What Does It Mean To Be A Born-Again Christian?
Used with permission of Liberty Baptist Church
Are you a born again Christian? Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3) If you want to go to Heaven someday, you must find out what it means to be born again.
How can I be born again when I have already been born once? A very religious man had that same question. "Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" (John 3:4) The answer is, "No, you cannot enter into your mother's womb and start over again--You are too BIG!" And besides that fact, it would not help you to just start physically over again.
To be born again, physically, would not help because you would just start over again with the same old sin nature. The Bible says, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalm 51:5) There is nothing sinful about the way that children are conceived or born. The sinful part is our nature.
Does that mean that evolution is true--that we have a savage nature from animals? No, the earth was not formed by accident, but by God. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
(Genesis 1:1) Man and woman were created directly by God--not through a long process of animal mutations. The Bible says, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)
Evolution is one of the most successful lies that the devil has ever put across on mankind. Why would man rather believe that he evolved from animals than believe that God created him? There is only one reason--if he is here on earth by accident, then there is no God for him to have to answer to one day. But if God created mankind, then one day man has to answer to that Creator. The Bible says, "Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;" (Psalm 100:3) "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:12) "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" (Hebrews 9:27)
If God created us, and evolution had nothing to do with it, then why do we have a sinful nature? God created man perfect--without sin. "So God created man in his own image. . . And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was VERY GOOD." (Genesis 1:27, 31) The reason that we are all born into sin (with a sin nature), is because of Adam and Eve's disobedience. God gave them just one rule. "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)
Just as an expecting mother who is taking drugs causes her baby to be born addicted to and craving the same drugs; even so when Adam and Eve sinned, it caused us to be born with the same sin nature as they--craving sin. The Bible says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Romans 5:12)
Remember what God had specifically told Adam? "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for IN THE DAY that thou eatest thereof THOU SHALT SURELY DIE."
(Genesis 2:17) God clearly said that "the day" that they ate of the forbidden fruit, they would die. We read on, after Adam and Eve sinned, to find out that they did not die physically that day, although God did hand down physical consequences to them.
If Adam and Eve did not die physically the day they sinned, then in what way did they die? That is exactly what Jesus was trying to get Nicodemus to realize--that Adam and Eve died spiritually the day they sinned. "Except a man be born of water AND OF THE SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS SPIRIT. Marvel not that I said unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN." (John 3:5-7) You were brought to life physically, and now you need to be brought to life spiritually.
How do we get spiritually born again? First, there is the matter of repentance. Jesus said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3)
Repentance is not you trying to clean up yourself (that is self-reformation, and doomed to failure). Repentance is you having the desire for God to cleanse you and save you. "Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart," (Joel 2:12) "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10) "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Repentance is forsaking all other religions, gods, and hopes of Heaven; and placing your complete faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
Why is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven? The Bible says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23) The wages for our sin is death, and Jesus paid that price when He died on the cross. As we have already seen, Adam and Eve died spiritually the day they sinned. At that moment, they were separated from God. "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But YOUR INIQUITIES HAVE SEPARATED BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR GOD, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
(Isaiah 59:1-2) Unless this spiritual separation from God is reconciled, (unless you are spiritually born again), you will spend eternity separated from God in the lake of fire. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (Matthew 25:46) "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15) Jesus is the only Way of salvation because . . .
He was born of a miraculous virgin birth. "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." (Matthew 1:23) That means that He had no sin nature like you and I (which we inherited through a natural birth from our parents). Jesus is Almighty God in the flesh.
Jesus then went on to live a perfect life. The judge at his trial said, "I find in him no fault at all."
Jesus then gave his life, his blood, to pay the penalty for our sins. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:8-9) "For the life of the flesh is in the blood:"
(Leviticus 17:11) "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, . . . But with the precious blood of Christ," (I Peter 1:18-19) "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,"
(I Peter 2:24)
Jesus then arose from the grave. "For I delivered unto 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:" (I Corinthians 15:3-4) That proved that His payment was enough to pay for our sins. Jesus is the living Savior Who can save you today. Will you repent of your sins and ask the Lord Jesus to save you and cleanse you from all your sin? Will you trust in Him alone for your salvation? "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" (John 1:12)