1 Peter 1:22-25, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.’”
Peter begins these three verses with an educated assumption based on the individuals to whom he was writing. He presupposes that those who would be reading his words had already purified their souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren.
Long before we can delve into the discussion of fervent love, what it is, why we ought to possess it, and who it ought to be focused upon, we must determine whether or not our souls have been purified in obeying the truth through the Spirit.
If this has not occurred, if this purification has not taken place, then discussion of the latter things will prove pointless, and will only end up frustrating us to no end, for without having had our souls purified by obeying truth, it is impossible to grasp the meaning of fervent love, and what it is to have been born again of incorruptible seed.
The problem with dumbing down the gospel is that certain things just can’t be dumbed down. We have oversimplified the process, hoping to attract more souls, but in so doing we have nullified the process altogether because the primary ingredients, those things required to make one’s soul regenerate, and an individual born again, have been removed.
The first step on this journey is always the submitting of oneself to the truth. We come humbly before the throne of God, we ask forgiveness with repentance and sincerity, then in having truth revealed to us, we obey it through the Spirit, without attempting to alter it, twist it, or otherwise make it something it is not.
The modern day spiritual person loves the idea of fellowship with God, but loathes the notion of obedience to the truth. They want to do what they want to do, and still enjoy intimacy with the Creator, even though the Word clearly tells us this is an impossible thing.
It is in obeying the truth through the Spirit that we purify our souls, not in signing up to a particular denomination, sitting under a certain individual’s teaching, or uttering some inane mantra upon waking from our slumber every morning.
Obedience of truth is a prerequisite, and knowing this, Peter assumed that those to whom he was writing were already far enough along wherein their souls had been purified in obeying the truth through the Spirit.
Obedience is not a one-off endeavor. We don’t obey truth once, and then go about our merry lives nevermore giving it another moment’s thought. Obedience is an ongoing practice, something we endeavor to, and aspire to, and strive for every single day of our lives, for we know that in obedience of truth we discover the key to the purification of our souls and being reborn of incorruptible seed.
We read the words of Jesus concerning the end times, essentially prophesying that the love of many will wax cold and that brother will turn against brother, and as little as a handful of years ago we could not see how this could be. Well, the picture is becoming clearer, the love of many is no more than cold ash, animosity toward one’s fellow man is at an all-time high, and at the heart of it all is the absence of obedience to the truth.
When first we stray from truth, we begin a journey toward the heart of darkness that only repentance and obedience can subvert.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.