Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:22-25)
In the first 21 verses, Peter was informing his readers about their status as a believer. He informed them how they should be living their lives by pursuing a holy life. Now he gets into more practical things about how we should live in community with one another. In verse 22 he tells them about the transformation that happened to them when they converted to be a follower of Christ. In the NIV it uses the word “yourselves” but a better translation would be “souls”. They have purified their souls through obedience to God’s word. This conversion leads them to love believer’s deeply from the heart. This ability to love other people comes from the “seed of God” that is imperishable, living and enduring. This “seed of God” is the message of the gospel. It is the truth we have learned from Jesus Christ. He then quotes a passage from Isaiah in the Old Testament. In Isaiah, it also confirms that the word of God stands forever. He always fulfills his promises. Peter is showing that God is constant through time.
We learn from this section that when we came to faith in Jesus Christ it was God that did all the work. His Word is what transformed us. From that transformation, we should be filled with a deep love for other believers. It is not just saying, “hi” to people once a week. Peter uses the Greek word agape here. It is a deep sacrificial love for one another. It is the same type of love that God has shown us. We should have confidence in this ability to love others because the Word of God never fails. It endures for all time. This is the gospel message that has changed our lives. Take some time to think about how God’s word is living and enduring. Then ask God how you can love other believers this week. This can be as simple as calling someone or dropping by for a visit. Or maybe God is calling you to do something bigger like buying someone groceries or writing them a check. Pray that God will give you direction and strength to be obedient to what the Holy Spirit is telling you.