Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” John 3:3
If being born again is essential to seeing the kingdom of God, then it is important that we know what it means. What does it mean to be born again?
Peter talks about being born again as well.
having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” 1 Pet 1:23
When you are born for the first time, naturally, you are a new creature. You are born into this world and you breathe your first breath, your eyes see the light of the world, and your skin feels the cold air. Everything is new. This is your natural birth.
The second birth is what Jesus is referring to, and it is a spiritual birth. The reason that Jesus calls it being ‘born again’ is because the experience is very similar to a natural birth. When you make Christ your Savior you are breathing your first spiritual breath. You now have a new life unto God and have begun your spiritual journey. The Apostle Paul says it like this:
if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Co 5:17
A new life begins when we accept Christ.
To help us understand what life is, we should understand what death is. Death simply means separation. When you die naturally, your spirit is separated from your body. Your body is lifeless with out your spirit. So, natural life is when your spirit and your body are united together. Even so, spiritual life is when your spirit and God’s Spirit are united together. That is why Paul says, ‘if anyone is IN Christ…’ He is talking about that union.
So the experience of receiving Christ should be as Jesus and Paul described it: A new birth, not a religious decision. Everything is new. You are entering a new life, a spiritual journey. Your spirit has become alive to God. Your desires are now to serve Him.
I remember when I finally yielded my life to God. I experienced this new birth in a real way. I remember the moment it happened. I was at church and I knelt down at the front and spoke to the Lord, “Today I’ll never be the same again. I give my life to you. I want to follow you Lord.” I never was the same. The joy of God entered my soul. I was full of excitement and desire to serve God. I had the desire to read my bible and pray. But at the same time, I was a baby.
Just like a natural baby, I had a lot to learn and I made A LOT of mistakes. Let me emphasize A LOT! I had a zeal for God, but I was without wisdom and knowledge. I turned many people off because I was brash and just plain stupid sometimes. But thank God that He didn’t give up on me! I remember praying to God so sincerely and earnestly for wisdom and understanding. One night in my bedroom I prayed with tears that God would help me to understand His ways, but I prayed in faith and God heard me. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve come a LONG way, thank God.
Have you experienced this new birth? If you haven’t, then ask the Lord Jesus to become Master of your life. Acknowledge all the evil that you’ve committed against Him, and ask for forgiveness. Make a commitment to serve Him. When you do this, His Spirit of Life will enter your soul and you will be born again! It will be the best thing you will ever do.