What Does It Mean to Be Born Again?

How can you be “born again” if you’re already living? What does born again mean? What happens when you become born again?

Being born again doesn’t mean a physical rebirth; it’s a spiritual one. It refers to a change of heart—from indifference or hostility toward God to a love for Him and a desire to live out His best for us.

But how does it happen?

First, we have to understand our current human condition. There’s a problem we all face, and Jesus said it begins in our hearts. The problem is something called sin, which means to miss the mark—to fail to do what we ought to do.

Whether we realize it or not, we strive to fix this problem ourselves—to somehow compensate for it or push it out of our minds, yet there’s still something missing deep down inside. Nothing will fully satisfy us unless we have Jesus in our lives and the eternal hope of being with Him forever in heaven.

There’s a story in the Bible about a man named Nicodemus. He was a religious leader and a good man, and one night while talking to Jesus, Nicodemus asked Him what he needed to do to go to heaven. Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). In fact, Jesus said, “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

Jesus was telling Nicodemus that no matter what good he did on the outside, he needed changing on the inside. That can happen only through a supernatural act of God when His Holy Spirit convicts us of wrongdoing and brings new life to our very souls.

So how can we be born again?

First, we must admit our sin—that we can’t live up to God’s perfect standard on our own. Then we must ask forgiveness for that sin and repent, which means to make every effort in turning away from that sin. Finally, we ask Jesus to be part of our lives.

That’s when God’s Spirit penetrates our hearts to guide us and help us be more like Him. That’s when we’re born again.

God Himself puts it this way: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:26). From then on, He gives us a new purpose and new goals for living. We no longer live for ourselves but for Him (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Today, you can experience spiritual rebirth; you can be born again. Keep reading.

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Step 1 – God’s Purpose: Peace and Life

God loves you and wants you to experience peace and eternal life.

The Bible says:

“We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5:1

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

“I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10

What keeps us from having the life God planned for us?

Step 2 – The Problem: Our Separation from God

God created us in His image. He gave us a will and the freedom of choice; we choose to disobey Him and go our own way—which is called sin. This separates us from God.

The Bible says:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23

Our choice to sin separates us from God. People have tried many ways to bridge this gap between themselves and God.

The Bible says:

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
Proverbs 14:12

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
Isaiah 59:2

No bridge reaches God… except one.

Step 3 – God’s Bridge: The Cross

Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave. When He did He paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap between us and God.

The Bible says:

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 2:5

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”
1 Peter 3:18

God has provided the only way back to Him. You must make a choice.

Step 4 – Our Response: Receive Christ

We must trust and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

The Bible says:

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
John 1:12

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:9

Which side are you on? The side with Christ or without Him?

Here is how you can accept Christ into your life:

"Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."

Did you pray this prayer?