Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
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…
(1Peter 1:3 NIV)
Not only are our sins forgiven through God’s grace (per chapter 29), and we are delivered from the power of sin (chapter 30), but we also have new life from God! When we are saved, scripture indicates that we are born of God. This new birth is given to us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1Peter 1:3). Because Jesus rose from the dead, all who follow him are given new life. The death we inherited from Adam (chapter 3) is replaced with new life!
The need for new spiritual life in us should be apparent from the dominion of sin in our lives before we are saved:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins… (Ephesians 2:1 NIV)
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV)
The absolute need to be born again is made clear by Jesus:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
The experience of being “born again” or “born of God” or “made alive with Christ” (etc.) varies widely among believers. For some it is a sudden dynamic experience resulting from a definite decision. For others it may appear to be a more gradual process. For everyone the path to being born again includes somehow turning to God (repentance) and somehow developing faith in Jesus (per chapter 16).
Just how new birth happens is not very clear in scripture. Jesus compares being born again to the wind. We may not understand it, but we are aware that it happens:
“You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:7-8 NIV)
What about you? Have you been born of God? If not, or you’re not sure, I recommend that you review chapter 16 “What Must I Do to be Saved?”
If you are already born of God, then join me in saying: Thank you, God, for making us alive with Christ!
For Further Reflection
Romans 5:12-21: Death through Adam; life through Jesus.
Romans 6:13: Brought from death to life.
Ephesians 2:1-7: Dead in sin; made alive with Christ.
Ephesians 4:17-18: Separated from the life of God.
Titus 3:5: The washing of regeneration.
1Peter 1:22-23: You have been born again.
1John 3:9, 4:7, 5:4, 5:18: Born of God.
1John 3:14: Passed from death to life.
1John 5:11-12: He who has the Son has life.
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