Meaning of the term ‘Born again’:
The word ‘born again’ is the phrase used in the Holy Bible in John 3: 3. Many people misunderstand the meaning of this phrase ‘born again.’ They literally understand the meaning of that phrase as born again physically. But the actual meaning of the term is a rebirth of the spiritual man.
It means that the spiritual man is dead to the sinful nature that is inbuilt in the soul of the man. The sinful nature of the soul is inherited from the First man Adam who sinned against the word of God. Because of sin, we were all driven away from the presence of God. God created man in His own image and glory. But the man lost the glory of God when he disobeyed the word of God (Romans 3: 23). To save the human race from the penalty of death, Jesus came to the world as a human. He died for the sin of all. He became a sacrifice for all.
To believe in the sacrifice of Christ for mankind makes a spiritual man be reborn and grow in the fullness of the behaviors of Christ.
Gennaṓ and ańōthen were the original terms for ‘born again’ in the Greek text. Gennaṓ means ‘to regenerate,’ and ańōthen means ‘from above’ or ‘anew.’ These terms were used in this context to denote the redemption of the soul from sin.
Who can be a Born again Christian?
When a person knows that he is a sinner, and the wages for sin is death, and there is no way to get redemption from that judgment other than through Jesus Christ. The person who understands that he needs redemption of his soul from sin can become a born again Christian. Ie. He should be able to refuse evil and choose right in the world (Isaiah 7: 15). He must confess the sinful nature of his soul and accept that Jesus Christ is his personal Saviour who can deliver him from sin. He should also believe that salvation is only through Jesus Christ and that Jesus died for his sins and was resurrected again.
How to become a born again Christian?
Through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, the cost of all sins of all human beings is paid. So there is no need for any other sacrifices to be paid for salvation. Jesus died for each and everyone in this world. He gave His own life as a sacrifice and gave salvation to everyone as a gift. The only thing a person must do to receive that gift is to believe Jesus Christ is the Saviour and confess his sins before Him.
Faith is the essential thing that needs to be in a person to become a born again Christian (John 3: 15, 16).
We cannot become a born again Christian by any traditional rituals or any ceremonies. We receive the gift of salvation just by believing the power of Jesus Christ to redeem our souls from sin (Romans 10: 9). Once a person believes in Jesus Christ, he has to confess the same so that he can receive the salvation (Romans 10: 10).
Testimony about the redemption:
The person should give testimony about his redemption through baptism with water (born of water) and with the Holy Spirit (born of Spirit).
Water baptism is a symbolic representation of the sins being washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ. It also denotes that the old spiritual man has died to sin, and now he has become a new creation. The new person has nothing to do with sin (Romans 6: 3, 4; 2 Corinthians 5: 17). The old man is crucified with Christ and now Christ lives in the person.
Born of Spirit means receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us once the spiritual man is reborn. The Holy Spirit, who lives within the born again man, will help him discern between sin and righteousness. When the born again Chrisitan attempts to do wickedness, the Holy Spirit within will warn him to run away from that sin.
The Holy Spirit is a gift given to a person who is born again. When a born again person sins against God, he grieves the Holy Spirit who dwells in him (Ephesians 4: 30).
Transformations in a Born again Christian:
There is a spiritual transformation in the soul when a person accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. He will become eligible to enter into the Kingdom of God (John 3: 5).
When a person becomes a born again Christian, he starts to demonstrate the characteristics of Jesus Christ. He becomes a witness for Jesus Christ and brings more people to the same salvation he received. He is filled with the love and compassion Jesus had for people.
As Galatians 2: 20 says, the new man will be living for the will of God to be done in and through his life.
Galatians 5: 17,24, and 25 tell us that there will be temptations to fulfill the desires of the flesh that will lead to sin. But when the born again person listens to the Holy Spirit, he will not do as per the temptation guides him. Instead, he will live as per the word of God. He will be able to overcome any temptations and stand firm in his faith.
Eternal hope for a Born again Christian:
A person who believes in the death and resurrection Jesus Christ has the hope of eternal life that is promised by Him. It is believed that Jesus went to heaven to prepare a place for those who love and believe Him. He will come again to receive them all and will take them to be with Him forever (John 14: 2, 3).
A person becomes eligible for entering into this joyful eternity with Jesus only when they repent from their sins and accept Him as their Lord and Saviour. The salvation of a person has to be renewed every day until the end of his life. The person should have a proper relationship with God every day through prayers and by being devoted to the word of God. This is done by reading the Bible.
Not everyone who is reborn and gets the gift of the Holy Spirit will go to heaven at the end of times. To receive this joyful eternity, one must be willing to do the will of God till the end of life. This must be done despite all the trials and temptations of life (Matthew 24: 13).