1 Peter Message #6 “Revelation of Jesus as the Seed” Ed Miller, March 9, 2022

Listen to audio above while following along with the transcript below (also available for download in Word from www.biblestudyministriesinc.com)

We welcome you once again to see our Lord Jesus in the Word of God.  I want to share a verse from Psalm 147:18, “He sends forth His Word and melts them.”  If you read verse 17 you would learn that ice comes from the Lord.  So, He’s talking about melting the ice, and He’s really describing Spring.  It says, “He sends forth His words and melts them; He causes His winds to blow and the waters to flow.”  He’s speaking about a stream or a brook that is ice-locked in the winter, and then the Spring comes, and the wind blows and melts the ice.  The wind, what a picture of our Holy Spirit.  He causes the wind to blow and the waters to flow.  If in any way you are ice locked, you can trust the Lord to bring a Spring into your life by causing His wind to blow and your water to flow.  So, with that in mind, let’s pray.

Father, once again we commit our little meditation unto You, so thankful for Your Word, and thankful for the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts and turns our eyes and hearts to the Lord Jesus.  We just pray, Lord, that once again this morning You might, by Your grace, unveil Yourself to us in a fresh and living way.  Show us the Lord Jesus.  We ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

We’re in the book of 1 Peter, and of course, whatever book we’re in, we’re not there to learn a book, we’re there to see the Lord.  Hopefully, we’ll learn a lot about the book, but it’s to see the Lord.  I want to remind you that the prevailing picture of the Lord Jesus in 1 Peter is that He is the Pilgrim after God’s heart.  He’s the ideal pilgrim.  The Lord Jesus is the model Pilgrim.  Now, Peter wants his suffering brothers and sisters to understand that they are also pilgrims, but with a little “p”.  They are not capital “P” pilgrims.  They’re pilgrims in this world.  1 Peter 2:11, “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers,” and the KJV says, “pilgrims,” “to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”  You are only one verse deep in the book, and you read, “..an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.”   They’re scattered, and why are they scattered?  It’s because they are being persecuted by religious Jews and by the Roman government under Nero, a cruel, cruel government.

Peter reminds them that, though they don’t live here anymore, they still reside here.  There’s a big difference between living there and residing there.  They’ve been redeemed out of this world.  They used to live here.  They were born here.  They used to have roots here, but then God in His grace has redeemed them, and now they’ve become pilgrim channels.  They’ve become pilgrim ambassadors.  We sing, and rightly so, “this world is not my own, I’m just passing through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue,” and that’s gloriously true.  Heaven is heaven because Jesus is there.  If He were not there, heaven wouldn’t be heaven.  It’s heaven because Jesus is there, and Jesus is here, and Jesus lives in you.  Therefore, Peter is inviting you to have a heaven on earth, because everything that makes heaven heaven is living in your heart.

In Peter’s presentation to these suffering Christians, the strangers, aliens, pilgrims, those who are still residing here, as they read this epistle, he lays out the qualifications of a true pilgrim.  If you go through the book, you’ll see at least four, and maybe more, qualifications that show them how disqualified they are.  You are not that qualified to be a pilgrim, and neither am I.  He writes that not to discourage them, but in order to encourage them.  He shows them the absolute impossibility of being a Christian pilgrim after God’s heart.  Listen to one qualification.  1 Peter 1:15-16, “Like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your behavior, because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”  You want to be a pilgrim?  Then be perfect; be holy as God is holy.  That’s a qualification, and that disqualifies you and me.  No Christian can be holy as God is holy, but there is one, and Peter mentions it in 1 Peter 2:21-22, “You’ve been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.”  Our Lord Jesus lived a perfect life, a sinless life, and therefore that was good new to them—You’re not a pilgrim, but there’s One who is, and He has come to live in you.  That was glorious news.  It gave those who were hopelessly disqualified a Living hope.  In fact, we read about that three verses into the book, 1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy, has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  “A living hope through a risen Christ.”  It’s His life; that’s the living hope, and He’s come to live in you and me.  That was the glorious hope for these suffering Christians.

Only one Person has ever lived the Christian life, and His name is Jesus.  And only one Person can ever live it again, and His name is Jesus, and He wants to live it again through you and me.  That’s the living hope for the all the redeemed, for all the burdened Christians, and all the persecuted Christians; every man, every child, every boy, every girl, young and old alike, everyone redeemed has the Lord Jesus living in them.

In our last gathering I tried to show you, we started chapter 1, Peter’s enlarged vision of Jesus in the epistles from the vision he had of Jesus when he was in the gospel.  What a tremendous difference it is!  Remember, now, in the first chapter of Peter, almost every doctrine in the Bible is crushed into that single chapter: everything from election and predestination, foreknowledge, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, inspiration of scripture, and it’s all in 1 Peter 1.  I call attention to that to remind you that he’s not writing a theology book for seminary professors.  He’s writing a letter of encouragement to those who are being killed and being crucified, and are being beheaded, and are being set on fire.  They don’t need a theology book.  They don’t need a course on systematic theology.  They need Jesus.  They need to see the Lord, and that’s what Peter is doing.  He’s encouraging battering pilgrims to focus on the Lord who lives in them.  In this first chapter, he puts the spotlight squarely on the Lord Jesus.  If you can get through the theology and see what Peter is doing, he says that the One that lives in your heart is related to God, the Godhead.  The One who is in your heart, is related to angels.  The One who is in your heart, is related to Christians.  The One who is in your heart, is related to the world.  That’s chapter 1, and he begins to describe the wonder of Jesus.  In God’s revelation of Himself to men, He has made Christ central in the Godhead.  That’s the One who lives in your heart.

In 1 Peter 1:12 he says, “The angels long to look into the mystery,” the mystery of Christ and salvation.  I quoted last time Hebrews 1:6, and I’ll quote it again, “And when He again brings the firstborn into the world,” that’s Christmas, that’s Bethlehem, that’s the incarnation, “He said, ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him.’”  It was not some of them, not most of them, not pretty nearly all of them, but all the angels of heaven, millions and trillions, called an unnumbered host, and everyone is on their face before Jesus.  That’s who lives in your heart and mine.  He’s saying to suffering Christians, “The One who is central in the Godhead, who is the object of worship and adoration and wonder of all the angels has come to live in your heart.”

When we left off last time, we were meditating on how He is related to Christians.  To God He’s central in the Godhead.  To the angels He’s the object of worship and adoration.  I told you that there were two answers to the question, “How is He related to us?”  We tried to answer the first one last time, and it revolves around a mystery.  1 Peter 1:6, let me try to develop it this way, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you’ve been distressed by various trials.”  Don’t just read that la, la, la.  He said, “In this you greatly rejoice”  Are you kidding?  Manifold trials—cheer up!  How exciting can that be?  Trials make me sad, and not happy.  Affliction, it doesn’t bring joy.  Sometimes it brings frustration, fear, pain, and if it’s chronic it might even bring bitterness.

This idea that the greatest sufferers are the purest people in the world, if that were true, the purest people would be in hell.  They aren’t pure for suffering.  Suffering doesn’t make you pure.  “In this you greatly rejoice.”  What does he know?  What is he telling them that I don’t know?  Then again, in verse 8 he tells you how great that joy is, “Though you’ve not seen Him, you love Him.  Though you do not see Him now but believe in Him, you rejoice greatly with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”  You’re not only happy when you suffer, you have an inexpressible joy, and that means there are no words to describe how happy you are at that moment.  Full of glory, that’s heaven, that’s heavenly joy.  You say, “When I’m going through stuff, I don’t exactly feel like that.”  Peter is writing to those who are going through that stuff.  1 Peter:14, “To the degree you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exaltation.” Be happy, rejoice, exceeding beyond words, a heavenly joy, and keep on rejoicing.  1 Peter 4:14, “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rest upon you.” 

So, the question has to be answered, “How can a Christian rejoice when he’s encountering various trials.  And how can a Christian rejoice with inexpressible joy, without faking it and full of glory, and how can we keep on rejoicing, especially when things get worse and worse?”  Those are honest questions and need to be answered, and Peter addresses that.  How can you consider yourself blessed?  He says, “Blessed are you if you suffer that way.”  When you get that doctor’s report, when your finances crash, when you lose the job, when there’s another loss, when you lose a member of the family, when you become disabled and dependent on someone else, when you are betrayed or shunned by someone you thought was your friend, when you fret over the uncertainty of the day and what is coming tomorrow, Peter reminds us of the Source of joy. We read those verses and might think that the source of joy is trouble.  It is not.  The source of joy is pain, affliction, hard times, grief.  No one in his right mind finds pleasure in those things, unless he’s a masochist.  Some people who are masochists glory in finding a gratification in pain and sorrow, and that kind of thing.  That person is not in his right mind.

Someone might say, “You’ve just described Paul.”  2 Corinthians 12:10, “I’m well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ’s sake.  When I’m weak, I’m strong.”  Am I saying that Paul was a masochist?  I’m not saying that at all, because Paul, like Peter, had a Living hope, and the Living hope is a Living Person, the resurrection of Christ living in my heart.  1 Peter 1:7, “The proof of your faith, being more precious than gold, which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor,” note these words, “at the revelation of Jesus.”  Don’t think second coming.  It’s at the revelation of Jesus.  1 Peter 1:13, and look how it ends, “Brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 4:13, “To the degree you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice.”  The revelation of Christ, 1 Peter 4:14, “If you are reviled for the name of Christ you’re blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 

Peter was teaching them and us that when trials come, God has promised to reveal Himself to you in a way that you have not seen Him yet.  Whatever you are going through, you are to live in tiptoe expectancy because God has promised that you are about to see Jesus in a way that you hadn’t seen Him up till this time.  I can’t rejoice in trouble, but when I’m in trouble my heart says, “Wow, Jesus is going to show Himself to me in a way I haven’t seen Him.”  That’s the joy, the source of joy, the expectation of beholding the Lord in a fresh way. 

We remind you, as Peter reminded them, that the source of joy is certainly not trouble.  Nobody is going to rejoice and say, “Listen to this; I just broke my leg.”  Nobody is going to rejoice in that.  “But I just broke my leg, and God has allowed that, and for some redemptive reason, He’s going to use that and He’s going to show Himself to me in a way that I’ve never seen Him.”  That’s the source of joy.  Now, don’t confuse expressions of joy for the source of joy.  There are many expressions of joy.  My family when they get together, man, I’m happy.  I love gathering with my family.  That’s not the source of my joy.  Christian fellowship is awesome and it’s wonderful, but it’s not the source of joy.  Material things, you can take joy in that.  That’s an expression of joy.  A success that you might have, you can find joy in that, but that’s not the source of your joy.  The source of your joy, Jesus said, “If need be, if necessary, I’ll allow this in your life, because at that time I’ll will unveil Myself in a special way.”

As I reminded you, there were two answers, and the first one is, “To God, Jesus is central in the Godhead.  To angels, He’s the object of worship and adoration, love and unbelievable wonder, and to us it’s intimacy.  He comes in to become intimate with us and to gradually unveil Himself with every experience in life, so that He can be more intimate.”  Everything is about union with Jesus.  It’s about intimacy with Christ.  That was the first answer.  How does He relate to me?  Intimately, progressively.  There’s another answer, and now we’ll begin.  I took a little longer with that review.  I think it’s vital.

Let me say something about the mind, since our brother is bringing it up.  When you read about the renewing of the mind, the natural mind will never think straight.  The renewing of the mind is when God enables you to think like God thinks.  That’s the renewing of the mind, and once you start allowing the Lord to put into your mind…  When I see things as God sees them, my mind has been renewed.  Apart from that, we’re going to miss it.  Sometimes I think, “Well, I’m that close to the truth.”  Nobody is that close.  Your ways are as far from God as heaven is above the earth.  If I miss it, I miss it all the way.  I either have it or I don’t have it.  I need the renewing of the mind.

Let me mention this second way that He relates to the Christian.  He is in us as Life, and that Life we’re going to see is called a seed, and that Life produces Life in us, His Life, and through us, in us as a seed, through us as a tree of Life.  We become a Tree of Life to others, but first it’s with us.  How does He live His Life in us and guarantee that we’re going to produce fruit unto God?  It’s interesting that Paul writing to the Romans actually brought these two reasons together: relationship and intimacy and fruit.  It’s in Romans 7:4, “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so you might be joined to another,” that’s marriage, “to Him who was raised from the dead,” that’s intimacy, “in order that we might bear fruit for God.”  We’re joined to Christ in intimate relationship.  We’re married to Him to bring forth fruit unto God.

To get this before your hearts, I want to call attention to one of the main descriptions Peter gives to the church, and I’m not talking about the Christian.  I’m talking corporately about the body of Christ.  Individually we’re aliens and strangers and pilgrims and redeemed sinners and priests and bondslaves and Christians, but He deals with the body as He is going through this.  He describes the group.  I’m not going to read the verses, but I’ll quote them.  1 Peter 1:1, all Christians are called pilgrims, strangers and aliens.  In 1 Peter 2:4-8, we’re living stones that make up the temple of God, and that’s the body, the temple of God.  In 1 Peter 2:9 there are several descriptions of the body: a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession.  That’s the whole of us all together.  1 Peter 2:10, “The people of God.”  1 Peter 5:2 he talks about the group as “flock of God, and we’re the sheep of His pasture,” and we’re a flock.  Now, when we get to that in another connection, that’s the second greatest emphasis of the body in 1 Peter, the flock.  We’ve gotten away from the idea that He’s our Shepherd.  Peter says, “If you are going to go through suffering, you need to come back to that.”  You need to see that, and we’re going to look at that, but that’s not the main description. 

What is the main description of the body of Christ, all the people together in 1 Peter?  The answer is it’s the family.  Every chapter, the family, the family.  Of all the descriptions of individuals and groups, the most emphasized is that He is our Father, we are His children, we are brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, we are members of one household.  This family idea goes through 1 Peter, and that has a special application to suffering Christians.  Why?  Praise God I have the Lord when I’m going through stuff, but I not only have the Lord, I have you.  That’s what he’s calling attention to.  We have each other.  That’s a big deal when you’re going through stuff.  That’s a benediction, having one another.  I have you and you have me and we have each other.

I love Lillian’s great grandfather before he went to heaven.  He loved the family, and he used to describe the family this way, “We have one each the other.”  That’s the family; we have one each the other, and may I suggest, dear family of God, we have one each the other.  We’re a family.  Let me show you how Peter traces that through this epistle.  1 Peter 1:17 and the word “father”, “If you address as Father the One who impartially judges,” and He addresses God as Father.”  1 Peter 1:14, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former fruits,” and so on.  1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn babies,” there’s a family picture right there.  I still have a great grandson I haven’t met yet.  I’m looking forward to that.  1 Peter 4:17, “For it’s time for judgment to begin with the household of God.”  1 Peter 5:9, “Resist Him firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren.”  That’s family, brothers and sisters.

I want us to return to 1 Peter 1 because the way he is going to develop this, and the Lord give me grace to communicate this, he’s going to contrast two families.  He’s going to contrast two seeds, the natural family and the supernatural family, two seeds, and the productions from each of those seeds, and he’s going to contrast the natural family and seed and fruit with the supernatural seed, family and fruit.

1 Peter 1:23, “You’ve been born again, not of seed which is perishable, but imperishable.  That is through the living and enduring Word of God.”  Let me focus on perishable first.  He describes the perishable seed; that’s the natural seed.  That’s how we came into the world.  That’s the seed we were redeemed from.  1 Peter 1:18, “Knowing you were not redeemed with perishable things, like silver or gold, from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers.”  Look at that expression, “the futile way of life inherited from your forefathers.”  That’s what we were born into.  Later in the same epistle he expands on that inheritance.  1 Peter 4:3, “The time already passed sufficient for you to have carried out the desires of the gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lust, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, abominable idolatries.”  That’s how a baby comes out of the womb, with a nature that can only relate to what is fleshly and what’s temporal.  As they grow up, they’re going to chase shadows, and they’re going to feed on wind, and they’re going to satisfy the deep hungers of their heart with gold.  You can’t satisfy hunger with gold.  Unless they’re redeemed, they’re going to die in their sin.  This is how we come into this world.  That’s the family we’ve been redeemed from.

Now, look at the contrast.  Begin 1 Peter 1:3, “…the Father has caused us to be born again to a lively hope through the resurrection of Christ.”   This is interesting.  The word “Father” is connected with the birth.  The Father has caused us to be born again.  Usually, when we think of birth, at least I do, I think of the mother.  I don’t really think of the father in that way.  Usually when I think of the father, he’s the provider or he’s the protector, or the guardian.  He’s the trainer.  The father is connected after the child is born, and he is sort of watching over and taking care of them, teaching and disciplining and chastening, and so on.  But Peter relates this new family, this new birth, to a work of the Father.  Why is there a need for another birth?  Well, you can see why.  The first family was pretty futile, and its seed was perishable, and its fruit was corruptible, and so we’ve got to get out of that family.

1 Peter 1:23, “You’ve been born again, not of the seed perishable, but imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”  We need a new family, and so, he said that we’re going to give you that new family.  Now, we need to identify that seed mentioned in verse 23, “You’ve been born again, not of seed which is perishable,” and then he says, “through the living and enduring word of God.”  According to 1 Peter 1:23, the seed is called “the word of God,” and the question is, “Is that a reference to the Bible, the scriptures, the Word of God.”  Certainly, we can read about the Bible.  Hebrews 4:12, “The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and Spirit, of both joints and marrow, able to judge thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  We know that’s how we came to the Lord.  Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”  We know it’s the Bible, but we also know in 1 John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  In verse 14, “And the Word became flesh …”  That’s Jesus, “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory,” and so on. 

There’s the written Word, and there’s the Living Word.  The seed that Peter is referring to, “born again by the resurrection of Christ,” the Life of Christ.  The seed he is referring to is the Lord Jesus.  What did Adam lose when he sinned?  Ephesians 2 :12, “Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”  I want to take those two expressions, “separate from Christ, without God in the world.”  That’s how people are born today.  That’s how my eighteen grandchildren came into the world, and my eight, ten, my many great-grandchildren came into the world.  As much as I love them, they were born without Christ, and without God in this world.  That’s why they need to be born again, and that’s why they need a second birth, and that’s why they need God to plant in them the seed.  Don’t fail to see that because it’s beyond wonderful.  All Adam lost and robbed from his posterity, Christ and the Life of God is now planted into you when you trust Jesus, when you trust the Lord.  The Father planted the seed.  God sent His Son; the Father sent His Son.  I think he’s using the Father because I think he has in his mind that the miracle that takes place when He puts the seed of Christ in you, is equal to the miracle of the Virgin birth, when God planted seed in her, the divine nature in Mary. 

The second part of how He relates to us, not only intimately and progressively, but He comes into as Life, the seed to share that Life with us, that it might grow and might develop into a tree of Life for others.  We’re going to look at all of that as we go through this.  So, John 3:6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh,” and it will always be flesh and it will never change.  Don’t think that since you got saved that you’ve changed even one little bit.  You haven’t, and you’ll never change, and I’ll never change.  Flesh is flesh and it’s always flesh.  Now, it might look like you’ve changed, because Christ is allowed to live more fully in your life.  Your vision will change.  Others will look and think you’ve changed, but you know better.  You didn’t change at all.  You are the same old you that you’ve ever been.  That which is Spirit is Spirit.  2 Peter 1:4, “By these things He’s granted to us precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature.”  1 John 3:9, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him..”

God has written, brothers and sisters in Christ, a principle in nature, and it appears in the very first chapter of the Bible.  It’s almost like God couldn’t wait to get to this great truth.  He laid out the wonderful principle of the seed, and He repeats it over and over again.  According to Genesis 1:4, on day three God made plants, and God made vegetables, and He said, “Let those seeds produce after their kind.”  An apple seed will produce apple trees, and only apple trees.  A peach seed will not produce an orange or plum tree, and you’re not going to get bananas out of a seed that is different.  Genesis 1:20&21, “On the fifth day God created fish and birds and said that every one will bring forth after its kind.”  Robins will not bring forth trout.  It can not happen.  A bass will not produce a sparrow or a parrot.  Seed produces after its kind.  Then in Genesis 1:25-31, on the sixth day God created insects and animals and man and said the same thing, “They will bring forth after their kind.”  The seed will produce after its kind.  Insects produce insects.  Beetles produce beetles, ants produce ants, bees are not going to bring forth mosquitoes.  A dog is not going to produce a cat, and cats are not going to produce elephants.  It’s everything after its kind, and I hope God writes this is your heart.  Why is what is wonderfully in nature, also true in grace.  I have His Seed in me. 

How does Ed Miller know for certain that some day I’m going to be conformed to Christ.  The answer is it’s because I have the seed that will produce after its kind.  I don’t have to beat myself to death.  I don’t have to go up against the wall and try to live a better Christian life and be more disciplined and struggle more.  There’s a seed in me, and His name is Jesus, and He’s conforming me and conforming you.  We are being made like Him, because He is in us, and Seed will produce after its kind.  What a relief that was to Peter.

Do you know Peter in the gospels, how he tried so hard to do it right, and tried to be brave and tried to be courageous, and tried to be loyal, and he failed at every turn, and now he learns that he’s been born again by the resurrection of Christ, a living Seed in his heart, and he can’t stop talking about that new hope, that Living Hope that is in him.  The seed in you, I promise you, no matter how much you rebel, He’ll deal with that, you are going to make it.  You are going to arrive.  You are going to become like Jesus, because the seed will do its thing.  Christ lives in you, and that’s a guarantee I’m going to be like Him.  But it’s not only that the seed in me is conforming Himself to me, and we’re going to get into this next time about everything is redemptive, but that seed is growing a tree of Life in me, producing fruit of the Spirit in me, which will be eaten by those outside.  This is such a tremendous thing to give to these struggling pilgrims.

I am being restored and you are being restored to the native dignity that Adam sacrificed when he sinned against the Lord, and now I have Christ, the Seed of God conforming me to the image of Christ and growing in me what will become in me a tree of Life for the world.  1 Peter 1:24, “All flesh is like grass, and its glory like the flower of the grass.  The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.”  Contrast with the verse before it, 1 Peter 1:23, “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable.”  When you read that verse, “all flesh is like grass,” notice that He’s talking about the flower of grass.  He’s not emphasizing what He emphasizes in other places.  He’s not talking about the beauty of the blossom, and he’s not talking about the sweet aroma of the grass.  He’s not talking about how soft the petals are and is such a wonderful creation.  He’s not even talking about the shortness of life.  Some people read that and say, “All flesh is grass and it’s going to fade.  Life is short.”  That’s true, but not here. 

He’s talking about two families, two seeds, and two productions, and all flesh production is grass.  It fades and its going to go away.  He’s talking about the production of the flesh.  You say, “The flesh can be patient.”  Yeah, but not very long.  It’s going to fade.  The flesh can be brave.  Yeah, Peter was brave for a while in the flesh.  What happened?  The flesh, like the flower, it cannot last.  It’s not imperishable.  Peter warns about the danger of resorting back to the flesh.  We’ve got to keep walking in the Spirit.  1 Peter 2:11, “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”  Many people pick that up out of 1 Peter and just make a plaque and say, “Abstain from fleshly lust,” and usually they’re thinking about moral lust, adultery or immorality, or sometimes worldliness, materialism, but not in this context.  When you read this in the context, do you know what Peter’s warning them about?  Retaliation.  They’re being persecuted and being mistreated, and they had this tendency to retaliate and to come against these people who are doing that to them. 

Peter mentions the fruit of the Spirit.  In verse 25 he says, “The Word of the Lord abides forever.”  I think people are familiar with Galatians 5 and the fruit of the Spirit.  Many say, “the fruits of the Spirit.”  “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,” and they say that there are nine fruits.  No, there’s only one, and it’s love, and all those others are characteristics of love.  If you don’t believe me just read 1 Corinthians 13.  Listen to 1 Peter 2:22, that’s the fruit he chooses.  Of all the fruit, he chooses love. “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, for you have been born again, not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is,” it’s possible, what’s possible, “to have a sincere love, a fervent love, and from the heart.”  It’s possible because I’ve been born again by an imperishable seed. 

The fruit of the Spirit is not begotten in the womb of any natural cause.  If I’m going to love, it’s got to be Jesus loving through me, and it’s got to be Jesus loving through you.  So, His love is progressively revealed, so that we can have intimate relationship, and it comes in as seed to conform us to Jesus, grow as a tree of Life. 

I guess I’ll give this testimony.  When my grandchildren were born, first my children, then my grandchildren, and now my great-grandchildren, the family thinks it’s a little odd, they give me my privacy now, but I take each newborn into a private room.  They don’t know what I’m talking about.  I know what I’m talking about.  I begin to talk to that child, and I apologize because they’ve got my nature, and they’re going to have a lot of trouble in this world.  To each child I promise them, since I had something to do with the condition of their first birth, that I would dedicate myself to their second birth, that I would pray for them, and I do and she does, we do, because we have a new Seed in us and that child, that grandchild needs to know about this second birth.

We’re to love each other sincerely, and it’s possible because Christ is in us.  I have Christ, but I have family.  I have you.  I can love you fervently.  I can love you genuinely, and it’s not going to fade away, because I have Christ, and you can love me that way.  In the world when someone says, “How are you?”  They say, now remember that’s a greeting, and that’s not a question, because they don’t really want to know.  But when Christians say, “How are you, we do want to know.” “How are you doing?  What are your concerns?  What are your anxieties?  What are your burdens?”  We want to share; we’re family.  I have Christ and you.  You have Christ, and you have me.  The Christ in you is continually conforming you to Him, and in you is growing a tree of Life, and that will be the salvation of the world. 

Let’s just bow again, because I just want to mention to the Lord what He’s in charge of anyway, but all that’s going on in the world.  Heavenly Father, we thank You so much for all that You’ve written about, Your sovereignty, and so much mystery to us, and how anything can be redemptive in Ukraine, and yet You have guaranteed it, and so, Lord, we just commit that whole situation, our whole world is in a mess, and as everything caves in, may we be those, Lord, who have learned to rest in You.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.