You must be born again
Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (John 3:3).
Welcome to Spiritual Matters, a new column in this newspaper that aims to teach Christians and non-Christians alike about Jesus Christ the Son of God, and the full scope of His doctrine and counsel in a way you can easily apply to your own life.
We begin with the subject of becoming a Christian through being ‘born again’, an experience which is the entry point to any true contact with God. Forget the populist and inclusive positions of some people, there is only one way to God – His Son Jesus Christ.
Think about it: how could there be many ways to God? God is not confused!
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the first person to have used the term ‘born again’, when he was teaching Nicodemus, a Pharisee. Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:3, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’
Bear in mind that Nicodemus was a religious leader at a very senior level. He must have felt closer to God than most of his contemporaries, especially considering that he was not only a Jew, but also a Pharisee, the strictest sect of the Jewish religion.
But on this night, Jesus took him by surprise. He made Nicodemus know that although he was very religious and thought he knew so much about God, he was not in touch with God because he hadn’t yet been born again! Today this is still a valid message. You may belong to a church and may be a respected member thereof, but are you born again?
What is to be born again? Well, in the New Testament the term ‘born again’ refers to a ‘spiritual rebirth’ (regeneration) of the human person, contrasted with the physical first birth everyone experiences. It means that you accept everything the Scriptures teach about Jesus Christ, His birth, mission, life, death, resurrection and the blessed hope of His second coming. After accepting it, you then receive a Person – Jesus Christ – into your heart and give yourself over to Him, to serve Him and live for His glory. Amen.
The Apostle Paul summed it up well in 1 Corinthians 15:1- 4: Moreover, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand; By which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached to you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.
Here Paul sums up the gospel message. For you to be born again and become a part of God’s family, you must believe these scriptural claims with your heart and say so out loud with your mouth before God, and then before people.
That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation (Romans 10:9-10).
If you do this, you will experience newness of life from Christ. In your inmost being, in your spirit, you will be recreated and infused with the life of God. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.
It’s okay to belong to a church, but church membership can’t save you. You need Jesus Christ to come into your heart and make you a new creature. Some of you are living artificial lives. People see you and think all is well but you’re rotting inside. There’s no life, no joy.
Come to Jesus Christ today and be saved.
I’m referring here to an experience of conversion, which should afterwards be symbolised by water baptism, rooted in commitment to one’s personal faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. A metaphorical rebirth occurs when a person accepts Jesus as the Messiah and receives the Holy Spirit.
To be ‘born again’ means new birth, resurrection, new life, new creation, renewing of the mind, dying to sin and living to righteousness and translation from darkness to light, etc.
Jesus Christ used the ‘birth’ analogy in tracing spiritual newness of life to a divine beginning.
Contemporary Christian theologians have provided explanations for ‘born from above’ being a more accurate translation of the original Greek word transliterated an then.
Repeat this prayer with me if you have decided to accept Jesus Christ into your heart and be born again:
Lord Jesus Christ, today I’ve read and understood your Word. I believe with my heart and confess with my mouth that you are Lord, you died for my sins and were raised from the dead on the third day. I accept you into my life as my Lord and my King. Thank you for filling me with your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Congratulations. Now pray about finding a godly church, start reading your Bible and pray daily, for however long you can manage at present. And do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Spiritual Matters group on Facebook.
In His Service,