“Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures”
First, God wills, then He acts. Ever since God planned our salvation, He has used the truth of Scripture to bring us into His Kingdom.
He brought us forth
The words “brought us forth” come from a word that means to be pregnant. The idea is to bring out of the womb, to give birth. Sin “brings forth death” (1:15), and God brings us into a new state of life by the word of truth. Sin brings forth death; God brings forth eternal life. This is the new birth.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God….’ Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit’” (John 3:3, 7-8).
“…having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever…” (1 Peter 1:23).
The word “regeneration” occurs only two times in the New Testament:
“So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28).
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7).
A second and spiritual birth is necessary for eternal salvation.
Before anyone can enter into God’s heaven, he must first embrace Christ’s death to forgive his sin by faith. Once he does this, he immediately by faith enters into eternal life.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).
Eternal life begins at the point of salvation, not at the point of death. The moment we believe God’s promise, He ushers us into eternal life.