Is there biblical basis for born again Christianity?
The biblical basis for born again Christianity is clear. The term was originally spoken by Jesus in John 3:3: “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” Born again here means “born from above.”
Nicodemus then asked Jesus. “How can someone be born when they are old? Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Then Jesus replied in verse 5, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” This encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus gave us the term, “born-again Christianity.”
Being born again is a spiritual change transforming or renewing us by way of God’s Spirit as shown in the following verses:
“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).
“…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, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well” (1 John 5:1).
Born again Christianity – The Results
As humans, all of mankind is born with a sin nature because of the original sin by Adam. Our sin1 is washed away and forgiven when we accept Christ. Being born again does not mean we won’t still have struggles, temptations, and trials in life but by our transformation we can know that God and His Holy Spirit will help us overcome them with victory.
If you continue reading 1 John 5:1-5 you will see this letter addresses ‘overcoming’ our sin and temptations in the world: “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
These verses further explain our redemption and transformation when we are born again:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24).
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:18-20).
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
Being born again is necessary to reap the reward of the inheritance God promised all who believe in Him. Because He loves us, He wants that none should perish or die without a relationship with God. It is by His provision through Jesus that we can spend eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom.
1 Sin is defined by Charles Ryrie as “Any defection from God’s standards; missing the mark.”
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