1 Peter 1:22-23
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.
My dog, Deana, hates baths. HATES. This could be the reason she does not receive them very often. Okay, let us not kid ourselves, this is absolutely the reason she rarely finds herself cleansed. However, when we bathe Deana it is really a partnership. She cannot be cleansed without our doing the majority of the work. Deana has a simple job – let us do the work. Simple, yet challenging. I will not typically force her to stay in the water and allow us to scrub her down unless she is obedient to what I ask of her. We do the cleansing but much of it happens with her obedience to us – because we love her and she loves/trusts us.
At first glance, in this 1 Peter passage, it would seem that we have a call to purify our own souls and that this happens through obedience to truth. I do not honestly want the responsibility to cleanse myself. In my power, I fail at it. While there is truth present in this verse we are completely missing the purpose if we stop here. A new life of obedient love, which brings about purification of our souls, is only natural for people who have a new nature – who have been born again! These persons understand who their loving Father is, having been reborn! These persons have a relationship with God. “Since you have been born again” you can begin to purify your soul, which happens in a big way through obedient love that flows through a pure heart. Hear this though:
You only have a pure heart through the cleansing blood of Jesus.
You only have the ability to obey truth through the grace and truth of Christ in you.
You only have the capacity to love because of Love indwelling you – Love who was, is and is to come.
When you are born again you have been washed white as snow by the One who you now KNOW. This means you can trust Him. This means you can sit in the water, loving obediently all those around you, and allow him to purify you even more. Please do not jump out of the water. Stay in the water through the power of trust that you have through relationship to your Owner. When He says sit, sit. When He says stand, stand. When He says to let him get your belly, roll over! You and I have a lot junk that God wants to clean. The more we sit under the cleansing power of the Lord in complete obedient love the greater we can be Christ to others in every aspect of our lives, and this allows God to purify us even more. Let Him scrub deep.