What does it mean to be Born Again.

John3: 3 NIV, " Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

There is no denying the fact that one must be "born again" to be part of Christís church. There are two questions that will be discussed with this page. What is meant by being born again and must everyone be born again?

Of course, this scripture sighted is part of the account when Nicodemus went to Jesus for answers to questions that were bothering him. The fact that the account mentions that he "came by night" would indicate that he wanted his interest to be secret. We think that he was part of the Jewish Sanhedrin, which as a group opposed Jesus. The account doesnít mention the questions he asked Jesus only the part about how he felt that Jesus must be from God. There are two words in Jesusí answer that need to be examined closely. The word "born" is from the Greek work "gennao" which means more than the English word "born". It is used in Matt.1: 20 and there is translated "conceived". Here the angel of the Lord is telling Joseph "that which is conceived in Mary is of the Holy Spirit". Thus the word can mean either born or begotten. This is important because the Christian will not be "Born Again" until the first resurrection and they are actually born into heaven. What happens now is that they are begotten as a "new creature". 2Cor. 5:17 and Gal. 6:15. "Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature." Of course we do not reenter our motherís womb but Jesus didnít deny that it fit as an allegory. It makes sense to me that the change to a new nature would be the birth. To the Christian, this life is a process of preparation for their part in the Kingdom. That fits the idea of the period of gestation.

The second question, will everyone have to be born again?, is answered by examining the word "see" in the John 3:3 scripture. It sounds as though no one can have anything to do with the Kingdom of God unless he is "born again". It says no one can "see" the Kingdom of God unless they are born again. The Greek word that is translated see in this verse is "eido" and is translated by several words other than see. In Matt13: 14, Mar.4: 12, and Acts 28:26 it is translated "perceive". It would seem that Jesusí answer to Nicodemus was that for him or anyone else to understand what he and his disciples were saying about the kingdom of God they would have to be begotten of the Spirit. There is nothing in this text of scripture saying anything about those that have not been "begotten of the Spirit".

It would seem that the answer to the question, will everyone have to be born again, is no. This seems to be another place that makes a distinction between the church and the world.