“Unless one” – anyone – “is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3)
What does it mean to be “born again”? There are many opinions on this matter, but to understand what the term really means one must go to the Bible. Jesus used the phrase to describe a spiritual change that is required in order to have eternal life (John 1:3). Unless we are born again, we cannot enter heaven. John 3:1-6 records a conversation between Jesus and a Jewish Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, and a teacher of Israel and yet he did not understand what Jesus was teaching him.
Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, addressed Him saying, “Rabbi we know that You are a teacher come from God, for no one can do the signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2). Instead of commenting on Nicodemus observation, Jesus told him “Verily, verily I say unto you, except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The term “born again” means that the man has already had a natural birth, but now must have a spiritual birth; this comes by faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifices for us on Calvary’s Cross which is still available to all. Without the “new birth” one cannot understand or comprehend the Kingdom of God.
Nicodemus asked Jesus, “how can a man be born again”? He(Nicodemus) seemed to want an abstract theological discussion regarding Jesus’ identity. However, Jesus went to the heart of the matter, Nicodemus’ Spiritual condition telling the Pharisee that he must be “born again”(John 3:3). Being born again, ‘the act of God by which He imparts eternal life to those who are dead in their trespasses and sins but have now accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus let Nicodemus know that his impressive education, obedience to the law, and religious prominence in Judaism will not get him into heaven. He needed a new start, he must be born from above.
To further help Nicodemus understand how he can be born again, Jesus told him “unless one is born of Water and Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God” (John 3:5). In his entire life, Nicodemus has been taught that being Jewish and doing good works would gain him entrance to heaven, but he now realized that nothing he has done thus far would benefit him entrance to heaven.
Friends, like Nicodemus we must be careful not to make the mistake of the Pharisee. There are many people today who have the mistaken belief they are good enough to gain entrance to heaven because they attend Church services, give offerings, do good works, even having been baptized; yet have never truly been born again. You must be born again. The new birth is a spiritual experience and also the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He convicts us of sin and helps us understand that our good works are not sufficient in His eyes and will never make us fit for heaven.
Are you sure you have become “born again”? If you are not sure, you can surrender your life to Jesus Christ today and receive forgiveness and eternal life.