The Word - 1 Peter 1:17-25 Born Again Through the Word of God

Sermons on the Word of God from the Word of God

The phrase “Born Again” is a popular Christian phrase for what happens in the person when they submit their lives to Christ. As popular as it has become in our discussions, it is surprisingly only used four times in the NT if we stretch the numbers (John 3:3; 3:7; 1 Peter 1:3; and 1:23). To be “born again” is to be “born from above.” It is surely a work of God and not anything of our personal doing. In John 3 Jesus attributes this work to the Holy Spirit and says that we must be born of water and the Spirit. Today we will learn that not only does the Spirit work this business but that it is also through the Word of God. This is yet another glimpse into the fact that the Spirit of God and the Word of God are never separate. We will finally run into that sermon next week as we continue in the series “Sermons on the Word of God from the Word of God.” This sermon is significant because Jesus said that we MUST be born again.

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

Point 1: v17
We should live our lives with reverential fear BECAUSE our Father judges without partiality. This fear is unlike what the unfaithful will experience at the return of Christ. It is a reverential fear that springs from the fact that our Judge is our Father. Time of our Stay (exile): This world as we know it is truly not our home. This world has nothing for us in comparison to Christ. He is our Bread of Life - He is our Living Water - He is our Rest and Comfort - He is our Treasure - He is our All in All. Psalm 1 says, “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” The ungodly will not be able to bear the judgment because their works are evil. Unlike the unrepentant sinner we make use of our time here.

Point 2: vv18-19
Ransomed: Bought from an oppressor (SIN). Our debt was paid to sin in general. 1st century peoples would have understood this “purchasing” language perfectly because many of them may have bought a friend or family member from slavery or their country may have bought back prisoners of war (or they may have been ransomed themselves from either slavery or war). As advantageous as gold and silver have been to the world for thousands of years they are simply metals that are perishable and do not compare to the preciousness of the blood that paid our debt. Lamb without blemish or spot = Jesus is the Greater Passover. The picture is significant to us because that is we are considered in the eyes of God. Colossians 1 declares, “yet now He has reconciled (you) in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” From your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers: A specific sin is not addressed here, but what becomes evident from this statement is that outside of Christ all conduct is aimless (it is meaningless, useless, and empty). Those old ways can not and will not secure salvation for anyone. There is no “generational” sin for those who are in Christ. All limitations and evil influences are dealt with in our lives when we turn to Jesus Christ. If sin has a hold on you or your household there is no excuse. We confront and can obliterate sin and its agents by the precious blood of Christ and by the active efforts of the Holy Spirit. According to Romans 8 it is “by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body” and according to Romans 6 it is by Christ’s death that sin will have no dominion over us. We are under grace.

Point 3: vv20-21
Not only was Christ foreknown but He was prechosen (if there is such a word). He was known before creation because He was chosen before creation. Thus, He was foreordained. Though He was predestined to this incarnation it was only in those times that He was manifest. The Apostle Paul refers to it as the “fullness of the time.” According to Peter the manifestation of the Son marked the beginning of the last times. So don’t believe anyone that is maintaining a preaching career by declaring that we are in the last times. We have been in the last times since Jesus ascended to heaven and promised to return. DO NOT miss those tiny two words “FOR YOU.” Christ came for US. Christ lived for US. Christ ministered for US. Christ DIED FOR US. Everything the Son did He did so that God would receive all glory; so that we would believe in God and so that our faith and hope would be in God. Like John says, So that you may believe.

Now there is a transition as we move into verse 22 and finish with verse 25. What I would actually like to do is work backward from verse 25 concluding with the call of verse 22.

Point 4: Born Again through the Word of God which Lives and Abides Forever
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you:
1. It is of the Lord/God – something different about this message b/c of the Author
2. It endures forever – contrast between God’s eternality and man’s temporariness
3. It lives and abides (forever) – living and powerful / there are few things that last
4. It is an incorruptible seed – the life that it generates and sustains is incorruptible
5. It is the truth – in a world that denies truth we must defend the Gospel

Our souls are purified when we obey the truth (which is the Gospel). PuriFIED and ObeyING = They were purified and are being purified. Obeying the truth of the Gospel Word is to BELIEVE on the person and work of Jesus Christ; that He knew no sin but was made sin for us, bearing it on the cross. With a pure soul that believes in the love of the Savior, we are charged to love one another fervently. We do it with a pure heart that comes by obeying the truth. Fervently = Hebrews 13:1 “Let brotherly love continue.” Unhypocritical Love

vv24-25 contrasts the believer who is now born of incorruptible seed and the ungodly who is like corruptible grass. Peter attributes the Gospel to Isaiah’s words. His Word endures forever. The Gospel endures forever. Isaiah prophesied a world-wide Theophany in chapter 40 and it is and has been realized in the Gospel Word.

There is an Imperishable Inheritance because God has given us eternal life, not just new life.

There is an Imperishable Value of the blood of Christ. It never runs out of worth.

There is an Imperishable Seed that creates and sustains an incorruptible life in believers.

We have been born again by the Word of God in the past, yet it lives and abides in the present to sustain the eternal life that we have been given. We have been purified and it is necessary that we continue to be purified by obeying the truth of the Gospel.

--As we stand for our hymn of response I ask those that have committed their lives to Christ to meditate on the new birth that comes by the Word and I ask those who have not come to Christ to make a commitment at this time. Today is the day of salvation.

The Word - John 8:37-47 Does the Word Have a Place?

[Sermons on the Word of God from the Word of God]

We will be spending the next few weeks looking at a few different texts in a series I have titled “Sermons on the Word of God from the Word of God.” Today I would like to begin the series by looking at John 8:37-47. We will focus on the Word having a place in us.

READ SCRIPTURE- This is the Word of God

Point 1: Context- Who is their father?
Jesus has acknowledged that they are descendants of Abraham…physical descendants. These Jews must have heard something other than “Abraham is your father” because they become defensive in saying “Abraham is our father.” Jesus is implying that they have another father which we will get to in a minute. We know that the New Testament teaches that a Jew is one inwardly and not simply on the outside, yet even the Old Testament has taught this:
1. (NT) Romans 2:28-29
2. (OT) Jeremiah 9:25-26 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that I will punish all who are circumcised with the uncircumcised— Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab, and all who are in the farthest corners, who dwell in the wilderness. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.”

Paternity, in Spiritual Terms, has another Definition: READ 1 John 3:10
Children of God are those who (1) Practice Righteousness and (2) Love their Brother.

They show themselves to NOT be spiritual descendants of Abraham.
1. They believe Jesus’ word until it clashes with their tradition.
2. They become murderous when called into question or in disagreement with Jesus.
3. They are prepared at any time to leave the teaching of Jesus.
These are not the works of Abraham who believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

“You do what you have seen with your father” - The “doing” is the truth teller. No matter what people claim, if what they do is not the same, then there is the truth. Jesus implies that their father is the devil and then states it (v44). It is only natural for the devil and his children to lie and murder (v44).

Point 2: Main Point- His Word Must Have a Place
The Unregenerate: Before a person is born again their soul is stuffed with all sorts of evils. There is no room for the Word of God in an unregenerate person- there is no desire for it, there is no love of it, and there is no interest in the truth. If a person feels no need for the Word, then there is no place for it in them. These certain Jews heard the words of truth from the lips of the Lord and became enraged to the point of murderous schemes. There is no communion between light and darkness. The children of the devil, no matter who they claim to be, become furious at the hint of truth. They want no part.

The Regenerate: Christians should take this as a warning. Jesus said these things to Jewish leaders. They knew the Scriptures better than anyone. They were the teachers. They even had a large chunk of what we call the Old Testament memorized! Yet Jesus that said His Word had no place in them. When God is our Father we love Jesus the Son. Loving Jesus means that we love His Word and we take heed to it by complying with it.

“He who is of God hears God’s words” - v47 reminds me 10:27 My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me. Jesus has said that they do not believe Him and they are not able to listen to His Word therefore we must conclude that they are not of God.

Illustration from Matthew 12:43-45 - We cannot merely clean ourselves up every once in a while. We cannot simply tidy our lives up every now and again. We must fill our souls and our lives with the Word of God. If we do not then there is room for the evils of this world to come and stay. You cannot continue in sin that grace may abound, but continue in grace (found in the Word of God) that His glory may abound and we may be saved by it.

V31 “If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed.” Abiding is continuing. We must continue to fill ourselves with His Word, which is the whole counsel of God found in the Bible. Does the Word find a place in you? Your family? This church?

Is there room for the Word or do you push it away? There is no other way to find truth and salvation than from the Word of God. Make room! The last image I will give you is this- food is necessary and good for the body yet once you eat, it will fill you up and then digest which is how it will nurture your body. The same can be said of the Word. You can eat it up (taste and see that the Lord is good) to your full, yet when it does its work it will digest into your soul. Then there will be a need to come back and eat of the riches of Scripture. Just because you get full one time doesn’t mean you will never eat again. There is room in you, but does the Word find a place or is it already taken?

Colossians 1 & Philippians 1 A Warning and A Promise

Often times Christians begin to get weary of doing good. Some become overwhelmed by the faith and by the church. What does the Bible have to say about these thoughts? Actually the Bible proclaims a warning that would be very applicable to those in these positions. This warning dismisses the claim that once a person is “saved” that they are “always saved.” When this warning sounds forth there is no room for such arguments. And as stressful as this warning may sound, the Word of God proclaims a promise that will ease the burden.

What is the warning? I will tell you, but will you pray with me first?

I. Warning: “He who Endures to the End will be Saved”

There is an essential warning the echoes throughout the whole of Scripture. The OT, the NT, and the Lord Jesus Himself have proclaimed this warning. Jesus said in Matthew 10:22 “you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved” and again in Matthew 24:12-13 “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Salvation is the issue that this warning hinges on and it is our primary concern. We know that there is wrath to come and we have vivid illustrations of it in Scripture. We desire to be saved from that wrath that God will pour out on “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” And so the hair on the back of our necks and on our arms stands up when we hear this warning.

There are two parts of the warning:
1. We must Endure
Endurance is a hallmark of success and usefulness and it is a crucial characteristic of the Christian faith. That great chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13, says, “Love…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
2. Endure to the End
What is the root of the word endure? It is END. A race is not about those who begin it or even run in it for a while, but is about those who run with patient endurance the race that is set before them. A race is about those who cross the finish line. What is the end? There are many ends to endure: Life, Age (tribulation), Time.

READ Colossians 1:21-23- This is the Word of God
One must:
1. “Continue in the faith”
2. Be “established and firm”
3. “Not moved away from the hope of the Gospel”
We are “reconciled…holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight” [IF]
Continuance is the test of this reality.

We have a responsibility for our salvation yet, you will notice, it is not the one who works to the end who will be saved but the one who endures to the end. Jesus says in Matthew 7, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

God desires something more than just going through the motions. Looking the part and playing the part of a follower of Christ does not earn one salvation. This is exactly what Jesus told the woman at the well. He said, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”

I have used the phrase “faith rest” before and today I would like to expound upon it. We have been warned that it is only those who endure to the end who will be saved; those who “continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” But there is also a promise made by Scripture which will ease the burden of this warning. Let us turn there and read.

READ Philippians 1:6- This is the Word of God

II. Promise: “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it”

Here is the promise. God will do the saving work in us. He will finish what He started.

God does an inside-out job. He leaves no detail out. And here is the good thing-
When we allow Him to do what we ultimately can’t, He has all of the knowledge, all of the power, all of the resources, and all of the authority necessary to get the job done. Why would we not put something as precious as our souls into His hands? In Him is life.

The Gospel has logic at its core. If we are initially saved by faith in Christ Jesus then we are certainly saved ultimately by faith in Christ Jesus. Thus I can teach as Scripture does that justification comes by faith and sanctification comes by faith. We are neither justified or sanctified by works which is why Paul asks the Galatians, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” It is the Spirit’s work through and through.

This may sound to some as if there is nothing for a person to do. Is there anything that we do? The answer is YES! We must endure to the end by faith in Jesus Christ. You must know that you are safe in Him [IF] you continue in the faith. There is no room for thinking that God will work salvation in us and we can do whatever. “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” We died to sin and live unto God. Yield to the work of His Spirit which is done by the authority of His Word.

Patiently Endure: In Love (Matthew 24:12) and Despite Persecution (Matthew 24:9-11).

We have been warned that we have the responsibility to endure to the end if we expect to be saved, yet we have been promised that God will complete in us what He started.
So may we say with the Apostle “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

It is clear, by the warnings given in Scripture, that there will be those who begin the race who will not finish the race. And there will be those who appeared to be faithful, but all they did was work, work, work and not worship the Father in spirit and I truth whom Jesus will tell to depart.

We have been warned once again that it is those who continue in the faith and endure to the end that will be saved from the wrath to come. We need to rest in faith knowing that God will finish in you as an individual what He started and He will finish in this church what He started. But it will only be by yielding to His Spirit and remaining faithful to His Word.

“Do NOT grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”