What does it mean to be Born Again? Where did the term come from?
John 3:3-6 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, except anyone be born from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus says to Him, “How is a man able to be born, being old? Is he able to enter into the womb of his mother a second time, and to be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless anyone be born of water and of the Spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That having been born of the flesh is flesh, and that having been born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said, ‘You must be born again.’ (Berean)
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJ)
What became new and what didn’t? To fully understand this, we must first understand that we are created in the image of God as a 3-part being – spirit, soul, and body.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJ)
Our bodies have not been born-again, changed or renewed, only our spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:50-57 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJ)
NLT 50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. 51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
Romans 6:4-14 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised up out from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united in the likeness of His death, certainly also we will be of the resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, so that the body of sin might be annulled, that we are no longer enslaved to sin. 7 For the one having died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised up out from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For that which He died, He died to sin once for all; but that which He lives, He lives to God. 11 So also you, consider yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but living to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, in order to obey its desires. 13 Neither yield your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but yield yourselves to God, as living out from the dead, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, for you are not under law, but under grace. (Berean)
How do I keep sin from ruling over me? Our soul is made up of our mind, will, and emotions which did not become saved, changed, or born-again. That means every thought, desire, or emotion you have must be changed by the Word.
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I exhort you, brothers, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy to God, well-pleasing, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, for you to prove what is the good and well-pleasing and perfect will of God. (Berean)
Ephesians 5:25b-27 Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water by the word, 27 so that He might present to Himself the church in glory, not having spot or wrinkle or any of the such things, but that it would be holy and blameless. (Berean)
Our born-again spirit is as perfect as it will be in heaven.
1 John 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (NKJ)
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever. (NKJ)
1 John 4:17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. (NKJ)