The God of new beginnings: the hope of the new birth

We are all broken. We all need a fresh start. Through Christ, God delivers.

The letter of 1 Peter, which some have termed a handbook for new Christians, reminds God’s people how God has enabled us to have a new life and what we can expect from this new beginning.

Peter opens his letter by praising God for granting us a fresh start. In his words, “he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

What Peter describes is more than just a second chance. For the new birth to provide us any real benefit, it must offer something more than a redo. To understand why consider the world of power lifting.

The world record in power lifting is 1036 lbs.  So, how many attempts would you like to lift 1500 lbs? Granting us another chance to achieve the impossible does not help at all.

In the same way, how beneficial would the new birth be if it consists of nothing more than God wiping our sinful slate clean and saying, “Try not to mess up your life this time!” We need more than a second chance. We need to enter into another type of life.

By God’s great mercy God gives us birth into a life whose final destination is not determined by nor measured by the righteousness we can generate. Rather, we enter into a new type of life whose future is tied to what has already happened, Jesus’ resurrection.

This is no mere redo. Through Christ, God provides us confident expectation about our future. Jesus’ resurrection points to where our new life is headed! Because of Christ’s resurrection, those who belong to Christ can anticipate eternal life “into an inheritance imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It is reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). Ever thought about your name being embossed in heaven on your future inheritance?

Because God loves us, God has made it possible for us to experience something more than just taking another whack at a life dependent upon our performance. He offers us a fresh start built upon Christ. Not only does Christ’ death make this new birth possible, his resurrection reveals what awaits those who have experienced the new birth.


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