Born Again According To Abundant Mercy

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1 Peter 1:3)

We have just started going through 1 Peter in the men’s bible study. I only have a couple of commentaries at my disposal on this magnificent epistle, so it is encouraging me to be more dependent on praying and meditating on the text – there is certainly a sweetness to this that I had been neglecting up until recently. That being said, I did find something in Calvin’s commentary on the first letter of Peter that is worded quite well.

Commenting on 1 Peter 1:3:

According to his abundant mercy. He first mentions the efficient cause, and then he points out the mediating cause, as they say. He shews that God was induced by no merits of ours to regenerate us unto a living hope, because he assigns this wholly to his mercy. But that he might more completely reduce the merits of works to nothing, he says, great (multam) mercy. All, indeed, confess that God is the only author of our salvation, but they afterwards invent extraneous causes, which take away so much from his mercy. But Peter commends mercy alone; and he immediately connects the way or manner, by the resurrection of Christ; for God does not in any other way discover his mercy; hence Scripture ever directs our attention to this point. And that Christ’s death is not mentioned, but his resurrection, involves no inconsistency, for it is included; because a thing cannot be completed without having a beginning; and he especially brought forward the resurrection, because he was speaking of a new life.

Calvin explains why Peter is driving home, According to His abundant mercy. It is because he wants to get it through our heads that we are not born again because we believe but that we believe because we are born again and we are born again according to the abundant mercy of God.

2 thoughts on “Born Again According To Abundant Mercy

  1. I am at fault for inventing extraneous causes; I basically wormed and weaseled around to try and find some merit in myself. There’s none there! Great post.

    Also, I borrow my commentaries from a local liberal arts university that has a few seminaries attached to it. I’m studying Philippians and the university library had all the 5 commentaries that D. A. Carson recommends in his New Testament Commentary Survey. It might be worth a look if you have an university nearby.

  2. I have recently been convicted that I had been placing too much dependence on the amount I prayed, as to expect that that was the reason that I received or could expect any peace from God. I had gotten very busy at work for about two weeks and realized that I had been slipping on prayer and reading my bible. I noticed after my strenuous work load had finished, I began to feel guilty because, oddly enough, I had a tremendous amount of peace despite my lack of prayer. This actually brought me to tears. Then asking my heavenly Father why I might receive such peace regardless of my lack of consistency, I felt impressed upon by Him that I did not receive anything good from Him because of my efforts, it was because of His and because He is pleased with His Son’s work. I know I am supposed to pray and yet I do not pray as I ought. It’s God who works in us for anything good we see. It’s all Him!

    Jude, thanks for the advice on getting commentaries from seminary libraries. RTS Orlando isn’t too far from me. I will have to check them out! And hey, if they won’t let them out to me, I’ll just steal them! LOL! Just kidding

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