Different Christian traditions vary in how they express the relationship one has with God, so whether you use the term “born again” or not is not important. It’s the truth behind the phrase that counts. The answer to “Are you born again” is found in the Bible, John 3:1-21. Jesus Christ is talking to a prominent Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus, who had come to him with questions. Like most people, Nicodemus believed in God; he just didn’t have the relationship with him that God insists upon.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Nicodemus asked, “How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he can’t 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 (natural birth) and the Spirit (spiritual birth). 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.’”
Why would Jesus say “You MUST…”? Because the Bible says, “Every single person has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” so Jesus knew that Nicodemus and you and me, too, are sinful and without hope. He knew that sinful people, on their own,cannot have a relationship with God. That we are by our nature headed for hell instead of heaven, unless something drastic happens to change our eternal trajectory. He says “You MUST” because being born again is the only way out of the death spiral and into that relationship with God that changes everything. Finally, he says “You MUST” because there are not many paths to heaven, just the one that God laid out – being born again.
So, how does one become born again? By believing what God says and asking to be saved. Here’s what God says:
- That we are all sinners, proven by our selfish thoughts, words and actions. Left to ourselves, we are not fit for a relationship with God in this life or heaven in the next.
- That God became a man, Jesus Christ, in order to physically pay the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross.
- That we enter into his kingdom by confessing our basic sinfulness, our need for a Savior, believing that his payment is sufficient, asking him for forgiveness and believing that he alone can save us.
The Bible says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, not by something you did yourself but rather as a gift from God.” It also says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!”
If you have never trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, you need to be born again. Will you consider the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He speaks to your heart? Will you pray the prayer of repentance and become a new creation in Christ today? “To anyone who who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and be born again, here is a sample prayer. It’s simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. “God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in Him alone for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness—the gift of eternal life! Amen!”