TEEN TREE OF LIFE
Fervently Love One Another From the Heart - Part 3
October 30, 2022
Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
Review 1 PETER 1: 22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, 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 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. (1 PET 1:22-25 New American Standard Bible)
We learned in last week’s Teen Tree about the love that Christians should have for one another. This type of love is taught in JOH 13:34 (New International Reader’s Version) by Our Lord and Savior: “I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you.” While brotherly love involves an emotional element which can include enjoyment of being with the other person, to love with the love which Jesus Christ is talking about in JOH 13:34 does not. His Love is from the mind and the will; it is not from emotion. You can love someone with this kind of love even when you find them irritating. That’s why the pursuit of Holiness in obedience to Truth is so important in Christian love. The fact is that it can take a while for a new Christian to shed their selfish worldly ways and become spiritually mature so that they are pleasant to be around. ROM 5:8 (New American Standard Bible) states: But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. That being true, it’s not too much for Him to ask us to sacrifice in loving the immature while they are growing in Christ.
1 PET 1:23 (New American Standard Bible) gives us the second part of this appeal to love one another: for you have been born-again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” So what Peter is saying is that you should love one another because you have been born-again.
Now let’s look at a word that is very important in studying Bible doctrine. It’s the word regeneration. Regeneration is a theological term that means a second birth or being born-again. Our Lord talks about this in JOH 3:3 (New American Standard Bible): Jesus responded and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born [from above] again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Regeneration is the immediate result of faith alone in Christ alone. Once you have truly believed in The Lord Jesus Christ, you are regenerated or born-again.
The concept here is as radical as it sounds which is why it takes the intervention of The Holy Spirit. A man is born physically alive but spiritually dead, so it takes a new birth, being born-again, to bring about spiritual life and become “the new creation.” This is taught in 2 COR 5:17 (New International Reader’s Version): When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone! The new is here! What did not exist before has been brought into existence. The Lord Jesus Christ pointed out the work of The Holy Spirit in bringing this about.
In 1 PET 1:23, Peter points out the effect of The Word of God in bringing about this new birth. He describes the Word of God here as both living and enduring. Both of these are a contrast to perishable. What perishes dies and ceases to exist. God’s Word is living and continues to live. Set in contrast to seed, The Word of God is imperishable, yet it also brings forth life and causes it to grow. Peter’s description here of The Word of God helps us to understand the connection between it and The Holy Spirit’s Work in causing us to be born-again.
The sacred Scriptures are called The Word of God because they come from God Himself. In 2 TIM 3:16 (New American Standard Bible) Paul states: All Scripture is [God-breathed] inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for [reprimand] rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness. JOH 1:1 (New American Standard Bible) states: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
All three persons of the Triune Godhead are involved in bringing to us The Word of God. Jesus Christ said: “My teaching is not My own, but His who sent Me.” (JOH 7:16 New American Standard Bible) He was explicit about the role of The Holy Spirit in JOH 14:26 (New American Standard Bible): But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. Without The Holy Spirit, great scholars cannot understand the Message of the Scriptures and with Him, even the illiterate and uneducated are able to.
Because The Word of God comes from The Triune God, it is living and will continue to endure into Eternity. Peter contrasts that with the brevity of life in verse 24: For, “All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off… The reference here is to any of the small green plants found in a field or pasture for grazing which is primarily grass. The spring and summer flowers faded long ago and the soon to come frost will kill the remaining leaves. Life on this earth is short because it is perishable.
In contrast to the brevity of physical life, The Word of The Lord endures, remains, abides always, eternally, forever because it is imperishable. Jesus said in MATT 24:35 (New American Standard Bible): “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” Because God is Eternal, so is His Word. Because God is Unchangeable, what He has decreed will not change. Because God is Sovereign, all that He has decreed will be fulfilled. That means that all that God has revealed in His Word can be trusted. This makes Peter’s final sentence in this section a source of great comfort and assurance: “And this is the word which was preached to you.”
What was announced to the church in Asia Minor through those who preached the Gospel by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven can be trusted. The various trials they were going through were causing them distress and severely testing their faith; but God still had His Own Purpose for them and He would remain The Source of their Living Hope and Guarantor of the incredible Inheritance promised to them. His Steadfast and Loving Hand upon them would enable them to respond with faith, love, and joy amid their circumstances.
What was true for them is still true for you today, regardless of any situation you are currently facing or will face in the future. This message applies to you and is an important one to remember.