1 Peter 1:22-23
Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned love of the brothers…
What is that love of which our Lord and His apostles speak? Not only, or primarily, kind feelings or generous impulses. Not certainly the sentimentality which breathes itself out in sighs and raptures. Not merely the fond attachment which clings as the rose against the trellis. But, above all things, service — self-denial and self-giving. To put another's well-being before our own, not because it is pleasant to do it, but because it is right. To make another the pivot around which the wheel of activity revolves. To check the hasty word, the unkind speech, the damaging criticism.
I. THE MARKS OF SUCH LOVE.
1. Unfeigned. Dissimulation is a disease very antagonistic to Christian love. How subtly we are tempted to maintain appearances because of some ulterior gain. Our politeness is often but skin deep. Our smiles assumed for a purpose. Our words smoother than butter, whilst our hearts are drawn swords.
2. Pure. "Hearts may be cemented by impurity, by ungodly conversation and society in sin, as in uncleanness or drunkenness."
3. Fervently. "On the stretch." Our love seldom gets beyond "temperate," and never to boiling point.
II. THE EFFICIENT CAUSE OF SUCH LOW. "It will come through obeying the truth."
1. We must know the truth. Put two burnished mirrors opposite each other, and there will be no glow of light on either; but if a candle stand between, the beams of light are flung to and fro, to an extent impossible to either or both alone. So the mere contact of Christian with Christian will not necessarily produce the burning heart, unless there be also between them the Truth of God.
2. We must also obey the truth. Do, and you shall know. Obey, and you will love.
3. As we obey the truth, we shall be purified by it. Young men cleanse their way by taking heed to the Divine Word.
III. THE DIVINE ORIGIN OF THE LIFE WITHIN. It is "not of man, or of the will of the flesh, but of God."
(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: