Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22
The Apostle Paul said, “Love must be sincere” (Romans 12:9).
And Peter seems to be taking sincere love to even another level when he writes, “love one another deeply, from the heart.”
Love for one another in the family of God must not be a superficial love, but a deep and fervent love brought about by obedience to the truth resulting in purification – holiness.
So a deep love is a holy love. And a deep and holy love does not come from human worth or effort or that which is perishable – which verse 23 points out.
It comes from a holy God, from the “imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”
Let us not think this deep love we are commanded to have for others is impossible to know or to activate in our lives. Humanly speaking it certainly is.
But it comes through the living and enduring word of God. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to spend time daily in the word of God. It builds up in us the capacity and desire to follow (obey) God, and when we are on that path our lives are transformed, and we are made holy.
This is where the power lies. The power to do anything in or by the Spirit is inseparable to being made holy through Christ. You, nor I can know the power of God apart from holiness.
The Power of Holiness
A holy life is a powerful life. Find out what it means to be holy, and you’ll find out what it means to live in the power of the Spirit.
All of Scripture speaks to this truth. Consider Deuteronomy 26:16-19 for what it says about following the Lord’s commands. It says that when we listen and obey his word, good things come to us. In this passage, the Lord says when that happens:
- we are his people
- we are his treasured possession
- he will set us in praise, fame, and honor
- we will be a holy people
Then, in Deuteronomy chapter 28, Moses writes:
The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in opedience to him. Dt 28:9
Consider too, what Psalms 77 says about power and might being associated with God’s holiness:
O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. (Psalm 77:13-14 NLT)
Paul, having heard of the Ephesian believers’ faith in Jesus and love for all God’s people, issues them a prayer, which further indicates the linkage of love, to holiness and power:
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious interitance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18-19
The power to love our brothers and sisters deeply, fervently comes by living a holy life.
A holy life is possible through obedience to the truth. The truth is found in the word of God.
So the #LoveChallenge for today and tomorrow and the next day and the next is to spend time in the word of God. This one simple act makes deep love possible. And, by the sounds of things in our nation and across the world today, sincere love, expressed at a deep and fervent level is desperately needed.