“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:23-25).
Every living thing God created has been programmed with its own DNA. If a farmer plants orange seeds in his orchard, he does not expect to gather grapes from them. God planted an incorruptible seed in our lives when we were born again and He expects to gather the intended harvest. If anything other than this grows in our hearts, then there is something wrong. We are meant to be people of incorruption rather than of corruption for we have been given the Heavenly DNA that sets us apart from all else. We are “called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:3).
Because the “incorruptible seed” is empowered by the “word of life” it too must live and abide forever, that is, it is “incorruptible”. We might allow ourselves to be corrupted by the flesh and the world, but since God and His word never changes, the seed that He plants remains pure. We might hinder its growth through sin, yet it will spring back into productivity at the moment of repentance. The “incorruptible seed” is therefore irrepressible.
Jesus is our supreme example of incorruptibility. He lived in the same world full of sin and corruption as we do, but He overcame every evil influence by the word of His authority. We could say that He lived out what He was by nature. We might think that He could do that because He was God, but we are just mere mortals. Yes, there is no doubting the fact that His divinity played a major part, but let us not ignore the fact that He shared something of that divine nature with us at the new birth. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). By conforming to God’s will the “incorruptible seed” cannot but produce more of the same, for Jesus is the “firstborn” among many. There is absolutely no reason, except for wilful disobedience, why the likeness of God cannot be manifest in our lives too. It is an awesome truth to know that we carry about in us the nature of God. Though this nature is not in all its fullness, yet the fact remains we are meant to be “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom [we] shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).
A seed planted is eager to grow and produce more of its kind. Of all the creatures that God has created on earth, man alone has been given the privilege to speak His word in the ears of others. Our God is a God of communication. As we open the first chapter of Genesis we find Him speaking and proclaiming His word, and everywhere else in the Bible He is doing exactly the same thing. Therefore this “incorruptible seed” is “by the word of God” too. This in turn reveals that it is not only for the new birth in us, but for us to plant it in the hearts of others also.
Estimates on how many people came out of Egypt at the time of Moses range between 1 and 3 million souls. If we took the middle of this and said that 2 million people were delivered from slavery and headed for the Promised Land, it means that 1,999,998 fell short and never reached Canaan. Only two men received and possessed all that God promised to His people, they were Joshua and Caleb. “Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it” (Numbers 14:23-24). It was this “different spirit” that separated Caleb (and presumably Joshua) from everyone else. What made them different from all the rest who potentially could have entered the land? The sad fact is only Joshua and Caleb believed that God was able to do as He had promised. “And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not” (Numbers 14:6-9). God’s word was firmly planted in their hearts and it is this they shared with all the people. “Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh–barnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart” (Joshua 14:7). Do we see that they were different because they had hidden God’s word in their hearts, it produced life and they had to proclaim it to encourage others to do the same? These men spoke incorruption in a world of corruption.
It is vital that we understand that the seed of life is not just for us personally, but that we must go out and share it with others, even if they do not want to hear it. Joshua and Caleb understood this all to well, for after declaring their faith in God “all the congregation bade stone them with stones” (Numbers 14:10).
The “incorruptible seed” that God has planted in us has been designed to bear fruit. It cannot fail to do exactly what He has promised. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). All that is left is for us to accept it, believe it, live it and proclaim it. It has to bring in the harvest. “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5).