Sometimes we hear about “born again Christians” and some believers describe themselves as being “born again.” Where did this phrase “born again” come from and what does it mean? In the book of John, chapter 3, the words “born again” come from Jesus Himself when He is explaining to Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader, what you need to do to see the kingdom of God:
“Jesus replied [to Nicodemus], “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are 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.’ 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.” (John 3:3-8)
In Jesus’ explanation of “born again”, He talks about two types of birth: born of water and born of the Spirit. Although some people think Jesus is referring to baptism because He mentions water, Jesus is actually talking about physical birth and spiritual birth.
In verse 6, Jesus says “Flesh gives birth to flesh”, implying that we are all born physically. At least 60 % of the human body is made of water, so it makes sense for Jesus to say that water gives birth to water. A human mother gives birth to a human baby, both of whom are mostly water. So if you want to see the kingdom of God, the first thing you need to do is be born physically. If you are reading this, you’ve already met the first requirement!
Everyone born of the Spirit seeks light and truth and comes to Christ.
“Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” (John 3:21)
However, those not born of the Spirit (spiritually dead) don’t come to Christ because they are afraid that Christ will expose the bad things they’ve done: “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:20)
Do you want to see the kingdom of God? You’ve already been born of water, but are you born of the Spirit? Do you see signs of the Spirit working in your life?
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