The words of the apostle Peter are just what I need right now.
Now that you have purified souls by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.1 Peter 1:22
In early Christianity, “obeying the truth” was shorthand for believing the Gospel and becoming a convert to Christianity.
Peter reminded his Christian friends that as new converts they’ve been given purified souls – they are new through and through. And the new soul in them desires to love other followers of Jesus in two ways:
• 1. Sincerely: (anypokritos) A purified soul loves other believers genuinely, naturally, not pretending or going through the motions.
• 2. Deeply: (ektenos) A purified soul loves other believers fervently, continuously, with perseverance, under great strain. The Greek word here was used of people persevering torture on the rack – stretched out, disjointed, enduring through tremendous agony.
Peter reminds his friends that through Jesus they’ve been given even more than forgiveness of sin and eternal life; they’ve been given a new soul that genuinely desires to love fellow Christians sincerely and deeply.
Love is natural for the Christian, but it isn’t easy. Loving others can be disjointing and difficult – a real pain!