Born again is kind of an odd term. What does that mean? Why would one want it? How do we accomplish it? In my previous post, “I am Saved…Now what to do?” I listed some points in how to live a Christian life, what we should do as a church and how to overcome spiritual battles. I think this list answers all three questions. There may be more, but I think I got the meat of it. Comments are welcome if I missed any. I mentioned that I would go into more detail. Today I will cover the first one.
- First, you must be born again. Believe in Jesus Christ and through that you will become a new creation.
Nicodemus came to Jesus and they discussed how one can be saved.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus did not understand what Jesus meant so He went on to explain. I suggest reading the complete story in John 3, but here is the key point:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
We are all sinners and as sinners, condemned. But God provided a way out. He sent His son to be a sacrifice for our sins; He took the sins of the world on His shoulders to the cross that if we believe in Him (believe He is the Son of God, that He died for our sins, that He was raised from the dead, and trust Him to save us and to change us to live for Him), we are saved and will have eternal life.
But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This is how one is born again. When we are born again, we will be changed. The Holy Spirit will dwell in us and lead us to do God’s will, to turn us from our sinful nature and to teach us to be godly. We will continue growing in our faith. We will be a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
As a new creation, what does that mean? We have been saved by the grace of God. Not by what we have done or ever will do, but what He has done for us. We live for Christ. We follow God’s will. Our heart will be changed with love and joy. Our lives will be changed and be fulfilling. (We will go into this more in the coming posts.)
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
The baptism he talks about here is another symbolism as being born again. Our old self has died, our new self is born again. We now live for Christ. He is our salvation. He is our life. We have a fresh start in life.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
As a new believer, God has a plan for us. He will work through us to help others and to build His kingdom. His church (the people of God) have a responsibility to help new believers to grow. To teach them “what next?” To pray for them. We all as believers have a responsibility to lift each other up, to share what God has done for us, to know God (read the scripture and pray) and obey Him. To follow His will for our lives.