What does it mean to be "born again"?

Sometimes Christians will say they are “born again.” What does this mean? The term comes from John 3:1-21 where Jesus is talking to Nicodemus. This man had come to Jesus at night with a lot of questions. He said, “Rabbi…we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

This confused Nicodemus! He couldn’t imagine how and old man could go back into his mother’s womb and be born again! Jesus explained that he was referring to being born again spiritually. Jesus told Nicodumus, “And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

The term “born again” literally means “born from above.” That makes more sense, doesn’t it? When we begin a relationship with Jesus, He changes our heart and gives us a new beginning. We are born into His family! First Corinthians 5:17 explains, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

So, why does a person need to be born again? Before a person becomes born again, they are spiritually dead because of sin. Ephesians 2:1 says, “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.” When they are born again, their sins are forgiven and they start a relationship with Jesus.

If you haven’t been born again, we encourage you to trust in Jesus. He came to Earth to die for your sins on the cross. He was buried and He rose again. He is offering you the gift of salvation. Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Trusting in Jesus for your salvation is the only way to be born again. If you have questions, talk to your ISI staff. They will be excited to share the plan of salvation with you.