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Tonight let's turn to First Peter chapter one. Of the many disciples that were following Jesus, He chose twelve to be apostles. One of the twelve that was chosen as an apostle was Simon Peter. Simon Peter was by profession a fisherman. He was called by the Lord from fishing for those Saint Peter's fish in the Sea of Galilee to become a fisher of men, and was a very impulsive person by nature, according to tradition, a very big man physically. He became one of the leaders in the church. And now he is writing his first epistle introducing himself as,
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers ( 1 Peter 1:1 )
The word translated "scattered" there is the Greek word "disperse."
throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia ( 1 Peter 1:1 ),
During the beginning of the early church, there arose persecution against the church in Jerusalem. And as the result of that persecution, many of the Christians were scattered abroad throughout the world. And it is to these Christians, who have been dispersed as the result of persecution, which is recorded in the book of Acts, that Peter is addressing this epistle, primarily to the Jewish believers scattered because of the persecution in Jerusalem. But the epistle does also include Gentile believers as is noted in chapter two, verse ten. He calls them,
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God ( 1 Peter 1:2 )
There is the doctrine of election; God having elected those who would be the heirs of salvation. The election of God is based upon His foreknowledge. You do not read of election apart from the foreknowledge of God. Now if you believe that God does know all things, you should have no problem with the doctrine of election. If you have a limited God that has only a limited knowledge, then you could have problems with the doctrine of election.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:0 that "we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world" ( Ephesians 1:4 ). Here election is according to the foreknowledge of God.
Now let's put it this way. Does God know everything? We believe that He does. "Known unto Him are all things," James said, "from the beginning" ( Acts 15:18 ). If God knows all things, then God can't learn anything. It's impossible for Him to learn anything because He already knows it. If God is ever going to know anything, then He already knows it.
You see, the problem that we have is living within this time continuum. We think of everything, and as Chuck Missler says, "in the linear"; but God is outside of our time dimension. And looking down from His vantage, He can see the beginning and the ending at the same time. And so He knows all things from the beginning.
So if God will ever know who is going to be saved, then He has always known who He is going to, who is going to be saved; that's God's foreknowledge. And as the result of that foreknowledge, knowing those that would respond to His love and to His grace through Jesus Christ, He has elected that they should be the children of God, and so the election according to foreknowledge.
And Peter in several places here does bring out this idea of called and elected, and all, and the foreknowledge of God involved with it. "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God"
the Father, through ( 1 Peter 1:2 )
the work of the Holy Spirit within our lives, that's
sanctification [or being set apart] by the Spirit, unto the obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ ( 1 Peter 1:2 ).
So the work of the Trinity in our salvation is "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God, set apart by the Spirit of God, and then cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ." To those he said,
Grace, and peace, be multiplied ( 1 Peter 1:2 ).
Charis, the typical Greek greeting, the grace; Shalom, the typical Jewish greeting, peace. Let them be multiplied.
Blessed be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead ( 1 Peter 1:3 ),
He begins his epistle with sort of a doxology. "Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has begotten us again." Now this idea is that of being born again, "begotten of God", I've been born again, "to a living hope." Hope is so essential. It's just a part of man's character and it's the thing that keeps you going. A lot of times we just give up, except we hope that things are going to turn around. And so that hope is the thing that keeps a person going. I hope it's going to change so I hold on.
The disciples had come to hope in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. When they saw the miracles that He did, when they heard His teaching, they became convinced that He was the Messiah. When Jesus said to the disciples there at Caesarea Philippi, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter said, "You're the Messiah. You're the Son of the living God". Jesus said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: flesh and blood did not reveal this, but my Father" ( Matthew 16:17 ). They had come to believe; they were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, but the cross changed things.
Now from the beginning they did not understand how that the Messiah could suffer and die. They only took those scriptures of the Old Testament that spoke about the Messiah reigning, and they were planning their place in the kingdom when He set up His kingdom and He began to reign as King. And they would even argue among themselves as who's going to be the greatest. I'm going to be this, I'm going to be that. And of course, James and John's mother came and said, "Lord, I want a favor. When You establish Your kingdom, let my two sons sit on Your right hand." And they were looking forward to the immediate establishing of the kingdom of God.
And whenever Jesus would talk to them about His impending death, they would get upset. When Jesus started talking about it just after Peter said, "You're the Messiah", and He started talking about His death, Peter began to rebuke Him and said, "Lord, be that far from thee". They did not understand the place of the cross in redemption until after the resurrection.
So during those three days when Jesus died, they died. Hope died. I mean, they were shattered. And when Jesus met the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and they were walking down the path so disconsolate, Jesus said to them, What's the problem, fellows? How come you look so sad? What happened?
They said, You must be a stranger around here if you don't know the things that have been going on lately in Jerusalem.
He said, What things? What you talking about?
How Jesus of Nazareth, a man of God, mighty in the word and in deed, who went about doing good, healing the sick, and we had hoped in Him for the salvation of Israel; but they crucified Him. They killed Him. We had hoped that He was the Messiah. We had hoped that He was the deliverer. But they killed Him, it's all over. Hope is dead.
And Jesus said, "O fools and slow of heart. Haven't you read the scriptures?" And He began from Moses and on through the Old Testament, began to expound the scriptures that referred to the suffering and the death of Messiah. And when they came to Emmaus, Jesus pretended like He was going to continue on and they said, Oh, no, no, it's too late; you come with us.
And so as He broke bread, they recognized Him and He disappeared. And they said, Oh, didn't our hearts burn within us as He spoke the word to us on the road? We should have known. And they ran all the way back to Jerusalem, some nine miles, to share with these other disciples that Jesus is risen indeed. We had hoped; hope was dead.
Now Peter is saying, "Thank God, blessed be God who has . . . we've been born again. The hope was dead but we've been born again, but now it's a living hope because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
You see, the hope that we have tonight is a living hope and the basis of our hope in eternal life. The basis of our hope for the kingdom of God is the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. That's the foundation of the hope that we have tonight.
Had Jesus not been raised from the dead, then there would be no Christian church. There'd be no basis for a Christian church. But His resurrection has made the hope more than just a hope, it's a living hope that we have tonight as the result of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. But it's more than that. It's the hope of the inheritance that is ours as sons of God, joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
Paul, in his prayer for the Ephesians, was "that they might know what was the hope of their calling" ( Ephesians 1:18 ). Do you know what is the hope that God has for you in the future? Do you know of the inheritance that God has for you? The plans that God has for your eternal future? Do you know the glories of dwelling with Him in His kingdom forever? Paul prayed, "Oh, that you might know what is the hope of your calling." It's a living hope,
Of an inheritance that is incorruptible, and undefiled, and fades not away, and it's reserved in heaven for you ( 1 Peter 1:4 ),
Now interestingly enough, the Bible always balances the teaching of the sovereignty of God with the responsibility of man and the Bible teaches both truths. We cannot always reconcile them in our minds as we try to follow steps of logic and carry it out to a logical end. Somewhere it breaks down and we lose it. But the Bible does teach both, that God is sovereign, but it also teaches that there is that part of man's responsibility. Man must respond to God. So there is that human responsibility that counterbalances the sovereignty of God.
Here Peter is telling us of the sovereignty of God. You have been elected according to God's foreknowledge. Set apart by the Holy Spirit, cleansed from your sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. You have been begotten by God, unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. There is an inheritance waiting for you. It's incorruptible, it's undefiled, it fades not away; it's reserved. Got your name on it. Reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God.
Now in this, all up unto this point is what God has done in God's sovereignty. It's all God's work. You don't have a thing to do with this yet. It is all the work of God up to this point. So now he gets to your part. Your part of the whole thing,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith ( 1 Peter 1:5 )
What is your part? Just believing. You know, God's done all the work. He didn't leave anything as important as the work to someone as weak as you. You'd mess it up. So God did all the work and all that is left for you to do is to believe the work of God.
They said to Jesus one day, "What must we do, to do the works of God?" And Jesus said, "This is the work of God, just believe on him who he has sent" ( John 6:28 , John 6:29 ). And so God has done the work; God's part, all of this was God's part. Then He finally gets to your part: through faith, just believing and trusting that work of God.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice ( 1 Peter 1:6 ),
I rejoice in that work of God in my behalf. I rejoice in the inheritance that I have. I rejoice in that hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ, the living hope because He rose from the dead. And I rejoice in it. I greatly rejoice.
though now for a season, [Paul said] if need be, you are in heaviness because of the manifold trials ( 1 Peter 1:6 ):
Christianity and Jews, they had two strikes against them. The Jews had rebelled against the Roman authority. Within six years of Peter's writing this epistle, they were to begin another rebellion, which was to bring really the destruction of Jerusalem under the siege of Titus, and then once more they were to rebel when they were utterly destroyed during the reign of Hadrian, Barcoba holding out in that little village of Bara which was much like the story of Masada, but it's -- there were no survivors or no Josephus Flavius to record it and so we know so little about it.
But the Jews did experience, even in those days, persecution because they were a Jew. Secondly, they received persecution because they were Christians. The Jewish Christians: double jeopardy. And so they had persecution where they went. And Peter speaks about your rejoicing greatly in the future, though at the present, you're going through some pretty heavy trials. But know this,
the trial of your faith [is actually] more precious than gold, [that perishes when it is tried in the fire,] that perisheth, though it be tried with fire; [that your faith] might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ ( 1 Peter 1:7 ):
In other words, these were all purifying experiences that you were going through and God so often uses trials as purging or purifying instruments in our lives. As a fire to burn out the dross, God puts us through the trials in order that we might be refined and purified. "The trial of your faith is really more valuable than gold that perishes, though your faith be tried with fire, the purpose of God is that it might be found unto the praise and honor and glory at the revelation here [apocalypses] of Jesus Christ."
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with a joy that's indescribable and full of glory ( 1 Peter 1:8 ):
So we are in much the same condition as these to whom Peter was writing. We've not seen Jesus but yet we love Him. "Whom having not seen, I still love Him". And I rejoice in this hope, in this inheritance, in this eternal life in salvation, with a joy that is indescribable. I cannot describe to you the joy that is in my heart. I don't have words. I don't have the vocabulary that can describe the ecstasy that is mine as a child of God. It's a joy indescribable; it's just full of glory.
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls ( 1 Peter 1:9 ).
That's where my faith is going to ultimate, in the salvation. So faith is tried. My life is taken through these fiery trials that my faith might appear when Christ is revealed, the revelation of Jesus Christ, and receiving salvation of our souls.
Of which salvation the prophets inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow ( 1 Peter 1:10-11 ).
Now he is saying here that the prophets didn't really understand all of the things that they wrote. We remember when Daniel was seeking understanding of some of the things that he was writing about; the Lord just said, Daniel, just seal it up. It's not for now. It's for the future. And in the last days, knowledge will be increased. They'll understand it then. So you just seal it up. It's not given unto you to know at this particular point.
There is a psalm, and I forget just which one it is now but it says, Psalm 22 , "These things are written" [is it?] "for a generation that shall come." In other words, I'm writing things I really don't know about and as I try to understand them, all I know is that I'm writing these things for a generation that is to come. It's not really something that I fully understand. And so -- it's not in twenty-two, I forget where it was, but there's a psalm there. You search it out. Thirty-one. All right, very good. Which verse? 22:31. Oh, I was right in twenty-two. Okay, yes, all right. Got you now.
"They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this." In other words, you know, it will come to pass later on.
And 30, "A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted the Lord for generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto the people it shall be born" ( Psalms 22:30-31 ).
So writing for the future, they really were curious. Now I can imagine the problem that Isaiah had when he wrote of the Messiah. For in chapter nine, he said, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. And of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, to order it, and to establish it in righteousness and in judgment from henceforth even forever. For the zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this" ( Isaiah 9:6 , Isaiah 9:7 ). And he's writing of the Messiah and you know He's going to reign on the throne of David, this whole thing.
And then in Isaiah 53 , he talks about Him being "numbered with the transgressors" in his death. "Wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace upon him; with his stripes we are healed. For all of us like sheep have gone astray; we've turned every one of us to our own ways; and God laid on him the iniquities of us all. He was smitten, stricken, and we esteemed him not" ( Isaiah 53:3-7 , Isaiah 53:12 ). And so he writes these things that seem to be totally incongruent, going to be put to death, and yet he's going to reign forever on the throne of David.
Now Isaiah being inspired by the Holy Spirit had to write what the Holy Spirit said. Imagine Isaiah thought to himself, What in the world am I writing here? This doesn't make sense. How can He reign forever on the throne of David and yet be put to death?
And so the prophets writing of this grace that should come to you, they were searching in their own minds and hearts what manner of time the Spirit of Christ was referring to that was in them, when He testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ. They themselves did not understand their prophecies concerning the sufferings of the Messiah.
And in that Psalms 22:0 that we referred to earlier, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from the cry of the my roaring? I cry in the daytime, and thou hearest not; in the night seasons, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of thy people Israel" ( Psalms 22:1-3 ).
And then he goes on to describe death by crucifixion, wondering, what am I writing about? The Messiah, and yet I am talking about Him being pierced, piercing his hands and his feet. And so they themselves wondered, when they wrote of the suffering of the Messiah, they couldn't put it together in their mind. But "the glory that should follow"; He was going to be put to death, He was going to suffer and yet, He was going to enter into the eternal glory, "the glory that would follow."
So they did not understand these things. They searched diligently. They sought to know them and understand them but they were not written for them at that time, but written that later on, after the events had transpired, people then would understand the plan of God in redemption. And see the necessity of the death of Jesus Christ, in order that we might be redeemed, in order that we might be called of God a holy nation, a royal priesthood, that we should bring forth fruit unto His grace through Jesus Christ.
So unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported among you by them which have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into ( 1 Peter 1:12 ).
So here's the thing that God just sort of kept secret; His plan of grace and redemption through Jesus Christ. Even the angels desired to look into these things that were being ministered by the Holy Spirit through the apostles.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind ( 1 Peter 1:13 ),
Now the idea of girding up your loins, it's a phrase that it has a cultural kind of a thing to it. You don't know anything about it in our culture. But in those days, the men wore these long robes down to their feet. Now when you want to run or when you really want to go to work, it is cumbersome to have a robe down to your ankles; hard to run in something like that.
So if you're going to run, or if you're going to get out and really do some work, what they would do is pull the skirt up and they would tie it around the waist. So then it's a short skirt and with that you can run or you can work. So it means, you know, get busy, go to work on this. Go to work in your mind on these things. "Gird up the loins of your mind,"
be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that shall be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ ( 1 Peter 1:13 );
So "gird up your minds, be sober, this grace that is brought unto you and shall be brought when Jesus again reveals Himself, the revelation, the coming of Jesus Christ."
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lust in your ignorance ( 1 Peter 1:14 ):
Not living as you used to live when you were ignorant of the truth of God. Not living as you used to live before you were born again by the work of God's Holy Spirit within your life.
You see, the natural man is body, mind and spirit. The mind being ruled over by the body and the body appetites. The born-again man is a spiritual man. He's born by the Spirit. And born again means that you are now living a spirit-mind-body existence. Prior to being born again, you lived a body-mind-spirit. Body-mind-spirit; mind controlled by the body and the body appetites. Being born again you now live a spirit-mind-body existence. The body doesn't rule anymore. You're not ruled by the lust of your flesh. You found that life is more than just eating and drinking.
But now ruled by the Spirit, you now have the mind of the Spirit and your mind now is on things of the Spirit. They that are of the Spirit do mind the things of the Spirit. They that are of the flesh do mind the things of the flesh. But the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and joy and peace.
So Peter here is saying, As obedient children, don't fashion your life after the former life, which was lived after the lust of your flesh, governed over by your flesh; your mind and life governed by your fleshly desires.
And as you look around at the world today, the world apart from Christ is a world that is governed by the desires of their flesh. That's what a person lives for, to fulfill their fleshly need. That's what the world talks about.
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all your manner of living ( 1 Peter 1:15 );
So we've been called to live a separated life. A life of holiness, a life of purity, not living after our flesh or the desires of our flesh, but living after the Spirit.
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy ( 1 Peter 1:16 ).
God's declaration when He gave the law unto the people.
And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear ( 1 Peter 1:17 ):
That is, in reverence of God.
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from that empty former life ( 1 Peter 1:18 );
Again, as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lust in your ignorance: no longer ignorant of the things of God and the things of the Spirit. So we no longer live that empty life after the flesh, but now the rich life after the Spirit. We've been redeemed, set free from the bondage of sin, set free from the slavery to our flesh. "Not with corruptible things, as silver and gold."
Silver and gold have only temporal value. There's no eternal value to them at all, only temporal value. When you're talking about a man's soul, you're talking about something that is eternal. You cannot purchase something that is eternal with things of temporal value. You cannot buy salvation; you cannot earn salvation. You do not deserve salvation. It is a gift of God and is a work of grace. It is something that you receive, the work which God has done. So we've been redeemed, not with corruptible things like silver and gold from that empty life that we used to live.
that we received by tradition from our fathers ( 1 Peter 1:18 ).
And of course, writing to the Jews, he's writing about all of the traditional things that the Jew is, even to the present day, caught up in. And, I mean, they have a lot of tradition. Now we do, too. I mean, we've got just a lot of traditional things that are deeply ingrained in our culture that it would be better -- we would be better off if we could get rid of them. This tradition of celebration of Christmas; it's only traditional. Oh, Scrooge. Do away with Christmas; how could you? But you see how we sort of recoil at the thought of not celebrating Christmas because it's so deeply a part of our traditions.
But you see, the church only put a Christian name on a pagan holiday, so that the Christians could join in the celebration of the pagan holiday and make it legitimate for Christians to join in. Christians didn't want to feel left out of this pagan celebration of Saturnalia, the passing of the winter solstice. And so they put a Christian name to it. They said oh, it's Christmas. It's Christ-mas and we'll celebrate the birthday of Jesus though He wasn't born December 25; yet we'd, you know, we'd celebrate the birthday of Jesus.
And so you can all go out and you can do the things that the world does. You can buy your gifts and you can decorate your trees and you can, you know, join the pagan world in their celebration of Saturnalia. Helping the poor old solstice. Be sure and put the lights around the house and on your trees and all, so that you can help the sun make it through, you know.
After all, we got to help poor old sole; he's about to die. Days are getting shorter; every day is getting shorter. It's just about gone the twenty-second of December. Oh, it's almost -- this is about it, you know. It's almost over; sun is just about ready to flicker out. Get your candles lit; get your lights lit, you know. Help it out and oh, all right, by the twenty-fifth, it's observable that the days are getting longer. We made it. We helped the old sun.
All right, let's celebrate. Let's get drunk and let's pass out presents and let's decorate trees and, you know, have a big celebration. The sun made it through. Let's legitimize it though for Christians so it's Christ-mas, celebrate the birthday of Jesus.
Make sure that your celebration is more Christian than pagan, please. The vain traditions received from our fathers; hard to break from, isn't it? But we've been redeemed not with the corruptible things from that empty life of vain traditions.
But with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot ( 1 Peter 1:19 ):
Redemption; this is all intertwined back in the Old Testament, the idea, the concept of redemption, the idea of a sacrificial lamb. Going back to the Passover. The firstborn to be slain in every household. Protect your house. Take a lamb out of the flock. Let the lamb be the substitute for the firstborn. Take a lamb of the first year without spot and without blemish. Kill it, put its blood in a basin and with hyssop, sprinkle the blood on the lintels and the door post of your house, and when I pass through the land tonight, when I see the blood, I will pass over that house. I'll know that there's been a sacrifice, a substitute lamb for the firstborn of the house. I'll pass over that house.
And so this idea of a sacrificial lamb, God having provided ultimately His Lamb, His Son Jesus Christ, who shed His blood for the redemption of man. So the price of redemption, the blood of Jesus Christ.
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world ( 1 Peter 1:20 ),
Again, God had planned before He even created the world. Knowing that man would fail. Knowing that man would sin, but desiring to prove and to show to man how much He loved him. God planned, before the foundation of the world, to demonstrate His love by the sending of His Son, to bear man's sin, to take the responsibility of your guilt and to die in your place; thus proving that God loves you. You never need to doubt the love of God. All you have to do is look at the cross of Jesus Christ and there God has declared, "manifested His love towards us, in that, while we were sinners, Christ died for the ungodly" ( Romans 5:8 ).
And so was ordained or "foreordained before the foundation of the world" but was manifest, though it was planned of God from the beginning, it was not fulfilled until Jesus came and went to the cross.
manifest in these last times for you, Who by him [by Jesus Christ] you believe in God, that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing that you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently: ( 1 Peter 1:20-22 )
And truly the message of the Gospel to those who have received it is that we are to love one another. Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. By this sign shall men know that you are my disciples, that you love one another" ( John 13:34-35 ).
And Paul describes the kind of love that we're to have for each other. "Love suffers long, and is kind; it envies not; it doesn't vaunt itself, is not proud, isn't puffed up, doesn't behave itself strangely, seeks not its own. But believes all things, bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. It never fails" ( 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ). That's the kind of love we're to have for one another. Loving one another with a pure heart fervently.
The greatest demonstration the church can give to the world is the love within the body for each other. Loving one another with unfeigned, that is, not that fake love that is so often a part of the whole world scene. "Oh darling, I love that dress you're wearing tonight." Just phony. People say, "Oh, I don't go to church because so many hypocrites in the church." Then you should not go to movies. There's more hypocrisy in that crowd than there is in any church crowd. Unfeigned love. Not faking it. "Love each other with a pure heart fervently."
Being born again ( 1 Peter 1:23 ),
Now "thanks be unto God who has begotten us again."
Being born again, not of corruptible seed ( 1 Peter 1:23 ),
Now I was -- I was born once of corruptible seed. I am the by-product of my dad and mom. Receiving twenty-three chromosomes from each, I am an interesting composite of them both. But the fact that it is corruptible seed is very obvious by the aging processes that have taken place, through the years of the catabolic forces have worked, and I'm gradually eroding away. Born once of corruptible seed. But I've been born again of incorruptible seed, the new life that I have. Is it going to pass? It's going on forever. "Being born again not of corruptible seed,"
but of incorruptible, by the word of God ( 1 Peter 1:23 ),
It was the word of God planted in my heart that brought forth spiritual life. For "the word of God is alive, and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, able [to decide] to divide between the bone and marrow, soul and the spirit" ( Hebrews 4:12 ). It's a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the hearts of man. I've been born again by the word of God.
Jesus said, "A sower went forth to sow in the field and he planted his seed. Some fell on the wayside, some fell on stony ground, some fell among thorns, some fell on good ground". And then later on He said -- Now the disciples said, "Lord, explain to us that parable. What were you talking about?" And Jesus said, "The field is the world and the seed is the Word of God" ( Luke 8:5-11 ). We've been born again by incorruptible seed, the Word of God, that incorruptible seed whereby we have been born into a spiritual life. And though the old man perishes day by day, the new man is renewed by the Spirit.
Hey, I'm stronger, healthier than I've ever been in my whole life spiritually. Though I have more aches and pains and decrepitness in the old body than I've ever had in my whole life physically. As the old man perishes, the new man is becoming stronger day by day. And one of these days this old body just isn't going to be able to handle the new man. And so my spirit will move from this corrupting body into "the new building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" ( 2 Corinthians 5:1 ).
This inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, fades not away, reserved in heaven for me because I'm being kept by the power of God through faith.
So the flesh is like grass, and all of the glory of man is like the flower of grass. The grass withers, the flower thereof falls away: But the word of God endures for ever ( 1 Peter 1:24-25 ).
So things that are passing, things that are lasting. We've been redeemed not with corruptible things that are going to pass away, silver and gold; but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. I've been born again, not with the corruptible seed but the incorruptible, the Word of God, "which lives and abides forever" ( 1 Peter 1:23 ).
Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" ( Matthew 24:35 ). The universe is gradually wearing down. The sun is giving off 1,200,000 tons of mass every second. Gradually wearing down; that is, irrecoverable mass. One day the sun's going to flicker and die. But maybe we'll go into supernova first, flare and die. They estimate another fifteen, twenty billion years and the sun's going to have it, have had it. That's right, the word of God will still be around. I'll still be around because I've been born by the word of God into this incorruption, this new life, this eternal life.
"Heaven and earth will pass away; my word", Jesus said, "will never pass away." I've been born by that word of God, that word which abides forever. The flesh, all flesh is as grass. That is, it's going to perish. It's going to, like the flower, it's going to wither and die. But the word of the Lord endures forever.
And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you ( 1 Peter 1:25 ).
Hey, we got something. We've got hold of something here that's eternal, something that's going to last forever. And I have been born again by that into this eternal life.
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Peter 1". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter