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Bible Dictionary: Define Born Again, Definition of Born Again


What does it mean to be born again? What does the Scripture say?  

"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him." 1 John 5:1  
If you believe that Jesus is the Christ, then you are born again.

"for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13

If you don't want Jesus to rule over you and be your King, then you have not accepted Him. If you don't want Him to lead you constantly, then you have not accepted Him. No one can fool God. No one can say that they want to be born again and, at the same time say that they want to remain the slave of Satan or remain a slave of their own fleshly human nature. To be born again is to begin to be set free from slavery to Satan and to begin to be set free from slavery to your own fleshly human nature.  
You have called on the name of the Lord. You are born again. Being saved or redeemed is something that has started, but you are completely born again. And you will be completely saved, you will be completely delivered from sin only continue to call on the name of the Lord.

“You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute [incapable of articulate speech] idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:2-3)

If you can say that Jesus is the Lord, you have the Holy Ghost. This doesn't mean you have the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but it does mean that you are born again.  
The fact that you desire to walk in righteousness is a sign that you are born again. It seems that every Christian struggles with the fact that they are tempted and, at times, they even willfully sin. Some question whether or not they are born again at this point, but everyone who has been born again ought to have confidence regardless of the nastiness of their own fleshly nature. The flesh must die. That is why the Holy Spirit is given.

"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:6-7  

God doesn't want us to continue in sin, because we start to walk away from Him if we do that.  

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." 1 John 1:8-10

If any Christian tells you that they have no sin, they are lying--sin is forgiven when you confess to Jesus that you have sinned. You just talk to Him and tell Him. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. God not only forgives our sins but He also removes them from us over time. If a Christian sins, that Christian does not lose his or her salvation nor does that sin indicate that the Christian was never born again. If either of these were true, then no one would be born again because every Christian sins at some point. if, however, a Christian desires to keep sinning and decides to keep sinning, this is a sign of a serious spiritual problem that will eventually draw that Christian away from God. A Christian who has a repeated sin problem with sins that are to death (the ones for which the death penalty was applied under the law) should go to his or her elders and have them lay hands on him or her for deliverance. The same applies to addictions such as alcohol, rock and roll, entertainment, workoholism, or pornography. Christians should continue to call on the elders until they have victory.

"Thereis therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1

Now, God does not want you to have the misery of walking in condemnation. He wants you to keep coming close to Him.  
"If then I do that which I would not, I consent to the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."

[Note: this is not a cop out. As a Christian, you are to identify with the Christ Who lives in you rather than your fleshly nature. The Christ Who is in you cannot sin. (1 Jn. 3:4-11) Your fleshly nature cannot be reformed because it cannot do or think what is right.]

"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." Romans 7:16-20  
Does this Scripture blows my mind away? See how completely Paul asks us to deny our self and identify with Christ. And the sin that pops into our heads is the flesh, but we are not our flesh. We have been born again. The flesh has to die, but Jesus in you can do good works. So, you don't pay any attention to the fleshly desires. You pay attention to the Spirit of God.

When a person is born again, his or her human spirit is joined to the Holy Spirit. Another way of saying this is to say that they have Christ in their heart. Before they were born again, the Father called them and the Holy Spirit brought conviction. Now, they are a new creation in the Spirit and they also have a mechanism for access into the grace of God.

Baptism in water and baptism in the Holy Spirit are also part of salvation, but are not part of being born again. You must be born again before you are baptized in water or baptized in the Holy Spirit.  

Last updated: Mar, 2011
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