Have you ever wondered what the phrase “born again” means? The Bible records that Jesus used the phrase in a conversation with a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus approached Jesus at night. He was curious about Jesus and the kingdom of God.
Jesus told him: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Nicodemus responded, “How can a man be born when he is old?” (John 3:4).
Nicodemus was a highly moral man who obeyed God’s law. He was a respected leader of the Jewish community. No doubt he was a fine man. Yet something was lacking. Like Nicodemus, many people today confuse religion with new birth in Christ. Phrases like “I pray regularly” or “I believe there is a God” often are confused with a real new-birth experience.
New birth begins with the Holy Spirit convicting a person that a person is a sinner. Because of sin, we are spiritually dead. For this reason, spiritual birth, as Jesus described it, is necessary. God loves us and gives us spiritual birth when we ask Him for it.
The Bible says all persons are sinners (see Romans 3:23). Jesus died on a cross and was raised from the dead to save sinners. To be born again means that a person admits to God that he or she is a sinner, repents of sin, believes in or trusts Christ, and confesses faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. Jesus told Nicodemus that everyone who believes in (places faith in) Christ would not perish (see John 3:16). Jesus is the only One who can save us (see John 14:6).
To believe in Jesus is to be born again. Confess your sins and ask Jesus right now to save you. “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). After you have received Jesus Christ into your life, share your decision with another person, and following Christ’s example, ask for baptism by immersion in your local church as a public expression of your faith (see Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:6).
From Open Windows
A Guide For Personal Devotions
Fall 2016 Lifeway