“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
has begotten us again
“Begotten us again” means born again. The word means literally “beget again” or “cause to be born again.” The only other time the New Testament uses this term is in verse 23 — “Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.”
Peter may recall here Jesus’ story of Nicodemus (John 3:1-21). Jesus said that we “must” be born again.
Peter blesses God because we are born again. We may be blind, but we are born again. We may be poor, but we are born again. We have troubles, but we know Christ as our Savior. Just think of the future of those who do not know Christ. God calls upon us to bless God because we are born again.
“Begotten again” means regeneration. “Re” is new and “generation” is life. Regeneration is new life. Regeneration is an act of God. He effects it by Christ’s resurrection and the Word of God (1:23). We are born again when we accept the death of Christ to forgive our sins. At that point we are born into the family of God. God changes our eternal future in one moment.
The born again experience results in a living hope. The living hope is based on the resurrection of Christ (I Peter 1:21). The assurance of our salvation is as sure as the resurrection of Christ.
Our salvation is a reason to extol God.
We are to “bless” (extol) God because he caused us to become born again. This is reason enough to praise him for all eternity.
Jesus said to the disciples who were rejoicing in their new-found power. Jesus rebuked them by these words,
“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven,” (Luke 10:20).
That took the wind out of their sails.
It is one thing to rejoice in our Christian work, it is another to rejoice in our salvation. We are on our way to glory. The time will come when our service on earth will finish. We will still have eternity ahead. There will be a time when we can no longer preach, sing or serve. If service is the basis of our personhood, then our joy will flee. We will die a bitter old man or woman. We rejoice in our work rather than our future.
There never will be a time when we will not have Christ. There never will be a time when our names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life.
We become so accustomed to our new birth that we take it for granted. Some of us have been born again so long that we have forgotten what it was like before we became a Christian. We assume that everyone is a Christian. When we get into this condition we are in bad shape spiritually. If a husband takes his wife for granted the relationship will begin to break down. All of us are guilty of this at varying degrees. If we take God for granted it is a reflection of our spiritual condition.