July 11, 2007 Featured Article


What's Up With "Born Again?"

by Ken Johnson

Ken Johnson, President & CEO
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In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3: 3


Do you have to literally go back into your mother’s womb and be born again to be “born again” as a Christian? You know the answer—it’s an obvious NO—so what do you have to do? And why do we need to be born again? Also, why are mainline Christians so against using those words? Their fear and concern has never made sense to me. I sometimes think that they have just had too much seminary training and aren’t able to understand something so simple.


I am the building representative of the building where I live—not because that’s what I want but I was elected—and I recently encountered a resident who has a tendency to get angry and cuss people out. Well to make a long story short, he did just that to me. He was angry because I reminded him what the truth was about a number of incidents that had happened around the building so I asked him to quit lying about me and he in a very angry way cussed me out. Well, he had sent me notes over a period of months that were signed “Born Again Christian” so I asked him to quit signing his notes that way because his life and the way he treated people made it evident that he might not be born again and he was embarrassing Christians in the community.


There was a second happening just this week that made me really focus on the words born again and what they mean. There was another resident of the building who heard me say that this person said he was born again and she said that she had talked to a pastor who said that he didn’t really believe in the idea of being Born Again. 


This is what prompted me to write this Blog. I agree that saying it to everyone is not the way to show that you are born again; you need show them in the life you live that you are born again. So the term means nothing except the idea means a lot. Let’s look at what the scriptures say about those two infamous words.


Let’s start in Ephesians 2: 1.4-5 where it says: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, …; But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” There are other scriptures that say the same thing. Okay then how does this rebirth take place? In John 5: 21 it says: “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.”  It John 3: 3-6 it says “In reply Jesus declared, I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. How can a man be born again when he is old? Nicodemus asked. Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born! Jesus answered, I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”  


What is the hang-up with those two words? I think just these tiny bits of scripture answer any questions that might be out there. The words born again only mean that you have become a new creation and that you will live a life that will be an example to other people around you. It doesn’t mean that you will be perfect; it just means that you will live the best life you can. I think that the words, born again, are good words to live by, what about you?


Let me know what you think—do you agree or disagree? Don’t be bashful—let it all hang out—give me your honest feelings.

Scriptures are taken from the New International Version.


© 2007, Ken Johnson, President and CEO of The Ken Johnson Group, LLC, Church Consultants. To contact Ken, or for permission to reprint this article, send an e-mail to: ken@thekenjohnsongroup.com


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