Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart…. (
God’s truth will transform us. The truth provides the standard for transformation—it reveals God’s holy character and His holy commandments, so we know what we are to do. It provides the stimulus for transformation—showing our accountability and the rewards and discipline if we obey or not, so we know why we obey. The Word not only provides the standard and stimulus, but the strength for transformation—it renews our mind, nourishes our soul, and fortifies our faith. The Bible is different from any other book—Divine in its nature and power.
Peter points to THE ETERNAL ABILITY OF THE WORD OF GOD TO SAVE US (v.23). He speaks of the effects of the Word in verse 22 and offers an explanation for this in verse 23. If you are saved, it is because someone, somewhere, somehow shared with you the Word of God. It may have been your parents, a preacher, a teacher or friend, but you heard the Gospel and believed in Christ. No life whether human, animal or plant begins without a seed. That is the starting point of all and it is the beginning of a spiritual birth, even as fertilization begins a physical birth. That seed is the Word of God. We should have confidence that the power of the Gospel that saves us has power to save others. Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (
Peter, also, proclaims THE EFFECTIVE AGENCY OF THE WORD OF GOD TO SANCTIFY US (v.22). The Holy Spirit works through the Holy Scriptures to produce holy saints. The new life implanted in us at salvation becomes a new lifestyle incarnated in us through sanctification. “Purified” is in the perfect tense that speaks of that which commences at conversion—positional—and continues in sanctification—progressive—until it culminates in glorification--perfection. The truth that we comprehend in our head, becomes the conviction of our heart, and then becomes the compulsion of our conduct. The faithful application of the truth through obedience is how we grow in Christ-likeness. Faith is active, not passive. We can’t be pure apart from the Spirit’s power, but we won’t be pure apart from our partnership with Him. A new life produces a new love. It is the outstanding mark of the Christian. “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (
Peter, further, professes THE ENDURING ACTIVITY OF THE WORD OF GOD TO SECURE US (v.24-25). The work of the Spirit that begins when we respond in faith to the Word of God continues to be active in us as we grow in the Word and will ultimately shape us to be like Christ in glory. The brevity and frailty of our humanity is stressed in verse 24. Contrast that with God’s eternal and powerful Word in verse 25. The unchanging Word in an unstable world is what we need. If your Bible is coming apart, you won’t be!
I commend to you the Word of God. Trust its Author and He will save you. Study its message and it will sanctify you. Make it the foundation of your faith and it will secure you—giving you a solid path in the constantly shifting philosophies of the age.