What does the term being born again mean? It refers to a new beginning with the Lord our God. (John 3:3-7). When you accept salvation, it means you want to be a child of God. God adopts the born again as his children (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:5, 1John 3:1).
So how is it that we are adopted by God? How does it come about, and what does it involve?
When we receive Christ by faith, we have the privilege of becoming his children. We are adopted into His family. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” – John 1:12. Just like children who are adopted in other families experience a change of status, this is a similar situation when one becomes child of
God. (2Corinthians 6:18)
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5.
To redeem means to obtain or to set free by paying a price. It cost God the price of his Son’s life.
In John 3:4, Nicodemus asked Jesus, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Nicodemus was right to ask this question. Is it possible for us to be born a second time?
Well, being born again doesn’t mean a physical rebirth; it’s a spiritual one. It refers to a change or transformation or conversion of heart—from indifference or insignificance or dislike toward God to a love for Him and a desire to live out our best for Him.
First, we have to understand the state of our heart. Jesus said it begins in our hearts. The problem is something called sin, which means to miss the mark—to fail to do what we ought to do.
You must admit your sin; that you can’t live up to God’s perfect standard on your own. Then you must ask forgiveness for that sin and repent, which means to make every effort to turn away from that sin. Finally, you ask Jesus to be part of your lives. That’s when God’s Spirit penetrates your heart to guide you and help you be more like Him. That’s when you are Born Again.
Our Father says: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:26). From then on, He gives you a new purpose and new goals for living. We no longer live for ourselves but for Him (II Corinthians 5:15).
Nothing will fully satisfy us unless we have Jesus in our lives and the eternal hope of being with Him forever in heaven.
Jesus was telling Nicodemus that no matter what good he did on the outside, he needed changing on the inside. That can only happen through a supernatural act of God when His Holy Spirit convicts us of wrongdoing and brings new life to our very being.
Additionally, this is a lifelong process of learning, self-examination, prayer, and a conscious effort to put our old self off and our new self on. Rebirth may start with the verbal confession, the conversion experience that some called “born again,” but it then continues for the rest of our life.
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”. Romans 10:9 NKJV
Before we can change our lives for the better, we have to know the difference between right and wrong. Then we can know what needs to change in us to be a new person
Only when we start turning our eye on our own thoughts, feelings, words, and actions can our knowledge of right and wrong become effective. Before we can change for the better, we must identify what needs changing in ourselves. (James 4:17, Matthew 26:41NIV)
John 3:3 says that “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” In other words, being born again is infinitely serious. We will not see the kingdom of God unless we are born again.
This means becoming a new person. We all have our faults and flaws. Some of them are obvious, some are hidden. When we engage in them knowingly and intentionally, they are called “sins.”
Reasons why you should be born again:
- So that you will not burn in hell fire for the rest of your life after death.
- To see the kingdom of God (John 3:3)
- It prepares you to rule with Christ in God’s Kingdom,
- It gives you with an everlasting inheritance – (1 Peter 1:3-4)
- It’s a guarantee you will rule as Kings. (2 Timothy 2:12, 2Corinthians 1:21-22).
When Jesus discussed the subject, he said that those born again would be “born from water and spirit.” (John 3:5) This expression refers to baptism in water followed by baptism with Holy Spirit. Acts 1:5; 2:1-4.
Jesus was the first person to be born again. He was baptized in the Jordan River, after which God anointed (or, baptized) him with Holy Spirit. Jesus was thus born again as a spiritual son of God with the hope of returning to life in heaven. (Mark 1:9-11) God fulfilled this hope by resurrecting Jesus as a spirit creature. Acts 13:33.
Jesus looked at him and said, “Nicodemus, you need to be born again” (Cf. John 3:5). In fact, He said, “Verily, verily”—and any time Jesus used that expression, He meant that what was to follow was very important. He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee … ye must be born again” (John 3:5, 7, KJV).
Have you been born again? Call it transformation, call it commitment, call it repentance, call it being saved, but has this happened to you? Does Christ live in your heart? Do you identify with it? Many people have thought about Christ and yet have never made this vow. Have you made a commitment to Jesus Christ?
Nicodemus must have been dumbfounded when Jesus said, “You must be born again.” It wouldn’t seem shocking if Christ had said that to the thief on the cross or to the woman caught in adultery. But Nicodemus was a religious leader and yet he was searching for certainty.
Perhaps you are an ardent church goer, never miss a Sunday or maybe not, or perhaps you are still searching and you feel that you’re not right with God. Figures this, as a religious leader, Nicodemus fasted, taught the word in the Synagogue, tithed and spent some time every day in prayer. So why did Jesus say that Nicodemus must be born again? Because Jesus knew what was in Nicodemus’ heart. He was religious but did not have a personal relationship with God.