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(1 Peter 2:1-3) The Purification of Our Love - Part 1

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Peter challenged the believers to love one another in 1 Peter 1:22-25. Peter expands on the Word and this love in 1 Peter 2:1-3. Peter gives us the basic components for how to purify the love in our relationships: purge them of sin, purify them with the Word, and purpose your actions in God's kindness. (Part 1 - Cleanse your Love)

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Introduction:
I would like to begin today by reading a quote:

They had come to me for counseling. Now Jeff and Ellie sat across from me on opposite ends of the couch.  The air was heavy with tension. They had been married for fifteen years, and had reached a point where they could barely say a civil word to one another. Almost everything they said was an accusation, their words spit out with extreme anger. My heart was sad.  I knew there was a time when they had adored one another. I knew that they had once hung onto each other’s words and loved each other’s company. Though they had once anticipated their marriage with excitement and hope, it was now a place of anger (“I can’t believe he/she did this to me!”) and regret (“I wish I had never been married!”).

(Author - Dave Harvey)
Have you ever been in a place where someone you care for has become someone you can’t stand to be around.
Maybe it’s your spouse. This story was about two people who were married to one another. Or maybe it’s a family member, a friend, or perhaps even a church member.
You used to laugh together, work together, maybe even cry together, but now you can’t stand each other.
Maybe you have regrets, but you don’t know what to do.
Our text this morning is about how to turn an angry situation into one in which the Grace of God has been magnified. One in which your hate has been transformed back into love.
1 Peter 1:2–3 ESV
2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 2L1-3
Introduction - I want to love like I ought to, but I keep messing it up.
1 Peter 2:1–3 ESV
1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
You used t
Now I admit, This paragraph is primarily about love between church members. This paragraph is an explanation for how to love one another in church in .
Introduction - I want to love like I ought to, but I keep messing it up.
Now I admit, This paragraph is primarily about love between church members. This paragraph is an explanation for how to love one another in church in .
1 Peter 1:22 ESV
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
1 Peter 1:23 ESV
23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
What I want to do, love, does not match up with my actions, anger, ...
But the problem in our love for one another is the same problem I have with my wife, children, coworkers, friends. The process of transformation is also the same.
But the problem in our love for one another in the church is the same problem I have with my wife, children, coworkers, and friends. Likewise, the way to change my hate into love is the same. The principles are the same.

What is this drama? It is the drama of sin and grace.

What do all of us do in our marriages in some way? We all tend to deny our sin (while pointing out the sin of the other). By denying our sin, we devalue grace. What is important about this book is that at the level of the hallways and family rooms of everyday life, it is very honest about sin and very hopeful about the amazing resources of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

So what does this text say about my love for others?
This paragraph is primarily about love between one another, but the problem in our love for one another is the same problem I have with my wife, children, coworkers, friends. The process of transformation is also the same.
This paragraph is primarily about love between one another, but the problem in our love for one another is the same problem I have with my wife, children, coworkers, friends. The process of transformation is also the same.

Proposition: We ought to cleanse our love for one another.

Transition: This text gives us 3 components for how to cleanse our love.

Note: This morning we are going to began looking at the first component of cleansing our love and after Easter we will look at the other two components of cleansing our love.
The first component, we ought to:

1) Purge our Relationships of Sin ()

1 Peter 2:1 ESV
1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
Perhaps, you have been where I have been.
Perhaps, you have been where I have been.
I want to change my love, but my flesh gets in the way.
Galatians 5:17 ESV
17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
The problem with our love is our hearts have sin and our flesh desires that sin.
The problem with our love is our hearts have sin and our flesh desires that sin.
EXPLANATION:
You, see, we may even desire to love as God has called us to, but our flesh gets in the way. It’s desires opposes what we know we ought to do.
That is, I desire malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander more than mercy and grace.
Maybe you desire these sins because of anger, pride, or fear,
but the major point is that you desire these sins more than you desire obedience for God and to demonstrate your love for God.
What is the biggest obstacle to have God-honoring love? My sin.
Which means that the first component to changing my love from hate to kindness is to deal with my sin.
This text specifically mentions malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander.
We are to put off the these sins. This is the same idea and word the Paul used in .
Colossians 3:8 ESV
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
ILLUSTRATION:
This is the idea of putting the trash of your sin in trash can. Take that pile of sin that is heaping up in your life, throw it away into the trash.
This is the idea of discarding something foul.
We are told we ought to cleanse our lives of:

- Malice - Is the desire to harm someone.

1 Peter 2:1 NIV
1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
How do we show malice in our love?
There is some type of disagreement and because of your anger you desire to harm that person.
Now perhaps your sitting and saying, I have never been malicious. I have never hit anybody before. Then you are like me, I have never hit anybody, but I certainly have been malicious.
- Peter is probably not talking about only physical harm.
I can’t imagine the churches were known for beating each other up in arguments.
How can we be malicious without doing physical harm?
a) We attack their position, reputation, honor and respect. It is not surprising that one of the following words is slander.
b) We find ways to not include them from social events. “Don’t invite her”
c) We find ways to have our way over their way, even when it doesn’t matter. We have observed this. We look at someone’s argument and say, that is pretty petty. Yet for them, they are furious about it. And so the petty becomes a mountain.
In more personal relationships,
a) We cut down our loved ones with our words. We say what we ought not to say, because we know it hurts them.
b) We purposely agitate them - “We push their buttons”
b) We find ways to get back at them. “Fine, I will leave my dirty socks on the floor. See how you like that.”
The fact is, often our love is mixed with maliciousness. Those who we should love most, our family and our church, often are the greatest victims of our maliciousness.
And may I say,
- God as our judge doesn’t look on the external choices, but on the inward heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Let’s talk hypothetically, Let’s say you have never actually commited any of those sins.
But can you say that your heart never desired harm to someone else?
If nothing else, our hearts convict us of having impure love. Our love may sometimes sincere, but also often is malicious.
We ought to cleanse our hearts from maliciousness and seek to love one another purely.
We are told we ought to cleanse our lives of:

Deceit - is the taking advantage of someone through craft and underhanded methods. (Deceitful)

This word is perhaps a blend between what we understand as deceit and what we understand as manipulation.
Lying in some ways is deceitful, but deceit goes beyond lying.
ILLUSTRATION:
Children often lie to get out of circumstances. They know mom and dad said no, so they lie trying to get it out of it.
Johnny, did you through the ball in the house. No I didn’t thrown the ball in the house.
Now God says, “do not lie”, but understand deceit is beyond a lie.
It is purposefully manipulating circumstances, often lieing, to take advantage of someone.
ILLUSTRATION:
In our house, thanks to the Patch the Pirate Programs, we call it the “Sneaky Sheik”.
The Sneak Sheik is character who uses others - to steal jewels. From kidnapping children, impersonating travel guides, and ransoming people; he finds ways to manipulate people to his advantage.
That is deceitfulness.
The fastest way to destroy our love and our ability to love is to manipulate someone. Whether in our church, or in our families, the betrayal of deceit breaks the bonds of love. It corrupts any act of love we have done before, and destroys trust in which we might love each other in the future.
Now my guess, is that none of your are international jewel thieves. Nor were the believers in Northern Turkey professional jewel thieves.
So then, how are we deceitful?
The basic definition is that we take advantage of someone through underhanded methods.
Which means anytime I seek to get my way either by lying, withholding information, or manipulating someone, I have commited the sin of deceit.
So when I lie, withhold, or manipulate my wife, child, friend, church member, … I have commited the sin of deceit.
Further, at the center of deceit is my selfishness.
If we are deceiving people for personal advantage, then the real heart problem is my selfish desire is more important than my obedience to God or that relationship.
Now I do not have time to list all the ways we could possibly be deceitful to our lives, children, friends, and church members.
But I will give you an example that should challenge us to think about how we are love one another with deceit.
But it will example that all the challenges us to receive one deceitful and how long others.
I've included in your bulletin an article titled manipulate repentance.
Notice the Sayings that people commonly used to manipulate one another in their personal relationships.
I've included in your bulletin an article titled manipulate repentance.
- “I know I’m not perfect.”
I've included in your bulletin an article titled manipulate repentance.
- “I’ve never pretended to be someone I’m not.”
- “You are bringing up stuff from the past.”
- “You know I am not the kind of person who would do that… that is not what I meant.”
- “I said I was sorry. What more do you want from me? What more can I do?”
- “There are a lot of people / couples who have it much worse than you / we do.”
- “I promise I will do better (without agreement about the problem or concrete examples)”
No not all these things necessarily have to be manipulative, but often we use it to avoid dealing with the problem and to shift blame of our sin.
They are all examples of how we love in deceit, while really looking out for our personal desires.
They are all attempts to avoid true repentance and or examples of how we are deceitful in our personal relationships.
Are you deceitful in your love?
We ought to cleanse our hearts from deceit and seek to love one another purely.
We are told we ought to cleanse our lives of:

- Hypocrisy - presenting a false image to others or to ourselves.

Hypocrisy is a very hostile word. You want to get into a quick argument with someone, just call him a hypocrite. In fact the greater you know them the angrier they get.
No one wants to be called a hypocrite and of course no one claims to be a hypocrite.
Yet, this morning Peter is calling the churches of Northern Turkey not to be a hypocrite. Consequently, I challenge you this morning not to be a hypocrite.
Hypocrite: DEFINED: presenting a false image to others or to ourselves.
One of the saddest realities of the church is the hypocrisy of the church. There are really two extremes to this hypocrisy.

1. The believer who lives like the world.

This person claims to be a believer, but in reality their friends, hobbies, and personal words say quite the opposite.
This person claims to be a believer, but in reality their friends, hobbies, and personal words say quite the opposite.
This person claims to be a believer, but in reality their friends, hobbies, and personal words say quite the opposite.
It may even justify this hypocritical living like and being that if they lived as purely as others in the church then they would not be able to tell others about Christ. No one could actually relate to them.
Sad reality is that in fact this shows how small there God is and how little he matters to them.
This text calls us to be transformed and changed by the gospel.
1 Peter 1:24 ESV
24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,
1 Peter 1:23 ESV
23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
1 Peter 1:22 ESV
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
1 Peter 1::
1 Peter 1:22
The whole point of this paragraph is that we live purified lives.
1 Peter :
This person missed a major command of Scripture.
I have met people like this car washes, production plans, friends from high school, and all over the place.
This is a sad hypocritical state of the Christian church.
Sadly, there is another extreme in the church.

2. The Believer who Acts as though he has no sin.

I am not sure which is worse.
The Christian who claims to believe and yet is not transformed or the Christian who believes and yet pretends to be transformed.
How does one pretends to be a faithful Christian?
By acting like he's transformed when in reality he has a multitude of sins. Particularly, he claims to be sanctified when the sin of malice and deceit is at the center of His love for others.
Hypocritical living is at the center of many of Jerry Bridges books.
>His book, the Sins we Accept, is focused on the hypocrisy.
>It is about the sins we commit and allow while claiming to be sanctified.
>"Why do we not also mourn over our selfishness, our critical spirit, our impatience, and our anger? It’s easy to let ourselves off the hook by saying that these sins are not as bad as the flagrant ones of society.”
(Bridges, Jerry. Sins We Accept (Kindle Locations 35-36). NavPress. Kindle Edition.)
This hypocrisy destroys our love for one another.
- No one wants to pray with someone who acts like he has it altogether when in reality he is malicious and deceitful.
- He exhibits self love rather than sacrificial love of Christ.
The sin of hypocrisy also dishonors the name of Christ.
ILLUSTRATION:
How many of us have come across someone who we try to witness to and their first response is the church is a bunch of hypocrites?
The sad reality is they are partially right. The rejection of Christ is wrong, but their observation of the the church being hypocritical is not always incorrect.
- We ought to be ashamed of the hypocrisy that Christian in and out of the church.
- We ought to be concerned with cleansing our lives of hypocritical living.
Are you putting a false image on for others?
We ought to cleanse our hearts from hypocrisy and seek to love one another purely.
We are told we ought to cleanse our lives of:

- Envy - to be jealous of someone (or something)

CAVEAT: Now I understand that many of our ladies studied this on Thursday. But none of the men were there.
Our text this morning tells us we ought not to be in envious of one another.
God is jealous so there is a right form of envy.
- It is right to be jealous for your wife.
- It is right to be jealous for your God.
Wrong kind of Jealousy
- It is not right to be jealous somebody else has more wealth than you,
- of someone who gets to teach while you listen,
- or the one who gets to do a certain ministry in the church.
- Someone Has the authority to make decisions I don’t like.
This is the kind of jealousy that Peter is talking about, that is envy.
First,
Envy is ultimately a distrust in God’s providential rule.
That is, envy ultimately comes down to
a) I want that X
b. And I deserve that X
So my heart is envious.
But what is neglected!
Either: God is never even considered (Christian atheism) or I do not trust God enough that he provides every blessing that is Good for me.
Psalm
Psalm 84:11 ESV
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Envy is a sure sign that we worship ourselves and our desires more than we worship God.
Also, note what envy costs
ILLUSTRATION:
We often teach our children, whether in our homes or in SS, we teach them that sin always comes with a price.
What does envy cost us?
James
James 3:13–16 ESV
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
one of the effects of self-worship is envy.
Out of envy comes a great multitude of more sin and destruction. It twists our love for one another. In some ways it makes us become malice and deceitful to one another.
James
A church, marriage, family, workplace, friends that are full of envy ultimately leads to complete disorder and multitude of sin.
James 3:16 NIV
16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
So what do we do about our envy?
Philippians 2:3 ESV
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Instead, of being envious, trust God, and prefer others.
Are you envious of others?
We ought to cleanse our hearts from envy and seek to love one another purely.
Finally, We are told we ought to cleanse our lives of:

- Slander - is harmful statements about someone in order to damage their reputation.

Another name might be Gossip.
Often slander is spoken out of a malicious, deceitful, hypocritical, and envious heart.
ILLUSTRATION:
There is saying, “hurting people hurt others”.
Bitterness and anger drives slander.
a. Sometimes it is because they hurt us.
b. Sometimes it is because we are jealous.
c. Sometimes it is because we have different tastes and personality create annoyance.
d. Sometimes it is pride. We puff our selves up as we look down at others.
Whatever the reason, we get even or fulfill our self-desire by slander.
ILLUSTRATION:
Sometimes we do this by saying something deceptive, that mocks the person, or has a double meaning.
Sometimes this occurs in the microphone. This is especially true in private moments with one another where I boast something hurtful towards my spouse, children, friends, or church members.
This doesn’t occur in the microphone, but occurs in our private conversations.
Other times this occurs in our in our private conversations. The private conversations after church, in our homes, or as we work we quitely gossip about the person.
The sad story of the church is this private slander is far to common.
I know of people who have left churches because someone slandered their name among the congregation.
ILLUSTRATION:
The effect of slander is this.
If you were to take someone’s private mail and shred it into pieces. Then you go out into the wide open spaces of Laramie valley and flap that bag in the wind. That slander would travel all over the place.
The next day, your friend says, can I get my mail back.
The fact is, there is no way to get that mail back.
Slander is like that. Once sewn, it can never fully be brought back. But instead of harmless shredded paper, it is a hurtful statement that continues to blow all over the place.
That person hurts every time they come across another one of those pieces flopping in the wind.
Slander is extremely destructive to a marriage, a church, and to friendships.
Are you sewing seeds of slander in your relationships?
We ought to cleanse our hearts from slander and seek to love one another purely.
CONCLUSION:
So Peter has challenged us to put away the sins that defile our love.
Illustration:
Illustration:
I remember hiking in Hawaii and you will often come across a pool or stream of water.
One of the most common mistakes is to actually drink that water.
Hawaii is notorious for parasites. If you actually drink that water, in 24-48 hrs you will be in the hospitable with serious flu like symptoms as your body rejects the parasite.
What is the problem with the water?
The water is contaminated and corrupted.
In order to make that water drinkable, what do have to do?
Purify with a water purifier. They sell back-packing systems that can purify the water by removing the parasites.
In the same way, our love is contaminated and corrupted with sin.
Instead of pure, sincere, truthful love, as Christ loved us, we show love that is malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slanderous.
Peter tells us that we ought to purify our love by removing the parasites of sin.
1 Peter 2:1 ESV
1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
Peter
When we began this morning, I told you about Jeff and Allie.
Two people who love each other and yet a few years latter could not stand each other.
- Perhaps your marriage is like that,
- perhaps you have children like that,
- perhaps you have church members and friends like that.
God has given us a way to reconcile those relationships.
We do not have to continue in bitterness,
but through Christ we have the ability to change those relationships.
“Perhaps, you stand here and say I have tried.”
Remember this:
a. You did not become to hate one another overnight. You need to be faithful to God and your friend by being persistent in love.
b. Further, purifying our love is a process.
It takes time and We need to begin with the first component of that change: Purify our love.
Also, Remember this: The hardest part about this passage is not understanding the words. It is understanding how to apply it.
We need to begin with the first component of that change.
Our hearts are quick to justify us and in pride blind us to our own sin.
I challenge everyone to meditate on these sins this week.
Ask this question:
- Have I loved my spouse as Christ has loved, or have I loved my spouse with malice?
- Have I loved my children as Christ has loved, or have I loved my children with malice?
- and continue through each of your relationships.
- Then repeat the question for each of the sins: malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander.
I challenge us to meditate and purify our love for one another.
Perhaps you stand here and say, I have trid
Hikin:g, come across a nice clean pool, but all it gives is persites. What do you have to do in order to make the water drinkable. Purge it of peresites.
Application:
Struggle with loving as you ought to. First step, purge your love of sin.
:

2) Purify our Relationships with the Word of God. ()

ILLUSTRATION:
The problem with
Ezzo, we fail to give the standard to the children. The reason, we fail to establish principles in their lives is we fail to establish principles in our own lives.
When is the last time you made conviction about how you will respond to someone.
When X shows me love, I will.
When X harms me, I will
Being Wronged involves forgiveness, asking and giving.

A great theologian of our time, J. I. Packer, has observed, “No need in Christendom is more urgent than the need for a renewed awareness of what the grace of God really is.”2 I couldn’t agree more. Christians who cultivate an appreciation for God’s grace and who seek to apply that grace to every area of their lives, position themselves to know a joyfulness and effectiveness that only God can grant.

The first component, we ought to:

3) Purpose our Relationships in God’s Kindness. ()

We often look to the first two and say, ok I am done.
But is that really true.
To not recognize God’s kindness is sin.

Ps 106:7 See also 2Ch 32:24-25; Ro 2:4

Matthew 9:36 ESV
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Acts 14:17 ESV
17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”
Define kindness
Why do I need to purpose my love in God’s kindness?
It is sin if I don’t.
It is the model by which to follow.
His Kindness demands us to be like him, have kindness.
It is the fruit that spons our desire for greater application to the Gospel.
God is the stabalizer when our kindness is rejection and we are wronged.
ILLUSTRATION:
Earth - Air to Breath, food to eat, water to drink, our life is centered around the Earth because it is where life is. No other plant exibits the possibility of life.
Center of the World - Creator.
We can’t live without him, physically. Spiritually, we can’t live without him. Our physical needs and spiritual needs rest in God.
We can’t cleanse our love unless we are dependent and centered upon God.
CONCLUSION:
Galatians 5:17 ESV
17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
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