By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
For Christians, What Does It Mean to Be Born Again?
Speaking of being born again, I believe that all the brothers and sisters in the Lord know it and may think of the dialogue betweenand Nicodemus recorded in the , “ answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born again” (John 3:3-7). Jesus Christ told us that a man cannot enter into the kingdom of God unless he is born again, and that anyone who is not born again will be eliminated by God. As can be seen, this requirement of Jesus Christ is of great concern for every one of us that believes in and follows God.
As we all know, born again is absolutely not what Nicodemus understood–a man must enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born. Then what does the born again refer to? Some brothers and sisters think: Jesus Christ has borne the sins of us. We have faith in the Lord and get His redemption, which has brought us life, then we are born again.” Still, other brothers and sisters think: As long as we repent and confess all the sins we have committed one by one with bitter tears before the Lord, and accept baptism, the Lord will forgive our sins and bestow new life upon us, and then we will be born again.”
I once appreciated like this, but I never felt assured and secure and always thought: Is it really so easy for me to be born again if I repent and confess my sins to the Lord? If so, why does the scripture record: “… holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). From this we saw see that Jesus Christ wanted us to pursue to be purified instead of merely confessing sins. Thinking of the situation that the majority of the believers in the church confess their sins to the Lord every day, however, their sins have not decreased but been steadily on the increase; even pastors, elders and co-workers scramble for fame and fortune, intrigue against each other, exclude those who hold different views from them, and steal offerings; what’s more, brothers and sisters have jealous disputes with each other, judge and condemn others as they please, follow the evil trends, and serve mammon. Why do we do such things even we know clearly that these don’t conform to the teachings of the Lord? Can we, such kinds of old people bounded by sins, be the born again ones?
What the scripture says came to my mind: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Then, in other words, the true born again means that man has quit his sinful nature and obeyed Christ. These verses are sufficient to prove that believers in the present scene have not been born again yet. Then how to get born again? And what is the way to get born again?
Henceforth, I constantly examined the scriptures. I found in John 8:32 that Jesus Christ said to the Jews believing in Him: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 16:12-13, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” And “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). Weighing and considering these verses, I finally came to realize that if one wants to get eternal life, he must get the truth, and the truth of eternal life is brought to us by Christ of the last days. As can be seen from these verses, when Jesus Christ returns in the last days He should still do a step of work, which is in all probability the work of judgment done by the truth, that is, God’s work of purifying us mankind. Only when we keep up with God’s work in the last days, meet the returned Jesus Christ, and accept the purification of in the new stage of God’s work, our corrupt nature will get changed, and perspective of looking at things can be converted, and these are the manifestations of born again. For example, we have some rules of living such as “A tree lives with its bark; a man lives with his face” “There is no king but me” “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” “Money isn’t everything but without money you can’t do anything,” “The wages of avarice is death”, and so on. When we get purified through God’s words of judgment and chastisement, we will no longer live by these points of view but by God’s words and His requirements to us man—this is born again. Thanks to the enlightenment from the Lord. I have understood what on earth born again is. Glory be to the Lord! Amen!
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