We are continuing a series on biblical hope, and yesterday looked at I Peter 1:3-12, focusing on hope for us as a result of being born again.
I. Necessity of being born again - all true Christians are born again, according to the New Testament. Today we think of those being born again as ultra-conservative or radically converted from a sinful lifestyle, but the reality is all Christians must be born again.
II. Nature of being born again - Dr. Keller used the analogy of higher orders of being to illustrate what it means to be born again. Just as an animal has more developed senses than a plant and humans have more cognitive and reasoning abilities than animals, so those who are born again are able to fully comprehend the nature of the Gospel and how it impacts their lives, whereas those not born again cannot comprehend God's truth. Being born again means that our eyes are opened, so to speak, to the life-changing truth of the Gospel.
III. Growth after being born again - growth as a believer comes through trials and suffering, because it drives us back to the infallible hope we have in Christ. Peter says we should be rejoicing and sad at the same time, which makes perfect sense in light of the fact that suffering drives further into our hope.
IV. How it begins - just as an infant cannot conceive and give birth to itself, so Christians cannot be born again through their own efforts. Christ accomplished the work of our birth on the cross, and only by His grace can we be born again and have access to that ultimate hope.
Member, Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) - though transferring soon to a church in FL
"Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." - Isaiah 1:18