it mean to be a born
Question: "What does it mean
to be a born again Christian?"
Answer: What does it mean to be a
born again Christian? The classic passage from the Bible that answers this
question is John 3:1-21. The Lord Jesus Christ is talking to Nicodemus, a
prominent Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin (a ruler of the Jews). Nicodemus
had come to Jesus at night. Nicodemus had questions to ask Jesus.
As Jesus talked with Nicodemus, He
said, “’I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom
unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus
asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be
born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom
of God unless he is born of water and the
Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You
should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:3-7).
The phrase "born again"
literally means "born from above." Nicodemus had a real need. He
needed a change of his heart—a spiritual transformation. New birth, being born
again, is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the person who
believes (2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7;
5:1-4, 18). John 1:12,13 indicates that "born again" also carries the
idea "to become children of God" through trust in the name of Jesus
The question logically comes,
"Why does a person need to be born again?" The Apostle Paul in
Ephesians 2:1 says, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses
and sins..." (NKJV). To the Romans in Romans 3:23, the Apostle wrote,
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." So, a
person needs to be born again in order to have their sins forgiven and have a
relationship with God.
How does that come to be?
Ephesians 2:8-9 states, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through
faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that
no one can boast." When one is "saved," he/she has been born
again, spiritually renewed, and is now a child of God by right of new birth.
Trusting in Jesus Christ, the One who paid the penalty of sin when He died on
the cross, is what it means to be "born again" spiritually. "Therefore,
if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has
come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
If you have never trusted in the
Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, will you consider the prompting of the Holy
Spirit as He speaks to your heart? You need to be born again. Will you pray the
prayer of repentance and become a new creation in Christ today? "Yet to
all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to
become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human
decision or a husband’s will, but born of God" (John 1:12-13).
If you want to accept Jesus Christ
as your Savior and be born again, here is a sample prayer. Remember, saying
this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Christ
that can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your
faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. "God, I know
that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ
took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be
forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful
grace and forgiveness—the gift of eternal life! Amen!"
Have you made a decision for
Christ because of what you have read here? If so, please click on the "I
have accepted Christ today" button below.
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named
Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at
night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God.
For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no
one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?”
Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s
womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no
one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.
6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You
should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind
blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it
comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand
these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we
testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will
you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven
except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up
the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that
everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his
one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the
world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not
condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they
have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the
verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of
light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light,
and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen
plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.