"Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
The Enduring Word
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because "All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever."
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
Faith has been defined by Hebrews 11:1 as “ the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen”. In Hebrews 11:6, the Bible tells us that we cannot please God without faith. The reason this is so is, our belief that “God is” (who He said He is) requires our faith and our belief that God reward s those that diligently seek in faith demands our faith.
The Bible is filled with many people from kings, noblemen, women, prophets and common citizens of various nationalities who exemplified faith and were richly rewarded because they stood on their beliefs in their faith. In Habakkuk 2:4, the prophet declared, “anyone” who’s “justified” in the eyes of God was required to live by THEIR faith. Habakkuk said that specific promises God made to His people would come at an appointed time, which implied that there would be a period of waiting (tarrying) involved for those promises to come to pass. But, at the end, (the time appointed by God) it would speak and not lie! (they would surely come to pass) The people in Habakkuk’s time understood that they had to trust God by faith in order to see the promises of God fulfilled in their lives. They also understood that their faith had to remain active in the other affairs of their lives until those things and prophecies promised to them by the Lord would finally come to pass.
In this Bible series, we are going to examine ways how to resurrect a person’s faith that has been severely shaken by the many and varied types of intense trials they’ve faced in this life. Many of us if we would be transparent for a moment would have to admit that the devil and his demonic army .has attacked them so, they have suffered faith-wise in waiting on God to come to their rescue. But be assured that what God has ordained and promised, HE will maintain and it will sure come to pass in the time appointed by HIM. And we will talk about the importance of having a faith that is active. That is, how God expects us to live each day of our lives in obedience to the Word of God, as we trust and believe that God rewards faithfulness in the Christian walk.
“Obedience”: An Important key to having an “active” faith?
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”; (vs. 14)
Gird up the loins of your mind.
Back in the mid 1980’s, I used to hear the lyrics of old praise and worship song that went like this:“Got a mind to do right…God a mind to do right….God a mind to do right….everyday…..Jesus gave me this mind to do right….got a mind to do right…..everyday…Then, in subsequent verses the singer would exchange the actions to do right with other things they wanted to do right in giving praise to God. Things such as having a mind to pray right, to sing right, to preach right, and ultimately to live right. The one common reason they had to have a willingness to do these things right in God’s sight was it was Jesus who gave them the kind of mind that would give them the desire to praise and worship God the right way.
So, the Apostle Peter in the 14th verse declares to the reader: you have to “gird up” the loins of your mind and focused on godly things. Peter confirms what Apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”: and also in verse 12 and 13 where he said: “Therefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which work in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”.
In addition, Paul also admonished the body of Christ in Romans 12:2: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Both Apostles agree it’s essential to have the right mindset to handle God’s assignments in ministry and whenever facing the many fiery trials the devil launches against your “salvation” life in Jesus Christ. The Christian life is a lifestyle of godly character and conduct. Remember, your faith will be constantly tested. The “out product” of your “tried faith” is patience, endurance and hope. We are to endure all of the trials of life-like those servants who were prepared for labor, for a race, or for a conflict.
Be sober and vigilant
Your adversary the devil is waging war against the work and the worker. Paul told Timothy, in order to be considered a “qualified” minister, he had to become “temperate”, that is “even tempered”, sober-minded, handling the daily activity of his life with good behavior. He must be hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,* but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well if married, When you live with an active faith, you cannot afford to become puffed up with pride. It will cause you to fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Your active faith will give you a good testimony among those who are outside and keep you from falling into reproach and the snare of the devil. When your faith is active, your faith will help you to maintain good works.
And hope to the end:
In order to do this, you can’t become fainthearted or give up because we have become weary of all the warfare we’ve had to endure from the kingdom of darkness when we are experiencing trials. This means 2 things
First, we must never abandon the hopes of the gospel, which includes the “hope” for “Eternal life”.
We are to cherish those blessed hopes to the end of our life. We can never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ under any circumstances. "It is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who will believe", regardless of race, creed color, sex, or national origin. All of us have been saved by this same gospel and by the same “Savior” this gospel talks about; Jesus Christ
Second, endure trials and times of persecution.
Whatever fierce oppositions we might encounter,( and we will experience them) and however much effort might be forged by any of the followers of Satan, we must endure these trials and times of persecution and trouble, even if we perish on the battlefield as good soldiers in Christ Jesus. There’s an eternal reward of “life eternal” with God. 2 Timothy 2:12 tells us “If we suffer with Christ, (that is if we endure suffering for the cause of Christ) we shall also reign with HIM at the end of our journey. Paul the Apostle encourages the people in Hebrews 10 32-36 with the following words:
“ But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings, partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven”. “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise”:
Third, be confident in knowing the work (salvation and redemption) God started in you will be completed at the coming of Jesus Christ. (the second coming) Philippians 1:6 says: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”.
God will then bestow His favor, that great favor we hope for when He return from heaven to judge the world. According to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Jesus Christ will first come back to redeem His church. Then 7 years later, He will return to earth to destroy the enemies of Israel and set up His millennial kingdom. We, the body of Christ will have an active role in the millennial kingdom.
We are required to walk out our faith as obedient children, not fashioning ourselves according to the former lusts in our ignorance: That is, conduct yourselves as becomes the children of God, by obeying his commands; by submission to His will; and manifesting unwavering confidence in Jehovah as your Father at all times.
The idea “life principle” is: We are to have some model or other examples, of how we are a new creature in Christ Jesus, living according to the precepts and principle truth of God with which we are to frame our lives, but we were not to adhere to or adopt those models or examples that reflect former principles and conduct (the “old man”) that was in disobedience to the will of God.
The Christian believer’s character and conduct must be different from what he or she was before salvation was offered and before conversion was given. He or she is to be governed by new laws. This means “God’s 2 Laws of love” must be the primary governor of our life and applied in our obedience to the Scriptures.
This says the life goals of a believer must be aimed at new objects, and molded in accordance with Biblical principles. Before our conversion, we were supremely selfish and lived for personal gratification. We gave ourselves over to the free indulgence to our fleshly appetites and passions.
The only restraints present were a respect for the decencies of life, and a reference to one’s own health, property, or reputation, yet without regard to the will of God. In the past, we conformed ourselves to the customs and opinions around us, rather than to the requirements of God our Maker. We lived for worldly aggrandizements, power, prestige, and superior social status. The reason was our primary objectives in life were the accumulation of wealth and/ or the quest for fame. In retrospect, like those who still are unconverted, there are Christians that give indulgence to every passion which they wished to gratify, regardless of reputation, health, property, or salvation.
Now, because of the conversion experience, Christians are now to be governed by a different rule. Thus, the former standard we used of” morals” and “opinions” are no longer to be our guide. Our new guide is the will of God and our testimony of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Who’s morals and standards for godly living are higher than those of man
A Charge to be Holy….In Character and Conduct ….”Our faith in action”
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (vs. 15)
Jesus Christ has given us the “living” example as to how we are to frame our lives. We are to live exemplary of His character and conduct and frame our lives this way because He’s the one who has called us into His kingdom. People who come in contact with us should see the presence of Christ in our lives, based upon our general conduct and character
The Bible tells us He chose us before the foundation of the world with the design that we would be holy and live without blame before Him. Simply put, as we live according to having “active faith”, we are to be like HIM in character and conduct. God didn’t redeem us so we could live the way we wanted, and do the things we wanted to do. God had a specific purpose in mind when He set up the redemption process. The Apostle Paul shares with the Ephesians and us God’s purpose for us being redeemed.
In Ephesians 1:3-14, Paul said:
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
You may ask why was it in Jesus? Paul goes on to give us the reason.
Paul said because we have “redemption” in HIM. (Jesus) You can call it God’s “Redemption Package”.
“ In Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both* which are in heaven and which are on earth in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”
“ In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who* is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory”.
Paul then said: “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
Since God is holy, and we profess to be his followers, it stands to reason we also ought to be holy. Note also that the call for the child of God to be holy is a command from God. this command was first given to the Israelites, but as the professed people of God, every Christian is under this same mandate. Here’s a great literal truth: people regardless of their religious beliefs will attempt to imitate the God whom they worship. They will try to form their character in accordance with their deity. Because they regard what their god does as right. They will attempt to rise in virtue to reflect the god they adore. They will put in practice freely and do those things they believe will grant approval from their god. In doing a study of different religions and the characteristics of the gods that are worshipped by the people who follow that particular religion, it will give you an accurate picture of the character of the people also.
This being true of other religions, since we are given the “attributes” of the true and living God Jehovah (Yahweh in Hebrew) the God who is our deity, the basis of the Christian's worship is “Holiness” because, Yahweh character is “HOLY”! This means unequivocally if we truly professed to be followers of Yahweh, (Jehovah) we must live “holy” lives.
Living our lives in the “FEAR” of God without “fearing” worshipping God
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
A question was once asked: Is there a time when people take the “fear” of God too seriously or a time when people don’t take it serious enough?
Someone once said: “I think our culture for the most part has lost its “awe” and appreciation for the wonder we get when we view the gift of life”. They based their answer on responding to an opinion question concerning the aborting of babies while in the development during the child birthing process. The sad truth is as a whole there are those who are guilty of having no awe concerning the creation work of our Creator Yahweh, (Jehovah) because they have lost their respect and are no longer “awe-struck” about Almighty God.
It is outright foolish to have no “FEAR”, that is “reverence” or “sincere respect” for the very ONE who‘s the reason everything made, including us, was made. On the other hand, even in the awesome display of God’s omnipotent power in the universe and in the affairs of men and nations, the fear we should have of God is not that kind of fear that keep us from approaching Him or interacting with HIM. God made man. He made man for fellowship and to interact with HIM. In the Garden of Eden before the fall of Adam and Eve, God would meet them in the garden at evening time. (The Bible calls that time “in the cool of the day”.
God has had an ongoing active relationship with man since creation and those of us who are in Christ should have a right understanding concerning His awesome power to create, redeem and destroy when need be. That understanding should lead all of us to do a thorough evaluation of our attitude toward HIM as well as our personal relationship with HIM. In short, the “fear” we have of God should be that of “holy respect” and a “reverence” of the fact that HE is sovereign, righteous, awesome, holy, Love, creator, God, the Great I AM THAT I AM. We ought to “revere Him”, because He worthy to be praised and we should actively give HIM all the glory, honor and the highest praise. Not only that, we should understand that:
a. God is no respect of person.
God is fair and impartial. God is not affected by outside influences in regards to how He treats people regardless of their state or statue in this life. Rank, wealth, beauty or any other external distinctions does not cloud God’s ability to judge righteously or in fairness.
“Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”
b. God Judges in Righteousness
“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. “For there is “no partiality” with God”.
As Christians, in reverence (fear) of the Lord, we worship Him as a Father-as one having all the feelings of a kind and tender parent toward them. We must remember that our sojourning here on earth is temporary. This is not our permanent home. We are pilgrims on a journey. It behooves us to have holy reverence for God (Yahweh/ Jehovah) as well as for His Law True religion has the element of reverence and respect for God. The Psalmist in Psalms 113:13-18, described the manner God see those who has reverence of HIM:
“As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting. On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them".
c. God redeemed us through Jesus Christ.
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
The Price of Redemption for the Sins of Man
The manner in which God redeemed us is a compelling argument to all of us to live a holy life. God did not redeem us with “corruptible things” like silver or gold. God commended His love toward us in while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us, purchasing (redeeming) our lives by the shedding of His own blood. Because of that, there is no other effective way to persuade true Christians to consecrate themselves and devote their entire lives to God, than to refer them to the fact that they are not their own, but they have been bought with a price. We have been purchased by the blood of Christ. What does that mean?
It means we were rescued from sin and death by the blood of Christ. The payment was the shed blood of Jesus. Without the shedding of Christ’s blood, there is no remission for our sins. The blood, the life of Christ offered as a sacrifice, effectively satisfied the wages (death) charged to man because of sin. It served the same purpose in regard to justice and the principles of moral government, which the punishment of the sinner himself would have done. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believe in HIM should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16)
God was pleased to accept Jesus’ death in the place of the punishment of the sinner, as answering the same great ends in his administration. The principles of his truth and justice could as certainly be maintained in this way as by the punishment of the guilty themselves. If so, then there was no obstacle to their salvation; and they might, on repentance, be consistently pardoned and taken to heaven. The price Jesus was willing to pay for our “sin” debt was far more in value (valuable) than any amount of silver or gold. There is no monetary amount that could have redeemed us or paid the debt to sin we owed.
Neither silver or gold could have redeemed us from your vain conversation, that is our "vain conduct”, or manner of life. In the eyes of God, our former life (the life of “sin") was fruitless and empty. It was filled with the worship of idols, and to all the abominations connected with idolatry. What we worshipped in times past wasn’t real. It was vain and unprofitable, fueled by traditions handed down from generations past from our forefathers as far back as in ancient times. sadly many people still hold on to the traditions of men and worship man-made gods and bow down to every man-made altar and shrine in abomination to I AM THAT I AM! But our redemption and atonement could come only by the following way”
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (vs.19)
The meaning here is, that the blood of Christ had a value above silver and gold; it was worth more. As a result:
a. Jesus’ blood is again, far more valuable than silver and gold.
b. In regards to our redemption, our redemption, His blood accomplished what silver and gold could not do. The universe had nothing more valuable to offer than the blood of the Son of God.
c. Christ was regarded as a lamb offered for sacrifice. In Revelation 13:8, Jesus is identified as the lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world for the redemption of any man who would believe in HIM and what He had done. Jesus was that lamb without blemish.
The Apostle John also identified Jesus as the Lamb of God.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
Avoiding behaviors that adversely affect our Active faith
“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:”
Salvation started the process of soul purification. Peter declares: "Having purified your souls."…..It’s very important to make sure your soul; has been saved. One of the leading effects the Holy Spirit is to excite us to make efforts for working out our own salvation with fear (in reverence) and trembling (awe of God) .It has been said: “the amount of effort we make "in purifying our souls" is usually a strong indicator of the actual measure of our attainments (how much we mature) in the Christian Faith”.
The truth concerning spiritual maturity is, no one can expect to have any true holiness beyond the amount of effort which they make to be conformed to God in every way. Think about it! No one can expect wealth, or fame, or learning, without putting forth maximum effort to work toward the desired goal of success, but the premise is still the same. If you put your time, talent and commitment to work for the Lord, there will be a great payoff in spiritual maturity. What are some of the evidences of a “purified soul?
a. Obeying the truth Romans through the Holy Spirit.
That is, you must yield (let God’s will be done in your life) to the requirements of truth. You must realize that salvation is complete and wholistic. You are saved from the penalty of sin (immediately when you confess Jesus Christ. (Romans 10:9, John 3:16). While you still live, you learn how God saves us from the power of sin through sanctification. The Holy Spirit applies the word of God to our minds (guides u into all truth concerning Christ; Titus 3:5-6; the notes at John 3:5.
b. Unfeigned love of the brethren] The positive effect of the influence of the Holy Spirit in applying the truth has been to produce sincere love to all who are true Christians. We are compelled to follow John 13:34-35
“A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another as I have loved you, that you love one another. By this all men shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another. See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”.
The phrase "with a pure heart fervently," means:
(1) That our love should be genuine love proceeding from a heart in which there is no guile or hypocrisy.
(2) That our love should be an “intense affection”, that is warm and passionate, not cold and formal, but ardent and strong.
Peter conveys here if there’s any reason why we should love true Christians at all, it’s the same reason why our attachment to them should be intense in affection and compassion and immersed in “agape love”. This verse establishes the following points:
(a) That truth was at the foundation of their piety (walking in Godly purity). The love they had for God was based on the many revelations of real truth revealed to them concerning Jesus Christ combined with the love God has shown toward them Because God truly had shown godly love (in having grace and mercy toward the) , even when they were still sinners and living in disobedience
(b) They (the converts of Peter’s era) became Christians as the result of obeying the truth; or by yielding (by conviction and having been convinced) to its fair influence on the soul. Based on the claim of the Gospel, they became persuaded in their own minds, which broke down the hardness in their hearts. They became converted because they believed with their hearts and confessed verbally the need to change and be saved. Of their own volitions, (choices) they yielded their will and became Christians.
From the actions of True Christians, there are several doctrinal truths we can glean from the decisions they made concerning their salvation:
1. Our minds are actively affected in the exercise of true religion. Pure religion (Christianity) causes a transformation and a renewing of your mind. The effect that the “TRUTH” contained in all of God’s Holy Word has on a person’s “soul” (psyche) is this:
When a person accepts what the Holy Spirit reveals as God’s truth, our mind will yield to God’s truth voluntarily and transfer that change it into our soul. God’s Word changes the way you think (reason), the way you feel, (affections) how you evaluate what you see through your own eyes (imagination) what you retain (memory) and subsequently how you live and act (conscience).
2. The ultimate aim of Christianity is always salvation for people who accepts God (Jehovah/ Yahweh) as sovereign, intrinsic in authority and holy and willing to live according His sovereign rule.
The life principle to an active faith and spiritual maturity is obedience in faith to God’s precepts, principles and to the truth that only can come from a Holy and Sovereign God. It compels you to yield to what is true and right. It causes you to lay aside all feelings of opposition, and allow the mind to follow where His truth and duty lead. The Apostle John said in John 1:12 : “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (Jesus)”.
3. The effect of the influence of the Holy Spirit in applying the truth is to produce love to all who are Christians.
The expression of agape love to Christian brethren springs up in the soul of everyone who is truly converted. This love is concrete evidence that the seed of God’s truth has germinated in the soul. In addition to this, this same love of God will cause the true believer of Christ to live a life of people whose steps of life are ordered of God. Paul reminded the Church in 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 :
“ But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing”.
In addition, in 1 John 3:14- 23, we learn the inner workings of an active faith under the uniting banner of God’s love, as well as what the activity of an active faith will produce:
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him”?
“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment”.
We were born again with “Incorruptible Seed”: The WORD of God
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever”.
Peter reminds us that our being ‘born again was not done by “corruptible seed”, that is, our salvation did not come by virtue of any descent from human parents. The result of such a birth (being born of corruptible seed), or of being begotten in this way-for so the word rendered "born again" signifies corruption and decay. We are then begotten only to “die eternally” This means death in the sense that God will not allow their souls to stand in His presence after their final judgment has been pronounced ever again . There is no permanent, enduring life produced by that. It is in this sense that this is spoken of as, "corruptible seed," because it results in decay and death.
But of incorruptible That is, by God’s divine truth, thereby communicating a living principle to the soul which can never decay. 1 John 3:9: "His seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
By the word of God which liveth and abideth forever .
In James 1:18, James declared: "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.".
It is the uniform doctrine of the Scriptures that divine truth is made the “instrument” by which the quickening the soul is converted into spiritual life. This expression may either refer to God, as living forever, or to the Word of God, as being forever true. .
Finally, Peter reminds us about this life (terrestrial)
“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away”:
That is, all human beings, all men are finite and these bodies will pass away. God said to Adam: “From dust thou art and to dust thou shall return”.
Peter in the previous verse, had been contrasting that which is “begotten by man” with that which is “begotten by God”, in reference to what’s permanent and what’s not. The former was corruptible and decaying; the latter abiding. The latter was produced by God, who lives forever; the former by the agency of man, who is himself corruptible and dying.
It’s not unnatural, then, to dwell upon the feeble, frail, decaying nature of man, in contrast with the sovereign, rule of God; who is from everlasting to everlasting. God has no beginning and no ending and the apostle, therefore, Peter says that "all flesh, every human being, is like grass.
What does this “saying” really mean?
It means there is no stability in anything that man does or produces. Man is seen as grass that soon fades and withers; but God and his word endure forever the same." The comparison of a human being with grass, or with flowers, is very beautiful, and is quite common in the Scriptures.
The comparison turns on the fact, that the grass or the flower, however green or beautiful it may be, soon loses its freshness; is withered; is cut down, and dies. Peter made reference to Isaiah 40: 6-8.
"But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you".
This means God’s WORD is steadfast unmoved, fixed, permanent and cannot be altered. Heaven and earth will pass away, the fading glories of natural objects, and the wasting strength of man will wax and wane. God’s truth remains unaffected and unchanged. Every prophecy it contains shall be fulfilled. Every promise God made in it shall be honored by HIM. The elegance and beauty of HIS Word never fades. The power of the WORD of God never becomes feeble. The gospel system (the way of salvation) is just as relevant now as it was when it was first revealed to man, and it still has as much power to save as it had when first applied to the first human heart.
It’s been said this way: “We see the grass wither when summer turns to fall; we see the flower of the field leave their seeds behind and then decay. We see men, though confident in their strength, rejoicing in the rigor of their body frame, suddenly cut down in a moment, and twinkling of an eye. We seen cities decline, kingdoms overthrown and suddenly destroyed: but the Word of God is still the same now as it was at the beginning. So in the midst of every change that will occur on the face of this earth, God’s Word will remain the same".
“And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (vs. 25)
That is, this gospel, this good news is the "word" which Peter was referring to is written by Isaiah (Isaiah 64:6) in the passage which has been quoted.
In light of the affecting truth stated in the close of this chapter, 1 Peter 1:24-25, Peter admonishes us to learn and remember to make it a habit to reflect on our feebleness and frailty. It is true "We all do fade as a leaf," Isaiah 64:6. Our glory is like the flower of the field. Our beauty fades, and our strength disappears. We cannot afford to live a life as believers where our faith is not active and producing the kind of life that reflects our belief in the true and living God and the Lord Jesus Christ who sacrificed His life and shed His blood for our redemption.
Dr. William Edward Boddie