Being reborn is the beginning of being a Christian. What does it mean, how do I get it, what happens to me once I do get it?
What does it mean?
Nicodemus, a member of the ruling council of ancient Israel, was afraid of approaching Jesus and being seen. So he came to Jesus in the night. Jesus tells Nicodemus:
“…’I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.'” (John 3:3, NIV)
Nicodemus was very intelligent and was confused by His answer. Jesus explained further:
“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.'” (John 3:5-6, NIV)
Before we are born again, we are dead spiritually. We are alive physically and outwardly, nothing seems to be wrong with us. But being born of flesh, we are creatures of sin and controlled by it.
How do I get it?
Just as we did not give ourselves physical birth, we cannot give ourselfs spiritual birth. God gives it and through faith in Christ, we request it:
“In his great mercy God the Father has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you …” (1 Peter 1:3-4, NIV)
That’s simple! That’s it! Our messiah makes it possible and now we are reborn completely!
Now what happens to me?
Before I was reborn, I was a degenerate:
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins … ” (Ephesians 2:1, NIV)
Now I am reborn, given a totally new life in the spirit:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)
Now we can stand righteous in the eyes of God the Father due to the sacrifice of His son Christ Jesus.
Now I have a new nature, an intense desire to love God for all He has done for me. I am a Christian because Christ is the only way to life with God:
“‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” (John 14:6, NIV)
As I seek to love God, I experience love unlike any other. I can still succumb to sin from time to time. But now I am convicted by it. And now knowing that sin offends God who I love and want to love completely, I strive to avoid sin. With my new life, I leave behind my burdens and sicknesses. It has no effect on me. Even if this body dies and/or terrible things can happen to me, I know I am in Christ and a child of God.