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Image by Niklas Ohlrogge

What does it mean to be born again?


In John 3:5-9, Jesus says that all Christian’s must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.


It reads:

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.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

Here Nicodemus was rightfully confused. How can a person already alive be reborn? This seems impossible (or maybe not impossible for God, as he can do anything), but in the verse above Jesus was referring to a spiritual rebirth, that all Christians must go through. 

Our first birth is through our mothers, its physical and external which everyone can see. The second birth is through the Spirit and it is internal and can happen at any time in our life, regardless of our physical age.

The definition of birth is the start of new life as a separate being. It’s the emergence of a new individual.


This new life definition is the same for those who are born again in the Spirit. Once we have been birthed spiritually, we become a new person. Once we let the Spirit in, it starts to change us as we renew our mind which is later external and evident to people around us. 


This spiritual birth is the beginning of our Christian life. Please remember it is a journey!! God is not expecting us to not make mistakes from day 1. It is a process that goes through the same phases of life, such as babyhood, childhood and adulthood. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will be with us every step of the way, on our journeys even more than our parents. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, will never leave us and they are always around to help with unconditional love and wisdom. 


What happens AFTER we are born again?

  1. We spend more time reading the word (bible) which changes our thinking and actions

  2. Our life priorities change

  3. We develop a better and deeper relationship with God 

  4. We trust God the more 

  5. We begin to understand our place in the Kingdom of God and the associated rights and expectations. This is no different to when we are physically born: we get a birth certificate, an identity and membership into our family and country of birth which comes with privileges and responsibilities.

  6. God gives us a clean slate

  7. We start to exhibit the fruits of the Holy Spirit:love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)

  8. We receive one or more of the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10).


Why do we have to be born again? 

We need this Spiritual rebirth (or regeneration of the human spirit) because when we live in a way contradictory to the bible, though we are physical alive, our inner spirit is dying. It’s dead due to our sins.


As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[and following its desires and thoughts.  -Ephesians 2:1-3(NIV)


What do I have to do BEFORE being born again?

1.     Truly repent i.e. accept you are a sinner and confess your sins

2.     Realise your inner spirit has weakened due to your old life

3.     Have a willingness to change your ways

4.     Accept Jesus as the son of God and your Saviour

5.     Let the Spirit do the rest and follow its lead

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