Is there anyone who wouldn’t like a “do over” in life?
Honestly, I have no desire to re-live my teenage years – or any part of my life really – just to have more time. But if I could re-do my life knowing what I know now, that would be a blessing.
In his first letter, Peter uses an abundance of metaphors to refer to Christians, but one of them has prominence: childlikeness.
This is most appropriate not because it refers to some immaturity or irresponsibility or weakness, but because it refers to newness, a “do over.” God has given us “new birth” (1:3). We are “children” (1:14), having been “born again” (1:23) and become “newborn babies.” Before God and through Jesus, our past has been erased. We get to start anew knowing everything we learned from our former life, but cleansed from all failure and sin. Having been cleansed, he calls us to live differently.
This “different” living he describes in detail as he moves through the book, but it has two purposes: First, faithfulness to our heritage, what we have become in Christ. Second, it is essential in leading other people to Christ. No one is going to be encouraged to become a Christian by Christians who live no differently than everyone else. Peter says: “Live such good lives among the pagans [non-Christians] that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when He comes.”
Why would they glorify God? Because by admiring our example and following us, they have become one of us – His children.