For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 1 Peter 1:23 NIV
This is a wonderful truth and hope for all believers; a promise of everlasting life and love through the grace of our heavenly Father. Through his disciples, God plants this imperishable seed in our hearts. However, we will only see the growth of this seed, if we tend and take care of it. Therefore, I want to encourage you to focus on God, listen to his voice and cherish the amazing gift He has given to you!
What Exactly Is The Imperishable Seed Of God
Before we can tend God’s imperishable seed, we must know what it is. Otherwise we don’t know what to take care of. Well, as gracious as He is, Jesus provided an answer for us and explains,
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11 NKJV
Thus, when we hear the gospel, God’s imperishable seed is being planted in our hearts. And when we go out and preach the good news, God’s word will be planted in the hearts of others. Isn’t that great? We can actively partake in planting God’s imperishable seed in the hearts of other people!
As for the question of what can grow from this imperishable seed, the answer is given to us by Paul. He wrote,
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 NKJV
And following the line of faith, we will see the amazing end result of hearing God’s word, for Jesus says,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24 ESV
This passing from death to life is an amazing transformation, also called Being Born Again.
Therefore, the seed which Peter is talking about in his letter is the word of God. When this seed is planted and tended properly, it will produce faith. And this faith in turn will lead us to salvation and eternal life in the glorious presence of God,
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
What Can Happen After The Imperishable Seed Is Planted
If it falls onto the right ground, the imperishable seed of God, which is his word, will lead us to eternal life through faith. However, not every person yields the proper ground for this seed to sprout and prosper. I have seen many people rejecting the word of God and/or not fully understanding what Christianity means. Some refused it for the sake of science, others think faith is something you just dabble in and still others have only eyes for the material world. Frankly, I’ve seen also seen all of those responses in just one person!
Since this can be pretty tempting to follow, I would like to show you how The Diversity of Creation is nothing less than a miracle. This might help you to resist the lies of this world.
Because our God is all-knowing, He has warned us about those types of people long ago. You might have heard about the Parable of the Sower which is found in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8:4-15. With this parable, Jesus prepares us for the possible reactions to hearing God’s holy word. Below, I have splitted the parable into the four scenarios Jesus mentions to help you equip yourself for what might await you when you preach the gospel to others.
The Seed Falls Along The Path
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.” Mark 4:3-4 ESV
“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.” Matthew 13:19 ESV
People who don’t understand the word of God are those who don’t see their need for a savior. They think they will be fine and rather trust in science than in the God who created them. Just like on the hard ground of the path, God’s imperishable seed won’t get into their hearts to sprout. As a result, hearing the good news leaves them cold, or as Jesus explains it,
This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand. Matthew 13:13 NIV
This is very sad but it should not affect us in a way which makes us stop preaching the truth to others! As mentioned above, salvation is a gift of God and He decides who will receive it and who won’t. All we need to do is trust in his goodness, for
You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5 NIV
If you are struggling with this, you might be interested in reading about The Perfection of God’s Justice.
The Seed Falls On Stony Ground
“Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.” Mark 4:5-6 ESV
“As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.” Matthew 13:20-21 ESV
Sometimes we meet people who immediately receive the gospel with joy, are eager to become Christians but not actually born again. They just like the idea of Christianity and want to “try it out” as if it was nothing but a lifestyle. Well, it’s not. In fact, being a true Christian can be very tough sometimes! Hence, as soon as troubles come (and they will come), these people recant their faith and go back to their old lives as if nothing ever happened.
Seeing something like this is most for surely hard-breaking, but it only means that they were never saved in the first place. It should not make us wonder if we can lose our salvation through backsliding, because Paul wrote,
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 ESV
This is even confirmed by Jesus himself who says,
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28 NIV
God examines the heart of every person and He will reveal our true intentions. That way, He keeps his church pure and ready for his glorious return.
The Seed Falls Among Thorns
“Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.” Mark 4:7 ESV
“As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22 ESV
Jesus often mentions how hard it is for the rich to get saved. He is not saying that it’s impossible, it’s just harder for them. This is rooted in the abundance of things they need to let go to truly follow Jesus. They need to learn that
Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! Ecclesiastes 5:10 NLT
True satisfaction can only be found in our Lord and Savior, but the temptations of this world will sometimes obscure that. It is our task to warn people who are chasing after earthly things about their behavior. To do so, we can simply quote Jesus’ warning, because He proclaims,
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 NIV
God wants true and humble followers. He won’t accept the proud and greedy in his heavenly realm. This should stand as a permanent warning for everyone and show us Why We Should Fear God.
The Seed Falls On Fertile Ground
“And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” Mark 4:8 ESV
“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” Matthew 13:23 ESV
In the final group, which Jesus mentions, are those whose hearts are humble and submissive. When they hear the gospel, God’s imperishable seed will sprout and bear fruits. They will have roots growing deep into the word of God and allowing them to stand their ground even when they are attacked. Such people are true believers and only in their cases will God’s seed bring forth faith and salvation.
When God’s Imperishable Seed Bears Fruits
The fruits that are produced by the word of God are also called the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Paul describes them as,
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
Those fruits are evidences of someone’s salvation. Well, that and the fact that we are terrified by the thought of not being saved. However, just like any earthly plant needs tending, we too won’t bear fruit without us doing anything for it. What we are to do is described by Jesus as,
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 NIV
This is also confirmed in the Psalms (as if Jesus’ word needed further confirmation) where it says,
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 ESV
Thus, to continuously bear fruit and please our Lord, we should keep our eyes on him and listen to his word. Only if we stay close to our God, will we be able to withstand the temptations of this world and bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit. And in doing so, we will shine forth God’s glorious light into the darkness of this world!
How Should We Respond To God’s Imperishable Seed?
Well, imagine a friend bought you an apartment in the greatest park of all times. This property allows you to permanently live in that park and to enjoy all of its benefits for free. The only negative side is that this park has not opened yet. Now, what if your friend told you that although you cannot live there yet, he managed to get you the permission to already enjoy some of it’s great attractions. Wouldn’t you go? At least out of respect for what your friend has done for you? I would! And it is the same with the fruits of the Holy Spirit, for Paul declares,
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 3:28 ESV
What we see and experience through the Holy Spirit now is a glimpse of the awe-striking glory that is to come. Jesus has purchased a permanent seat in heaven for all who humbly respond to the word of God. To all whose hearts resemble fertile soil, He gave the Holy Spirit who allows them to already experience some attributes of heaven. Just think about it: The fruits of the Holy Spirit bring pieces of heaven down to earth!
Therefore, I want to encourage you to draw even closer to God. When you walk in step with the Holy Spirit, you will see more and more of God’s glorious kingdom and the results of the imperishable seed He has planted in your heart!