The Living & Abiding Word (Chapter 1 Verses 22-25)
The source of our spiritual life is the divine seed (vv23-25). Our rebirth into a living hope (v3), comes to us as a result of what that seed actually is, “the living and enduring word of God” (v23). The word of the good news about Jesus which was announced to us (v25b). Peter has spoken about a living hope (v3), which was brought to us by means of this living word (v25). Which in turn is an enduring word because it is living and active (Isaiah 40.6-8; Hebrews 4.12). Jesus speaks of its durability (Matthew 24.35). As is the word through which we were born again so is the life produced, living, enduring, incorruptible. As is that word so are we. Now it is this word, and obedience to it (v22), that has drawn us together into the community of the Church (Hebrews 11.10), the brotherhood of believers (2.17). And made us strangers, foreigners to the world (v1). Now look at the quotation from Isaiah, people in their natural, bodily state, born of earthly parents. Whatever is good, attractive and grand about that condition? However proud a person may become of their beauty, wealth, honour, achievement, greatness, and heritage It is at the end of the day no better than a bloom, or blade of grass, it will wither. It is transient, it will fade, it will not last.
But. The word of God is not transient, it endures forever. That is the word, says Peter, that was proclaimed to you (v25b). Or better “this word is the good news that was preached to you” (v25b). It entered your hearts, birthing you to eternal life, overcoming your former life-style, and replacing the corruptible with incorruptible. and yet stands immovable. So instead of holding pity-parties, becoming sad and gloomy over our circumstances in the world and around us. Peter says, there is cause for rejoicing in the precious price paid for our salvation, in the trust and hope we have. Particularly if we consider the price, the cost of our former life-style, the toll it took on us, the power of that kind of living, how it destroyed our health perhaps, ruined us spiritually and morally, living in fear and dread, with the shadow of death lingering over us like the sword of Damocles. But now with the salvation of ours souls secure (v9), living in the fear (filial) of God, exerting that new life in love within the community of faith (2.17; Galatians 6.10). We are a people with the ability to live confidently, to live powerfully, a life-style that should leave the world breathless!
(© James R Hamilton, written May, 1998)