Q. The church I attend does not teach the need to be born again, but I’ve been told that Jesus said we must be born again. I want to do what Jesus said. What must I do to become a born again Christian?
A. The phrase born again comes from John 3:3 where Jesus called it a prerequisite for entrance into God’s Kingdom. A few verses later He explained that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to die for our sins so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have have eternal life (John 3:16).
In John 1:12-13 we are told that everyone who receives Jesus and believes in His name is given the authority to become a child of God. The way you do this is through prayer. You tell God that you know you’re a sinner in need of a Savior, and that you believe Jesus died for your sins and rose again. (That’s what believing in His name means.)
Then you ask Him to forgive you for your sins and to be your Savior. The moment He hears your prayer, He will do what you ask. Then He will send His Holy Spirit to dwell within you as a deposit guaranteeing your inheritance (Ephes. 1:13-14). That’s what it means to be born again.
Jesus said everyone who asks receives, every one who seeks will find and to all who knock the door will be opened (Matt. 7:7-8). There are no other conditions.
So it’s like this. Being born the first time gave us a temporary life on Earth. Being born again gives us an eternal life with God in Heaven.