Scripture for Today's Teaching
1 Peter 1:22-25 "22 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: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
Obedience is everything in our walk with God, it's the fruit of gratitude and love. Without obeying God's word & Holy Spirit we walk into a world of misery and destruction. God makes it our choice to surrender our obedience to Him, but this passage of scripture reveals to us there are hidden stumbling blocks in the way of obedience. Today we are going to uncover these stumbling blocks and see how we can fully surrender our obedience to the Holy Spirit!
Verse 22 tells us that the purification of the soul leads a person to obedience, and if purification leads to obedience, it's clear that a defiled soul will lead someone to rebellion. But that raises another question, didn't Jesus atone for our souls, and if that's the case why would God's word make the process of purification, our responsibility?
The answer is simple, Jesus paid for our sins by the offering of His soul, Isaiah 53:10 "...when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin..." and Lev 5:1 God's word makes it clear that sin lives in the soul "And if a soul sin...". Jesus cleared the entry of our sins from the Father's record with His own blood shed on the cross, Isaiah 44:22 "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee." But this is God's record of our sins, He doesn't hold them against us anymore as we are in Christ (1 John 3:9 "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."), but we are called to clear the “record” (conscious) of our sins to serve God, Hebrews 9:14. We’re forgiven of our sins and this allows us to walk forward with Christ.
The remembrance of sins that defiles the soul, this is because remembering sin isn't of faith and Titus 1:15 connects "unbelieving" with being defiled, "unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." The word even reveals to us how this leads to dead works and eventually ends in a person being a reprobate, all because they allowed their mind to be full of the remembrance of sin, something that Jesus has done away with.
This is crucial for us to understand to move forward, the direct remembrance of sin leads us away from the liberty Jesus paid for with His own blood! This not only hinders obedience, but causes someone to serve a "dead god" with "dead works", constantly trying to earn something Jesus already paid for, the forgiveness of sins!
If this remembrance of sin can be this destructive in our walk with God, what do you think is happening to our relationships when we hold the sins of others against them as well? 1 Peter 1:22 ends in connecting this purification with love for others, "...through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently". It's hard to love someone when you have a case against them, and this case against others defiles your own soul. This resentment falls back on our own self and does the same damage to us as if we hadn’t received the forgiveness of Christ! You end up suffering from the consequences of it, obedience, love, and joy all become an unattainable goal separating you from the truth. Give forgiveness as you've been forgiven, share the love you've freely received and obedience will become effortless by the Holy Spirit.
It's by faith we got forgiveness, it's by faith we give it, and God rewards this faith with the gift of love & obedience. So start with the person in the mirror, because that's who was on the Father's mind when the blood of His only Son was shed.
Isaiah 49:16 "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."