It seems to me that most people who attend a Christian church regularly will tell you they are born again Christians. We throw that term around like a tired cliché. First of all, there is no such thing as a Christian who has not been born again. Here is what Jesus says about that: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
But what does it mean to be born again? The word again, used in this verse, comes from the Greek word anothen (AN-oh-then), which means anew. The point here is that when a person becomes born again he becomes a new creation on the inside. Sure, physically he looks the same as he did before conversion, but that is certainly not true about the spiritual part of him.
To be born again means that through a work of the Holy Spirit, we are miraculously changed and a new spirit now lives on the inside of us. This is a very powerful point because through this spiritual rebirth we now have the very character of Christ residing at the core of our being. This new spirit on the inside of us always wants what pleases God, and always dislikes what displeases God. This awesome experience is what causes that change of spiritual appetite whereby we hunger after God and the things of God such as prayer, Bible study and serving God--things we had little or no interest in before.
Some people have the idea that when you become born again it makes you do the right thing but it does not. When we become born again, we still have freedom to choose whether or not to obey God. But because we have been born again, and our inner person always wants what pleases God and always dislikes what displeases God, the Holy Spirit can bear witness with our spirit and they two remind us and lead us and quietly speak to us to do the right thing.We can still choose to disobey the Holy Spirit and violate our inner being, but if we have genuinely been born again, we won't like how we feel inside.
I have tried to answer the question I posed at the beginning of this article by sharing some practical points on the effect of having been born again. I chose this route because we can't possibly explain the mechanics of this life-changing and miraculous process.
Perhaps as some of you read this article you are wondering, how do you become born again? The answer is by genuinely repenting of your sins and truly believing that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and that God bodily rose Him from the dead and that He lives forevermore. In other words, we become born again through faith in Christ.
If you do this from your heart, quicker than the time it took me to pen the answer, God will miraculously change you and make you a new creation.
Copyright 2012 by Frank King. All rights reserved.
Frank King is a former church pastor. He is currently an evangelist and an author. Frank holds a Master of Theology degree. Through the grace of God, Frank has been blessed to cross cultural lines in his preaching. Website: http://www.efrankking.com
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