Faithlife Sermons

Perks of the New Birth

Notes
Transcript
When Halford E. Luccock was growing up in Oklahoma, there was a lake his family frequented a lot called Keystone Lake. Keystone was not a natural lake; prior to its creation in 1962, there were towns located there, one of which gives the lake its name. The town was to be flooded to make a large lake for which a dam was being built.
In the months before it was to be flooded, all improvements and repairs in the whole town were stopped. What was the use of painting a house if it were to be covered with water in six months? Why repair anything when the whole village was to be wiped out?
So, week by week, the whole town became more and more bedraggled, more gone to seed, more woebegone. An explanation was given by one town member: "Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present."
(The idea for this illustration came from Halford E. Luccock, "Unfinished Business")
The life of a sojourner can be a lonely one. As we believers traverse this strange world we become more and more aware that we are not from around here. We do not belong and we are not understood by those that do.
Peter addresses this issue as he continues to minister in letter to those believers scattered abroad. They are strangers displaced from their homeland and strangers, citizens of a country that is not of this world. They are facing loneliness and misunderstanding. Peter is about to drop some truth that will remove that loneliness and embrace them in a sense of hope and belonging.
In a doxology of praise to God, Peter encouraged his readers by reminding them that the new birth gave them a living hope in an imperishable future inheritance. The inheritance is sure because believers are shielded by the power of God till it is ready to be revealed. Consequently Christians may rejoice even when they face trials, since trials will prove their faith genuine and thus bring greater glory to Christ. Finally the new birth’s hope is based not only on a future inheritance and present blessings but also on the written Word of God1
1 Roger M. Raymer, “1 Peter,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 840.
In this passage we revisit the truth taught to Nicodemus in John 3. If you are going to Heaven, you must be Born Again. In our passage we will find that God is the one that brings believers into His family and that there are perks to the New Birth.

Believers Are Given New Birth.

1 Peter 1:3 KJV
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,

According to God’s Mercy

“According to” is from kata (κατα) whose root meaning is “down.” From this we get the idea of domination, thus not “according to the measure of His abundant mercy,” but “impelled by His abundant mercy.” It was the compelling constraint in the merciful heart of God that made inevitable the atonement for sinners.

New Birth is a Gift

He has given us new birth; people can do nothing to merit such a gift. The words “has given … new birth” translate anagennēsas, from the verb “beget again” or “cause to be born again.” It is used only twice in the New Testament, both times in this chapter .
1 Peter 1:3 KJV
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,
1 Peter 1:23 KJV
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
“Hath begotten” is from an aorist participle, and refers merely to the past fact of begetting, “begat us.” “Again” is from the preposition ana (ἀνα) prefixed to the participle, the preposition meaning in composition with another word, “renewal, new again.” Thus, regeneration is spoken of here, the act of the Holy Spirit imparting to us a new life, making us partakers of the divine nature and thus children of God, a begetting anew.1
1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 20.

Believers Are Given a Lively Hope

Lively = Living, active

1 Peter 1:3 KJV
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,
1 Peter 1:21 KJV
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.
The “living hope” is based on the living resurrected Christ (cf. 1 Peter 1:21). The Christian’s assurance in Christ is as certain and sure as the fact that Christ is alive! Peter used the word “living” six times (1:3, 23; 2:4–5; 4:5–6). Here “living” means that the believer’s hope is sure, certain, and real, as opposed to the deceptive, empty, false hope the world offers.1
1 Roger M. Raymer, “1 Peter,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 841.
The hope here is not only an objective thing, but a subjective hope on the part of the believer. It is a lively hope, that is, not only living, but actively alive, an energizing principle of divine life in the believer, a Christian hopefulness and optimism produced in the believer yielded to the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is both an attitude of expectancy as the Christian looks forward to the inheritance awaiting him in heaven, and a hopefulness of present blessing from God in this life in view of the eternal blessedness of the believer in the next life. A child of God has no right to look on the dark side of things, and to look for the worst to happen to him. As the object of God’s care and love, he has the right to look for the best to come to him and to look on the bright side of things. “The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble” (Prov. 4:18, 19).1
1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 20–21.

Made Possible Through the Resurrection

This lively hope is made possible by the resurrection of the Lord Jesus in that it is through the believer’s identification with Him in the resurrection that he is given a new life in regeneration, and thus will also be able to enjoy the heavenly inheritance into which he has been born.

Believers Are Given an Inheritance.

1 Peter 1:4 KJV
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Based on Sonship

Romans 8:15 KJV
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
John 1:12 KJV
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Romans 8:17 KJV
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Incorruptible

This inheritance is incorruptible because it belongs to the future life which the risen saints share with God Himself.1
1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 21.
1 John 3:2 KJV
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Undefiled

It is undefiled as our great High Priest is undefiled (Heb. 7:26 same word).1
1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 21.
Hebrews 7:26 KJV
For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Fades not Away - different than this fragile life.

James 1:11 KJV
For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
1 Peter 1:24–25 KJV
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.

Reserved In Heaven for You

1 Peter 1:4 KJV
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
The word “reserved” is from tereo (τερεο) which means “to watch, to observe, to guard, protect, to reserve, set aside.” Heaven is the safe-deposit box where God is guarding our inheritance for us under constant surveillance, The participle is in the perfect tense, speaking of a past completed action having present results. We could translate, “has been laid up and is now kept guarded in safe deposit.”1
1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 21–22.
1000 Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching Earth Recedes—Heaven Opens

Shortly before Dwight L. Moody died, he spoke these words: “Earth recedes; heaven opens before me.” This statement has become famous around the world.

Moody’s son, William L. who was with his father, testified that the evangelist continued: “No, this is no dream, Will. It is beautiful. It is like a trance. If this is death, it is sweet. There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go.” Soon the rest of the family was assembled. Only recently, the evangelist and the family had lost two of the grandchildren, Dwight and Irene.

Moody’s face suddenly lit up, and he exclaimed: “Dwight! Irene! I see the children’s faces!” There is a blessedness of meeting our loved ones over there!

A New Birth, a Lively Hope, an Incorruptible Inheritance… what a blessing… these are the perks of the New Birth.
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