Most people who attend a Christian church regularly will tell you they are a born again Christian. We throw that term around like a tired cliché. First of all, there is no such thing as a Christian who has not been born again. Here is what Jesus says about that: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).But what does it mean to be born again? The word again, used in this verse, comes from a Greek word which means anew. The point is that when a person becomes born again he becomes a new creation on the inside. Sure, physically he looks the same as he did before conversion. But that is certainly not true about the spiritual part of him. Being born again means that through a work of the Holy Spirit, we are miraculously changed and a new spirit now lives on the inside of us. This is a very powerful thing because through this spiritual rebirth we now have the very character of Christ residing at the core of our being. This new spirit on the inside of us always wants what pleases God and always dislikes what displeases God. This awesome experience is what causes a change of spiritual appetite to desire the things of God such as prayer, Bible study and serving God – things we had little or no interest in before.
Some people have the idea that when you become born again it makes you do the right thing but it does not. After spiritual rebirth, we still have freedom to choose whether or not to obey God. But because we have been born anew, the Holy Spirit can bear witness with our spirit. Together, they remind us and quietly speak to us and lead us to do the right thing.
We can still choose to disobey the Holy Spirit and violate our inner being. But if we have genuinely been born again, we won’t like how we feel inside.
I have tried to answer the question I posed at the beginning of this article by sharing some practical points on the effect of having been born again. I chose this route because we can’t possibly explain the mysteries of this life-changing and miraculous process.
Perhaps as some of you read this post you are wondering how you can become born anew. The answer is by genuinely repenting of your sins, truly believing that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and believing that God bodily raised Him from the dead and He lives forevermore. In other words, we experience spiritual rebirth through repentance and faith in Christ.
If you do this from your heart and invite Christ into your life, quicker than the time it took me to pen the answer above, God will miraculously change you and make you a new creation.
Frank King is pastor of the English-speaking congregation at the Hinesville Korean Full Gospel Church, 758 Tupelo Trail, Hinesville, GA, 31313.