What does the term born again mean?

Hello K,

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Jesus gives the answer to the this question, “‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ 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. You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again”’” (John 3:3-7).

The phrase born again literally means created a new—a spiritual transformation. Being born again, is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the person who believes (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29). Paul explains why we need to be born again “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sinners are spiritually “dead.” But when they receive spiritual life through faith in Christ, they become alive.

Trusting in Jesus Christ as the One who paid the penalty of our sins is the way to be “born again.”  Paul clarifies, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). After faith, comes the decision to follow Christ in repentance “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Daily connection to the Lord through the study of the Word, prayer and witnessing transforms the life “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me” (John 15:4). As we yield to the Lord daily, His Spirit does the work of change in us. This is the miracle of transformation. And God gives the promise of salvation to the believer “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12-13).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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