What does “being born again” mean?
Lydia from the United Kingdom asked me in email, “How can I be born again? Is it by something I sing or put on?”
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9 that “It is by grace (God’s gift) we have been saved and not by works (human effort).” Which goes to help answer Lydia’s question about being born again.
Being born again isn’t something that we do or wear or say or sing. Being born again is something that happens in our heart once we honestly trust God and give our life over to God by accepting Christ Jesus as full payment for our sins. Bring born again is something God does once we confess our sin and accept Christ Jesus as our Savior. Being born again is actually God making you a new creation from within which manifests itself outward in our actions. Now this manifestation may lead us to dress differently and sing different songs due to the way we used to dress and/or sing be a stumbling block for others (1 Corinthians 8:6–9; 2 Corinthians 6:3; Titus 2:7)… yet being born again isn’t something we do, it is something God does within us.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
A long time ago, a Jewish ruler (Nicodemus) came to Jesus and asked the very same question. Nicodemus wondered how in the world a person could be born again when they were already old. Jesus’ answer was very clear. Being born again means becoming part of God’s family—the word “again” literally means “from above”—becoming a child of God. This is different than being born like a baby is born; this birth is a spiritual birth.
So being born again isn’t something that you do like a dance or special clothing to wear. Being born again is something that happens in our heart once we honestly trust God and give our life over to God by accepting Christ Jesus as full payment for our sins. Being born again is actually God making you a new creation from within which manifests itself outward in our actions.
Let me explain. When I was born again into God’s family, my life changed and my heart changed. I knew I was God’s child now. The things I used to do which were not pleasing to God I no longer wanted to do and I started doing more things which God wants us to do such as to be forgiving, loving, and kind and not be scornful, selfish and prideful. I started realizing how much God has given me and thanking God for all He’s given to me. I also wanted to learn more about God. As I read more of the Bible I learned to trust Jesus and understood that without Him I could never get to heaven because only through Christ Jesus is one able to get into Heaven. I wanted to go to church and learn more about what the Bible says.
As time went on I began to love God more and more (as I got to know Him better). I learned that God hated my sins, but that if I was truly sorry for them and if I believed that Jesus died on the Cross so I could be forgiven, then God would forgive me. God forgiving me is what makes me born again.
The timing of and how God manifests you once you are born again may be different than how He did me. However once you accept Christ Jesus as your Savior, you are born again and are a child of God.
Only One Way
The Bible clearly teaches there is only one way, only one door, to heaven, Jesus Christ. Some people claim that there are many different ways to get to God and to heaven. But we need to build our thinking on what the Bible says. Our Bible verses tell us that Jesus is the only way to God. If we look in John 3:3, we see that “Jesus . . . said to [Nicodemus], ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”
A few verses from the Bible which show this are:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
Jesus said, “I [Christ] am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved (John 10:9).
No one can spend eternity with God if he or she is not first born again by believing that Jesus is Lord and that He died and rose again (Romans 10:9). Jesus is the one and only way to God! Think about it this way: In Genesis, we read the account of the Flood and Noah’s Ark. How many ways were there to be saved from the Flood? Just one! To be saved, you had to go through the one door into the Ark (Genesis 6:16). Just like there was just one way to be saved from the Flood, so there is only one way to be saved—through our Savior, Jesus!
Being born again has given me assurance that I will one day be in heaven with God, my Lord and Savior! It can do the same for you. God tells us in His Word that ‘unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (John 3:3). We’re also told in Romans 10:9 ‘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.’
So you can today take Christ Jesus as your Savior and put your trust into Him and be born again becoming a child of God!