Love and Peace in Peter

What is the book of Peter known for?  Sometimes I don’t remember how much Peter talked about love.  Consider the following verses:

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly, fervently, from a pure heart  (I Peter 1:22)

  • Another way of saying this verse:  As we’ve obeyed the truth, our focus is finally not on self, and we’ve discovered how to have genuine brotherly love for one another.  Now love one another with the full extent of Godly love.
  • The first word for love in this verse is “phileo,” and the second word for love is “agape.”  I created this paraphrase above to highlight that it will be natural for us to have some love for our brothers and sisters, but we need to strive to have agape love.
  • Note that having a pure heart is so important to this. The heart must be washed clean of other motivations, selfishness.

Show proper respect to everyone,  love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

  • Note that the word used for love here is agape

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, practicing brotherly love, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;

  • Note that this verse goes on:  “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”  I like that there is such an emphasis on giving to those who don’t seem to deserve it.  That is our purpose, why God saved us.  That is how God blesses us, when we are kind and giving to those who are ugly to us and others.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.  (I Peter 4:8)

  • The word used for “earnestly” here, and in I Peter 1:22, actually means to extend, to stretch out.  It makes me think that as we love, we need to love others to the fullest extent we can.  We need to extend ourselves to love others who take more effort to love.  We need to push our hearts.  **We need to stretch ourselves to love as we know we are loved.  (John 13:34)
Extend yourself to love others as you are loved.

Extend yourself to love others as you are loved.

I love how Peter talks about PURSUING PEACE:

. . . let him seek peace and pursue it. (I Peter 3:11)

Paul and the writer of Hebrews also talk of pursuing peace.  Here are some other places in the Bible where the same Greek word for pursue, “dioxato,” is used.

  • Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Heb 12:14
  • See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. I Thes 5:15
  • So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.   Rom 14:19

Thus, we need to PURSUE, make it our goal, be intentional, to foster peace.

 

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