1 Peter 1:22-23
Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned love of the brothers…
I. BROTHERLY LOVE ILLUSTRATED.
1. The objects and elements of this love.
(1) It is called "the love of the brethren," "brotherly "kindness," as contradistinguished from that "charity" which has for its object the whole race of man (2 John 2).
(2) This circumstance, which necessarily limits this principle as to its range, gives it greater comprehension of elementary principles and greater intensity of influence and activity of operation. It includes goodwill in its highest degree; but to this it adds moral esteem, complacential delight, tender sympathy.
2. The distinctive characters of Christian love.
(1) "With a pure heart."
(a) The leading idea here is genuineness — sincerity. It must be real love, not affected or put on (Romans 12:9; 1 John 3:18).
(b) It includes freedom from all low, selfish motives and ends.
(2) "Fervently."(a) This term conveys the idea of constancy. A Christian brother, when he acts like himself, "loves at all times." No change of circumstances, especially to the worse, on the part of its object, should affect it except in the way of increasing it.
(b) The word also conveys the idea of intensity and power. Our Christian love should be so fervent as that "many waters" of neglect, infirmities, offences, petty injuries, "shall not quench it," or even damp its ardour. And it should manifest its strength, not merely by overcoming opposing obstacles, but by making exertions and sacrifices.
(3) There is one character which it is of peculiar importance that our mutual affection as Christians should be distinguished by — it should be love like Christ's (John 13:34). His love was free and ready, considerate and wise, laborious and expensive, generous and self-sacrificing; looking to all their interests, but chiefly to their highest interests; not forgetting that they had bodies, but chiefly concerned about their souls; and such should be our brotherly love.
II. BROTHERLY LOVE RECOMMENDED.
1. The intimate and indissoluble mutual relation between Christians as brethren, arising out of their intimate and indissoluble common relation to God as their Father, is a strong motive to the cultivation and exercise of Christian brotherly kindness.
2. The common character to which all Christians have been formed by the agency of the same Spirit, and the instrumentality of the same Word, is another strong motive.
(J. Brown, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: