1 Peter 1:22-23 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brethren, love one another earnestly from the heart. You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; rs
What does it mean to “purify your soul”? To purify is to wash, to make ready for a special event or service. Purify points us back to the Levites who served the Almighty in the temple. They had to be physically clean from the dirty world we live in. Peter is telling us we need to do this to our soul.
The soul is a difficult word to translate. Usually our word study tools tell us that it is what makes a living, breathing animal or man alive. It is different than spirit, which is a gift we receive when we are born again. I have read that the soul has to do with the DNA that is written into every cell of our body. The DNA or soul is where our life is written by God and it is what will be judged at the end of time. Is this what Peter tells us to purify? How do we purify what we cannot see? Peter teaches us that it is by obedience to the truth. (doesn’t that hit you like a ton of bricks!) If your soul is your DNA, if the soul is who you are, then it is possible, according to Peter, that it can be purified by obedience to the truth.
Jesus said to him, “I am The Way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. John 14:6
Jesus is The Truth. Obedience to him is how Peter tells us to purify our soul. Am I telling you that if you work hard enough at being good then your soul-DNA will be pure when it is judged at the Bema Seat (the judgment at the end of this era). In a word, NO. You must be born again. Hebrews 9:22 tells us that according to Torah (the Law) everything is cleansed by blood and without the shedding (pouring out) of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. Your own blood can only pay for your own sin. But there was NEVER any sin on the soul-DNA of Y’shua/Jesus for him to pay for, so he did not shed his blood for his own sin. Therefore the Almighty accepts his blood for our sin. Is this for everybody? It is for everyone who believes. What is it that we are to believe? That God loves the World and gave his only begotten son, and whoever believes will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). You must be born again. But what does that have to do with our soul, our DNA? If we have been born again, isn’t that enough? The answer is both yes and it is no. The reason we learn to walk in The Way is to learn to live in obedience to the truth. Truth sets us free from who we were (John 8:32), and cleanses our soul-DNA. Is that important?
Paul taught us that it is at the Bema Seat that we will give an account of our lives to God. How we love one another (our brethren, fellow believers) is an important element of judgment. (Romans 14:10-12) What we do while living in our bodies will be judged, both the good and the bad (2 Corinthians 5:8-10). The Bema Seat of Christ is only for believers (those whose name is written in the book of life. Revelation 20:15) so it is not for salvation, but is a judgement, in part, of how well you treated others according to the truth that purifies your soul. Therefore, with Peter, I say to you…
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 1 Peter 2:11 nasu
and from this week’s Psalm,
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Psalm 2:11 kj
What you do with your gift of Salvation is up to you.
Mrs. Hagerty, September 16, 2015