What does it mean to be born again?

The Bible character Nicodemus also asked Jesus this, so don’t worry; you’re not alone.

We define Bible terms biblically, and we will be defining the term ‘Born again’ in this article. 

Where was the term ‘Born again’ first used? 

Let’s head right to John 3:3, where Jesus used the term ‘born again’ to show Nicodemus what exactly he was on earth to do. 

John 3:3: Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Jesus never minced words or failed to show that the primary purpose behind his presence on earth was to give men eternal life.

Even when people called him different things because of the signs he did, he never failed to tell them that he was no ordinary prophet but the fulfilment of all that the prophets had spoken, and that he was on the earth to give life to men. 

To understand the meaning of this phrase, we look at the context in which Jesus used it. 

Firstly, the man who is born again in vs 3 will see the kingdom of God. This means that being born again is seeing the kingdom. He explains again in vs 5, that being born again is being born of water and (or even, that is) the Spirit. 

John 3:5: Jesus answered, “Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and (or even) the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (emphasis mine).

So being born again is being born of the Spirit, which means to enter the kingdom of God (vs 5).

The person that is born again is born or begotten of the Spirit of God. 

Later in that chapter, Nicodemus asked Jesus how this ‘born again’ concept would happen, and Jesus told him in vs 13-16 that it would be possible by faith in his death, burial and resurrection.

John 3:13-16: No one has ascended to heaven but he who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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.

That is where we find the popular Jn 3:16, which describes how by the giving of the Son of God people would receive eternal life by faith. 

That means being born again is receiving eternal life by faith and not perishing (vs16). 

Where else was this analogy used?

Another place where this analogy is used is in John 1: 13, which describes how the believer is born of God, not of the flesh or the will of man.

John 1: 13: Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that the man in Christ who has received reconciliation is now a new creature in whom old things are passed away. 

 2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.

James 1:18 in describing the good and perfect gift from God says that we have been begotten by the word of truth which is the gospel. 

James 1:18: Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures,

There are so many other instances explaining the rebirth of the believer in Christ. 

What does this mean for you? 

You are born again. You are born of the Spirit. You have been begotten of the gospel. It is not something that will still happen but something that has happened already if you’re a believer. 

You have received the nature of God into you. The Spirit of God resides in you because you believed.

Your Spirit is one with the Spirit of God. You are dead to sin and alive to God. 

The life of God dwells and has found its permanent home in you. You have been raised from the dead in Christ. You are now alive in God. 

Nothing is missing or lacking in you. You are God’s direct offspring, a son of God. 

What do you do with this information? 

Being born again means a life that is entirely different from the one you had before dwells in you. It is your responsibility to learn of that life. 

And we learn of that life by looking at Jesus. He is the first born of the brethren and we were created in him to conform to his image. As we continue to behold him, all parts of our mind align with who we are. 

Boast in this. Keep it on your mind always. You are alive to God. You are born of God, not just of your earthly parents.

The nature of God dwells in you.

Let this be your consciousness because it is your reality.

Tell others too!

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