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What it means to be Born Again


  Prize Chukwuka                            

To be “Born again” does not mean; to have your sins forgiven. What the sinner needs is more than forgiveness of sins. What the sinner needs is a brand new spirit. Being born again is more than having your sins forgiven.                          
Secondly, it does not mean changing your behavior or character, although it produces this in a matter of time, as you allow the word of God to keep renewing your mind.
These wrong concepts are the stuffs we frequently hear in most teachings today. Most Christian’s even preachers hold on to these poor definitions of the term "Born again". As a matter of fact there are those who say that being born again means being born from their mother's womb. They vehemently argue, telling you that "they were born again right from their mother’s womb". This is one of the greatest lies the devil has sold out to the religious world. Well, the Bible already tells us that people don't become born again (the children of God) through biological birth (John 1:12, 13, NET).
Most folks think that when someone becomes born again all their old habits (negative thoughts, lustful thoughts, foul speech, drinking and smoking, etc) will automatically just stop immediately. Many who reason this way have tried explaining this using the expression "old things are passed away", (2Cor 5:17). They assume this is what this expression implies. They misunderstand this expression because they erroneously assume that to be born again refers to a change of behavior or habit. This wrong belief is the reason many people get confused because immediately they are born again, they expect all their old habits to suddenly change and become instantaneously perfect, but when after a while they still find themselves falling into the same old habits, they get frustrated thinking they are not truly born again after all, or that it’s not real. Do you see how having a wrong understanding of the New Birth can affect a Christian’s mindset!
This wrong belief has also led many believers into a life of struggle in their faith walk.
We know that being born again does not mean a sudden perfection in a believer's habits or behavior. However, it can produce a dislike or lack of desire in a person, for an old habit. The expression "Old things are passed away," does not speak of a person's habits or behavior changing instantaneously. It is your spirit that is instantly changed at salvation. We understand that the phrase "Old things" in the expression above refers to a man's old spirit within, with its sin nature (the old man). 
Notice what the expression says "Old things are PASSED AWAY". The phrase "passed away" is in the past-tense, not in the future tense. It speaks of something that has already occurred or has been removed in the believer’s life at the instant the person confessed Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and savior. It does not say "Old things will pass away". It is not referring to something that will change, but of something that has already changed within. It is a life transforming change, a change so powerful that like I pointed out earlier, can produce a dislike or lack of desire in a person for an old habit. But it doesn't mean it is a change of habit or moral transformation.                          
 Like I said, this change takes place within. It is the change of your spirit man. It is not outward, but in a matter of time it will start reflecting outwardly to the degree your mind is renewed. This is where so many folks get it wrong. They are looking for an instant all round outward change in their habits or behavior before they can believe that something has changed within them.                                                               Failure to understand that this change takes place in the spirit first and is then reflected in the outward thoughts and actions proportional to the way the mind is renewed has caused much confusion. Paul tells us that transformation (change in thoughts habits and behavior), not salvation, comes through the renewing of the mind (Rom 12:2).                                                   
Most people want to see this sudden perfect change of habit or behavior first before they can actually accept that one has truly become born again. This is not true. However, we understand that when a person becomes born again, he or she will certainly always desire to live right and have a dislike for sin. But this does not imply that all their actions, behavior, or habits have or will automatically become perfect. 
Therefore, being born again does not mean "Moral Perfection". This is the plain and absolute Gospel truth. Understanding this truth is so important because it will inspire you not to get discouraged in your faith walk because of some temporary failings you may experience in your Christian walk.
To be born again simply means a rebirth or regeneration of the human spirit by the Holy Spirit. This takes place the moment an individual believes and calls upon the Lord and confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Rom 10:9-11, 13).
The truth of the New Birth is explained very clearly in Ezekiel 36:24-27. In this passage, notice how the word of God defines the New Birth (Born Again). Notice the following expressions in verse 25;     “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.”                                       Observe here that God is referring to the spirit or heart of man, not our mind or physical body. In the Bible, the word heart and spirit are often used interchangeably. This suggests that in the above expression God appears to be repeating himself when he used the words heart and spirit.                                                          
This is like saying, “A new spirit will I give you…a new spirit will I put within you.” God had to repeat Himself here for the sake of emphasis, so that we wouldn’t misunderstand what He is saying-that He is actually referring to the human spirit.
Notice again the word “New”. This word expresses the fact that God is not referring to the “old spirit man,” which is in a person before the new birth, but that a change of spirit takes place from the old to the new the moment a person becomes born again. There is a change of spirit that takes place in the new birth. The old spirit is taken away, and a new one replaces the old. This is what happens when a person becomes born again. This is what it is- The change, i.e. the recreation or rebirth of the-human-spirit.                                   If you are born again, the spirit you have in you now is not the old spirit that you were biologically born with. There has been a change of spirit within you. There is a new spiritual you now. This is the reality you have to understand and hold onto firmly. The “old man” is gone, and the “new man” has come.
This supernatural phenomenon is why the new birth is referred to as the “miracle of miracles.” Sense knowledge cannot comprehend it. Finally God says, “I will put my Spirit within you, (verse 27).   This shows that if you are born again, you already have the spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) in you. He put His Spirit in you as a mark of ownership the moment you received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Now you can say you are a child of God.

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