What does it mean to be “born again?”

What does it mean to be “born again?”

In John 3:3, Jesus explained to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Being “born again” speaks of an invisible spiritual new birth, it’s a spiritual renewal or regeneration.

The need to be born again comes from mankind’s natural state of separation from God as hostile sinners (Romans 3:23; 5:12; Colossians 1:21; 2:13). There is no man who does not sin (1 Kings 8:46), and there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

This means, from birth, we are all sinners who are dead in our sin (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1), considered enemies by God and under His wrath (Romans 5:9-10), waiting final judgement. In humanity’s natural state, we are separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12). Therefore, as sinners, we all need God’s forgiveness and cleansing.

But God, motivated by mercy, and without any assistance from the believing sinner, performs a spiritual washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). God refers to this as being “born again,” which is His act of cleansing forgiveness, renewal/regeneration, and gifting of eternal life to those who receive Jesus and believe in His name. Here, believing sinners are given the right to become children of God… because they have now been born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13).

To believe in Jesus, you agree with God (confess) that Jesus Christ is God in human flesh, fully God while also being fully human. The Bible says, in Christ all the fullness of the Deity (Godliness) lives in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). Next, is to believe Jesus will forgive you of the sin that separates you from God. Belief in Jesus  Christ means depending upon the fact that Jesus himself bore our sins in his body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). Believe that Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God (1 Peter 3:18).

Therefore, it is through being “born again” that God delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son (Colossians 1:13-14). This means believers are children of God through spiritual adoption because we have received the Holy Spirit of adoption as sons and daughters (Romans 8:15). In Him (Jesus), you also, after listening to the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13).

The “born again” person is now forgiven, renewed, gifted with eternal life, indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit, adopted into God’s family, and transferred into God’s Kingdom.

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