Becoming "Born" Again

This term first appears in the Bible in John 3...


"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him."
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How ....
Jesus answered,... Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
John 3:1-7
(click scripture reference above to read entire story)


                                        To understand this Biblical term, it is necessary to understand
                                                                       that there are


The "first" birth is the PHYSICAL BIRTH, when you were born into this world, conceived by your biological parents. In the particular passage above, the statement, being "born of water", is speaking about the physical birth and NOT baptism.



This is not meant to minimize water baptism, for water baptism is a commandment given by Jesus, and Himself became the example, and this commandment should absolutely be followed by those who have become born again. At this point in scripture (John 1), John, "who was a man sent from God", has just instituted and began preaching and practicing this "Light", which was Christ, and the message of "receiving Him".  It would have been easier for Christ to have baptized Nicodemus, if this were truly the way to Him; a) it was night, and b) Nicodemus was accustomed to following "religious ordinances".  


But Jesus was speaking of something far greater than a religious act.  He was speaking of accepting Him as being the Christ.  This act of confession would surpass all borders of Nicodemus' religious philosophy.

 This confession would have cost Nicodemus, not only his position -Chief Ruler of the Jews, but it would have cost him his life!  An individual can attempt to 'gain Christ', by following every single act of works in God's Word.  However, no one can receive salvation by merit or any type of 'works'.  It is by faith, in the acceptance of Christ, God's only begotten Son, and allowing the atonement He paid - His precious, spotless, sinless blood to be applied to our hearts.  Then, and only then, is a person 'ready' to follow through with the ordinances that Christ and His Word, has set before us; such as, water baptism, baptism in the Holy Ghost, being witnesses unto Him, etc. -(and there are so many more to follow).  

If a person has not firstly, accepted Him as Lord and repented (turned completely) from their sins, then any act, no matter what it may be, becomes 'religious'.  Water baptism would be an easy task for an individual....but "taking on Christ"....this requires faith and true sacrifice.  We are then saying 'no' to ourselves, our ways, our ambitions, our goals...and choosing to follow Christ and be fully committed to His ways!  This is why Jesus said, "You must be 'born again'".  When a person is truly born again, it brings about a change in that persons 'take on Christ' and become like Him!


John 3:5,22

Jesus answered,Verily,verily,I say unto thee, Except a man be born G1080 of water G5204 and of the Spirit, G4151 he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.


(see Greek references for scripture above)
 G1080  gennao ghen-nah'-o From a variation of G1085; to procreate (properly of the father, but by extension of the mother); figuratively to regenerate: - bear, beget, be born, bring forth, conceive, be delivered of, gender, make, spring.  


G5204, hudor hudatos hoo'-dor, hoo'-dat-os, etc. From the base of G5205; water (as if rainy) literally or figuratively: - water.


G4151  pneuma pnyoo'-mah From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, or (superhuman)(divine) God, Christ's spirit- life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590.

Jesus could have chosen the phrase 'baptized in water', had He meant just that.  However, He is giving 'simple' explanation to a very religious man (Nicodemus), on what it means to become, born again. When Christ spoke of baptism (water) in His Word, He was very clear and distinct; (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; John 3:22) ....but as you have noticed, He used the word "born" - and reiterates this by a 'physical' explanation to Nicodemus; "...that which is born of flesh is flesh..."


                                                      "If I have told you earthly things,and ye believe not,
                                                       how shall ye believe,if I tell you of heavenly things?"


The "second" birth is a SPIRITUAL BIRTH, which means to be born of the "Spirit" (God's Holy Spirit). This raises a couple of questions: Why does a person need to be born spiritually?...and, What is a "spiritual" birth? The Bible teaches that man is created in the image of God. There is only one God (Mark 12:29). Yet God, as only He can do, manifests Himself to mankind in the Persons of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Likewise, mankind is composed of a body, soul, and spirit:


Our body is the "tent" you could say, of the soul and spirit (the body is the temporary dwelling place).


Our soul is composed of the heart (to feel), the mind (to think), and the will (to decide).


Our spirit is dead in sin when we are born; that is, we are born void of God. No person is ever born with God. The only exception is the Lord Jesus Christ who came as God in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). Our spirit is dead in trespasses and sin the Bible says...


The unsaved person cannot understand God... 1 Corinthians 2:14

The reason why you need to be "spiritually" born is because you have never been spiritually born to begin with.

So when the Bible speaks of being "born again," it actually means "born for the second time." You were born physically into this world, but you were born without the Spirit of God in your soul (spiritually dead). Yes, God created you, but He gave you a freewill to decide for yourself where you will spend eternity. God never forces anyone to accept Christ as their Savior, He simply offers a warm invitation to anyone who wants to have their sins forgiven. Salvation is a free gift (Romans 5:15), paid for by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). We must accept God's gift of eternal life or it WILL be forever forfeited when we leave this world (die).


Isn't it incredible that God leaves the choice to us?  Think about it. There are many things in life we can't choose. We can't, for example, choose the weather. We can't choose to control the economy.  We can't choose whether or not we are born with a big nose or blue eyes or a lot of hair. We can't even choose how people respond to us.
But we can choose where we spend eternity. The big choice, God leaves to us. The critical decision is ours.


What are you doing with God's invitation?


To be "spiritually" born means that God's Holy Spirit "quickens" (or makes alive) your dead spirit. When you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, trusting Him alone to forgive all your sins--then, you can say, I have God living in my soul. I am not God, but I have God living within. A person cannot understand the Bible without the presence of the Author, and God is the Author. But once you become born again, you will then begin to understand many new things for the first time in your life... We are born again by faith in Jesus Christ, who became the Word of God, in the flesh. (John 1:1,14; Revelation 19:13).


Perhaps you say, "That born again stuff makes no sense to me." Well, most people can't explain how a black cow can eat green grass, give white milk, and then it's turned into yellow butter...but they still eat it!


The GOOD NEWS (God's Word) is, that it is very EASY to experience the second birth, i.e., a spiritual birth.


God came down to this earth some 2,000 years ago and took upon Himself the form of a man. 'That man' was the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1,14; 1 Timothy 3:16).


Jesus was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
Jesus never sinned once (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus died, was buried and rose again after three days (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Jesus shed His blood to pay for all our sins (Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19), and applied that blood to the Mercy Seat in Heaven (Hebrews 9:24-26).


If you believe that Jesus is the Savior (the Christ) who willingly gave himself and paid the 'once and for all price' for your sins, and you realize your sinful condition (your need for this Savior), then you're ready to become, as Christ mandated for mankind to be, .... born again. All you need to do is repent; i.e., surrender your life & turn for your ways, to Jesus Christ, and believe Him, by faith, to forgive your sins and save you.
Salvation is of the heart
(Romans 10:10).


Pray, by simply asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins and tell Him that you're trusting Him as your Savior, the Lord of your life. It matters not exactly what you pray, just as long as you realize these two main truths:

1. You are a guilty sinner under the condemnation of God's Law!


2. Jesus is the Savior who shed His blood to take away your sins and give you ETERNAL LIFE!

If you sincerely asked Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Lord, then you are now part of God's family. Perhaps you prayed, "God be merciful to me a sinner." The thief on the cross simply asked Jesus to "remember" him, and Jesus most certainly did, without any reservation, for He knew his heart. There is nothing "magic" about the words you pray, it is your faith (trust) in Jesus Christ that saves you. It is His Spirit that draws you, and your faith that causes you to call upon Jesus, asking Him to forgive your sins.
                                             God wants to save you more than you could ever want to be save
(2 Peter 3:9).


You see, salvation is very simple. We are sinners, and Jesus is the Savior; He is "the Way, the Truth and the Life". There is no religion involved here, ONLY Jesus. Salvation is NOT found in a religion, but in a Person---The Lord Jesus Christ.


You may say, this just can't be - I'm right & you're wrong!  
So, let's look at your point.  

If in the end,  God never existed, if Jesus did not come as Christ, the Messiah - God's only begotton son, to become the supreme sacrifice for man's sin, if God's Word was a myth, if there is no life after death, then we have merely become 'good people'.  BUT, if in the end (& that time is so very soon), I'm right & you're wrong, then my friend, you have missed it all!  Eternity will begin for you & there will be no second chance!  What a tragedy!  Think about it...eternity without God, without peace, nothing but torment, in a bottomless, unending pit...that burns with fire & brimstone & where there are no exits!  ETERNAL...... DAMNATION!
Yes, what if I'm right...& you're wrong?

(and by the way, I AM right....& how do I know?  Because He's changed my life; once a 'hood' (drug user) with a record, but INSTANTLY CHANGED by the power of Christ!  I once was lost, but now I'm found!  
It's real....
and it's FOR YOU, if you will accept!)

Other Bible verses concerning salvation:

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one"
Romans 3:10 (KJV)
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23 (KJV)
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:23 (KJV)
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8 (KJV)
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16 (KJV)
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
John 3:3 (KJV)
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name"
John 1:12 (KJV)
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6 (KJV)
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12 (KJV)
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Romans 10:13 (KJV)
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
"(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"
2 Corinthians 6:2 (KJV)

Although these verses come from the New Testament, you may ask, WHY NOT the Old Testament?  Good question....I'll answer.


EVERYTHING, beginning in Genesis, when Adam & Eve disobeyed God; they "sewed fig leaves together" (when their eyes were opened & they saw their nakedness)  ....this 'doing' was not good enough - it's what MAN "thought"...."works", if you will.......but "God made clothes of skin".....there was a "bloodshed" that took place.


Throught the entire Old Testament, all of the animal was the "bloodshed" that 'forgave' man's sin.

The Tabernacle.....points to Christ.....the priest placing "blood" on the 'mercy seat'.....the ENTIRE OLD TESTAMENT POINTS TO CHRIST!


*...and actually, there are MANY, MANY more scriptures through out the Bible that speaks of salvation.



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