“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God…”
1 Peter 1:22-23 ESV
The message that we’re to love one another is nothing new. We see it time and again in Scripture. And, in the above passage, Peter calls on us to love one another earnestly.
We all fail, when it comes to this command. We fail to love each other as God calls us. And even though this is a problem, the bigger problem is the way we excuse this failure.
We excuse our failure to love by pointing to our sinful nature. We’re sinners, we say. We say that nobody’s perfect. And, although this is true, we use this truth in a way it’s not intended to be used.
We use this to excuse our ongoing behavior. We use it to dismiss the clear and obvious sin in our life. We use this truth to explain why we’ve acted so unloving, and why this behavior will continue in the future. We use it to say that we do not intend to turn from our sin and to walk in love as God has called us.
Peter approaches this differently. We are to love one another earnestly, he says, because we’ve been born again of imperishable seed. In other words, we’re to love one another earnestly because we’ve been born of God and have received the blessing of everlasting life.
Even though it’s true that our sinful nature will remain a part of us until we meet the Lord face to face, it’s not to dictate our actions. It’s the salvation of God that’s to do so. We are to love one another earnestly because Christ has saved us from sin and death.
Because we’ve been saved from sin, we’re to love one another earnestly. Because we are the children of God, we’re to love one another earnestly. This is the identity in which we’re to live.