God not only causes us to be born again, but grants us the faith to respond in belief. This week, we study the attribute of God’s great mercy from 1 Peter 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.”
-1 Peter 1:3
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Transcript: Hi, welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. So glad that you joined us. We’re discussing the attributes of God, and today we continue our study on the mercy of God. The passage of Scripture is 1 Peter chapter one verse three, where we read these words: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy”—I love this—“According to His great mercy, He caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” According to his great mercy, he caused us to be born again. That’s exciting.
You know, most Christians believe this, that God provided salvation at the cross, so that’s His contribution. Our contribution is to believe. Well, that’s true. We are urged to believe; but my friend, I think that even the faith by which we believe is a gift of God. So, God causes us to be born again. Thank God for the fact that He grants us the faith to believe. And I trust that He has given you that gift, and if you wonder whether or not you have, asked Him and believe the Gospel; and that will prove that, indeed, you’ve received the gift of eternal life. Now, as we look at this passage of Scripture, we realize that we were begotten unto this hope because of the death and sacrifice of Jesus.
There is a story that comes to us from World War I. After the war there were so many orphans that the Americans actually gave money to set up an orphanage in an area. And into that orphanage came a man who obviously was out of work. He was thin. He was poor. He was weak. And he had beside him a little girl; her extended abdomen showed that she was really very hungry and probably at the point of starvation. So he said to the person behind the desk, “Would you take my daughter and care for her?”
The person at the desk said, “Are you her father?” And he said yes; he said, “We cannot take her. Because we have so many applicants and the needs are so great, we are limiting ourselves to children whose parents are dead. And so, as long as you are alive, we cannot take your child.” He said, “You mean to tell me that if I were to die, you would take my daughter and care for her?” And they said yes. He said “Well, if that’s the case, I can arrange that.” He gave his precious little girl a hug and a kiss, and then he took her little hand and put it into the hand of the man behind the desk and said, “I can arrange that.”
And, according to the story that I heard, he went out and committed suicide. “If that’s what it takes for you to take my daughter, I can arrange that.”
Well Jesus, of course, did not commit suicide. But He did get Himself crucified. It’s very clear that He goes to Jerusalem and He knows that there He is to be crucified. He tells the disciples that He is to be crucified, and He is crucified within the providence and the predetermined plan of God. And I can imagine—and we’re only now speaking in human language, because all of the plans of God were known from eternity—but let’s use our imagination: The Son goes to the Father and says, “Father, if it takes Calvary for Me to reconcile people to Us as the Trinity, I can arrange that.” And that’s what He did at the cross so that He could cause us to be born again. Notice that the text says “because of his great mercy.”
You know, I love gospel songs. We don’t sing them often enough, according to my own estimation. But be that as it may, I remember as a boy in Canada growing up and singing a song and this was the stanza; this was the chorus of the song based on this verse: “Mercy there was great, and grace was free; pardon there was multiplied to me. There my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.”
“Father, if it takes this that people be redeemed, I can arrange that.”
I’m so glad that the Father and the Son and the Spirit arranged that. I hope that you are glad too. And we worship that God, because He caused us to be born again because of His rich mercy. Today, go with God; and I’ll see you right here next time.