- Take a moment to pray. Praise God for His Word and ask Him to teach you its truth, just as the psalmist prayed in Psalm 119:12-16, “Praise be to You, O Lord; teach me Your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from Your mouth. I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word.”
- Read 1 Peter 1:22-25
- The NASB translation of 1:22 accurately translates the original Greek the following way, “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart . . .” The big idea here seems to be an identity based argument. Since we have been purified and given a new nature that is both clean (holy) AND loving, we should love others. Without divine intervention and a new birth in Christ, people are primarily selfish. However, our new identity in Christ is made to love (not use) others. What has been your experience with Christians? Are they primarily loving people? What makes you answer the way you do?
- If you are a Christian, do you find yourselves drawn to love and care for others around you? What are some examples from your life of what it looks like when you love others well? What are the challenges you have in loving others?
- STUDY NOTE: In Christ, people are “born again” according to 1 Peter 1:23. (being “born again was referenced in both 1:3 and 1:23). It seems that much of 1 Peter 1 deals with the new life that Christians have in Christ. In 1:3-12 we saw that new life brings hope, while 1:13-25 shows new life leads to holiness and brotherly love. Christian virtue and ethics always flow from our identity of who we are in Christ and what He has done for us.
- A “born again” Christian is someone who has been renewed of an imperishable seed according to 1 Peter 1:23. What do you think that is implying?
- The Word of God (both the living Word – Jesus, and the written Word – Bible) is always true and never changing. So much in this life changes, gets outdated, breaks, or suffers decay (as the quotation from Isaiah 40:6,8 found in 1 Peter 1:24-25 shows). However, Christians have a permanent hope because we are given a new and Eternal Life in Christ. Holy living never gets outdated, because of our identity in Christ which longs for holiness. Loving others never is a broken idea, because in Christ we were recreated to love others, and that will not change. Knowing this, allows us to understand that very old ideas (found in the Bible) are still quite fashionable and relevant for us today. What are some of the things the Bible encourages us to do/not do that are deemed “old fashioned” in our world today?
To link to the entire “True Grace” Study of 1 Peter for download, click here.