Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3
Jesus was talking with Nicodemus when He said this. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and he came to check Jesus out. He asked how Jesus was able to perform the signs that He did. Jesus jumped right to the heart of His message: you have to be born again. Back in the 80’s, the term “born again” was almost overused. All kinds of famous people said they were born again. Some were bonafide, others maybe not. After that there seemed to be a distinction that people were making when they said they were a ‘born again Christian,’ as opposed to some other kind of Christian.
Nicodemus was confused about what Jesus meant, just like people today. Jesus explained that it’s about being born a second time, this time spiritually. Ephesians 2:1 describes us as being dead in our sins. Before we become Christians, we are alive in the body but dead spiritually. Our “spirit man” is dead. But when we receive Jesus and believe in Him, as John 1:12 talks about, we become alive in Christ.
Another word for this is “regeneration.” Titus 3:4-6 reads, “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” It is the Holy Spirit who washes, regenerates and renews us and makes us “born again.”
This is a radical change. Once we become alive in our spirit, we can communicate with God and the Bible now begins to make sense. Our desires change. We have become a new creation. I’m guessing that Nicodemus became a believer. He is mentioned again in John 19:39 helping bury Jesus. Have you been born again?