If you go to the Barna Group online — it’s an organization that publishes faith-based research and statistics — you’ll find “Born again Christians” defined as people who have made “a personal commitment to Jesus Christ” and “believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.”
Jesus made a unique statement to a man named Nicodemus who was a ruler of the Jews, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).
Jesus spoke imperatively, “Except.” Just like Nicodemus, you might want to ask: What does being ‘born-again’ mean and how does it happen? Does one enter his mother’s womb again? Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the new birth He was talking about was not physical but spiritual.
Apart from the new birth, we are dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1–2). “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Jesus emphasized, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)
The Bible says in John 1:13 that those who are born-again “were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
“I give them eternal life,” Jesus said, “and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).
Salvation is not based on our goodness but on Jesus’ goodness. This means, being a good person – doing a lot of charity and so on… is not enough to get you into heaven. You must accept and receive Christ as your personal Lord and savior.
Additionally, as Billy Graham often puts it, our fathers and mothers may be the greatest born-again Christians in the world, but that doesn’t make us born-again Christians, too. We each have to individually make this important decision through prayer.
“Salvation has been freely offered to everyone. Anyone who will acknowledge their need of a Savior and accept Jesus Christ as that Savior can be saved,”
Ephesians 2 – two times, in verses 1 and 5, Paul says that we are dead in our trespasses. Verse 1: “You were dead in the trespasses and sins . . .” Verses 4–5: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved.” So two times Paul describes us as “dead.”
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). The most magnificent and incomparable act of love in all of history is that God took our sins and death upon Himself. Jesus, the Son of God, took the punishment in our place. He became our substitute.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Repentance means to change our mind, to turn. We must change our mind about our condition and our direction away from God – we must acknowledge our need and who He is – And turn to Him – This, I must say, is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit comes to reside permanently within at the moment of faith. He assures us of everlasting life. He teaches us God’s Word and empowers us to live according to it.
Do you want to be born again, right now? Put your trust in Jesus, then simply but sincerely pray:
“Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God. I believe that You died for my sins and rose from the grave. I invite You into my heart and receive You right now. Thank You for forgiveness. Thank You for a new life. Help me to be what You want me to be and live Your life through me. Amen.”
By Samuel Ballagadde.