Hope for Your Life - Gospel in Life

Hope for Your Life

Tim Keller |  October 11, 2009

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  • Hope
  • Salvation
1 Peter 1:3-13
RS 316-03


The Bible teaches that every Christian has been “born again.” Yet, this term is commonly misunderstood. Being born again is not about improving one’s morality or having a powerful spiritual experience. It is a completely new way of seeing the world. It is the eyes of the new birth that allow a Christian to see the truth of the Gospel. The new birth is also the engine of Christian growth. It is the new heart God gives that helps us put our hope in God rather than the idols of this world.

1 Peter 1:3–13

The Good News of Jesus Christ, or the gospel, has a unique power to change our hearts and lives. This happens when we are “born again,” a term that might be confusing today, but it’s deeply important in the Bible. To truly understand how the gospel changes us, we need to think about five things related to being born again: why we need it, where it comes from, what it’s like, how it grows, and how it moves forward.

1. Why we need it

Being ‘born again’ is absolutely necessary for anyone who wants to follow Jesus. People in the New Testament, including Jesus Himself, stressed this. It’s not about what kind of Christian you are or how good you’ve been. It means starting brand new, as if your past mistakes don’t count anymore. This applies to everyone, no matter what kind of person you are. The message is clear: to have a real relationship with Christ, you must be born again.

2. Where it comes from

Our new birth comes from God’s incredible mercy, filling us with a living hope that shapes our lives. Living without hope, without something bigger to strive for, can lead us down a dead-end road. But when we cling to the hope God gives us through His eternal promises, it dramatically changes our lives and makes us new.

3. What it’s like

Our love for Jesus, even though we’ve never seen Him, brings a joy that’s beyond words. This joy comes from a new nature within us. Being born again is more than just agreeing with what the Bible says; it’s about fully experiencing God’s reality and grace, which can dramatically change our lives. For example, Frank Barker’s understanding of the gospel changed completely after he was born again.

4. How it grows

Being born again starts a never-ending journey of spiritual growth, much like how a newborn baby grows over time. This growth involves finding hope and joy even in the middle of tough times, because our hope is in God, not in what’s happening around us. As we grow, we learn to connect with others who are suffering and find comfort in our own struggles. This shows the power of being born again.

5. How it begins and proceeds

Being born again starts with believing the gospel, similar to how a baby is born through the work of its mother. It’s about understanding that Jesus isn’t just a teacher, but a Savior who has done everything to save us. We’re not saved because of what we do, but because of what Jesus did for us. Realizing this, and admitting that we need God’s grace, is what starts us on the journey of being born again and growing in our faith.



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