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. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.
1 Peter 1:22-25
Peter wraps up chapter one with these wonderful verses, bringing his discussion of our lot as followers of Jesus back to the source of everything in a Christian’s life: Love. His reference to our having “purified” ourselves is another reference to our having our sins taken away. I wonder how many of us really grasp what that means… Our sins haven’t been merely atoned for, as they would have been under the Old Testament Law, they have been taken away, removed, eliminated entirely. They are gone. It is as though they never happened. This is the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Great news… in Christ you have been “purified.” This is the truth, and when we obey the truth, we love one another as God loved us.
Why should we love one another? Because we have been born again. We were not born again in the biological sense, but in a spiritual sense. We are without sin because our sins have been removed, so we no longer have the stain of sin… and it’s about time we acted like it. Again, this is the power of the Gospel going forward; act as though you are in Christ… because you are.
Take careful notice of the quote from Isaiah 40 in the next verses. Isaiah tells us that we are like grass or flowers. We will grow, fade and die, but God’s Word is eternal and will endure forever. As mortal humans, living in a physical, biological body, we will grow up, fade and then die, but as followers of Jesus Christ who have been redeemed from the old, sinful life and filled with the truth of the salvation of Jesus Christ, we too will carry on forever. Do you know why that is? Note that Isaiah said that the word of the Lord endures forever. The word is none other than Jesus Himself who lives in us in the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, we are different now… love one another, and let the earthly things go…