for God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Heb 6:10). It will be worth it no matter what it costs.
“Heavenly Father, the world desperately needs to see Your love in action between believers. Please give me the will and wisdom to love my brothers and, in doing so, make a statement to the world of Your great love for everyone.”
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