‘Incorruptible’ in 1 Peter

The
word “incorruptible” (G862) occurs three times in the book of Peter (I Peter
1:4; I Peter 1:23; I Peter 3:4). As it is used elsewhere in God’s word, it is
used in connection with spiritual things. This is, of course, due to the fact
that things of this earth are corruptible as we will see in the lesson. Our
study this week will show that we as Christians need to set our affections on
things above and not on things of the earth.
The
book of I Peter was written to the same audience that James wrote his epistle
to: the twelve tribes scattered abroad (I Peter 1:1; 2:10, 12; 5:13, etc.).
Peter, after all, was the apostle to the Jews while Paul was the apostle to the
Gentiles (Galatians 2:7).
The
purpose of the book is to remind the persecuted Christians that they were elect
of God, to give them hope concerning the coming of the Lord, to remind them
about the source of their salvation, to encourage them to submit to the
political powers, to give them encouragement in the time of persecution, to
give commandments to the elders, and much more!
[Source]
The
use of the word “incorruptible” sheds light on the source of salvation in
Christ, and it will help us better understand where our priorities ought to be!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto
a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an
inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in
heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation
ready to be revealed in the last time
” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Through
baptism, God has begotten us again in order that we can receive the blessings
that are in Christ. The inheritance that we are welcome to is due to the fact
that we are God’s children (Galatians 3:26-4:7).
The
purpose of God’s scheme of redemption was to send Jesus to die on the cross, to
be buried, and to be the first to rise from the dead as Paul said.

Having therefore obtained help of God, I
continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other
things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ
should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead,
and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles
” (Acts
26:22-23).

Now
we are able to enjoy the light that has shined through the whole world by the
spread of the gospel!
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the
praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light

(1 Peter 2:9; see John 1:4 and John 8:12).

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not
redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain
conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious
blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was
foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last
times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised
him up from the dead, and gave him glory;
that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in
obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see
that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 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 1:18-25).

Once
more we see that redemption does not concern physical, corruptible things.
Instead our redemption came about by means of one thing and one thing only: the
precious blood of Christ. The purification power of the blood of Christ is only
applied to an individual if they are obedient to the truth of God. It is at
that point that they are born of an incorruptible seed. When they were baptized
they planted that old man – by dying to the body of sin – and, by the
incorruptible, spiritual seed of the gospel of Christ, rose up as a new
creature (John 3:3-5; Romans 6:3-7; II Corinthians 5:17).
Once
a person is born again, it is foolish for them to continue to place the corruptible
things at the top of their list of priorities (Romans 6:1-2). “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those
things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your
affection on things above, not on things on the earth
” (Colossians
3:1-2).
After we begin that walk in newness of life, we can use our example
to encourage others to seek after those incorruptible things as well. By our
influence, some may even respond positively to the gospel of Christ.

 “Likewise,
ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the
word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning
let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of
gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart,
in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,
which is in the sight of God of great price
” (1 Peter 3:1-4).

As
Christians, we are to “put on” the things of Christ (Colossians 3:10-17). We
should be more concerned with letting our lights shine than letting our
diamonds sparkle. We should be more worried about the fruit produced by that
incorruptible seed than the glow produced by corruptible silver and gold.
God
views the mature Christian has a much more precious thing than all of the
earth’s expensive metals.

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain
the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange
for his soul
?” (Matthew 16:26).

Are
you more concerned with corruptible things or incorruptible?

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