WHEN IS A CHRISTIAN BORN AGAIN?
The term “Born Again Christian” refers to people who embraced Jesus as their Redeemer or Savior. To be born again in this context is not a physical rebirth, but a spiritual rebirth.
WHAT IS A BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN? MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE
The term “born again Christian” is often misinterpreted. Looking at its primary reference, we can see that its significance is not about physical conception, but about undergoing a spiritual rebirth. It is a term used by many Protestants to describe the moment or cycle of complete recognition of the faith in Jesus Christ. This is an event in which the “born again” takes to heart the teachings of Jesus and Christianity, and decides to have a personal relationship with God.
The phrase originated from an event in the New Testament in which the words of Jesus were not clearly understood by the Jewish Pharisee, Nicodemus.
Jesus’ response to him was, “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:3-5
WHAT DOES IT MEANS TO BE BORN AGAIN?
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).
Our first birth gave us physical life; our new birth gives us eternal life and adoption into God’s family (John 1:13). Being born again is to have the Holy Spirit transform our hearts from indifference and hostility towards God into a love of God and a desire for righteousness and holiness. The only way to return to God and know what it means to be “born again” is by repenting of one’s sin and coming to Jesus Christ in faith (read John 14:6). The Bible explicitly states in Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:5, and Romans 10:13 that salvation is a gift; it cannot be gained by whatsoever works that could be done humanly.
To receive Christ as your Lord and Savior mean a lot more than recognizing Him as a fact of history, as a teacher or as an example to imitate. This means more than giving mental consent to the fact that Jesus died on the cross because of the sins of the earth. It means that one turns away from sin and, with his entire heart, trusts in Christ as his personal Savior and Lord. God, at the point makes that person a new creature; (read 2 Corinthians 5:17). The Bible says in John 1:12 that, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
HOW TO BE BORN AGAIN
The term ‘born again’ applies to people who have embraced Christ as their Savior or Redeemer. The born-again soul knows that they are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and that the punishment for their sin is death (Romans 6:23). To fix the circumstances, God sent His only begotten Son to die in their place, to be punished for sin (Romans 5:8). After the death of Jesus Christ, He rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6), and He offers the gift of redemption. Each person can choose to reject or accept God’s gift through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and undergo a new birth (John 3:1-8). Whoever honors Jesus as Christ, the Son of God, and acknowledges God’s gift of salvation, may be considered Christian. That is where the journey of rebirth started.
Being born again is the changing or transforming of the soul and the heart through the work of God’s Spirit. The human soul is part of our being that consists of three things: the mind (or its disposition), the emotions (feelings), and our will (what we determine).
When we become a born-again Christian, this spiritual makeover is a change in the way we think, manage our feelings, and the decisions we make by our will.
“Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27).
“And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2).
“For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
By being born again, renewing our minds, and having an intimate relationship with God, we develop by spending time in God’s presence and His Word (the Bible). Although we cannot fully understand Christ, His Spirit lives within us, giving us a profound understanding of Him and His ways.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:29, 31).
Christians that are born again are not expected to let their emotions control their behavior. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” In Him we have peace.
WILL OF GOD
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.” (1 John 5:14).
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21).
A COMMON MISCONCEPTION ABOUT BEING BORN AGAIN
MISCONCEPTION: An individual can choose to be born again.
FACT: The opportunity to have a good relationship with God and obtain salvation is available to everyone. (1Timothy 2:3) But God chooses those who will be born again or anointed with the Holy Spirit. According to the Bible, being born again “depends not on a person’s desire or effort, but God.” (Romans 9:16) The term “born again” can also be used as “born from above,” confirming that the selection of those who are born again comes “from above” or from God.
FIVE SIGNS OF THOSE WHO ARE BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS
1. BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN: THE BIRTHMARK OF CONFESSION
The birthmark of confession, explained in 1 John 5:1, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” Before you can have the assurance of salvation, you must believe and be saved. You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord. Many people believe they’re saved because they were raised in a Christian background, whether they’ve been to church all their lives, whether they’ve been baptized, or they’ve tried to live a decent life. Yet they have never explicitly and honestly proclaimed Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord.
The Bible explains that everybody is a sinner, separated from God by a sinful nature. We will never earn, buy, or ascend our way to heaven on our own. Our actions or goodness will never rescue us. That is why God became a man who lived a wholly righteous life, died on the cross, shed His blood for humanity, and rose from the dead. He paid our fine, took our judgment on Himself, and gives us the chance to be born again.
2. BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN: THE BIRTHMARK OF CHANGE
The first birthmark is the confession of Christ as our Lord and Savior; the second is a changed life, John 2:29 says “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” When Jesus saves us, there is a difference in how we think, act, speak, and behave.
When we begin to learn to practice righteousness, our habits change. We’re not going to be sinlessly perfect while we’re on this planet, but we need to live like Christians if we’re Christians. If we say we’re rescued, but nothing has changed about us, there’s something wrong.
3. BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN: THE BIRTHMARK OF COMPASSION
Those who are truly saved bear the birthmark of compassion. How can you know that you’re a Christian? By what you believe, how you live, whom you love. Love is a repeated theme in 1 John, and the apostle leaves no question about how it fills the lives of genuine Christians. “Beloved,” he wrote, “let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. “(1John 4:7; 3:14).
In the family of God, do you love your brothers and sisters? Those who are saved are those who love and bless the household of faith, God’s family.
4. BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN: THE BIRTHMARK OF CONFLICT
Conflict is the fourth sign of being genuinely rescued. According to 1 John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Overcoming the word implies a struggle. We’re faced with an enemy that we have to conquer. Our enemy is described in 1 John 2:14 as the evil one: ” I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” John went on to say, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”(1 John 2:15-16).
If you are truly born of Christ, you will grow to be an overcomer as you struggle with the temptations around you — the world, flesh, and the devil. You may not overcome every temptation every time, but you will make progress in winning more victories and losing less battle as you grow stronger in Christ and the power of the eternal Word of God.
5. BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN: THE BIRTHMARK OF CONDUCT
We can see signs of the truth of salvation in our ability to conduct ourselves in a manner that pleases God. According to 1 John 3:9, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
If care is not taken, we might interpret this verse to teach that whoever is born of God never sins. This would be in contrast with certain passages in the Bible that identify us as fallible and often failing.
The word for sin in 1 John 3:9 is a present active infinitive and describes continuous action. John doesn’t claim that whoever sins once is not born of God. In essence, John states, “Whoever willfully continues to sin, to break God’s law with stubborn contempt and ungodliness, cannot have the assurance of salvation.”
When we are genuinely saved, we must grieve for our sins, confess our sins, and let God’s grace refine our soul.
YOU CAN HAVE AN ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
God’s goodness and compassion are inexhaustible, and His salvation is eternal. Make sure that you have proclaimed Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, and then trust Him for eternal life. He will never forsake you or leave you. His Word was given that you can know that Jesus Christ is your Savior and that you might understand that you have eternal life when Jesus Christ becomes your all-in-all.