“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:22-25)
Our text gives us a great contrast to behold: the corruptible and the incorruptible. Peter explains that the incorruptible seed that lives and abides forever is the Word of God. The same Word of God used to bring new life to your dead soul. The same Word of God that keeps your faith alive and strong. The same Word of God “which by the gospel was preached to you.” (verse 25) This Word of God is an incorruptible seed because it cannot wither or fall away; rather, it brings forth a life that does not end.
And then there is corruptible seed, described in our text as “flesh” and “the glory of man.” (verse 24) These are not merely those things that corrupt our soul or destroy our faith, although those things are certainly included; rather, “corruptible seed” refers to those things in life that are able to be corrupted; that is, they do wither and fall away, they don’t last forever.
We are told in no uncertain terms that all the glory of man falls away, and yet what is it that so often claims the lion’s share of our attention? The glory of man: smartphones, movies, social media, sports—and on and on. The list is as endless as is our unquenchable thirst for the corruptible seed, but all such things will cease to exist. They fall away and become as nothing.
The contrast and divide between the corruptible and the incorruptible is found throughout Scripture (see Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Corinthians 15:53-54). It also runs throughout Peter’s first letter as well, especially in this first chapter. Earlier on in verses 4-9, Peter contrasts our incorruptible inheritance in heaven with the struggles, trials, and sufferings we face here on this sin-cursed earth. Prior to our text, in verses 18-19, Peter writes, “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
In other words, you were not bought of corruptible things; rather, you were bought by the perfect, incorruptible blood of Jesus. This same precious blood of Jesus covers over your sin of seeking first the corruptible things of this world. You also were not born of corruptible seed; rather, you were born of the perfect, incorruptible Word of God. This same perfect seed that lives and abides forever continues to give new life to your soul.
Paul wrote to the Galatians, “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) What are you sowing? As you go about your daily life, are you planting corruptible seed that brings forth things which are temporary, fleeting, and will die in the end; or are you planting incorruptible seed that lives and abides forever?
“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8) Sow that incorruptible seed in your own life and in the lives of others, and then stand back and be amazed at your Savior God and how His life-giving Word grows. For this incorruptible seed of the Word of God by which the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached to you and by which you were born again to new life will spring forth and grow up into life everlasting.