The Pilgrims’ Guidebook: Spiritual birth

I Peter 1:22-25

Having responded to the call of God and committed ourselves to Him in trust and obedience, we find ourselves members of His Church and equally committed to our Christian brothers and sisters. This is not the result of any decision or effort on our part, but of what God has done for us and in us: His Spirit purifies our souls from selfishness and gives us a new concern for the well-being of other people.

And so the principal manifestation of holiness is love for other Christians – a love that is neither formal nor superficial, but genuine and earnest (I John 3:18). It is more than just tolerance or acceptance of others; it is outgoing, and therefore costly. Such love is possible only for those who have themselves experienced the immeasurable love of God.

The physical life that we all received from our parents ends in physical death. But the spiritual life that begins with the new birth is unending, because it comes from the eternal Spirit (John 3:6). It began when we heard and responded to the Gospel: God’s word took root in us and began to transform us into new people (John 3:3).

How is this possible? Because “the living and enduring word of God” (verse 23) is the one permanent and unchanging reality in this world. It carries within itself the very life of God; like Him, it is eternal. And so it cannot leave us unaffected. And it will never die out or become obsolete, but will always be relevant to our need and will never cease to speak to our hearts.

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