Almost every Christian claims to be born again. But unfortunately, it is quite difficult to prove it. Only God can tell whether someone is born again or not. The Bible says that we must be born again of water and of Spirit (cf. John 3:5). But what does it actually mean to be born again? And how does it work? How do you know whether you are born again or not?
One thing should be clear: You can’t simply jump into a pool of water and claim to be born again.
The Bible teaches us how to be born again
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)
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38)
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)
The Bible says, you are born again if you believe in Jesus and are baptized in his name for the forgiveness of your sins. But the problem is, that most people aren’t aware of the part that comes after the baptism. This is the part where you start changing your life according to God’s will and you start growing in the spirit of God. If everything remains the same after you have been baptised and you continue to live the same worldly life as before, you have never been born again. Whoever wants to be born again, must be born again of the Spirit of truth. You can jump into a pool of water and call Jesus as often as it pleases you. But if the Spirit of truth doesn’t dwell in you and your heart isn’t seeking eternal life, nothing will change.
And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Numbers 14:20-24)
After baptism, you start to grow in the spirit
To be born again means to be born of God. You leave your old self behind to become a whole new creature. Not only your personality and habits will change, but also your heart. In the end, you won’t be the same person anymore. To be born again is a powerful process that changes your whole life in a drastic way. I call this a process, because that’s what it is. When you are born again, you are still an infant in spirit. You have just been born and aren’t able to walk nor talk. Every step that you take needs to be newly guided by God, in order to grow and prosper in your new life.
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. (1 Peter 2:1-2)
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children. (Ephesians 5:1)
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)
Being born again means leaving your old life behind
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
There are many examples in the Bible where people have given up their lives to start over new according to Gods will. God has commanded many of His children to leave their family and homes. Just like in the story of Abraham:
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee. (Genesis 12:1)
You get a new life if you are willing to give up everything for God
It is a fact our environment and social contacts determine who we are and how we behave. Therefore, it is necessary to depart from wicked and tempting environment in order to become a new person.
But I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 37:23)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:10-11)
Jesus commanded his disciples to abandon their family and friends, urging them not to look back. The Bible tells us, that he didn’t even let them say goodbye to their families or bury their deceased relatives:
And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:61-62)
And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. (Matthew 8:21-22)
Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting. (Luke 18:28-30)
Jesus said that He didn’t come to bring peace, but to divide people and separate relatives from one another. Most Christians today think that this contradicts the teaching of love, but in fact this is clearlyw what Jesus taught us. We all need to get a better understanding of what love really means.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:34-37)
Everyone who names himself a follower of God, needs to depart from everything that prevents him from doing so. Depending on your situation you may have to abandon everyone you know from your life, for the sake of a prosperous serving in the name of God. That is the reason why Jesus said that you have to love God more than your family. Everyone who is not willing to give up everything for God is not worth serving Him.
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Matthew 22:36-37)
Leaving your old self actually isn’t even enough. The birth of a new being within the same body requires death! Your old self must not only be left behind, you spiritually need to die to become a fully new creature. The Bible makes a very clear statement on this topic. Paul said that our old self has been crucified together with Jesus and we no longer live according to the flesh but through the spirit.
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6:3-6)
If you want to become a new person, you need to spend a lot of time with God
Many biblical personalities spent a lot of time absent from the world in order to achieve spiritual growth. Moses spent 40 years in Midian before God sent him to Egypt to free the Israelites from slavery (cf. Acts 7:29-30). Also many of the prophets spent a lot of time alone, often even in the desert, before they started to proclaim the Word of God. John the Baptist actually lived in the desert (cf. Mark 1:2-8).
But were these people actually alone? Of course not. God was with them. He taught and prepared them for their coming tasks, far off from the sin filled people that lurked in the cities.
To be born again means to distance yourself from the world and all evil
Almost everyone knows that the world is a sinful place full of affliction. And everyone who parts with this world, is also a part of its sin:
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4)
The disciples James and John rightly said:
Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility to God? Whoever wants to be a friend to the world, makes himself the enemy of God!Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)
It is really not hard to see that humanity is corrupted and is getting worse day by day. If you are a proud member of the perverted society and tolerate the sins within in it, how can you be a part of God’s kingdom? The customs and standards of this world are in direct oppositon to the will of God. Therefore, friendship with this world means enmity with God.
And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. (1 John 5:19)
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)
It is very important to build up a close relationship with God if you want to be born again. For only God is able to make us a new creature. All human efforts won’t profit anything. Only God himself can change peoples hearts and show them the path into rightousness. No matter how hard you try to be a good person, every work done without the faith in God and according to his will, results in nothingness. If you don’t put your trust in the help of God, you are damned to fail.
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8)
To have a new life means that you are guided by the Spirit of God
Everyone who has truly received a new life from God is guided by His spirit. This doesn’t only include the observance of God’s commandments, but also everything that God tells you himself. The more time you spend with God and His Word, the better you know Him and His will for you.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:15-17)
If you want to know, why followers of Jesus keep the commandments, read this article: Did Jesus abolish the law? Do we have to keep the commandments?
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 16:13)
Only those who do the will of the Father, will enter Kingdom of God. That’s what the Bible says:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23)
If anyone is about to go astray, God will admonish him and pull him back on the right path:
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)
Little by little you will notice that you see the world with different eyes. You might be surprised how drastically your view of things will change. For the Spirit of Truth reveals everything and brings true understanding.
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. (John 9:39)
Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (John 11:9-10)
Everyone who is born again is no longer a sinner
But how can you know whether a person was born again or not? It is quite simple. The Bibel tells us, you should recognize them by their fruits (cf. Matthew 7:15-16). Everyone who has a new life and is led by God doesn’t sin, because he has overcome the world. Paul said that if we believe in Jesus and are born again, we are dead to sin:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1-2)
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. (Romans 6:5-7)
Jesus says that anyone who sins is a slave to sin and only the truth can set him free:
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. (John 8:34)
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)
Whoever is born again is no longer a slave to sin. The truth has set him free. God’s Spirit dwells in him and guides him in all truth. He no longer belongs to this world, but to God alone. For him, living without sin is no problem.
John explained very clearly that someone who is born of God overcomes the world and is no longer subject to sin:
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)
Everyone who remains in God does not sin, but lives in perfect harmony with God’s will. John says that this characteristic reveals whether someone belongs to God or to the devil:
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (1 John 3:4-10)
But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. (Judas 1:17-19)
Here you can find more information about this topic: Who enters the Kingdom of God? Is it possible to live without sin?
After all these biblical verses and facts, everyone should be able to judge for himself whether he has really been born again or is still bound to his old sinful life. The Bible states it very clearly:
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (1 John 3:6)
Nevertheless, I want to mention that there is no general instruction or guideline how to deepen your relationship with God. It can be very different for every individual. That’s why, we should turn to God by ourselves through faith and obedience. Everyone who opens his ears, should know what God wants from him. We are not bound to false prophets and authorities to hear the word of God.
Please note that I didn’t write this article to condemn anyone. Much more it is my intention to reveal the written truth of the bible to the people. Everyone should judge for himself whether he lives according to the written word or walks abroad.
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