As a devout Christian, I am intrigued by the beliefs of religious people on how to go to heaven. I became interested in this topic after realizing that some people do not know what being born again is and if it is the key to going to heaven. I decided to read the Bible to find out what it says about this and talked to numerous Bible Scholars and the local clergy about it. Last week, as I was teaching my college theology class about being born again, one of my students asked me whether one has to get born again to get to heaven, while another asked what being a born-again Christian means. Having done extensive research on this topic, I had all the right answers at my fingertips. So, do you need to be born again to go to heaven?
In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into the topic of being born again. Keep reading to find out what the Bible says about being born again, what it means to be a born-again Christian, whether you must be baptized to be born again, and much more!
What does the Bible say about being born again?
Being born again is a major theme in the Bible, especially in the New Testament. Jesus and many of his followers emphasized it. John 3:1-5 is a passage on how Nicodemus came to Jesus at night to ask him some questions. Jesus told him that the only way anyone can enter the Kingdom of God is by being born again. Nicodemus did not understand Jesus’ words, but Jesus explained that being born again means being born of water and the Spirit.
Additionally, John 3:16 reminds us of how God sacrificed his son to die for our sins so that when we believe in him and get born again, we shall receive eternal life. After Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples, he sent them to proclaim the gospel to the world. In Mark 16:16, Jesus said that anyone who believes in the living God receives salvation. Therefore there is no condemnation for those born again.
Paul the Apostle said in 2nd Corinthians 5:17 that when a person is born again, they are in Christ and become a new Creation. They must therefore leave behind their old life and embrace a new one.
Apostle John said in 1st John 3:9 that anyone that is born again is born of God, and therefore, they should not make sinning a habit. He says that a born-again Christian has God’s seeds abiding in him.
What does it mean to be a born-again Christian?
Being a born-again Christian is receiving the spiritual transformation that comes from above. It is having a change of heart and going through regeneration of the Spirit. 1st John 5:1 says that anyone that believes in Jesus Christ is born of God.
Nicodemus asked Jesus how he could be born again when he was already old since he did not understand this concept. Jesus did not mean being born from his mother’s womb. He explained that being born again is being born of water and Spirit. This means that once you believe that Christ is Lord and repent, you receive the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Being a born-again Christian means that God considers you his child (Romans 8:16). Being a born-again Christian also means that God has given you a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). It also means that you have new goals and a new purpose and can longer live for yourself but for him (2nd Corinthians 5:15).
What is the significance and purpose of being born again?
From the teachings of Jesus, we learn that the main reason we get born again is to see the Kingdom of God. Jesus said that no one can go to heaven unless they are born again (John 3:3). Being born again saves us from condemnation and hell and enables us to secure eternal life with God in his dwelling.
Paul reminds us that before being born again, we are dead in our trespasses, but God showed mercy and saved us (Ephesians 2:1-5). Therefore, theologians speculate that the purpose of being born again is to be made alive together with Christ. Being born again helps one see the greatness of God’s love when they are dead.
Christians also imply that we also get born again to establish a new relationship with God. Unlike earthly friends who keep on betraying us, being born again gives us a reliable friend who is always there for us in all situations. Colossians 1:19-20 reminds us that it is only through Jesus that we have access to God. Therefore getting born again gives us that access. Additionally, being born again assures us of our salvation and reminds us that our sins are forgiven.
Do you have to be baptized to be born again?
No. You can be born again even when you are not yet baptized. Being born again is caused by the operation of the Holy Spirit and not by the baptism of water. The Bible also clearly explains that we get saved by grace through believing and having faith in Jesus and not by works of any kind such as baptism (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Different scriptures also support the concept of salvation by faith, like John 3:36. This verse tells us that anyone that believes in the son of God has eternal life, but one that rejects him shall face the wrath of God and will not see life. From this verse, we can tell that baptism is not mentioned as a requirement of salvation.
Luke 7:50 also proves that one does not have to be baptized to be born again. In this passage, a woman washed Jesus’ feet, and Jesus told her that her faith had saved her. He then told the woman to go in peace. Jesus did not tell the woman that her faith and baptism saved her. Therefore, based on this story, we learn that one must not be baptized to be born again.
How do you become born again, according to the Bible?
You must first admit that you are a sinner in need of saving. Romans 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Therefore to get born again, you must be ready to ask for forgiveness.
You then have to put your faith in Jesus to be born again. You must confess that God raised Jesus from the dead to receive salvation. Repenting means acknowledging your sin and being ready to turn away from it. You must make a prayer and ask God to be part of your life.
What happens when you become born again?
When you are born again, the Holy Spirit enters your life and penetrates your heart. He guides you throughout and helps you become more like Christ. God promised to put a new spirit in those who believe in him and give their lives to him.
Additionally, Galatians 3:26 says that when one becomes born again, they become a child of God. Your relationship with God is made right, and you are no longer condemned. Though the world sometimes is not very welcoming to people born again, Ephesians 1:6 says that when you are born again, you are accepted by Christ.
You also get protection from God. Getting born again also makes you part of God’s true Church. You now belong to a universal church of believers that have put their faith in Jesus as their savior.
How is a born-again Christian different from a regular Christian?
A born-again Christian is different from a regular Christian in that the born-again Christian has a personal relationship with God. The regular Christian may be a churchgoer but is yet to establish this relationship with Christ.
Though both types of Christians may have heard the word of God, to the born-again Christian, everything they are taught becomes real. On the other hand, a regular Christian does not always follow God’s teachings. A born-again Christian is different from a regular Christian in that they consecrate their all to serve the Lord. A regular Christian may find it hard to make this sacrifice.
Unlike a regular Christian, a born-again Christian obeys God’s commands without questioning him. A born-again Christians is also different in that they embody the love of God to other people, and compassion to them comes naturally. On the other hand, most regular Christians love conditionally.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.