1 Pet 1:22
INTRO: The further I go in a fairly detailed study of Peters first letter, the more amazed I am by the number of different ways in which Peter emphasizes that the Christian life is a changed life. As Peter writes further, there is just no way we can fail to see the imperative of living differently. And in the verse we have read there is also an interesting thought relative to contemporary thinking. That thought involves the two words obeying and love. We might summarize the thought in this way. Before we can discuss loving, we must discuss obeying.
I. THE AIM OF CONVERSION PURIFIED SOULS
A. What contaminates the soul?
1. of course, the soul is first clean Ezek 28:15
2. but sin enters life to ruin, to mar Ezek 18:20
B. And it is Gods concern that the soul be purified
1. we cannot expect to enter heaven polluted by sin
2. 1 Cor 6:9,10 under sins control one cannot look toward a heavenly objective
3. and it is Gods desire that all be saved 2 Pet 3:9 and 1 Tim 2:4
C. Thus, conversion deals with the problem of sin pollution
1. 2 Pet 2:18,20 clean ... escaped the pollutions
2. the very word conversion speaks of a change to convert means to change from one thing to another
3. Acts 3:19 repent be converted sins blotted out
II. HOW HAD THEIR SOULS BEEN PURIFIED? OBEYING THE TRUTH
A. Think about the truth
1. Peter says it is obeyed
2. thus, it is not a sterile, irrelevant set of facts like the Guiness Book of Records
3. Jno 17:17 sanctify ... through thy truth this truth demands our attention
4. Eph 1:13 truth, the gospel of your salvation
5. revealed, knowable truth is essential to purified souls no purifying apart from this truth - no direct operation of the Holy Spirit which takes the place of truth
B. But think, too, of obeying
1. purified ... in obeying
2. it seems more prevalent than ever to think of ones salvation in terms of an experience and such expressions as just let Jesus come into your heart
3. such ideas and teaching leave definite wrong ideas and do violence to truth
4. no question of it ... obeying the truth is essential (Acts 6:7) we are not passive in conversion
5. words in Greek show that purification began at an identifiable, definite point in the past
a. Acts 10:34 it would have been the same for all
b. is there such a clear dividing line revealed in scripture? Rom 6:4; 1 Pet 3:21; Acts 22:16 ... baptism
C. And note ye have purified ...
1. it is important to stress Gods role in this - Eph 2:8
2. but Peter recognized our needing to take action to receive that purification ... Acts 2:40 .. and 41.
3. waiting for God to mysteriously drop salvation on us is a long, fruitless wait
4. God has moved now, it is your move
III. NOW WE CAN TALK ABOUT LOVING!
A. I rejoice to hear more reference to love in the Lords church
1. this has certainly been a neglected quality
2. but so many seem to have gone overboard all love and no practical concern for the first real step of love which must be obedience - 1 Jno 5:3 and 2:3,4
3. this response of our love to God then leads to our involvement - in love - of each other
B. Church is a community a fellowship
1. the brethren - one another
2. and there is only one way such a fellowship of diverse parts can be truly strong, workable ...
3. ... through love
C. Two different words are used
1. unfeigned love (Philos)affection, fondness
2. love (Agapao) one another actions, concern rising from our seeing the value of others
3. and it takes both kinds of love to make the church a blessing to the world
CLOSE: We must obey Christs teaching, and we must love one another. Each has its essential place.
Cecil A. Hutson
15 April 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)