What is a Born Again Christian? Meaning and Significance
The phrase “born again Christian” is frequently misinterpreted. Looking at its primary reference, we see that its meaning is not about physical birth, but about experiencing a spiritual renewal. It is is an expression used by many Protestants to define the moment or process of fully accepting faith in Jesus Christ. It is an experience when the teachings of Christianity and Jesus become real, and the "born again" acquire a personal relationship with God.
The term is originated from an incident in the New Testament in which the words of Jesus were not understood by a Jewish Pharisee, Nicodemus.
Jesus replied, "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." John 3:3-5 NIV
What does it Mean to be Born Again?
How to be Born Again
The phrase “born again” applies to people who have accepted Jesus as their Savior or Redeemer. The born again soul realizes that they are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and that the penalty for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). To rectify the circumstances, God sent His only Son to die in their place, to take the punishment for sin (Romans 5:8). After Jesus’ death, He arose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6) and He provides the blessing of salvation. Each person has the choice to receive or reject God’s gift through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and experience new birth (John 3:1-8). Whoever follows Jesus as Christ, the Son of God, and has accepted His gift of life can be called Christian. That is where the journey of rebirth begins.
According to AllAboutReligion.org:
Being born again is having a change or transformation of the soul and heart by the work of God’s Spirit. One’s soul is the part of our being that consist of three things: the mind (or its disposition), emotions (feelings), and our will (what we determine).
This spiritual makeover when we become a born again Christian is a change in the way we think, the way we manage our emotions, and choices we make by our will.
“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:27).
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
“‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Through being born again, renewing our minds, and having an intimate relationship with God, we grow by spending time in His presence and in His Word (the Bible). Though we cannot fully comprehend God, His Spirit lives in us, giving us a profound understanding of Him and His ways.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:29, 31).
Born again Christians are not to let their emotions control their behavior. Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” In Him we have peace.
Will of God
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).