Today we are going to take a look at one verse. This verse is so powerful that there is NO WAY, in my limited understanding of the Scripture, I could cover everything Peter pacts in to these 37 words....but I will give it a shot:
1Peter 1:3a Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy,
Whatever Peter is about to follow this first phrase up with is “ACCORDING TO HIS GREAT MERCY!”
By the mercy of Almighty God whatever follows is made possible.
MER'CY, n. [L. misericordia.]
It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders.
Pity; compassion manifested towards a person in distress.
The act of sparing, or the forbearance of a violent act expected. The prisoner cried for mercy.
A friend of mine asked one time, what is the difference between Grace and Mercy. I made a very inadequate attempt at explaining it, so another friend stepped in with what I thought was a fantastic explanation:
Grace is getting something you do not deserve, Mercy is not getting what you do deserve.
In this one verse we see this played out. As we see throughout Scripture, our sin (one sin) is enough to condemn us for eternity. But, God's Love, Grace and Mercy has provided us a Way to be redeemed, pardoned, spared. If we die in our sin we WILL NOT be confused as to why we ended up in hell....but ACCORDING TO HIS GREAT MERCY:
1 Peter 1: 3b he has caused us to be born again
HE CAUSED US!!! He foreknew and He caused. Don't scratch your head and wonder about those that He “doesn't cause” to be born-again. Who are we that we can know the mind God. Who are we that we think we can give council to God:
Romans 9:20-23 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory--
The better question is, are you going to plead with your Creator that you be one of His vessels of honor, or will your pride overtake you to the point where you will choose to be a vessel of wrath. Know this; either way, HE IS GLORIFIED! PLEAD WITH HIM THAT YOU MIGHT BE A VESSEL OF MERCY!
Are you unsure of your salvation? It is not the fault of God if you slap away His extended hand and reject the LOVE OF GOD only to receive instead the JUDGMENT OF GOD. Ask yourself this: “Did He cause you to be born again?”
1 Peter 1: 3b he has caused us to be born again
John 3:3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
John 3:7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
You might ask, “What does that mean (to be born again)?”
We are all born naturally; or what the Bible calls “being born of water.” However, although we are alive in the natural, we are spiritually dead, until we are born of the Spirit. Being born of the Spirit means the same things as being born again. So how do we know if we are born of the Spirit? We can answer that question with a question: Are you led by the Spirit? Do you hate the things God hates, and love the things God loves....or do you still feed the lusts of your flesh without guilt or sensitivity to the prompting and conviction of the Holy Spirit? Do you seek to bring Glory and Rejoicing to the Holy Spirit, or do you continue to resist the Holy Spirit?
Acts 7:51 "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.
Romans 8:5-9 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
So, since your eternal destination lies in this very question, let's ask it again: “ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?
1Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
The Power is in the Blood and the Resurrection:
Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
1Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.