by Thomas Manton
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.—1 PETER 1:23.
IN the context the apostle presseth to holiness, and in the immediately preceding verse to the love of the brethren; he enforceth both from regeneration.
First, Holiness. They that have a new birth should have a new life; for another principle doth necessarily infer other manner of operation. By the natural life, which consisteth in the union of the soul with the body, a man is enabled to move, speak, reason, and discourse, and do such actions as are consistent with that life; so by the spiritual life, which consists in the union of the soul with Christ, a man is enabled to act suitably; therefore if christians would walk answerably to their new birth, they should be holy.
Secondly, Love to the brethren or fellow-saints.
1. There is ground and reason to love them, for they are brethren; not in respect of the first birth, which is from the flesh, but in respect of the second birth, which is from the Spirit. Φιλαδελφία and ἀγάπη are joined together by the apostle Peter: 2 Peter 1:7, 'And to godliness, brotherly kindness.' All are brethren or our own flesh, as coming from the same stock; but there is another relation, which is spiritual. Saints are brethren, as children of the same Father in heaven. If we be born again, it is but reason that we should live in love with the rest of our Father's children.
2. The new birth doth not only yield us a reason to love them, but an inclination, heart, and power to love them. It begets this love, as well as enforceth it: 1 John 5:1, 'Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him.' The same new nature that inclineth us to love our Father doth incline us also to love his children, which bear his image; for there are the same inducements for the one as for the other. Therefore, 'See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently; being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible.'
Table of Contents
Sermon I. "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever,"
Sermon II. "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,"
Sermon III. "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,"
Sermon IV. "By the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever,"