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1 Peter Week 5
Read 1 Peter 1:22-25
v.22 – Many things in our walk with Christ are rooted in our new birth, in our conversion. Our love for one another is one of these things. Peter starts off by saying that we have purified our souls by our obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love. There is no way for us to sincerely love each other, at all times, without first having purified ourselves by obeying the truth. That is that we have gone from death to life, that we have been reborn, and that we have Christ as the center of our lives. Only then can we love one another earnestly from a pure heart. We are called to love one another differently than the way the world loves one another. As Christians we too often forget that we are representing Christ in all that we say and do not only to those who are without Christ but also to those who are part of the body of Christ. One of the most important things that we can do to show those outside of the church what Christ is like is by loving those who are part of the body of Christ.
Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider how to stir up one to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” 1 John 4:7 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and know s God.”
Romans 12:9-10 – “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
All of these verses are talking not about loving those outside the church, but they were written to us, inside the church, that we should love each other. This is how others will know the love of Christ, through our love for each other. v.23-25 – Again Peter tells us why we should love one another. It is because we are born again. We are born again into the imperishable life of Christ. We no longer have to fear the end. Every person who is born will one day die. Just like the grass withers and dies, so will our lives end. But when we are born again we no longer are sons and daughters of man but sons and daughters of God, and we will remain to the end through the living and abiding word of God. We, as members of Gods family, should desire to love those who are within are family. We are set apart, we are separated from the world and we need to be able to rely on each other, that we will have nothing but love for each other. One of the greatest hindrances of the growth of any organization is in-fighting. If we want our church to grow and reach more people we need to learn to be more accepting of those who may not fit our mold. Let’s face it, there is a particulargroup of people who are comfortable in our church and who we are comfortable with being in our church. This is wrong. If we don’t show love to those who are in our church, why would anyone new want to come into our group. The church, our youth group should be a place that others want to come to be accepted and loved. This is a place that labels and cliques from school should evaporate and everyone should be accepted. There should be no age preference; seniors should desire to hang out with middle schoolers so they can help them to mature into strong young Christians. But we separate; we divide ourselves by age, by economic status, by labels that we put on people at school. There should be no labels here. The only way we should look at someone when they walk in our doors is as a brother or sister in Christ, or as someone seeking God, and we should love and accept them.