Summary: what is truth? These are the famous words of Pilate, just before he gave in to the accusations of the crowds and the chief priests to have Jesus crucified. But instead of asking ‘what’ is truth, perhaps he should have asked ‘who’ is truth? Who is the trut
Truth, Love & the Word 1 Peter 1:22-25
22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.[a] 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord stands forever."[b] And this is the word that was preached to you. (NIV)
a. 1 Peter 1:22 Some early manuscripts from a pure heart
1) Purified. What does it mean to be pure? How do I purify myself? To be purified means to be cleaned up, to remove any unwanted, undesirable, or foreign material. I found a little clip to help illustrate the removal of foreign contamination…(wall-e clip. 1:36). Wall-E is dirty, at least as far as the robots in this new world seem to think, and he needs some cleaning up, well a LOT of cleaning up. And poor MO spends most of this movie cleaning up after wall-e and his messy trail throughout the ship. For us here today, we need come cleaning up too. No, we’re not robots, we have a free will and the ability to choose the way we live our lives. But we can have some ‘foreign contaminants’ in our lives. Things that the bible calls ‘sin’. And just like the contaminants stick to the probes in that movie, sin sticks to us until we deal with it, or clean it up. In order for us to be acceptable to God, who is, as we discussed last week, the impartial judge of our lives, we must be clean, holy, purified. God cannot have any impurity in His presence, and so we must be clean. And we are cleaned, not by some robotic process, but by the blood of Christ, and by, as Peter states here, our OBEDIENCE of the truth.
2) OBEY. Some people don’t like that word. It makes us think of being under someone’s authority that perhaps we don’t want to be under. To obey someone means to surrender to their authority. We send dogs to obedience school so that they will obey our commands when we say, ‘heel, sit, stay, don’t jump on the couch, don’t jump on the couch, DON’T JUMP ON THE COUCH!’. We teach our children to obey, at least we try to, so that when there is danger they will listen and obey our instructions. I’ve said to our kids things like, ‘you need to obey me. If I were to say jump out of this moving car, I need to know that you would do it, in case your life depended on it.’ How silly is that, jump out of a moving car??? But hey, if it was a life or death situation, and jumping out of the car meant life, I hope that’s the choice we’d make! We may have even used the word ‘obey’ in our wedding vows. How’s that going? God asks us to obey, even when it seems crazy, or odd, or different than we would do something. He asks us to obey Him, His Word, His truth. And since He is God, our Father, shouldn’t we obey Him? My simple mind has to figure that He knows a lot more about what is right for me to do than I do, so I should listen to what He says is right, right? And by obeying the truth, we are purified. Obedience leads us to purity. Obedience makes us clean before God. So, are we going to obey Him and his truth?
3) And what is truth? These are the famous words of Pilate, just before he gave in to the accusations of the crowds and the chief priests to have Jesus crucified. But instead of asking ‘what’ is truth, perhaps he should have asked ‘who’ is truth? Who is the truth we are to obey? It is Jesus Christ. He is the Truth. Look back to the beginning of this very letter, in Peter’s greeting, Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance. (NIV) Jesus is the Truth. In John 14:6, Jesus says that He is the way and the truth and the life, and hat no one comes to the Father except through Him. In many of Jesus’ parables and teachings, He starts by saying, ‘I tell you the truth,’ and then He proceeds to teach us truth. Jesus brings truth, teaches truth, and is truth so why don’t people obey all that He says to do? Why do people choose to go through life without the truth? We tell our kids, don’t touch, it’s hot, you’ll get hurt, and yet they do it anyway? (see I told you…no we don’t say that, we love our kids) What is it about our human nature that wants to push the boundaries of truth? Perhaps it is it that we don’t want to accept that God is telling the truth ALL the time? So many people say that they are looking for truth, for something to believe in, but the last place they look is to God and the church, why is that? Why work so hard trying to find truth when it is right here in front of us? God’s not wanting to make it difficult to find truth. We don’t have to climb some mountain to ask some guru about the meaning of life, it’s all contained in God’s word. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. (Ephesians 2:10) That is our purpose. We are made by God, hand-crafted by the Creator of the universe; made to do good things for Him and for each other.