Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For [he’s giving us the reason now], you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way...
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
So you’ve become a Christian. You said a prayer. You made a commitment. But what actually happened? What caused you to make this commitment when you did? Why did you do it when you did and not at some other time—either when you were younger, or at some point later on in your life?
Peter goes straight to the explanation: “He has given us new birth” (1:3) or in other words, “You have been born again.” There is a great deal of confusion today over what is meant by this phrase born again. People sometimes ask: “Are you a born-again Christian?” as if this was just one brand among many.
When the Bible says that you have been born again it means that God has brought a deep change at the very center of your being. He has given you a new nature, which means that you have a new disposition, a new appetite, and new capacities. We are going to explore together this peculiar change of nature that occurs in the life of every Christian.
How would you answer the question: “Are you a born-again Christian?” And what does this phrase mean to you?