The phrase “born again” literally means to experience a new birth. A Pharisee once asked Jesus how can one be born again when one is too old. He added that it would be impossible for a person to enter his/her mother’s womb again. And we all know that we only have one life. So what did Jesus mean in John 3:3 when He said that no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born again? Most non-Christians and even some Christians themselves may be unfamiliar or know very little about the term “born again Christian”. Its meaning is not about physical birth, but about experiencing spiritual renewal, accepting faith in Jesus Christ. In this article, through the bible, we will learn who is considered to be born again.
What Is A Born Again Christian?
To be born again is a spiritual concept that was introduced by Jesus Christ when He was teaching. The term “born again” was mentioned 4 times in the Bible and in the New Testament alone. Although this term is often associated with Protestantism, it is an important concept to all Christian faith. Being a born again Christian does not pertain to any physical rebirth. It is the rebirth of our hearts and souls. The moment that we decide to turn away from the sin of the world and listen to God’s word, the Holy Spirit will start to work in us. God will start to shine His light upon us and guide us through life. Through His grace and wisdom that He has bestowed, we’ll be able to walk on a different road. We had come to know the wonders of His love and the mysteries of life.
After our rebirth, we will be able to embody God’s love to other people. The ability to love genuinely, to understand deeply, and to be compassionate will come naturally to us. Even the vices that had once chained us to an unhealthy routine can be removed from our system. A born again Christian finds God’s light, walks on it, and shines through it. The moment that we turn to Christ and His teachings, it means that we are ready to enter a new phase of our lives. A born again Christian will be a different person than they were before they knew the gospel and received the fruit of the Holy Spirit. And because of this, our morals, views of the world, and everything about us are renewed.
The First Born Again Christians
To be known as a born again is a term often used by Protestants when someone accepts Christ as their savior. However, the first born again Christians are those who had followed Jesus during his ministry. These first born again Christians believed that Jesus is the Son of God. These people were baptized by John the Baptist or the Apostles themselves to be one with Jesus. They are those who followed Jesus and lived according to His teachings. These Christians were baptized both in the water and the Spirit of God. Also, the procedure that they went through is the same as what we should go through to be born again in Christ. Using many bible verses about baptism, we are baptized today as a sign symbolizing our commitment to God.
What Does it Mean to be a Born Again Christian?
Being born again can mean many things. Some stereotypes create confusion. In other religions that believe in multiple lives, it can be interpreted as reincarnation. A born again Christian, however, is a person who has turned against sin and accepted the teachings of Christ. The moment we are born again through the spirit of God, we become a part of God’s family. Wait, are we not a part of God’s family from the beginning?. The answer is yes. Yet, we have rebelled against God. Humanity has done things that are unholy in front of God because it satisfies the nature of our flesh. And because of these sins, we had lost the right to inherit the internal life and live forever in His kingdom.
Living in sin and trespasses deemed had made us spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). It was also written in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned against God and for that reason, we have fallen short of His glory. Hence, we need to be born again through the spirit of God. Only through being born again will our relationship with God be mended. Our sins have been forgiven through Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice. And because Jesus had already paid the wages of our sins, He has paved a way for us to be a part of God’s family.
How Do We Become a Born Again Christian?
2 Corinthians 5:17 says that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation, he has been born again. Believing that Jesus is the Son of God is the way to be a born again Christian. After knowing how Christ saved us from the fiery pits of hell and to partake in His suffering, we must repent of our sins. When we realize we have sinned, we should humble ourselves, confess our sins to God, and ask for forgiveness. After we are baptized, we are born again, a new person cleansed of sin and saved through Christ.
But repenting and being baptized does not guarantee salvation. It requires work. We should continuously give an effort to strengthen our faith by continuously listening and reading the word of God. Practicing what we learn is also an essential part to grow more as a Christian. Being a born again Christian does not mean that we will always be free from sin. It just means that we know what is considered sinful and should try our best to avoid sinning. Also, being a born again Christian doesn’t guarantee that we will not experience hardships. In fact, we may experience it more than we are outside faith. But God will guide us through these challenges and through them, we will discover more about our faith.
When Should We Become a Born Again Christian?
There is no specific time to be baptized. To be a born again Christian is not just something that we should accomplish. It should not be treated as a task that we choose to do at will. Rather, it involves a commitment and firm resolution. The moment that we decide to be a born again Christian, we should be ready to put down unholy things. The habit or routines that the Bible considers to be abominable should be removed from our system. We should also be open to new sets of morals and Biblical virtues that our leaders can teach us.
To be a born again Christian we cannot do it by our desire alone. It will be fulfilled through the will of God. After we have been baptized, our desire to be faithful will be important to strengthen our faith. It is our job to ensure that our relationship with God remains strong.
Differences Between a Christian and a Born Again Christian
The difference between a Christian and a born again Christian is the way that they are addressed. Some people tend to misunderstand the phrase “born again Christian”, thinking that it is a different variety of Christianity; but it is not. To be called a “Christian” means that one believes in Christ. And to be born again is to accept the teachings of Jesus. Jesus said that one can enter the kingdom of God when one is not born again. Hence, it is safe to say that all Christians are born again. Although there are different denominations of Christianity, they all teach about why we should be baptized.
If you search for the differences between born again Christians and second-generation Christians, you can find groups or individuals who say that born again Christians have a better relationship with God. Although we want to respect the beliefs of everyone, it is wrong to make assumptions that are not of the Bible. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that we are all saved by grace, not by our works. Instead of creating distinctions, we should focus more on strengthening our faith in Christ together. We should discuss what is right in God’s eyes and correct each other with love and compassion rather than fighting about our differences. We should focus on Christ.
The Birthing Conclusion
We might think that being a born again Christian is something that we must do or accomplish. But if we were to consider the word “birth”, it is something that naturally comes to a person. With or without his/her desire, a person will be born. It is not something that we can choose to accept or reject. Although being born again is not the same as a physical birth, the process of rebirth is the same. God sees our hearts and knows our intentions. He can see if we are ready to repent. Hence, we should seek Him wholeheartedly to be able to find Him and His grace.
John 1:12-13 says that we will receive the Holy Spirit of God through rebirth. Through believing in Jesus’ name, we are able to be called His children. This verse mentions that to be born again does not require the will of flesh or blood. It is solely through the will of God. Some of us may be called to fulfill His purpose at a young age, while some at a later age. But we are all called to preach and teach His word. It is for us to become a part of God’s family again and to rekindle our relationship with Him. And when the time comes, we will be able to join Him in His kingdom.