1 Peter 1:22-23
Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned love of the brothers…
1. The word for "purified" is not that denoting the infusion of virtue, but that which signifies the expulsion from the soul of all defilement, and especially of selfishness. Worldly philosophies and religions only required external lustration — the purification of the life; Christianity inculcates inward sanctity — the purification of the soul.
2. The way to effect this is by believing obedience to the truth as revealed in the Gospel. Christian truths, different from the truths of mathematics and of art, exert a sanctifying influence on the heart. This is the main purpose of their revelation. But how do they accomplish this object? By being obeyed.
3. Truth is only the wire along which the electric current flows from the spirit of God to the spirit of man, only the vehicle to convey holy influences direct from the Holy Ghost to the human soul, which influences set up a spiritual ferment within, making the impurities rise like scum to the surface, finally to be cast off altogether. What, then, is the result of this refining, purifying process? "Unfeigned love of the brethren." A new word has been ostentatiously introduced into recent literature, namely, "altruism." What is its meaning? That man should think more and care more for others than for himself, that he should be ready to sacrifice himself, if need be, for the sake of others. This idea is couched in more intelligible, because simpler, language in the text.
II. UNFEIGNEDNESS. "Unfeigned love of the brethren" — genuine love, without dissimulation, free from hypocrisy.
1. We read of "faith unfeigned," that is to say, faith which is firm and solid to the core. Faith is oftentimes hollow, simulated. "Faith unfeigned" — faith that will move forward through all the miry bogs of infidelity, that will brave the storm and stress of life.
2. "Love unfeigned" — what then is this? Love which will not give way under trial, that will suffer a burden to be put on its back.
1. This implies that our love of the brethren should be powerful enough to overcome all sinful obstacles in our own nature, to burn up all the relies of selfishness in our own souls, so that we may find our supreme delight in serviceableness to our fellow men.
2. It is further implied that our love should be so intense as to overcome all national and sectarian differences. "Love one another fervently," of whatever nation you may chance to be.
(J. C. Jones, 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: