1 Peter 1:3
“In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead ….”
We have been talking about being converted because that is the way most of us understand what it means to become a Christian. However to be more accurate we have to understand that “conversion” is the human response we make to the great truth concerning Jesus, but the human response would be impossible if God did not first do a prior work in our hearts which the bible describes as the “new birth”
We first encounter the idea of the New Birth when Jesus told Nicodemus that without the New Birth he could never see or grasp or understand the Kingdom of God, nor could he enter the Kingdom of God without it. The mystery for us is that the New Birth is something God in His Sovereignty does in us, by the Holy Spirit, without our permission. He has already chosen us to be His before the world began and at some point His sovereign decision to save us reaches a point in our time and history when He brings it all to pass. Whatever the circumstances may be He suddenly grants us the light, the illumination we need in the innermost part of our being. We are overwhelmed about the truth about Christ. We “see” it. A change takes place inside, a new nature is implanted in us and we find ourselves now responding to the truth we hear about Christ, whereas we could not respond before.
We change our minds about Him. From viewing Him as irrelevant we now see Him as the most important person in the world. We realise we cannot live as we please and we change our behaviour accordingly. We find ourselves changing in ways we could never have imagined. This is conversion. And its origin lies in the New Birth and the origin of the New Birth lies in the mercy of God, as Peter tells us. And the result of the New Birth is a new hope we would never have given ourselves. It is a hope laid up for us in eternity. Do you have it?
O God. Thank you for opening my eyes to see and understand the truth about Jesus. Please grant to my friends and family who do not understand, the great gift of the New Birth. Amen