1 Peter 1:23 “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”
God has some important things for you to understand when he illustrates our coming to faith as being born again. It illustrates our helplessness. You know people whose pregnancies were filled with uncertainty. Think of how weak, how frail, and how dependent that little baby is before it is born. It didn’t produce it’s own life. It simply received life from its parents. No baby decides for itself when it will be born. When the time is right, the mother’s body gives it birth.
There are many parallels with our spiritual life. Because of sin, we are helpless, totally dependent on God. We have no spiritual life until we receive it from our heavenly Father. Without Christ we are not just spiritually confused or weak. We have no spiritual life at all. That was true of each of us. It still applies to our sinful natures. Since we must be born again, we are utterly dependent on God. He alone can give us spiritual life.
Peter tells us that God has given us this new life through the living and enduring word of God. This word of God is a living word. It has a life of its own. Even though you cannot detect a heartbeat, even though you are not able hear it breathing, it is alive and active and accomplishes great things. The living heartbeat of God’s word is the overwhelming love he gave in the life Jesus lived for us and sacrificed to save us. It’s breath is the breath of the Holy Spirit. Like a good germ this message of love empowered by the Holy Spirit invades our souls and transforms our minds. It drives out doubt and despair. It creates a new life which says, “I trust God and I know he will take care of me.” It overpowers sin and creates a heart that wants to do what is good. It is more alive, more full of life, than anything else we will ever know in this life.
This word of God is also an enduring word. Peter illustrates this in the words of Isaiah, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” We are all like grass and flowers. We are flimsy and frail. Our health doesn’t hold up like it once did. We don’t last very long. Seventy, eighty, even one hundred years aren’t that long compared to the great span of history. Like grass and flowers, our glory is fading and shallow. Our accomplishments will barely be remembered a generation from now. How we looked and what we did just last year is already little more than a memory. The Apostle James sums it up this way: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
But the word of the Lord stands forever. Long before any of us was around, the word of God was there, the same word we know today. Long after we are all gone, the word will still stand. It will still be the same. It will be comforting, supporting, empowering, and giving life to a new generation, just as it has done for you and me.