23 Mar 2015
The purpose of this paper is to answer the question which stated "What does it mean to be born again" according to the book of John 3:3. For us to understand biblical term it is very important to know that there are "Two Births". The "First" birth which is the physical birth that is when you are born in this world from your parent. So when bible speaks of being "Born of Water" it is talking about the physical birth and not baptism. The "Second" births is a spiritual birth, which is the topic we are going to discuss.  The primary aim of being born again is to make heaven at end of the life.
Born again is a secret act of God which enable us to a new spiritual life in us. This also can be called Regeneration. In the work of born again we play no active role at all instead it is the whole work of God.  .  The word regeneration used twice in the New Testament (Mathew 19:28, Titus 3:5), means to be born again. To be born from above appear in John 3:3 and probably includes the idea of being born again. It is the work of God that gives new life those who believes.  J.I Martin also confirms this point.  Furthermore the fact that we are not taking active part in regeneration is also evident when bible regards it as being "born" or being again". We did not choose to be made alive physically and we did not choose to be born either it is something that happen to us spiritually. 
Regeneration is also spiritual Renewal or resurrection the beginning of a new life. The sinner is regenerated and he become a new creature and born again. 
II Born Again in Baptism
The main key reference of being born again in John 3:5, where Jesus says "Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God". This chapter is vital to those who claim that baptism is just a symbol, must know that Jesus is referring to baptism as born again. Born again Christian claim that water baptism is mere preached word of God but the early Christian collectively agreed this chapter as water baptism. 
The two denominations catholic and protestant agreed that for someone to be saved you have to be born again. Catholic refers bible verse John3:3 as the grace God transformed during the baptism. But the protestant mean something different when you talk of born again. For a protestant to be born again normally happen when he goes to crusader or revival a minister will deliver a sermon and ask those who want to give their lives to Lord Jesus. If you believe that he died for your sins, you will be born again say the preacher. So the preacher will take decision for Christ at the altar and those who prayed the sinner prayer are saved and become born again. 
More facts from other source stated that catholic regard baptism as being born again. It stated that baptism is the sacrament by which we are born again of water and the Holy Ghost. Anglicanism, Eastern Christianity, Lutheranism among other Christian tradition held the same belief. 
The scripture tell us to be a Christian we must be born again. Being born into this world is our first and has no alternative in that issue. Moreover, God has given us choice of having second birth to have new life in us and also be born again. This happens when some surrender his/her sinful way and ask for forgiveness and begin new life the person become a new creation in Christ Jesus.  For more clarification born again literally means born from above. Nicodemus had a real need he wants his heart to be changed or transformed spiritually. New-birth, being born again is an act of God whereby everlasting life is given to the person who believes (2 corinthians5:17; Titus3:5). This indicates that born again carries the idea of become the children of God for those who trust in the name of Jesus Christ. 
"Jesus question Nicodemus I have spoken to you on earthly things and you did not believe, how then will you believe me if I speak of heavenly things".  Nicodemus is the one of the Jewish council who chooses to go to Jesus unnoticed at night later comes out openly on the side of Christ. Verse 3 of the John chapter constantly used to enter the kingdom of God as fundamental new beginning.  The significant of the interview between Jesus and Nicodemus is increased because he was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin such a person would have been well familiar with the Jewish teaching and would have understood the reference point Jesus made. It might be to avoid publicity that made him to visit Jesus at night. On the other hand the comment may be symbolical relating to Nicodemus spiritual life.  The word of Jesus to Nicodemus concerning the need to be born of the spirit as well as born of the fresh is parallel to John1:13. The whole concept expressed regeneration which assumes the action of God.  It is very important at this junction to know the particular feature of the learning in john's gospel, which has a bearing on the on topic of new life. When Jesus informed Nicodemus that he must be born again in a spiritual sense the meaning was not understood first.  God saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. 
Unless one is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John3:5). We don't have to discuss the meaning of water whether it refers to physical birth or baptism instead our concern should be the birth by the spirit.  The important of regeneration grows out of the ability of the natural man to see or enter the kingdom of God. The new birth is not reformation of the old nature but a creative act of the Holy Spirit for the condition of the new birth is faith in Christ been crucified.  A person is a born again as a result of personal commitment to God through the Holy Spirit. Jesus told Nicodemus no one can have eternal life unless he is born of water and spirit the water is refer as baptism. Baptism can be seen as important in the mystery of regeneration.  Eugene H. Peterson also confirms this point.  Finally it was written clearly in the bible in John3:3 that except a man is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God and in 3:5 except a man are born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  Born again is not being church membership, water baptism or trying to do better, it is having Christ live inside. 
We have seen what it means to be born again as a Christian we must surrender totally and be born again so that we can make heaven at end of the life. For the Lord has laid down two conditions for a person to enter the kingdom of God, without being fulfilled you are not qualify to enter the kingdom of God. Remember when Christ was speaking of being "born of water" he was not referring to water baptism in any way. 
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