What Does 'Born Again' Mean?
"Truly, truly, I say to you,
unless one is born again
he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
We've all heard the term, "born again." But what does it mean, actually?
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Those who are well have no need of a physician,
but those who are sick.
I have not come to call the righteous,
but sinners, to repentance.”
Jeus didn't come for the righteous, they have no need. Concerning the self-made person with everything going for him, it will be very difficult for such a one to be “born again.”
Being born again requires that a person come to the end of himself and realize the truth about himself. If there is one element above all that keeps people from the Lord, it is “the pride of life.” Persons who are successful in their lives will hardly recognize their need. It is to the broken that the Lord comes.
Then Jesus said to His disciples,
“Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man
to enter the kingdom of heaven."
Is Your House For Sale?
A visual story...
You are a “house.” There are many rooms, many parts to your house; each room represents a part of your life. There’s your family relationships, your financial condition, your education, your friendships, your role as father, mother, son, daughter, there’s your accomplishments, and your failures, your pride, all that makes up you and your life.
The Lord draws those who will admit that they have not been good landlords. He comes for those whose houses are little more than shacks, because these are the people who will recognize their need.
He offers to purchase the house, but before the transaction is made, he spells out the terms of the sale. Then when he purchases the house, he will come in and totally redo it. He’ll knock down walls, strip the decorations, he’ll dig up and replace the foundation. Sometimes it will be painful, but it is necessary because he wants to change the shack into a palace, a palace where the King Himself will reside.
To be born again one must come to the realization that Jesus is LORD, and relinquish authority and control of one’s "house," one’s life, to him. That means once you hand him the keys, you let go all rights to the governing of your life. You must be willing to trustingly surrender to him the key to each room, including the darkest ones, the hidden ones. Once this transaction takes place, the renovation will begin. The Lord will move in and begin the transformation of the human soul.
The wise will recognize the wisdom in handing over ownership to the One who brought him/her into the world to begin with, the One who loves him/her the most.
Before any serious transaction can take place, the buyer and seller need to know what will be the terms of the sale.
The Cost To You
Many people shrink back from such a transaction out of fear of what it will entail. And that’s a legitimate consideration. You must first come to realize that all you have done and accomplished for yourself misses the mark. One must first come to see that all treasure here is going to pass away, and he must be willing to receive the admonition of Jesus that one should instead lay up treasure for himself in heaven, where it will last forever.
Jesus Christ who created the person can totally be trusted.
"Great is thy faithfulness...."
One must come to the realization that the Lord who made us has our BEST interests at heart. He will not inflict suffering for the sake of suffering, he will not do ANYTHING in us apart from a goal to bring about in us the fulfillment of all the desire of our hearts. We are particularly made, no two persons alike. We are as unique as our fingerprints. We have been made with a personality, talents, abilities, and gifts unique to each one alone, and with desires that flow out of each one’s unique personality. The Lord will bring all these together to fulfill the whole purpose and potential placed within each one before that one was even born.
Will he demand that I be a missionary in Africa?
Will there be no more fun in my life?
Some might fear coming to the Lord because of a dread of what he will call him to be a – a missionary in Africa, for example? This suggestion to the mind is a lie. Whatever the Lord calls a person to do, will be completely in harmony with the way that person is made. Ask any missionary, and he will tell you he couldn’t conceive of any other way of life, because his call is completely suited to the way he was made. The Lord is not seeking to go contrary to the way he has made an individual, but instead to fulfill the heart of that person and all that is in him. One who has been born again and has walked with the Lord for a length of time, will tell you that his whole satisfaction is in the new life the Lord has made for him individually. Do not fear what God will do inside you, nor what it will cost. His goal is the maturation and perfection of all your desire, your gifts, your talents, your very personality until he has made you the person you were uniquely created to be.
God has a specific and individual plan for your life. You were planned before the foundation of the world. Your fulfillment as a human being can only happen as you find out what that plan is and give yourself over to letting him bring it all to pass. It will be a decision you will never regret.
But God will never violate your free will. If you choose to avoid his plan for your life you will experience great regret at the end, when you arrive at the end of your life, and you stand before your creator only to find out that you missed what he had planned for your life.
If you accept, you will never regret it.
The greatest satisfaction a human being can experience is to arrive at the end of his life and hearing his Creator say to him, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” The rewards awaiting us in heaven are eternal, they will be ours forever. The wise person heeds this message and determines to seek only that which will last forever
And now let's consider what the cost is to Him. There is a cost on HIS part too.
It's an incredible price...
What is the price of the purchase?
The price is the cross on which he died for you, taking upon himself the penalty of YOUR sins.
It’s the blood he shed for your forgiveness.
The price he pays to purchase your “house” is his own blood.
If you have made the decision that you are truly willing to surrender your life to him, or if you're unsure whether you have been born again, then go to the Lord with all your heart and tell him that. Here’s a prayer you can use, but pray it from your heart, make it yours.
Father God, I truly desire to be born again so that I can spend all eternity with you. I recognize that I live in a fallen human nature. I know that I have sinned again and again in my life and that I fall far short of perfection. The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…” and I’m ready to admit that that includes me. Your Word tells me that the wages, or the results of sin, is death, not just physical death but the second death as well, which is to be lost forever. But your Word also tells me that you loved me so much that you shed your blood for ME, you gave your life for ME, while you hung on that cross my name was on your mind. Jesus, I confess to you my sins and ask that the blood that you shed will cover me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I say like the thief on the cross next to you, “Lord, please remember me.”
Lord Jesus, I am ready to give up to you complete authority and control over my life. Purchase this vessel, Lord Jesus, I hand to you the keys to every nook and cranny within me, I am all yours. Bring me into the New Covenant that you established in your sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection. I trust you to begin that work in me, of making me all that you planned for me to be. Show me your plan and purpose for my life, and I ask for wisdom and strength to follow you from this day forward until the day I meet you in heaven - forever.