1 Peter – Chapter One LII

by Ed Urzi

“since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23 ESV).

Just as we must undergo a physical birth that is necessary to enter the world around us, so we must also undergo a spiritual birth that is necessary to enter heaven. The need for this act of rebirth is grounded in the fact that human beings are spiritually alienated from God. Therefore, we must be “born again” in order to enter a relationship with Him. This explains why Jesus tells us, “…I can guarantee this truth: No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above” (GW) in John 3::3.

So being “born again” means we are reborn from a state of spiritual separation from God to a life that is alive to God through Christ. The Spirit of God directs that rebirth, and it takes place when we accept Jesus’ sacrificial death on our behalf.

For instance, the Scriptures tell us, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1 NKJV). We’re also told, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…” (NIV) in 2 Corinthians 5:17. So, unlike the mortal life that we inherit from our human parents (or the “perishable seed mentioned here in 1 Peter 1:23), those who are born again are redeemed by the sacrifice of the imperishable Christ.

Thus, we can say that this act of spiritual rebirth is a necessary prerequisite in our reconciliation to God. One source closes our look at this important topic with the following insights…

“It was Jesus who first declared that spiritual rebirth was an absolute necessity for entering the kingdom of God. He declared to Nicodemus, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (John 3:3). The word unless in Jesus’ teaching signals a universally necessary condition for seeing and entering the kingdom of God.

Rebirth, then, is an essential part of Christianity; without it, entrance into God’s kingdom is impossible. Regeneration is the theological term used to describe rebirth. It refers to a new generating, a new genesis, a new beginning. It is more than ‘turning over a new leaf’; it marks the beginning of a new life in a radically renewed person. Peter speaks of believers ‘having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever’” (1 Peter 1:23). (1)

(1) Sproul, R. C. (1992). Essential truths of the Christian faith. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House. Page 171.