What it Means to be Born Again

Written by Pastor Randy Ragsdale

Question #1: Who must be born again?

John 3:7 in the Bible states that everyone MUST be born again. When God says, “MUST,” God means, “MUST!” And that is what Jesus said.

Perhaps there are some who say, “I think the new birth is fine for someone who really has a need to change, such as a drunkard or a murderer. But I have not done any of those types of things, so I do not feel that I need to be born again.”

Please note to whom Jesus was speaking when He announced that a man must be born again. It was Nicodemus. His very name means, “a victor over the people.” His name indicates that he was above the average run of man. As a Pharisee, he was respectable. Also, he was religious because he was a ruler of the Jews. And he was reverent, for he had respect for Jesus as a Rabbi who could teach about God. Nicodemus had a lot going for himself.

It was to this man with such high credentials that Jesus said, “You must be born again.” Nicodemus needed the new birth and so do you and I.

Who must be born again? Everyone! Every individual MUST be born again.

Question #2: Why must we be born again?

Nicodemus did not understand the Lord Jesus when He stated that unless a man was born again, he could not see the Kingdom of God. In verse 4, he asked, “How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” The only birth Nicodemus knew about was his physical birth.

Jesus answered Nicodemus in such a way that He said in effect, “Nicodemus, you need two births to get to Heaven. You have been born the first time in the flesh. Now, to be able to enter Heaven, you need a second birth.”

Everyone is born of the flesh. The first birth, the flesh birth, is a natural birth. By it we are born with a sinful nature. It is because we are sinners that we need a second birth, a supernatural birth. Because we are sinners, we need a new nature. That nature can come only through the new birth. We must be born again because in the flesh we are sinners in need of a Savior.

Question #3: How are we born again?

First, the new birth is supernatural, and it is from God. “Born again” can literally be translated, “born from above.” “Above” points us to Heaven. In face, the Lord Jesus told Nicodemus very plainly in verse 12 that He had told him of Heavenly things. The new birth is a miracle from God in Heaven.

Second, the new birth is by the miraculous Word of God. One must believe in the Bible in order to be born again. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the perfect Son of God. It also reveals that all of us humans are sinners. To be born again, we must recognize that our only hope as sinners is to receive the perfect Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. I Peter 1:23 makes it clear that there is no new birth experience apart from the truth of the Word of God. “For you have been born again not of seed, which is perishable, but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring Word of God.”

Third, the new birth is by the Spirit of God. Jesus elaborates on this birth of the Holy Spirit by stating that the new birth is a mystery we can’t explain. In verse 8, He uses the illustration of the wind. “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born  of the Spirit.”

We cannot see the wind, but we recognize its power. We cannot see the Holy Spirit, but we can see His power. When He regenerates a life, that individual is changed. Paul states in II Corinthians 5:17 that if anyone is in Christ “he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” That is the miraculous work of the Spirit. He can make a drunk man sober. He can change a wicked man into a saint. He can transform a vain, worldly woman into a quiet lady of prayer. He can change the rebellious heart of a teenager and make that teen an example of the believer.

Fourth, the new birth is by the work of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Who came from Heaven to die on a cross. By that death He paid the penalty for our sins. Salvation–the new birth–can be accomplished only because the Lord Jesus Christ paid sin’s penalty for us. That leads us to the last two questions, to which you must give special attention.

Question #4: What MUST I do to be born again?

In John 3:15-16, the Lord Jesus tells us what we must do to be born again. We must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. God has done everything that He can do for us. He has given His Son to die on the cross for our sings. He has raised Jesus from the dead. He has send the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin and to actually accomplish the new birth in our lives. God’s work is complete. The blood of His Son can save you. For you to have this new birth, you must place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the One Who has died and resurrected for you.

Question #5: Are YOU born again?

Below you will find information on how to be born again. Should desire to speak to someone about this matter, please contact Pastor Randy Ragsdale at 707-274-8326.

Here is How to be Born Again

  • Recognize that you are a sinner. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
  • Realize that, as a sinner, you deserve the wrath of God. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
  • Believe that the Lord Jesus paid the penalty for your sin by shedding His blood when He died on the cross. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (I Peter 3:18).
  • Believe that the Lord Jesus rose again from the dead, proving that He alone is Lord and the Son of God. “Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Romans 1:4).
  • Receive Christ as your own personal Lord and Savior. “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).