1 Peter 1:22-23

1 Peter 1:22-23

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. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Peter 1:22-23 NIV

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, 23 being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth for ever;
1 Peter 1:22-23 KJV

Have chosen to provide two versions of these verses. The NIV is my first choice, but many versions mention purified your souls vice purified yourselves which is not in and of itself a major difference. However, while both have this is done by/in obeying the truth only some have that this obedience is done through the Spirit.

Whether your version of the Bible has through the Spirit or not, I believe one cannot be purified by obeying the truth without the Spirit of God. Jesus gave an example of a man who cleaned up his life for a period of time, but without the Spirit was unable to continue doing so.

24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
Luke 11:24-26

Thus the Spirit of God is an absolute necessity if we are become purified by obeying the truth. This is not something one can point to and say it is done. No, as MacLaren’s Expositions points out this is a lifelong process that begins at the point of accepting Christ as one’s Lord and Savior for that is when obedience begins.

The form of the words in the original shows that this purifying is a process which began at some definite point in the past and is being continued throughout all the time of Christian life. The hall-mark of all Christians is a relative purity, not of actions, but of soul. They will vary, one from another; the conception of what is purity of soul will change and grow, but, if a man is a Christian, there was a moment in his past at which he potentially, and in ideal, purified his spirit, and that was the moment when he bowed down in obedience to the truth.

Then there is the question on why Peter would be writing on the necessity to love one another deeply, from the heart? Ellicott’s Commentary suggests

Is it not possible that some coolness had arisen between the Jewish and Gentile members of the Church, and that St. Peter finds it necessary to remind the former that they are truly brethren, sons of one Father, and that they ought not only unaffectedly to have done with all jealousy of the Gentile members, but to be far beyond that, loving one another “from the heart strenuously?”

Perhaps it goes beyond that, for even brothers – or sisters – who grew up together will come to great disagreements over subjects unrelated to one’s faith. Peter’s point to me, says because of the truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ – the love in our hearts should overcome those differences. Whatever the reason, Peter reminds us we are to love one another, deeply, from the heart. Let us strive to do so continuously.