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Sermon #5684

Born of Incorruptible Seed

A Sermon on 1 Peter 1:23


1 Peter 1:23 ESV KJV
since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; (ESV)

Sermon Description

What makes the Christian different from every other person? Is it a choice to become moral? Is it making good decisions? In this sermon from 1 Peter 1:23, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that what makes the Christian different from everyone else is nothing that they have done, but it is what God has done. This is the new birth. Christians are naturally like every other human, born with a sinful nature. But God by His grace causes Christians to be born again. This new birth comes from above and is not something anyone brings about by themselves. It is wholly of grace. How is a person changed by this new birth? The new birth grants a new nature that seeks what is good, true, and godly. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains, it allows them to fight against sin but most importantly of all, it makes him right before God. This is the only way a sinner can be saved. Furthermore, Christians can know and have assurance that they are born again. They can live and die knowing that they are inheritors of eternal life.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The gospel announces and gives a new birth. Being born again is one of the central doctrines and teachings of the Christian faith.
  2. The world does not seem to understand this truth and thinks Christianity is just a set of teachings or philosophies. Christianity starts by telling you that you must be born again.
  3. Why must we be born again? Why do we need this new life? We need it because our first birth was of a corruptible seed.
  4. Every one of us is born corrupted and polluted. We inherit a corrupt nature from Adam. This is the biblical doctrine of original sin.
  5. Because the seed is corrupt, everything that comes out of it is equally corrupt. If the seed is poisoned, the fruit will be poisoned.
  6. Our natural birth was of a polluted and corrupted seed. We start with a bias toward evil within us. We are born sinners, rebels, and unclean.
  7. The consequence is that all that comes out of this corrupt seed shows this corruption. The apostle describes humanity and civilization as “all flesh is as grass and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.” This is a superficial, temporary, and passing description.
  8. The glory of man is vain, empty, and useless. It is unutterably superficial. It is like a bubble that can burst at any moment.
  9. Not only is the glory of man vain, but it also leads to lust, following our inordinate desires. The corrupt seed leads to corrupt practice.
  10. We are also born blind and ignorant. The faculty of vision is not there. We are unaware of spiritual realities. The world is dying of ignorance because of this.
  11. Though we may try to live a good life from our first birth, our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. They are dung, refuse, and utter loss.
  12. This first birth and all that comes from it will be destroyed. “The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.” God will blow upon it, and it will vanish.
  13. We cannot give ourselves a new birth or a new nature. We cannot get a pure and holy seed by ourselves. We have all tried and failed. A man cannot give birth to himself.
  14. The Holy Spirit must operate upon us. The Spirit of God must enter our soul and remake, remodel, and refashion it by putting in a new spirit of life. This is what the new birth means.
  15. An entirely new principle of life is put in us. We get a new, incorruptible seed—the purity of the Godhead, the seed of Christ. We become children of God, born of God. This is Christianity.
  16. This new life has a principle of growth. It is not temporary like grass but solid, real, lasting, and developing. We can grow in grace and knowledge.
  17. This new life is eternal and everlasting. Nothing can destroy it. It is imperishable and indestructible. When the world perishes, this life will remain, flourishing in God’s presence.
  18. The two seeds—the natural and spiritual—are altogether different. We must ask ourselves whether we have been born again. If we have, we will desire the sincere milk of the Word and grow thereby.

Other Sermons

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.