What does it mean to be born again?

We have said that a person who chooses to believe in and follow Jesus is “born again”. Maybe you think that this is a silly expression. Like anyone can get back into their mother’s tummy to be born a second time? Actually, a man asked Jesus the same questions. Jesus answered him like this: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:5-6).  So what does it mean to be born again?

Let’s think about what a birth means. When a child is born, it is born into a family. When we are born again, we are born into God’s family. This is how we become the children of God, with God as our father, Jesus as our brother.


A child has the DNA of his family. Being born of the Spirit, means God plants His DNA into us. We receive His Holy Spirit who lives inside of us, as we start to believe in and follow Jesus. As we grow in our Christian lives, we will become more and more like Jesus, because the Spirit lives inside of us.

To those who receive Jesus, to them God gives the right to become children of God

John 1:12

Legal rights

A child has rights in his family. For example, he can inherit. The same way, we as children of God are heirs to the promises God has given us. The Bible says: “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:6-7) We have an inheritance stored up for us. Generally, inheritance aren’t given to children until someone dies, but that’s the beauty of this: Jesus has died – and through His death, we now receive the inheritance. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive the other promises too.


A child expects different things from a father, than for example a servant from his master. God doesn’t treat us as servants, but as children. He gives us good gifts. In fact, He provides everything we need, like a good father making sure that his children’s needs are met. Because we are children, we can trust that our Father is taking care of us.


As children we don’t always see what is best for ourselves. For example, children don’t think about the danger of playing in a street, but the father puts up fences or rules to keep his children safe in the garden. In the same way God our Father does what is best for us, even when we don’t understand. Because He is our Father, we trust in Him.  


Another effect of the new birth, is that we get a new identity. In fact, we get a whole new citizenship. We become citizens of God’s kingdom, with all the rights and privileges that come with that.

In the Bible, Paul writes in his letter to the Romans: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14) and “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16) The Holy Spirit who lives in every believer confirms who we are: the children of God. As believers in Jesus Christ, we belong to a new family. The Holy Spirit will help us live this new life in the kingdom of God. The next video will tell you more about who the Holy Spirit is.

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