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Simple definition of “a born again”

Simple definition of “a born again”

Welcome back to my blog, thank you so much for clicking the link! You are amazing and may our wonderful God continually bless you in the name of Jesus. Amen. Today I am talking about what it means to be a born-again. Many of us have "interesting" ideas about this phrase "Born again". I hope you are blessed and recharged as you read this, Amen.

For the longest time, being born again was defined by the external attributes of a person. We see that sister with the longest skirt, baggy blouse, no-make and no earrings and we automatically say "That one be born-again sister" and we go on to say "A man that wear ripped jeans and earring, and a calls himself a born again? Never". Why are we so fixated on the looks of a person to determine that they have been justified?

We all remember the story of Nicodemus in John chapter 3, Where Jesus said "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" in John 3:3(KJV). This was the first time the word "born again" was used in the King James Version of the Bible.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

So in the words of Jesus, being born again (a.k.a spiritual rebirth) is being born of water and of the spirit. So we may be wondering what does "born of water and of the spirit" mean? Is this water baptism and Holy Ghost baptism? To answer these questions, let's go to the scriptures (our guide for all things) to see what water and spirit mean in relation to being born again.

1 Peter 1:23, KJV: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

Born of water means born of the word of God, the word of God has cleansing properties. It washes and makes things new while being born of the spirit is being born of the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is an outward expression of an inward experience i.e water baptism is symbolic to signifies that you have been cleansed by the word of God internally.

Titus 3:5 KJV: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Being born again is a two-part process that involves the sanctification and cleansing effect of the word and the birthing of a new spirit within us. This is something that happens in our spirit,  through the word of God. It is not something we can earn! It is not something that going to church gives you! It is not something you can inherit from your parents! It is not even visible to the natural world from the moment it happens. It happens when you hear and believe the gospel. The gospel being (1 Corinthians 15:1-5):
  • Christ died for your sins
  • Christ was buried
  • Christ rose again on the third day
This gospel may seem like mere words but there is a power behind hearing it. To everyone that believes there is a regeneration effect on the person's spirit.

Romans 1:16 KJV: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 10:17 KJV: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God 

Back to the question at hand, What does it mean to be born-again? A born again Christian is a person who has heard the gospel and believes that Jesus died for him or her so they can get eternal life. A born again cannot be judged by their looks or speech or church denomination. A born-again did not do anything to accept the gift of salvation. It is freely available to all. A born-again Christian is one that has been justified.

You are probably thinking, what does it mean to be justified? It means you have been declared not guilty and innocent in front of God and you can now stand in his presence clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ just because you believe.  A born-again person is referred to as a believer.

Let me go deeper a bit, to be justified means that God declares you righteous although you did no righteous works, Romans 4:6. God views us as having the perfect righteousness of Christ because he freely gives us the righteousness of Christ. It is as if we had never sinned and never would. This is a place to do a happy dance all because you have received a free gift you did nothing to get.

So let's drop all our worldly thinking in regards to who a born again is. The act of regeneration and cleansing happens in the spirit. It might take a while for someone that got born again to reflect Jesus in their speech, conduct, actions and dress. The spirit is changed instantly but the mind which is the ground for all thoughts takes a while to become renewed to match the regenerated spirit. To explain this further, I will do a blog post on the tenses of salvation. Past tense (Justification), Present tense (sanctification), Future tense (glorification). As for everyone who believes, we are currently in the phase of sanctification that involves the continuous renewing of our mind by the Holy Spirit through studying and meditating on the word of God. It is a continuous process until Jesus comes to take us home. Just stay on that path of imputed righteousness, you may stumble but rise fast and keep your eyes on the destination. 

Let me ring this again, joining a church, getting baptized, going through bible college, confessing our sins to a priest, giving up alcohol, religious good works, sincerity and good intentions are NOT part of getting saved. Religion is never a substitute for salvation. Good works are never a substitute for grace. Everything that we do and think is "good" can never earn us salvation. In actuality, it's our badness that qualifies us to be saved (read Romans 5:8).

Isaiah 64:4 KJV: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 

Philippians 3:9 KJV: 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 

When we believe, we exchange the filthy rags of our sin, (as seen in Isaiah 64:6), for the perfect righteousness of Christ (Philippians 3:9).

When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, God forgave our sins and imputes (freely gives) to us the perfect righteousness of Christ. Think about that and praise God for it. Our sins are paid for and God has already accepted the payment. You are deeply loved by God.

I really hope this changes our mind on what being born again really is. Don't look at people and classify them by outward appearances, it is not the best judge of an inward experience. In our justification, we are one with Christ. Now we look on to our sanctification process to make us think like, act like, speak like and do everything like Christ! Sanctification is very paramount to our transformation process, it's not by your doing, the Holy Spirit transforms you through your communion with God.

"We are justified, not by giving anything to God, - what we do, - but by receiving from God, what Christ hath done for us."" - William Gurnall

With love,

P.S I will be doing a justification series to focus on why we needed to be justified, the benefits of Justification, and other salvation related topics. When you understand your salvation and where you stand with God, you stop living in fear but in a love relationship with God. 


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