Summary: Sermon 6 in a study in 1 & 2 Peter
“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.”
“Independence Day”, is the name of a movie about an attack on earth by an evil, alien race from another world that brought all the nations of earth together in unity to fight them. I was sitting at work one day next to a coworker and there was a magazine on the counter near us and the cover story was about that movie, which had just been released.
My coworker said, “I think that is what is finally going to happen some day, don’t you?”
Well, I hadn’t seen the movie and only knew that it had something to do with aliens from outer space attacking earth, so I had to ask what she meant by her question.
She said, “Well, I think that eventually there is going to be some major danger to all of earth, whether it will be a large meteor or a world wide epidemic or whatever, and it will draw all the nations of mankind together and there will finally be peace all over the earth.”
That’s not an exact quote; it was years ago and I didn’t memorize her speech but that’s close.
Well, I felt badly that I had to tell her the truth. I knew she only wanted to make light conversation and I knew she didn’t realize she was setting herself up for a philosophical discussion – and certainly not a theological one – but I had to be honest with her.
In brief, the answer was ‘no’. But I had to explain, whether she was ready to hear it or not.
CORRUPTED FLESH/CORRUPTED WORLD
When the first man disobeyed God sin entered into the world and death through sin. The flesh was corrupted and all who have been born since have been born corrupted because they, we, have all inherited that condition from the first man.
The entire creation was affected by the Fall, as we are told in Romans 8:20-21.
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
So we live in a corrupted world, governed by corrupted flesh; that is, men and women who, even at their very best and most honest, are corrupted and unable to think or do anything in a Godly way.
There will never be peace in this world, there will never be unity, until fallen flesh is taken out of the equation; until the world is governed by the One of whom Isaiah said, “The government shall be upon His shoulders”.
When Jesus Christ comes back to reign with His glorified children, only then will there truly be peace on earth and good will among men.
Now there is one place in this corrupted world where there ought to exist the kind of peace and unity that worldly men erroneously think they can someday achieve.
That place is the church of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately some of the worst treatment you will ever witness of people and some of the most ungodly behavior you will ever see demonstrated is in the church.
That is because people try to operate the church according to minds of flesh instead of having the mind of the Spirit.
So often, the church is operated like a business instead of a spiritual entity and when that happens of course the result is going to coincide with the product of any worldly institution.
However, Peter knew that those who had received this new life from above that he had in mind when he said ‘you have been born again’ were now able to relate to one another with a Godly love because of the Spirit of God in them.
It is only by the Spirit of Christ that anyone can exercise faith or true love; only by His Spirit that we have a hope for the future; only by His Spirit that there can be true and lasting unity.
It will never happen in this world until our risen and glorified Savior bursts on the scene and establishes His throne and brings peace with Him.
If I could talk to my ex-coworker now I think I would remind her of the oneness and unity we all felt after September 11, 2001 and ask her to take note of how brief in duration that unity was.