Born Again Christian
Born Again Christian – The Meaning
The term “born again Christian” is an often misunderstood. If we look to its original reference, we see that the meaning is not about a physical birth, but about receiving a spiritual renewal. Since the original sin in the garden by Adam (Genesis 3), all mankind is born in a corrupted state by inheritance. It is by that our soul needs to be reborn—made pure and righteous again—the way God created us to be. He provided the way for this to happen, but because God gave us free will, we have a choice to accept it or not.
The term in the original Greek text is gennaṓ (born) meaning “to regenerate” and ańōthen (again) meaning “from above, anew.” Both meanings are consistent with the redeeming purpose. The label of Christian (Christianos) means “follower of Christ.” The born again Christian has accepted this supernatural transformation from sin to righteousness, evil to good.
Born Again Christian – Who Can Be Born Again
Our first given example of becoming a born again Christian was a man named Nicodemus. It was a radical declaration when “born again” was first spoken by Jesus to this man. His story is in John 3:1-23 where Jesus told Nicodemus, “…no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” In verse 6 Jesus explains “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the spirit.”
Like with Nicodemus, being born again is not based on your nationality or ethnicity; it is personal. God’s gift of rebirth is not through our human effort or merit, but comes through God’s mercy alone. Titus 3:5 tells us, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
The new birth is an illustration of God’s Spirit and is not performed or achieved by religious ceremony or traditional rite. The Bible states that God is not a respecter of persons; being old or young, rich or poor, male or female makes no difference (Acts 10:34). Becoming born again is a personal choice, open for everyone to receive.
The way to become a born again Christian is clearly presented in God’s Word:
We recognize we are sinners (Romans 3:23) and that the penalty for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). Because of our sin, we can’t know and experience God’s love and we are spiritually separated from Him. To remedy our situation, God sent His only Son to die in our place—to take the penalty for our sin (Romans 5:8). After Jesus’ death, He rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). Jesus is our only way to God (John 14:6) and He gives us the gift of salvation. We can receive God’s gift through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and experience new birth (John 3:1-8). Receiving Jesus means trusting Him to come into our lives to forgive our sins and make us what He desires.
“Father, I know I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.”
Born Again Christian – What Can I Expect?
When we become born again Christians we will begin to see changes in our lives that we cannot explain in the natural. We do not forfeit who we are, but we become a better and healthier person.
- We will see an increase in our love and compassion for others.
- We will still experience obstacles and trials in life, but we will handle them better and have the knowledge that God is working in our lives.
- We will have a sincere yearning to be pleasing to God and to live in obedience to Him.
- Some have received immediate release from addictions.
- Marriages and relationships may be restored.
- We may be motivated to do things we have always desired, but thought we were not good enough or unworthy to pursue.
- We will have a desire to serve God and share His love and Gospel with others.
- We will hunger for more of God. This hunger will result in studying God’s Word (the Bible) and seeking His will in our lives. The more we get to intimately know God, the closer we become to Him.
If you decided to become a born again Christian today, welcome to God's family. Now, as a way to grow closer to Him, the Bible tells us to follow up on our commitment.
- Get baptized as commanded by Christ.
- Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
- Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying to Him and reading His Word. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.
- Seek fellowship with other Christians. Develop a group of Christian friends to answer your questions and support you.
- Find a local church where you can worship God.
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