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.