Yesterday, while preaching on the miracle of the new birth from 1 Peter 1:3-5, I read these words from A. W. Pink on the mercy of God.
“Mercy is not a right to which man is entitled. Mercy is that adorable attribute of God by which He pities and relieves the wretched. But under the righteous government of God no one is wretched who does not deserve to be so. The objects of His mercy, then, are those who are miserable, and all misery is the result of sin, hence the miserable are deserving of punishment not mercy. To speak of deserving mercy is a contradiction of terms.” [From The Sovereignty of God, Baker Book House]
The miracle of the new birth, whereby the Spirit causes us to be reborn through the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23), is not anchored to any supposed righteousness of our own, but to the mercy of God who took pity upon our helpless and hopeless condition (Titus 3:5). He loved us while we were yet unlovely sinners, and redeemed us through the blood of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:8).