Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
Every real Christian upon earth has been twice begotten — twice born. First, he was born naturally, and he became a man; then he was born spiritually, and he became a new man. His first birth is to be calculated by his age — his second birth by the length of time that he has been living unto God. This second birth is, on various accounts, a far more excellent one than the first, and is attended with privileges of an infinitely higher order and degree.
I. First, our text points out the AUTHOR of this second birth. "He begat us," it says — and of whom does it speak thus? He, then, and He alone, is the Author of the second birth — the Father of the spiritual life of the regenerated soul.
II. His MOTIVE. None of those men to whom He hath given a new birth could be said to deserve to be new born. What, then, determined God to make them new creatures?" Of His own will begat He us." And so say a multitude of other texts (Ephesians 1:5; Romans 9:18; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5).
III. THE MEANS WINCH HE EMPLOYED. We have seen why His people were begotten. Let us now see how — "How," at least, in reference to the outward instrument made use of. For who can tell how the process is carried on within? We do, however, know the outward instrument and means which it pleases God to make use of. It is "the Word of truth." And what is this "Word of truth"? The blessed gospel, either as it is written or preached. This, says St. James, is the instrument of man's conversion.
IV. THE END WHICH HE PROPOSED. "That we should be," says he, "a kind of first-fruits of His creatures."
(A. Roberts, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.