Friday, September 23, 2016

Does The Bible Explain What Being Born Again Is? 1 Peter 1:3

Jesus taught that we must be born again but what if we need help understanding what that is, does the Bible explain it? The apostle Peter gives some insight.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," 1 Peter 1:3.

In his Epistle, or letter, Peter opens with a greeting of exuberant worship and the new birth is the pivot of his worship. In doing so he makes a few  remarks that are very illuminating.

"HIS GREAT MERCY"
The foundation is not our deeds or our worthiness but His great mercy. Mercy is when you have the opportunity to exercise authority over someone but instead demonstrates forgiveness when condemnation is justified, like a judge who could condemn a guilty criminal but grants pardon instead.

"HE HAS GIVEN US"
This word, "has," means that something already happened. This phrase is past tense. God did something for us already and we do not need to look for it to happen.

Being born anew is an event that happens at a point of time and you can point to that day and hour and say that was when it happened.

"NEW BIRTH"
This phrase is used several times in the Bible. It may be seen as a metaphor that describes salvation. A birth is an event. That which is born does not have any power to be more born or less born. The one being born does not make the birth he just experiences it. The one being born cannot take credit for birth because his birth is the result of another's action. In the same way we do not make salvation but we experience it when we by faith receive it.

"INTO A LIVING HOPE"
Not just a hope but a living hope. The word, living, is a present tense word, it is not a temporary hope but it is a hope that is a forever living hope. This is something more than just an idea, teaching or concept, instead it is a hope that is evident by the activity of the mercy of God and what He has given us.
Our hope is not in ourselves or our efforts but it is through or by something else.

"THROUGH THE RESURRECTION"
To be born again is a participation in the resurrection.

The resurrection is a cornerstone teaching of the Christian faith. It represents and confirms the validation by God and acceptance by God of Jesus' work of salvation on our behalf. The resurrection illustrates that the power of death is broken which means the threat of hell is revoked because the justice of God is proven to be satisfied. Because of the resurrection we can be assured that Jesus took our sins upon himself and endured their punishment completely and is victorious.

"OF JESUS CHRIST"
It all points to this person. Only Jesus could save us.
     * Only Jesus was perfect and without sin, (even his most fierce critics could find no fault in him and a professional judge washed his hands of condemning Jesus whom He deemed innocent.) Being sinless he was qualified to bear our sins.
     * Jesus gave his life willingly, he said, "I have power to lay down my life and I have power to take it up again." John 10:18.
     * Being the son of God he alone had the right to offer himself. If anyone else died for mankind's sins we would be indebted to that one over God which would be wrong, but only our creator could be our redeemer since we would not be in conflict with either our God or another who is our Savior. Jesus alone is the expression of God and he alone could be our savior.

Because God is good and merciful He gives us this new beginning of a birth into a hope that will never die. The verse teaches the new life is a gift that  must be received, which means we must choose to receive it. When we receive by faith the work of Christ on our behalf we receive the new birth.

No one can really imagine what blessings and joys are in store for those who come to God and receive the new birth.


To learn more about the plan of salvation click on the tab, the Gospel, above