Born Again - What Does It Mean?
John 3:1-8 (NIV) Jesus Teaches Nicodemus:
"Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and
said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if
God were not with him." In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God 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 motherís
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 ĎYou
must be born again.í 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.""
From the above verses, we can see Jesus told one of the most religious men of His day, Nicodemus, that he must be born again
in order for him to see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus had come to Jesus one night to enquire about this new doctrine. Nicodemus
was a Pharisee, and a ruler of the Jews. He believed in God, he prayed, fasted, tithed, and attended worship services. He tried
to keep high moral standards, yet even with all of these things going for him, Jesus still told him that in order to enter the
kingdom of God, he must be born again.
You see, it is not by works of righteousness that we have done that saves us, but we are saved according to His mercy by
the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5)
In the Book of Romans 3:23 it tells us every person has sinned and come short of the glory of God.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. Here we can
see that the wages of our sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In Isaiah 64:6 it tells us here that "all our righteousness is as filthy rags" in the sight of our God. Romans 3:20-22
"Therefore, by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of
sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the
righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference."
So let us just summarise the above to see what it means to be born again:
We have been born as babies and grown up to the age that we are now. During the course of our lives, all of us, without
exception have done something wrong. We have all made mistakes, because of our sin (mistakes) we were separated from God,
spiritually dead and doomed to an eternity without God. "But God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish by have everlasting life" (John 3:16)
Because of mankindís sin, God sent His Son, Jesus into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world, that is to
say, the people of the world, might be saved through Him. Jesus Christ came and He lived a sinless life, and He went to the
cross to pay the price for the transgressions of mankind.
In the Book of Isaiah 53:6 (Old Testament) it tells us that God laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all. In verses 4 and 5 of
the 53rd Chapter of Isaiah, we can see that "Jesus bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem Him stricken,
smitten of God and afflicted, but He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement
for our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed."
Mankind had sinned. Sin results in death and separation from God, and ultimately eternity in hell.
"He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; the good seed are
the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the
harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire;
so shall it be in the end of this world.
The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which
do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous
shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 13:37-43)
Jesus Christ came to pay the price to bridge the gap, to buy us and bring us back to God, to give us eternal life, and to
make us once again, Godís children. You see, Jesus told Nicodemus, "You must be born again." We are born once, in our motherís
womb Ė natural childbirth, born of water, but Jesus said we must be born again of the Holy Spirit in order to enter the
kingdom of God. We have to make the decision Ė first realise that we have sinned and our sins have separated us from God and
His blessings. Then we must choose to repent, to turn around from going our own way, to receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour,
and to follow God through obeying His word and His will for our lives.
1 Peter 1:23 says: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and
abideth for ever." The Word is the seed that comes into our heart and causes our faith to grow. Not only must we have Godís
Word in order to be born again, but we must have Godís Spirit. It is not by works or righteousness that we have done, but
according to His mercy He has saved us by the washing and regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). Jesus
said John 6:63, "The Word that I speak unto you is spirit and it is life."
If you have decided to make Jesus your Lord and Saviour, please contact us and
let us know. We would love to assist you in your walk with God.