Conversation: What does it mean to be Born again as a Christian?

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  • So born again comes from John 3:3-5. It reflects that you can’t just be baptised and call yourself a Christian, a change must come from within and God does that change in you
  • This is what makes a real Christian
  • This is one of the statements by Jesus he sees as essential, nothing foggy about it!
Must I be Born again to be a Christian?
  • Yes, You must be spiritually reborn
What’s that?
  • When God changes you from within. You develop a Christian consciousness
  • There is a desire for God things that wasn’t there before 
  • Though this process is physically invisible, Jesus said we can see the effects of it
  • It’s like the wind, you know it’s there, you can feel it
If God does it, what do I do?
  • Seek and search God out
  • God changes you, but from your perspective you search for God, get to know what He is like, explore His word, pray, speak to Christians, perhaps attend a healthy church
What kind of effects should we see?
  • Desiring to do the things God knows are good for us which we’ve gained through Jesus’ teaching and guidance
  • We would see values Christians desire to live out like “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness and self control
  • We work out our salvation, not like it’s a job, but we desire to align ourselves with Jesus and protect ourselves from harm
Does this mean Christians are perfect?
  • Not by any means
  • We are a work in progress—but there is progress this side of heaven
  • The main difference is our trajectory, it is now towards God rather than what we want. With God yours and his aims combine in ways you didn’t think were possible
  • While we still live in a fallen world, everything will be a constant battle, one we will never be perfect in.
If you are born again, can you undo this process?
  • There are many debates, some say yes, some say no
  • There is a parable in the Bible of 4 soils, some nothing happens, another there’s joy in God and it fizzles out and they seem to walk away, another who is in God but wrestles and the 4th soil where they flourish.
  • In the Christian story this could mean, for some they “never were” christians or they “were” and fell away, quenching Gods change in their lives, self-deceiving themselves.
  • I myself cannot see a way for me personally I could ever abandon Christ, his work within me is too plain and obvious. But I am open to say perhaps there are Christians who do not live a fruitful life and fall away through self-deception or relying on things other than God
  • We have verses like in Philippians 1 where it says God will complete the work he started in you and in Ephesians 1 the Holy Spirit giving you a down payment in advance, like “you’re sealed
  • But in Paul’s letter also he talks of people falling away, those you cannot trust and now preach a false Gospel
  • It’s one christians will wrestle with, but I would still argue, if you are born-again, you know in that moment you are a Christian and thats what is most important—obviously you want it to stay that way!
What must I do to be born again?
  • The letter to the Romans in chapter 10 has a sentence that sums it up
  • If you believe Jesus is the Lord of us and that God raised him from the dead, you are part of God’s family
  • Consider the prompting within (which we call the Holy Spirit) that may well have lead you to think about Christianity 
  • Do you accept what Jesus did for you?—dying for our actions so we could be made right with God and have a relationship with him?
  • Pray to God
    • Ask him for forgiveness of your own actions not aligned to God
    • Ask him to change your heart and desires to his
    • Thank God for the change now and to come
    • Thanks him for forgiveness
    • Thanks for all his son Jesus has done for yourself
  • If you truly believe this in your heart, congratulations you are a Christian
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