Born Again! If you have been around for a while you must have heard this phrase either at church, from that annoying early morning evangelist on your street, your classmates or colleagues, in the bus, on the radio or TV etc. But what does it mean to be born again really?
The phrase ‘Born Again’ was first used in the book of John 3 – The story of Nicodemus. Let’s examine this story.
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. – John 3:1
Isn’t it ironical? The Pharisees were the teachers of the law. They were the custodian of the law and were supposed to know its ins and outs. They wore it on their head and carried it about with them. They were the ones you go to when you have a question about the law; yet this Pharisee wasn’t born again. What this means is you can be a Christian, raised in a loving Christian home where you prayed every day and attended Sunday school yet not be born again. You can even be in a worker in your church right now, live right, fast etc. and still not have been born again. This brings us to our first fact of being born again…
Being Born Again can’t be imputed, passed on, inherited, and acquired through association or length of service. It is a conscious decision!
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3: 3-5
Being born again simply means being born of water and of the Spirit.
To be born means a woman had sex, got pregnant, carried a fetus for 9 months and then in labor brought forth a child. Being born again first of all recognizes that you were first born; this tells us that spirits, ghosts, demons and anything that weren’t born, can’t be born again. This should be obvious but still deserves to be echoed.
There can’t be a born again demon/spirit/devil…it is simply impossible.
Born of Water
This relates to the baptism of water as modelled in the Bible by immersion. (Matthew 3:13 – 17) Jesus (who is God) had first being born of a woman, then he had to get born by water a.k.a get baptized. After Jesus was baptized, He came up immediately out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he (John) saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him (Jesus), and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased and delighted!”
Here we can see something like a naming ceremony occurring…Jesus had just been born of water and then his father comes to name him (recognize him) as his son. Let me break it to you…unless you are baptized in water you are not born again o!
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. – Mark 16:16
…and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, – 1 Peter 3:21
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’ – Acts 22:16
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. – Acts 2:38
Baptism by water typifies the washing of one free from sin, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Baptism is like a cult’s initiation; the public declaration that you agree, affiliate with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ
I would touch lightly on this fact: No other foundation can be laid for us than that laid by Jesus and modelled in the Bible (1 Corinthians 3:11). If all else fails we can always return to see how it was done in the Bible and we would always be in the right. Baptism throughout the Bible was done by immersion and done for people who were mature & conscious enough to understand its significance and purpose. This is the laid down format which should be followed and adhered to to prevent error.
Born of the Spirit
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit – John 3:6
God is Spirit and those we come unto him must do so in Spirit and truth. If God is Spirit and he is our father, it only makes sense that his children would be spirit also innit? This baptism of the Holy Spirit is that process where the Spirit of God overwhelms your spirit with power, your spirit becomes born again and you receive grace to live in this new life. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an event…I say this because some people believe that once you make the declaration to become born again you are immediately filled the Holy Spirit. It can happen all at once but it’s happening is unmistakable.
“Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.” Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.” As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied. – Acts 19:4 – 6
If you’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you would know and it would come with immediate evidence (one or more of the gifts of the Holy Spirit would be given to you as a sign or proof) without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is very impossible to see God or even go to heaven. (before you stone me, consider the scripture below)
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:13 -14
The Holy Spirit is our seal/identifier and the guarantee of our inheritance, our redemption. It’s like your passport or national ID card. You can be born in Nigeria (for instance) but if you don’t have your passport you can’t travel out or into Nigeria. The Holy Spirit is like that passport they check at the airport to confirm that you belong in a particular country. He is the proof of our citizenship of heaven!
In conclusion, To be born again means to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and your savior and make the decision to give your entire life over to him from henceforth. As a result of this decision you are then baptized in water and by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus as your Lord means he makes the decisions, he is the wiser one, he is superior to you (his words, ideas, thoughts, plans are all better than yours), his word is law to you etc.
Jesus as your Savior means you are helpless, you need someone to save you, Jesus was the one who saved you, and you owe him your life!
I ask that you consider all these and ask yourself again…AM I BORN AGAIN?
Join me next week as I discuss the process of becoming born again and how you can know for a fact that you are born again!