“The Word of God” – 1 Peter 1:22-25
Introduction: These verses are about the Word of God – the Bible. What we believe about the Bible is critical to how we live our lives – and that is true for believers as much as for the unsaved, maybe more so. For us that are saved it is vital that we have a firm understanding of the Bible – and what Peter is saying here about the Bible to those that were going to go through this great trial was meant to help them understand how to go through the trial and how to maintain a good testimony while doing so.
There is a tendency in the world of Christianity today to “dumb down” the Word of God and make it more palatable to mankind. This is spoken of in 2 Timothy 3 as a sign of what the “religious world” will be like at the end of the last days, right before the Lord returns. To bring the Bible down to the level of worldly, carnal man (even believers in that state) is to cause its effectiveness to be limited and even eliminated. If we expect to see the power of God in our lives, and if we expect to be an effective witness for Christ then we better keep the Word of God in the place God intends for it to be. Too many today have the idea that they don’t care what the Bible says, they are going to live their lives the way they want to – how foolish for a believer to live that way.
This passage shows us just what we are to believe about the Bible:
I. Is truth – vs. 22
A. As truth, it purifies the soul – makes the unbeliever right with God by purifying him of sin
Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
B. As truth, it is to be obeyed because it is truth
Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
C. As truth, one of the most vital outcomes in the life of the believer is the love we are to have for other believers
This comes “through the Spirit” – the means of our love comes from the Holy Spirit of God
It is to be “unfeigned” – that is, unhypocritical – not put on, not fake
This love is to be done with a “pure heart fervently” – means to love other believers with no other intent or purpose but to love them – and it is to be done with “intense strain” – it is to be done even at great cost to ourselves
II. Is incorruptible – vs. 23a
A. “Incorruptible” means it is imperishable and not capable of decay or destruction
1Co 15:53-54 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
B. As the Word of God is so “incorruptible” it can provide the means of the new birth for lost people – John 3
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
C. It is spoken of as being a “seed” – something that is meant to be planted, fertilized, watered, and eventually harvested – it is to produce more than is planted
This word for “seed” is speaking simply of the seed – the “spora” itself
Jesus, in the parable of the sower and the seed was speaking of the sowing of the seed, not just the seed itself – but He had in mind the Word of God in that parable, and Peter took that further here to show that the Word of God, as a seed, has life- giving power within itself – all it needs is to be treated properly
D. An interesting point made in this verse is in the prepositions used – “of...seed” and “by the word of God”
The first – “of...seed” is the source of life
The second – “by the word of God” denotes the medium by which it imparts itself
E. It is compared to a “corruptible seed” – something that can be over watered, over fertilized, rotted and destroyed – the Bible cannot be so it will of its own nature produce fruit
III. Is eternal – vs. 23b-25
A. The last phrase in verse 23 – “liveth and abideth forever” – demonstrate more about the Bible
It is alive – not just now but forever Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
It will abide forever – not just exist but will be part of eternity Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
B. The Bible is compared to man which, as grass and flowers will do, will fade and fail (die) but the Bible will never fade – never lose its luster – and never fail – never die
C. The final phrase of verse 25 is critical – the message of the Gospel (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ) is the power that produces godliness – it is through this gospel that the authority of the rest of the Bible is understood and followed
Conclusion: What do we believe about the Bible? If it is different than what the Bible says of itself then what we believe is wrong. Knowing what God said of His own Word, it is our responsibility to live it and to speak it – not just “of” it.