1st Peter 1:3-4:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,...
Here is this phrase again. Jesus spoke it to Nicodemus as recorded in John 3:3. What does it mean? Nicodemus was confused by the phrase. He thought that he had to be physically reborn; like to become a baby and start over. Both Jesus and Peter do not refer to a physical rebirth. A physical rebirth will leave all of us in the same condition in which we started.
And what condition is that? Sinful, that's what. Flesh gives birth to flesh. Flesh is sin. It is the condition that every human being is in. And the sinful condition leads to death and separation from God.
I don't want to be separated from God. And that is why is it SO IMPORTANT for you and me to realize this rebirth of which Peter and Jesus speak has nothing to do with me and you. I has everything to do with God.
Look again at what Peter says, "According to His great mercy, He HAS CAUSED US to be born again." (Emphasis mine) This rebirth is not from ourselves. It is a gift from God. It is a living hope. It is something that is beyond ourselves. It is something that COMES FROM GOD. And this living hope came to us by means of and through Jesus' resurrection. Because He lives, we will live also with Him.
New Life that We Have:
When we believe in what Jesus did for us, we have a new life. This means the old was crucified. It is dead and buried. It was buried with Jesus. And there the old human sinful life stays. From that a new person, man and woman, boy and girl, arises from the grave. We arise from the grave forgiven and reborn. No longer does the sinful human nature and its' traps and will and schemes hold us. No longer does the devil influence us. He is DEAD AND BURIED along with our sinful nature. Jesus crushed that snake's head.
New Life we Will Have:
And this rebirth and new that we have is an inheritance that God gives to His children. To you and I who believe, this new life, this forever life, is kept for us in heaven. It is perfect, eternal, unspoiled, and it continues to shine brightly. We, by means of faith, lay claim to it. And we wait for it.
And we wait for it when we serve God. We don't sit on our hands waiting for Jesus to come back. We wait for it by living with the living hope of life. We have great opportunities to show and share this life with those who do not yet realize it.
Is to discern how to live in this born again life, especially in the time and challenges we face now. And let's dialogue on what and how we live in this new life today. Will you join me in conversation?
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.