1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
The most important issue in this life involves our own relationship to God. If we are not born again, we are not rightly related to God. You cannot become born again by means of water baptism. Water baptism saves no one.
Peter tells us we are born again by the word of God. That word of God is now found in the Bible. You can discover for yourself how to be rightly related to God by reading the Bible, especially the New Testament.
In 1953 I was reading through the New Testament for the second or third time that fall. On this very date, Saturday, November 7, I was delivering the papers for my Detroit Shopping News paper route. Thinking about the Scripture I had been reading, I realized that though I had attended Sunday school from the time my parents carried me there as an infant, I had never personally accepted Christ as my Savior. I stopped at a home on Lumpkin Street, folding the next paper to be delivered, and while thinking about these things, I prayed silently and received Christ as my Savior with no church building in sight.
I have continued to read my Bible and study my Bible ever since. Even back in 1953, earning just $2 a week from my paper route, I used my money to buy high quality Bibles, and scholarly Bible reference books. One of the first books I bought was The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. Studying the Bible by means of the extensive cross references found in The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge was immensely helpful. About the same time I bought a companion volume, The New Topical Textbook. Using both of these resources together enabled me to dig more deeply into the Bible.
One of the next books I bought was Milton S. Terry’s work, Biblical Hermeneutics. I think I read that book through about three times while I was still in the eleventh grade in high school. What I learned from that important book I have shared in much simpler form in the October 2010 archives on this site in my posts about the Rules of Interpretation. That list has now grown to 24 basic rules to follow to be sure to come up with the correct interpretation of Scripture.
Even as a new Christian, I realized it was most important to read God’s Word, the Bible, every day. I told some of my friends, “Three chapters a day keeps the devil away.” When we read the Bible, we allow God to speak to us through His written word. We also need to speak to God. That means we should spend time in prayer every day. There is much to learn about prayer that is taught in the Bible. The third daily practice I learned about was to talk to others about the Bible and salvation. I pictured these three things like the legs of a stool. You can sit securely on a stool if it has all three legs. If it has just two legs or just one, you will topple over. That may be a rather crude or simplistic portrayal of the chief elements of what should be going on every day in our Christian life, but it is succinct, memorable, and directly applicable. If these three things are not happening in your life, I trust this reminder will provide you helpful guidance.
To dig deeper into 1 Peter 1:23, read the cross references I share below:
- Being born again. or, Having been born again. Perfect tense, passive voice, participle: you have been and continue to be. Having been born again translates anagegennēmenoi, compounded of ana, anew, back, again, and genaō, birth, born, bring forth. Jesus said in Jn 3:7: “It is necessary for you to be born from above.” This new birth from above is a creative work of God answering to a new creation in Christ (cf. 2 Cor 5:17 and notes); accordingly, birth from above is a restoration from the Fall, a return to righteousness and holiness (cf. 1 P 1:3; Jn 1:13; 3:3, 5-7; 1 J 5:7) [LNT, fn n]. See on ver. 1 P 1:3. **1 P 2:2. Ps 87:5. +*Ps 119:50. Jn 1:13. *Jn 3:3, 5. 1 Cor 4:15. *James 1:18. 1 J 2:27, 29. *1 J 3:9. 4:7. 5:1, 4, 18. not. Ml 2:3. Mk 4:26. Ro 1:23. *1 Cor 15:53, 54. Phil 3:3. but of incorruptible. Gr. aphthartos (S#862g, 1 Tim 1:17). ver. 1 P 1:4, 18. 1 P 3:4. +=Le 11:37. +*Ps 119:144. Mt 13:24, 38. *1 J 3:9. *1 J 5:18. by the word. Gr. logos, Mk 9:32n. T#1035. ver. *1 P 1:25. 1 P 2:8. 3:1. Dt 32:46, 47. Ps 33:9. +*Ps 119:93. Is 55:11. *Je 23:28, 29. *Mt 24:35. Mk 4:14. *Lk 8:11. Jn 6:63. 17:17. Ac 10:36. +Ro 9:6. 10:8, **Ro 10:17. 1 Cor 14:36. 2 Cor 2:17. Ga 3:2, 5. Ep 1:13. *Ep 5:26. Phil 2:16. Col 1:5, 25. 4:3. 1 Th 1:6, 8. **1 Th 2:13. 2 Th 3:1. 2 Tim 2:9. +*2 Tim 3:15. 4:2. Titus 1:3. 2:5. *He 4:12. 8:10. 13:7. *James 1:18, 21. 1 J 3:9. which liveth. ver. 1 P 1:3. %Da 4:34. %Da 6:26. %Da 12:7. %Jn 6:51. Ac 7:38. +*He 4:12. %Re 4:10. and abideth. ver. 1 P 1:25. +*Ps 119:89. %1 J 3:15. 2 J 1:2. for ever. Gr. aion, +Mt 6:13. lit. unto the age, +Mt 21:19.