Category Archives: God

Love is the Inevitable Result of Purity

“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. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” – 1 Peter 1:22-23
 
1 Peter has a lot to say about our salvation, holiness and purity. Peter tells us in 1:2 that it is both the Spirit & the blood of Jesus that sanctifies us (makes us holy). In 1:18-19 we see our redemption (being purchased for God) came through the previous blood of Christ. In 1:16 we find a call to holiness in light of what God has done for us.
 
Then in the two verses quoted above in 1:22-23 we see Peter talk about purifying yourself by obeying the truth.
 
Which is it? Does God purify us through the work of the Spirit and the blood of Christ or do we purify ourselves via our obedience?
 
The answer is yes.
 
Both are important. God does the actual work of sanctification and then in light of our being made right, pure and holy it is important that we seek to be obedient to God and help maintain our purity. Our work does not initiate us into purity or re-grant it when we stumble but our actions can certainly make us impure and so abstaining from impurity is part of our responsibility to our call to be pure and holy.
 
What I am about to say next is why I brought all of this up. When I read 1:22 I thought “love” was an imperative. I thought Peter was commanding them to love each other. It isn’t an imperative at all. It isn’t even a verb here. In 1:22 “love” is a noun and it is in the Greek accusative making it the direct object of the verb earlier in the verse. The direct object of purifying yourself is love. Wow!
 
Why is this not a command? Because if you are pure in heart you don’t need to be told to do it.
 
Why is it a direct object? Because if you are pure in heart it will happen as a result of the purification.
 
It is that simple. If you aren’t loving them I am suggesting you are struggling to have a pure heart because a pure heart will produce love.
 
If you claim moral, ethical and/or biblical purity and don’t exhibit love your purity may not be God’s kind of purity.

Learning to Talk With God

Raising kids makes for some fun and challenging times. One of the things that we feel is essential to their growth and maturity is how to talk with adults. There are basic rules of civility that we want our kids to know and do when it comes to talking with adults, for example – lookContinue Reading

Filling the Emptiness

In order for anything to get filled it must have room to receive. If something is already full there is no room for anything new. When we make ourselves overly busy we have no room left to be filled. Ironically our busyness is often an indicator of our emptiness. When we fill our hearts withContinue Reading

Catching God in One of His Grocery Store Parenting Moments

If you are a parent you know the moment…it is that moment when you have had enough. Your kid has done something for the umpteenth time and they have been at it for several hours. You finally hit your limit and you let them know it in the strongest possible terms…in public. Store patrons areContinue Reading

Do the Next Right Thing

Somethings things get complicated. It gets hard to make what seems to be the best decision. If you do this, someone gets hurt. If you do something else, someone else might get upset. It can drive you crazy trying to figure out what to do. Missy and I have this saying that we will oftenContinue Reading

Pharaoh’s First Words

“Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’” Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know theContinue Reading

Chosen By God: Two Extremes and Some Middle Ground

Just how much is God at work in the world? Is God responsible for all things or nothing at all? Is God involved in every detail of every happening or has God left us to fend for ourselves? There are two extreme positions to just how much God works in the world. On one sideContinue Reading

Logos Review: The Indelible Image By Ben Witherington

Take a New Testament theology and blend it with a commentary on the whole New Testament and then pull out the resulting ethical message of every New Testament writer in nearly every new Testament book and you get a 1700 page, 2 volume book of excellence that is “The Indelible Image” by Ben Witherington. ThisContinue Reading

The Resurrection of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac

God telling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac is a tough story. It brings up a lot of questions about God and a lot of questions about Abraham. We don’t get all of the answers but one of the answers we do get is found in Hebrews 11:17-19 in regard to what was going through Abraham’s mindContinue Reading

The Power of God’s Possession

One of the things that has been really helpful to me over the last few years has been the little word “of.” When you use that word you are talking about belonging. If something or someone is “of” something or someone…then it belongs to them. That little word of is in the phrase/name “Church ofContinue Reading

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