Effects of the Word - I Peter 1:18-22
May 15, 2023, 8:00 AM

18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.

As a pastor of two historical churches I’ve participated in many reunions. As is true in many churches there are high points and low points. At anniversary times the high points are highlighted and the low points ignored, but to come together to see what God has done is also a means to continue the call. It becomes a service of hope.

What was encouraging was the breath of fresh air given by the Holy Spirit to revive and renew the church. They saw people come to Christ, clean up their lives, change, and worship. The theme around which many spoke was the enduring work of God that was founded on continual teaching, training, and preaching from the Word of God. As we remain faithful the Word of God and seek to put it into practice and obey it, we can believe it will not return void. God is doing something by His Spirit through the Word that is to produce love.

As we continue to look at Peter’s encouragement to the suffering church, they knew Pastor Peter experienced the hard times of life. They knew he did not always get it right. He wanted them to keep looking to the Lord. He knew the only practical way to do that was to keep diligent in the Word of God. It is not just for the purpose of study and learning truth. It is for the purpose of living out that truth and changing our hearts and our relationships.

The truth of the word points to the person of Jesus Christ. The Bible is to be a living book. That is a present tense verb. It talks about continuingly living out the truths that affect us in life and in suffering. In a world where everything is dying around us there is one thing that endures. It is the Word of God.

If we start to replace the teachings of the Bible with thoughts of mankind, we will endanger the church. When we speak the truth without love we have hardened the church. When we speak love without truth, we move to a man-made religion. The anchor holds. It is the basis of not only our faith, but our life. If it doesn’t affect how we live, then we haven’t understood it well enough yet.

Application:  Can you think of a practical way to carry out one of its principles today? How has it encouraged you? How has it affected you? How has it affected others through you? It is the change agent through which God works.

Prayer: Oh Lord, I know that Your Word is living and active. May it be alive in my heart for the purpose of living out the truth and changing my heart and my relationships.