1 Peter 1:22-23
Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned love of the brothers…
I. THE NATURE OF REGENERATION.
1. A change of qualities or dispositions: not a change of the substance of the soul.
2. A super. natural change (John 3:5).
3. A change into the likeness of God (2 Corinthians 3:18).
4. A universal change (2 Corinthians 5:17).
5. A lasting change.
(1) The mind is savingly enlightened. In the knowledge of God, sin, self, Jesus Christ, vanity of world (Psalm 119:96). Spiritual things (1 John 2:20).
(2) The will is renewed (Ezekiel 36:26). Cured of its utter inability to will what is good. Imbued with a fixed aversion to evil (Galatians 5:17). Endowed with an inclination and propensity to good.
(3) The affections are rectified and regulated.
(4) The conscience is renewed.
(5) As the memory wanted not its share of depravity, it is also bettered by regenerating grace. It is strengthened for spiritual things.
(6) There is a change made on the body, and the members thereof, in respect of their use; they are consecrated to the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:13; Romans 6:13), "servants to righteousness unto holiness" (Romans 6:19).
(7) This gracious change shines forth in the conversation. A new heart makes newness of life.
II. WHY THIS CHANGE IS CALLED REGENERATION, a being born again. It is so called, because of the resemblance between natural and spiritual generation, which lies in the following particulars.
1. Natural generation is a mysterious thing: and so is spiritual generation (John 3:8).
2. In both, the creature comes to a being it had not before.
3. As the child is passive in generation, so is the child of God in regeneration.
4. There is a wonderful contexture of pasts in both births. Oh the wonderful contexture of graces in the new creature!
5. All this, in both cases, has its rise from that which is in itself very small and inconsiderable.
6. Natural generation is carried on by degrees.
7. In both there are new relations. The regenerate may call God Father; for they are His children (John 1:12, 13), "begotten of Him" (chap. 1 Peter 1:3). They are related, as brethren, to angels and glorified saints; "the family of heaven."
8. There is a likeness between the parent and the child (2 Peter 1:4).
9. As there is no birth without pain, so there is great pain in bringing forth the new creature. The soul has sore pains when under conviction and humiliation.
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: