May 1st, 2017
Today we're looking at 1 Peter 1:23, "Being born anew, not of mortal seed but of immortal by the Word of God, who liveth and endureth forever."
Here again we have the same word used in John 1:1 translated as "word," but Logos meaning Motive:
G3056 λόγος lógos, log'-os; from G3004; something said (including the thought); by implication, a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension, a computation; specially, (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ): —account, cause, communication, × concerning, doctrine, fame, have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say(-ing), shew, × speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.
So, "Born anew, ... by the motive of God who lives and endures forever." We also know from John chapter 1 that this motive is Jesus. So the scripture says, "Born anew,... by Jesus who lives and endures forever." But there's more there than just that.
The word "seed" in this verse is the word Spora:
G4701 σπορά sporá, spor-ah'; from G4687; a sowing, i.e. (by implication) parentage:—seed.
the implication of the word is parentage, your parents. So, "Born anew, not of mortal parentage but of immortal by Jesus who lives and endures forever.
You know, I find that Peter is by far the most eloquent of all the New Testament writers. Whereas, Pauls writings are primarily prose, Peter writes this deep multi-layered poetry. Which in and of itself that Peter would be the most eloquent, and Peter would be the one that writes this beautiful poetry is amazing. Because, if you don't remember, Peter was a fisherman by trade.
Fisherman, these brawny, rough and tumble men who had to pull these giant nets out of the water with who knows how many pounds of fish in them. These would have been strapping, impressive people who if you were in a disagreement with one of them you would have felt quite overwhelmed by their presence. This Peter is the same person who when they are in the garden and the soldiers are going to take Jesus he pulls out a sword and cuts off a mans ear, this is Peter. This is the same Peter that after the crucifixion he denies Christ three times. This is a man who has clearly gone through a LOT of transformation from the path he was on originally to the path that he found himself on at the end of his life.
Jesus said that Peter was the rock on which the church would be founded. You can take that several different ways, I know how a lot of people have taken that. But, if you look at the life of Peter and you look at the life of The Church and The Church being made up of people. And you apply the transformations that Peter went through there's a lot of correlations between the life of Peter and the life of what a Christian goes through from the moment of salvation to the moment of the end of their life. I think Peter is a very good model of that transformation. He goes from this rough and tumble fisherman set in his ways to having this encounter with Christ and not really knowing what to do with himself. Walking on the water at one point, losing focus, and sinking down into the water and having to reset his focus.
How many times have we been in that same situation where God has asked us to step out in faith and we take our eyes off of Him and suddenly we're sinking. We don't know how we got there, but we're there. How many times have we been faced with a challenge and we metaphorically pull out our sword and try to attack it in the physical when we know that the war we wage is not against flesh and blood (2 Corinthians 10:3).
Peter is this man that really embodies the journey of a Christian and I find it really inspirational to look at his life compared to my own life. You know if Peter can do it, if Peter can go from who he was to this steadfast example writing this amazing poetry then surely the work that God is working in me can bring me from who I was to where I need to be.
Lets get back to the verses there and look at verses 24 and 25. Verse 23 we broke down this beautiful poetry to read, "Being born anew, not of mortal parentage but of immortal by Jesus who lives and endures forever." Now verses 24 and 25 go on to say, "For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man is as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth forever: and this is the word which is preached among you."
In verse 25 the word translated as "word" isn't the same word as in verse 23. In verse 23 it's the same word they translated in John 1:1, it's Logos or motive. Here in verse 25 though it's the word Rhema:
G4487 ῥῆμα rhēma, hray'-mah; from G4483; an utterance (individually, collectively or specially),; by implication, a matter or topic (especially of narration, command or dispute); with a negative naught whatever:—+ evil, + nothing, saying, word.
The word Rhema, actually literally means, "an utterance," or spoken word, "But the spoken word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the spoken word which is preached among you."
Verses 23 and 25 use two completely different words that have been translated into the exact same word, and they're not the same word, they don't mean the same thing. There is a deeper message behind using those two different words two sentences away from each-other.