What exactly does it mean to become ‘Born-again’ ?

What exactly does it mean to become ‘Born-again’  ?


In the Gospel of John we have an interview between Jesus and a very influential leader named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was wealthy and a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of the Jewish nation. He probably fasted several times a week, spent time each day praying in the temple, tithed his income and was apparently a noted religious leader. He would of been considered a good Christian in some circles today, in fact far better than many of us.

But Jesus said that all Nicodemus’ goodness wasn’t enough. Instead Jesus told him “You must be born again”. Jesus went on to explain this new birth- this spiritual regeneration which is accomplished only by The Holy Spirit.

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  (John 3:8)

There is something mysterious about this. We cannot fully understand how the new birth comes to us. It is from above, not from the earth or from within our human nature. It comes because of the Love and Grace of God.  It comes because of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It comes because of the action of the Holy Spirit.

Now one can imagine what a shock it must have been to Nicodemus or to any religious person to learn that religion is not enough. It never is. Nicodemus came to Jesus addressing Him as a teacher come from God. But Jesus knew Nicodemus as He knows all men, and Jesus knew that he needed more than a teacher- he needed a Savior, he needed more than religion, he needed regeneration, he needed more than the Law, he needed life.

Jesus got right to the point and told him “You must be born again”.   Nicodemus asked, “How can a man be born again? Surely he cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time. And here Jesus pointed out the dissimilarity in the two births. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Jesus knew what lies in the hearts of all men, including the corruption of good intentioned religiosity. The fatal disease in all mankind that causes lying, cheating, hate prejudice, greed and lust. This is called SIN.

For sin is the violation of God’s law that prevents man from functioning in his God intended purpose.

“All of us like sheep have gone astray, each has turned to his own way. Through one man sin entered the world and death through sin and so death spread to all men, because all have sinned.” (Isaiah 53:6)

Thus a radical change is needed in the inner being of every person. This is a change that no person can earn or do of himself. It is a change that science cannot accomplish for man. It is something that only God can and must do.

You see a person can be sincere, but be sincerely deceived or sincerely wrong.

“There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death”. (Proverbs 14:12)

Sincerity isn’t enough if the object of belief is not true. Jesus taught that simply practicing religion doesn’t excuse anyone.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean”.   (Matthew 23:25-26)

“For I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again”. (John 3:3)

For more questions and answers, please download full document: worlds_objections


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