IN JOHN 3:3, Jesus Christ said, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (New King James Version). For this reason, there are people who call themselves “born-again Christians.” However, who are truly born again? And in the first place, why does one need to be born again?
Others misunderstand what being born again is. They think that it is just a label they can ascribe to themselves by saying that they have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and are trying to make positive changes in their life. However, man cannot effect true change or renewal by himself, for according to Apostle Paul, everyone is cursed for not continuing in or for disobeying the things which are written in the book of the law (Gal. 3:10 NKJV). Disobedience to God’s law is sin (I John 3:4). The curse of the law is the punishment for man’s sins—the second death, that is, death in the lake of fire (Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:14). Under such condition, everyone cannot see or enter the kingdom of God or receive salvation, unless he is born again (John 3:3). The Lord Jesus Christ clarifies that being born again is through being born of God:
“Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13 NKJV)
Being born of God is being born through His words:
“Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” (I Pet. 1:23 NKJV)
Those who have truly been born again or created anew are in Christ and have become a new creation:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (II Cor. 5:17 NKJV)
The new creation is the “one new man” (Eph. 2:15 NKJV), which is composed of Christ as the head and His Church as the body—the Church Of Christ:
“And He is the head of the body, the church …” (Col. 1:18 NKJV)
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation)
Therefore, those who are truly born again are found in the Church Of Christ. However, becoming a member of the Church is not enough. Those who are in Christ or members of His Church make sure to get rid of the old self, which is one’s former evil way of life corrupted by its deceitful desires (Eph. 4:22 New International Version).
Hence, for one to be truly born again, he must first join the Church Of Christ in order to be redeemed by Christ and cleansed with His blood. Then, he must fully leave behind all wickedness and sin, and resolve to live in obedience to God’s commandments. Complete renewal of life must be upheld until the end to be sure of salvation:
“As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; … Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (I Pet. 1:14, 13 NKJV).
“But those people who keep their faith [endure; stand firm; persevere] until the end will be saved.” (Matt. 24:13 Expanded Bible)