The Enduring Word of Truth
Peter points out the multiple reasons for the security of true believers in his first letter, which includes an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, fades not away, reserved in heaven, and protected by the power of God. In concluding the first chapter Peter closes with the truth that salvation is by the Word of God, which itself endures forever. In these ways, Peter confirms that salvation is permanent!
How can Christians show their gratitude for so great a salvation that is both free and enduring? “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1Peter 1:23-24) One way to show gratitude would be to take the bible seriously and by extension the gospel, by which we are saved, and then study to show ourselves approved unto God.
In order to take the gospel seriously three truths must be believed. One, the truth does not begin with us but has been given to the true church of every age, “I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” (Jude 3 emphases added) “The faith” not a subjective faith but the body of truth contained in the bible, as revealed by the use of the definite article “the” before the word faith. It is vital to understand that the true church of every age has been the guardian of the truth, so that pride will not blind our eyes as though the truth began with us.
Second, it must be believed that the truth is narrow, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Jesus did not say, ‘your truth or your idea of truth,” He said “the truth,” He did not mean, ‘truth as you understand it’ but the truth as God said it. The Bible is clear, and can be understood when studied according to the proper rules of interpretation, by those willing to hear its message to their own death.
The third way to take the gospel seriously is to show gratitude to God by loving the brethren. The only way to express true love for others is to love them in the truth, “The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth ; and not only I, but also all who know the truth, for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever.” (2John 1:1-2 emphases added) One of the great follies among “evangelicals” today is the belief that doctrine is divisive and what we really need to do is just love one another. This is a great error and ingratitude toward the gospel by which we are saved; there can be no gospel without sound doctrine. The effective way to love others is by telling them the truth.
Three lies told by the devil caused a world of sorrow; only by telling others the truth can we love them in truth!