PHBC June 22, 1997
Series: First Peter, Sermon #20
THE SOULS OF PILGRIMS PURIFIED IN OBEYING THE TRUTH
Scripture: I Pet. 1:18-25
TEXT: I Pet. 1:22
INTRO: The importance of truth is set forth throughout the word of God. It cannot be over emphasized. The wise man, Solomon, counseled, Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Truth should never be for sale. There is an old saying, "Every man has his price." I am amazed at the men in the ministry who once stood fast on some aspects of truth who now seem willing to sellout for popularity, or just simple acceptance.
Truth is more important than I am. Truth is more important than you are. Truth should be bought at whatever price it takes and should be sold for no price however high it may be.
In the passage that I have read, we are again confronted with the extraordinary importance and power of truth. The pilgrims to whom Peter wrote are reminded that it is through their obedience to the truth that their hearts have been purified.
They are also reminded that it is through the truth of the word of God that they have been regenerated. The word of God is the Sword of the Spirit and he uses it as an instrumental means in the regeneration of those who are dead in sin.
And, they are reminded that the word of God lives and abides forever. It is forever settled in heaven. It was settled before it was ever written on scrolls and later bound in a book. When holy men of God were born along by the Spirit of God to write the God-breathed Scriptures, what they wrote was the eternally settled word. If every Bible be burned that is in the world and the world is without a single verse of written Scripture, God will not be without his book for it is eternal; settled in heaven from the foundation of the world.
The power and permanence of the Word of God is distinctly set forth in the passage we have read. But, for this message I want to direct your thoughts to first clause of verse 22. 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit.
I. WHAT IS THIS TRUTH WHICH, IF OBEYED, PURIFIES THE SOUL
A. It is the truth of the word of God. John 17:17 Thy word is truth.
B. It is the truth which was given by the inspiration of God and upon which there could and can be no improvement. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
C. It is the pure word of God. Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
D. It is the word of God that is purer than silver that has gone through the refining fires seven times. Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
E. It is the word of God that has been tried and proven. Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried.
F. It is the word of God that is right. Psalm 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right.
G. It is the word of God that is very holy. Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
H. It is the truth which must be acknowledged. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
I. It is the truth which is the perfect law of liberty. James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
II. WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF THIS TRUTH WHEN IT IS OBEYED?
A. This truth will cleanse. John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
B. This truth will set one free from the dominion of sin. Romans 6:16-18 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
C. This truth of Godís holy word will help one to be delivered out of the snare of the Devil. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
D. This truth will purify the soul. 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.
E. This truth will sanctify the believer. John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
F. This truth is an instrument in the salvation of the elect. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
G. This truth regenerates. 1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
H. This word, when believed, is instrumental in giving life. John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
I. This word, especially the gospel of Christ which it sets forth, is the power of God unto salvation. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
III. HOW IS THIS TRUTH MADE EFFECTUAL?
A. It is effectual through the power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit.
1. It is through the Spirit of God that we are able to believe the truth. Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.
2. It is through the Spirit of God that we are able to obey the truth. Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
B. It is through the Spirit that we are able to believe the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
C. It is through the power of God that we are able to see Christ as the son of the living God. Matthew 16:15-17 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
D. It is through the drawing and teaching of God that the word is made effectual in purifying our souls. John 6:44-45 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
E. It is God who opens the door of faith so that we can believe and obey his word. Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
F. It is through the word of truth that God begets us. James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
IV. WHAT SHOULD BE OUR REACTION TO THIS BLESSED TRUTH THAT OUR SOULS ARE PURIFIED THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO THE TRUTH?
A. We ought to believe it without question.
B. We ought to obey it without hesitation.
C. We ought to proclaim it without shame.
D. We ought to stand by it without disengagement.
CONC: C. H. Spurgeon said, "I became a Baptist through reading the New Testament ... especially in the Greek ... If I thought it wrong to be a Baptist, I should give it up, and become what I believed to be right. The particular doctrine adhered to by Baptists is that they acknowledge no authority unless it comes from the Word of God."
God has so blessed us by giving us his written word. Let us never forget that it is a God-breath book that will cleanse our lives when we take heed to it. It will sanctify us when we study and believe it. It will purify our souls when we believe it. Thank God for his blessed book and the blessed Saviour which it reveals.
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