What does Born-Again mean?

The phrase “born again” (anagennaó) means “born from above.” Jesus mentioned it three times in the Book of John. Today, it is overused as a label to say “true Christian.”

Bible verses that mentioned the word “Born-Again”

  • John 3:3 – “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
  • John 3:5 – “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
  • John 3:7 – “Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again.”
  • 1 Peter 1:23 – “Since you have been born again—not of perishable seed but of imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God.”

Born of “Water” & “Spirit” is being “Born again”

Christ’s point was that without the cleansing of the soul by the Holy Spirit (Born of water; Titus 3:5) and the Word of God (Born of Spirit; Eph. 5:26), no one could enter God’s kingdom.

This cleansing is wholly the work of God and NOT of human effort. (John Macarthur)

“Born of water & Spirit” is parallel to “born again” (John 3:5). In other words, “born of water and the Spirit” cannot refer to two births. Rather, it refers to one birth. (Don Carson)

John 3:5 is not referring to water baptism. Being “born of water” is used by Jesus to refer to natural birth (amniotic fluid). Born of the “Spirit” is a spiritual birth. Jesus explained to Nicodemus his need to be “born from above.” Water baptism is not necessary for salvation because faith alone saves us. Water baptism is an expression and declaration of this saving faith.

A real “Born Again” dies to himself daily

It is also known as ‘regeneration,’ a RADICAL change in a person’s life. It is “Dying to self” and allowing Jesus to breathe “new life” into one’s darkened soul and spirit. It is a growth process as we live a life of daily faith and repentance.

Colossians 3:3
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

→ The promises of Jesus to His followers.

A real “Born Again” Bears Fruit

Today, “Christian + Born-Again + Believer” is a catchphrase for salvation. A better phrase is “follower of Jesus.” However, many follow Him for what they can get and not for who He is. Hence, fake Christianity.

A Christian “Bears Fruit.” Notice that the word fruit is in a singular form, although there are seven of them. Jesus desires for us to have it all. (Galatians 5:22)

2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.”

God’s Spirit indwelling in us through Jesus cleanses and make our “dead spirit” alive in Christ. We are “born-again” as a result of Christ’s sole ability to regenerate us.
READ MORE:
The Fake Christianity of Cheap Grace.
Checklist of a true Christian.

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