“having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.”
having been born again
The idea of being born again refers to regeneration. “Generation” means born, and “re” means again. “Born again” means to cause to give birth. These words carry the idea of experiencing radical change, which impacts the total person. This implies a complete change and to enter a new state of life. Being “born again” is the gracious act of God of conferring upon those who believe the nature and disposition of God’s children. God imparts to them spiritual life (John 3:3, 5, 7; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18).
This is the second time Peter uses the phrase “born again” in this chapter (1 Pe 1:3). Regeneration is God’s act and is effected by the resurrection of Christ and the word of God.
Regeneration is an act of God whereby he gives eternal life.
Unless we come to the place where we are undone, unfit, unjustified, and unbeliever, we will never recognize our need for spiritual birth. If you let the record speak for itself, you will know that you do not measure up to the holiness of God. We cannot count our sins; there are so many.
God declares flatly that all of us sin (Romans 3:23). That is why there is one casket per person (Romans 5:12). There is no remedy except spiritual rebirth. Otherwise, we will attempt to carry our sins into eternity, and then God will disqualify us from spending eternity with Himself.
Someone might say, “I am willing to renounce my behavior.” All of this is to no avail unless you are born again. Learning a religious language does not change lives. We cannot live the Christian life without a Christian heart.
Reformation cannot change a corruptible heart. It would merely be a whitewash of a tomb full of rottenness within though we may brighten the outside. Someone may cast away vices and conquer evil habits, but no one can make himself born into God’s family. It is only God that gives life through the Word of God.
If the water in the well is dirty, we do not paint the pump. We purify the water. Moral renewal will not cleanse the sins we already committed. We need a new birth (regeneration) to cleanse our souls.