Are you Born again?
Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader, came to Jesus with questions. As he complemented Jesus and acknowledged His miracles, wisdom, and that He was from God, Jesus challenged him. He told him that he must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God! This perplexed Nicodemus; “How can I do that?” he said, thinking he had to climb back into his mother’s womb!So what do you think?
Jesus then said, “It is true you have to be born again—not out of your mom but rather out of your will and into God’s. You must be born from God anew; if not, you can’t see the Kingdom for understanding spiritual things or encounters. Just as a woman gives life to her baby, God gives life to His children so we are born of the Spirit.” Do you understand this?
Nicodemus still did not understand. Jesus asked him; “why, as a teacher of the faith, do you not understand? Why, after all that you have heard and seen, do you not believe?” Jesus told Him of His coming sacrifice and how He would be lifted up, just as Moses lifted up the bronze snake, to pay for the sins of humanity, and that those who believed in Him would have eternal life.So what does this the key catchphrase of what it means to be a Christian mean?
Born again? It means conversion, being “born from above” or “rebirth”—that God converts or “re-births” us, that our old life is old and obsolete, useless, and even detrimental, and it is no longer who we are. This term was also used by the Romans when someone adopted a child and that child’s former identify, family, and status were relinquished and his or her new Roman citizenship took over.
The Jews used this as a term that referred to a new convert who would sever all ties to any former religion and ethnicity. This also means regeneration; Christ changes us by His act of sending the Holy Spirit to supernaturally renew us. We were dead in sin; now, because of Christ, we can have newness of life. This is paramount because we can’t earn or achieve our salvation by any other means besides the work of Christ; without Grace, we cannot be forgiven or move forward in our spiritual life here or gain eternal life.
We have been given a new life and new nature, one that is in Christ. Being born again means we are born from above by God. It is the work of the Spirit (John 3:3-6; Rom. 3:9-20; 8:14; 1 Cor. 12:3; Gal. 4:6; 5:22-23; 1 Pet. 1: 3-12, 22-2:3; 4: 1-11) because we cannot do it on our own.
Did you know that everyone is condemned because of sin; no one can ever escape it. No one since Adam and Eve has ever been born right; that is why we have to be born again. All this is a result of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of redemption, His permanence, and His love for us. He lived, died, and rose again for you and me! This is the primary theme for being a real, saved Christian where Jesus Christ is one’s Lord and Savior; we are born again because God adopts and changes our nature as in starting again as new (Jer. 1:11-12; Ezek. 36:24-27; Micah 1:10-15; John 3; 7:37-39). In Jesus’ time, this phrase also referred to Gentiles who converted to Judaism. Now, He switches it to those who will convert to Christ as the new living Hope, inheritance, security, and God. Thus, the question implied is, what are we doing with it now? Our new life must produce results (Deut. 6:4-9; 11:17-20; Jer. 1:11-12; Micah 1:10-15; John 1:12-13; 19:11-13; Rom. 9:7-8; 2 Cor. 5:17-20; 2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; Titus 3:5; James 1:17-18; 3:15-17).So?
Being born again is our eternal rebirth and beginning of our new spiritual and effectual lives. It is all about the work of God in us, His work that comes into our being. It can’t come from us or be produced from our works or thinking. It is not about “me” or what I have done or can do; it solely rests on His Person and His Work, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ filling us. It is mysterious and undeserved. It is hard to explain to or be examined by a person who is saved and impossible to fathom to a person who does not know Christ. It is the depths of what it means to be a Christian as our lives are now with God and all about God. We are new, even though we may look the same on the outside. All is new in our soul on the inside. This is what gives us our new life, our purpose and reason for living and being. It is not just the entrance to the Christian life, it is the Christian life--our intimacy with Christ and dedication to His Sovereignty and Lordship. Our old nature has been swapped out, transfigured for His; our lives have been totally turned around from self-focused to Christ-focused, from carnal to faithful, from prideful to loving, from self-interested to fruitful and obedient. We can’t earn our favor with God, but we can run and live our lives for Him through His commands, nurture, and help. This is where not just our life comes from, but also our morality and ethics for decision-making and our righteousness for conformity to His will.
We need to all ask ourselves, is there a hunger in me for more out of my relationship with Christ? If so, what do I need to do to get there? If not, what is holding me back?