This is second of a two part series on what is mans to be born again. Jesus said that we must be born again to enter into the kingdom of God, and that new life and the experience of the kingdom of God begins now! In this life. That was the message Jesus gave us.
We can have confidence in His message not only because His message was attested by the miraculous signs and wonders He performed when He spoke, but by the fact that He rose from the dead, demonstrating for us the power of this new life that is not of the flesh, but of the Spirit.
Being born again requires repentance (turning from our own ways) and embracing, committing to, Jesus and the message he spoke. In that process of repentance and embrace, God causes us to be born again, born from above, born of the spirit.
This isn’t just a theoretical, philosophical paradigm shift; it is an actual change that we experience. Something happens within us that is not the result of anything we have done (or can do). The change may be subtle or it may be dramatic, but the change is noticeable and certain. For a quick description of what this change is like, see the video below before reading on:
The change comes from being born again, which occurs when we believe in Jesus and the message He delivered. Accessing this new life is a matter of faith (commitment) to Christ which is the import of these famous words:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Similarly, the writer of Hebrews said,
“without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Being born again comes from a genuine, heartfelt response to God’s message that Jesus spoke and initiates a new life that carries forward from that point. Being born again begins our spiritual lives, as being born in the flesh begins our lives as natural human beings. The Spirit is the hallmark of this new life.
In fact, God’s Spirit is the sign that we have, indeed, been born again.
Jesus promised us, if we keep his commandments, he would give us the Spirit to help us, to dwell with us and to be in us. The greatest commandments are to love God “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself”.
We become born again by believing and submitting to God in Christ and to His message. We have access to the Spirit of God to the extent that we keep His commandments, which are not a list of rules, but is a loving relationship with God and people. The Spirit will help us with these things as we submit to live as God intends for us to live.
Our “work” is to believe and submit. The new life comes from God who causes us to be born again. The change happens from the inside out as God initiates that new life within us. It isn’t a change that we summon up, but a change that God makes in us, a fresh view of the world, filtered now through the Spirit that dwells in us and with us, providing that we embrace it and don’t grieve or quench the Spirit we have been given.
The idea of being born again, born from above, born of the Spirit, is central to the message that Jesus spoke, and it is carried through the rest of the New Testament. Paul taught that we are dead in our transgressions and flesh (natural selves) until God makes us “alive together with Him”. Paul says that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature…..” Peter likewise taught that people who have given themselves to Jesus, God’s Son, are “born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable….”
Being born again is essential. Flesh and blood can’t inherit the kingdom of God; the perishable can’t inherit the imperishable. Our perishable bodies must put on the imperishable – the Spirit that God has promised and offers us if we will believe and submit ourselves to Him.
Being born again is only the beginning of our spiritual lives, just as being born as an infant begins our natural lives. There are perils along the way. Our spiritual lives must be nurtured. We must grow in our knowledge of God and continue to water and feed the new life God gives us.But, that life comes from God.
 Hebrews 2:3-4 (“[Salvation] was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”)
 The resurrection of Jesus in bodily form is so important and so central to the message of the Gospel that Paul says, “[I]f Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14)
 John 3:1-8
 To get some idea of how being born again happens to a person, one might read accounts of it in peoples’ own words, C. S. Lewis having provided a famous account. For him, he became aware that he was holding something at bay, shutting something out. One day, after a long intellectual journey from atheism to theism, he simply found himself believing in God, but it would be nearly two years later before he submitted himself to the God he now believed in. From my own experience, I can say that a clarity and insight and new desires followed my submission to Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and they have never left me, though I at times have grieved the Spirit and spent times wandering in a sort of spiritual desert – yet that pilot light that was lit has never gone out, and that new life has been growing and renewing in me ever since.
 John 6:47-51 (“[W]hoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”) Paul likewise taught, “[I]f you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
 John 3:16
 Hebrews 11:6
 Romans 8:16 (“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”)
 John 14:15-17 (“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”)
 Matthew 22:36-40
 John 6:27-29 (“[T]hey said to him, ‘What must we do, to be doing the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’”)
 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (“Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.”
 Colossians 2:13 and Ephesians 2:5-6
 2 Corinthians 5:17
 1st Peter 1:22-23
 1 Corinthians 15:50
 1 Corinthians 15:53
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