Word of God purifies our souls
Peter said in verse 22, “Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth . . .” Peter writes that the believers have cleansed themselves morally. He does not mean that they have washed their bodies or have undergone ceremonial cleansings to participate in a religious feast. According to Apostle Peter, our souls can be cleansed by obeying the truth. The truth is the Word of God. The truth is Jesus Christ since he said in the Gospel of John 14, “I am the way, the truth, and the life . . .” So obeying God’s Words is same as obeying Jesus. As a matter of fact, John clearly describes Jesus as God’s Word by saying, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” in John’s Gospel 1:14. So whenever we obey God’s Words, we obey Jesus. Whenever we obey Jesus, we are actually obeying God’s Words. And our souls will be cleansed whenever we obey the Words of God. The Spirit of God will purify our souls whenever we obey the Words of Jesus. The Apostle Peter describes this truth like this, “Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth . . .”
Word of God enables us to love one another
Peter continues to say in verse 22, “. . . so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart.” When we obey God’s Words, God will purify our souls so that we (you and I) can love one another genuinely and deeply from the heart.
Mutual Love: The phrase “one another” occurs over 25 times in the New Testament. Here are some of the phrases: Wash one another’s feet, love one another, honor one another, live in harmony with one another, stop passing judgment on one another, accept one another, instruct one another, greet one another, agree with one another, serve one another, bear with one another, be compassionate to one another, submit to one another, forgive one another, encourage one another, do not slander one another, act in humility towards one another, and fellowship with one another.
Love one another genuinely and deeply from the heart: The Words of God enables us to love other people genuinely and deeply from the heart. The Apostle John says in 1 John 3:18, “Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” Here are some practical things we can do to help our church!
- Mr. Eddie from Blacksheep Restaurant, Biketoberfest 2017, Bike wash actually begins tomorrow;
- Church Bazaar and Bakesale (November 17-18)
- Greg Evans from Alfies Restaurant (December 11); Fish Fry Dinner: volunteer, sell tickets, or eat your dinner there on that day, invite your family and friends.
- Mrs. Holly is planning to start an art class in our church;
- Ms. Angelica used her musical talents. I know that many of you are already using your time, talents and energy to bless our church. I thank all of you for blessing our church.
- Begin to give your tithe/If you’ve been your 10%, please consider give 1% more
- Attend Wed. Prayer Meeting and pray with us
- Volunteer at our thrift shop
- Invite your friends and neighbors to our church
Peter tells us to love one another—mutual love. This love has to be genuine and deep from our hearts. To make our love genuine and deep, we must demonstrate our love with our actions. There is no other way!
We are saved by hearing the Word of God
Peter said in verse 23, “You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.” “Born anew” means to be born again or born from above. Jesus said to Nicodemus in John’s Gospel 3, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Jesus was saying that no one could enter into heaven unless they are born again/born from above/born anew.
Peter also said in verse 25, “That word is the good news that was announced to you.” To lead other people to Christ, we must share God’s words, the Gospel. What’s the Gospel? The Gospel is the good news that God is restoring our broken relationship with Himself through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul says in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.”
The Word of God is living, enduring/imperishable
Once again, Peter writes in verse 23, “You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.” Have you noticed that Peter described God’s Words as a seed? A seed is usually small and has life in it. A seed planted in the soil, with right environment and care, will grow and produce crops and fruits. When God’s word is planted in our souls, along with our faith and obedience, it will begin to grow, save souls and transform the lives.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” This verse reminds us an extremely sharp bladed instrument used for surgery. The Holy Spirit uses God’s Words, double edged sword to perform a surgery in our souls. You and I may think that we are pretty healthy physically, but it’s possible that we are suffering with spiritual leprous and cancer. The Holy Spirit said to the Christians in Laodicea in the book of Revelation 3, “For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.”
The Word of God never fades away
Peter wrote in verse 24, “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” Peter reminds us that everything in this life will eventually fade away and disappear. For example, a good pair of shoes, a favorite pair of jeans, and a favorite car or truck. Many things wear out unless we get rid of them before that time. And how about the human body? Whew! Man, does it ever perish or fade with the passing of time! Have you ever looked in the mirror recently? What do you see that wasn’t there 20 to 40 years ago? Wrinkles? Gray hair or no hair? Sagging this and sagging that? Bulging this and bulging that? Jesus said in Mark 13:31, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
God said to the prophet Isaiah in the book of Isaiah 40, “A voice says ‘Cry out!’ And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever . . .”
Let us pray!