Hope in the Imperishable
By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte
1 Peter 1:21-25 (NASB)
21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.22 Since you have purified your souls in obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brothers and sisters, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable, but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you.
At the time of the writing of this letter, believers who were found guilty of the crime of being a follower of Jesus Christ faced persecution and often death by any number of horrific methods. Peter wrote his letter to the believers in Ancient Rome to encourage and offer hope. As the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write all those years ago, I wonder if he had any idea that we today would also benefit from the hope he offered.
This passage talks about the different things in which we place our hope. In times, not so long ago, things such as the flower, or the grass would be used for things such as medicine, food, dye for fabric, air fresheners along with a whole host of other purposes. God, through the pen of Peter, warns us in this passage that the things of the world may seem right, yet they all wither away. However, Peter also tells us that there is something we’ve been given which endures and is imperishable, and that is the word of God.
I often wonder if Peter and the apostle John sat around a fire comparing notes because I noticed more than one common theme emerge in some of their writings. In this case, John 1:1-2 tells us who the Word is (Jesus) and that He was with God and that He was God – from the beginning.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.
Peter also tells the way to fervently love one another from the heart is to live in obedience to the Truth, which is often used as one of the names of Jesus.
John 14: 5-6 (NASB)
5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going; how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.
What can we learn from 1st Peter?
· Since we have been born again we have both the example of Jesus, and the power give to us by the Holy Spirit to love others as Jesus loves.
· When we are born again, the seed of new birth is the imperishable, incorruptible word of God.
· Since the Word is Jesus, read the scriptures and let them penetrate our hearts and souls.
· The Word will enable me to do all things and to love people as Jesus loves.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NASB)
4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. 5 It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, 6 it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails;
What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?
- Why is it sometimes hard to love people the way God loves them?
- In what area of life am I looking to things of this world that are perishable and how can I apply the Word of God so I can change my perspective?
- How do I see the Word of God? Do I see it as something that will endure?
- What can I do to make reading the word a daily priority?