Scripture Reading: Matthew 28
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Blessed—well spoken of, praise, honor. According to—based on His merciful character, an expected thing from someone so merciful.
Abundant mercy—full, much, enough to fill the need our sin created.
Mercy—an active compassion, not just pity, but help. The characteristic that offers salvation.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Rich—abounding with, wealthy in, abundantly supplied.
Great love—Greek word for abundant
Quickened—make on alive together, reanimate conjointly.
Raised us up together—rouse, revivify in resemblance to. Kindness—readiness to serve—God is willing to serve us in His mercy!
Begotten—aorist tense, a completed historical fact once for all.
Our rebirth is directly linked to Christ’s resurrection, a historical fact, which raised believers, those identified with Christ. Re-created—as if an animal were given human powers. Not a metaphor!
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dead to sin—insensible and inaccessible to sin.
Live with Him—not talking about life after death, talking about joint life with Him now. Alive unto God—new sphere of life, not in sin but in godliness.
Lively hope—before regeneration there was no hope, no certainty about life after death. lively Greek used 7 times in 1 Peter. Living, life-giving.
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began
Truth which is after godliness—true truth leads to fear of God and obedience.
In hope—resting upon the hope of eternal life. Promise of eternal life was given before creation. God does what He says!
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
According to hope—eternal future fulfillment changes life now.
By the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead—not just an example of our new birth, but the very cause of it.
1 Corinthians 15:12-14
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Faith is vain—unreal, empty, without use, frustrated.
1 Corinthians 15:16-17
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Faith is vain—different word for vain—fruitless. Yet in sins—new life puts sin to death, new sphere of living, not unto sin, but unto God.
There is new life in the Gospel! Not head games, not theory, for real new life!