Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘you must be born again.’ John 3:7
The biblical expression of being ‘born again’ has fallen on hard times both in the secular and sad to say, Christian world. Generally the world scoffs at such a statement a little like Nicodemus did at first when Jesus spoke of this necessity for entering God’s blessing of salvation (Jn 3:4). And over the last decade or so, some Christian groups have picked up on this descriptive terminology as a boastful nametag to separate themselves from the rest of the religious ‘herd.’
While the term ‘born again’ is both biblical and descriptive of what needs to take place in a person’s life for them to become the children of God, Jesus never intended it to be a mere nametag in order to satisfy people’s spiritual identity.
Our personal identity and natural relationship to our earthly parents was made known to them through our natural birth, so too, our spiritual relationship to God is established by God through our being spiritually born again.
Our spiritual relationship to God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit begins this way. It happens when we recognize (convicted by the holy Spirit) we are dead to God because of sin (Eph. 2:1). Then through faith in God’s grace and mercy in the provision of His beloved Son Jesus, our sin bearer, we are changed, we are spiritually ‘born again.’ It is descriptive of a change of ownership or allegiance that has taken place in our lives.
That new birth produces godly changes. It will give us a new bent toward the Lord and His people that was never there before. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).
Born again is not a nametag for prideful identity but descriptive of a spiritual transformation - it is vital! Or as J C Ryle once said - Except a man be born again, he will wish one day he had never been born at all.