(1 Peter 2:1-3) The Purification of Our Love - Part 1
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!”).
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.
Proposition: We ought to cleanse our love for one another.
Transition: This text gives us 3 components for how to cleanse our love.
1) Purge our Relationships of Sin ()
- Malice - Is the desire to harm someone.
Deceit - is the taking advantage of someone through craft and underhanded methods. (Deceitful)
- Hypocrisy - presenting a false image to others or to ourselves.
1. The believer who lives like the world.
2. The Believer who Acts as though he has no sin.
- Envy - to be jealous of someone (or something)
- Slander - is harmful statements about someone in order to damage their reputation.
2) Purify our Relationships with the Word of God. ()
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.
3) Purpose our Relationships in God’s Kindness. ()
Ps 106:7 See also 2Ch 32:24-25; Ro 2:4