What is a Born Again Christian? Is there a difference between a Christian that has been born again verses a regular run of the mill Christian?
We’re going to do a few things here. First we’re going to answer the two questions above. Second, by doing so, we’ll clarify the issue in the event someone has been given a false narrative about what it is to be a follower of Christ.
There’s no shortage of falsified info out there on the topic. So here, I’ll make it as clear as I can, using Biblical references to back up what will be conveyed. No man out there is THE authority on the matter. It’s the Lord God Almighty that has given us the details throughout his written Word.
Question One – What is a Born Again Christian?
Our Common Dilemma
Let me explain…
Ever since the Garden of Eden, mankind is born into this world handicapped. Kind of a crude way to word it, but it’s none the less true.
We’re born with a body of flesh, this physical stuff that we can see and touch. Being housed in this body of flesh, is a soul. Everybody’s got one, and it is the invisible stuff that makes you, you. Being clothed inside that soul is a spirit, and here is where the handicap comes into effect.
We are born into this world being spiritually dead. This is the long term effect of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden. Ever since that fateful day, all of mankind moving forward is born spiritually dead.
To aid us throughout life, the Lord set up and established all kinds of things that would behave as a guide or a substitute; methods of getting right with him and to cover over our sins, so that he’d not remain in anger. At the same time, providing blessings to the obedient.
So in those days, there were a list of things to stay free from sin, and if you broke anything on the list, a sacrifice had to be made to atone for, or in other words cover, those sins. The objects used as sacrifices were different for different issues; for sin, animals were used.
There is another list of things to do in order to be blessed. So, the do’s and don’t were made clear thousands of years ago, and it didn’t take long before mankind realized that it was an impossibility to live a sin free life.
Whenever someone who wanted to stay right with the Lord, and receive a blessing rather than a curse, yet sinned, they needed to bring up a sacrifice unto the Lord. The Bible says it plainly:
Hebrews 9: King James Bible
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
So to get back on target, mankind has had this dilemma of being spiritually dead since the fall of man. And because of that issue, there was no such thing as man going to heaven when they died. It was a place called Sheol, which was a place that was both hell and paradise, side by side with barriers set into place that prevented one side from crossing into the other.
Paradise was where the faithful went, hell is where those that weren’t faithful landed.
What about babies or small children that die?
The Lord is a just judge, and is righteous. You were only free and clear from conception,until you were at an age where you could discern the difference between right and wrong. That’s still true today. Here’s why that is…
Adam sinned by eating from the tree of Knowledge of good and evil:
Genesis 2: King James Bible
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
So we all hit an age, that the curse of Adam’s sin kicks in, and after learning the difference between good and evil (right and wrong), which to this day, is the hereditary result of Adam eating that fruit, we are held accountable.
The physical attribute of the curse is always in effect, were it not so, there would be no physical death, nor would small children or babies ever die in the first place. But the spiritual effects of the curse is held off until a child begins eating the fruits of the knowledge of good and evil.
But for those babies and small children who have died prior to that, the Lord receives them unto himself. They are pure and unstained by this world.
Romans 7: King James Bible
9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
Remedy for the Spiritually Dead
Below are several verses that pertain to man’s default spiritual condition. Many of these will back up some of the things that I was talking about up above concerning being spiritually dead…
Matthew 8: King James Bible
22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Luke 9: King James Bible
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Luke 15: King James Bible
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
John 5: King James Bible
25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
Romans 8: King James Bible
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
1 Corinthians 1: King James Bible
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
2 Corinthians 4: King James Bible
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
Ephesians 2: King James Bible
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Colossians 2: King James Bible
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
1 John 3: King James Bible
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Revelation 3: King James Bible
1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
In comes Christ Jesus.
The sacrifices that I mentioned above, to atone for our sins, were merely a foreshadowing of what was to come and what had to be done. Any offering that mankind could offer only temporarily fixed the issue of separation from God through sin, a better and perfect sacrifice needed to be made.
That sacrifice was made by the Father himself, offering up his only begotten Son as a once and for all sacrifice in our stead. And he didn’t do it because we love him, but instead because he first loved us.
Not only did the Father suffer himself to give his most prized possession (also being a form of himself), for the sake of washing away our sin completely; not merely covering the sin, but removing it as far from him as the east is from the west; but also did this to reconnect us with him personally, birthing inside of us a “NEW” spirit.
This is what being Born Again means, that you’re a vessel for your own personal newborn spirit that dwells inside of you, and this is only achieved through Christ Jesus, and by the Holy Ghost.
Jesus made this perfectly clear to a Pharisee that came to speak with him privately, yet has since become one of the most famous and widely known conversations of all time:
John 3: King James Bible
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Is there a difference between a Born Again and a regular Christian?
I would suppose that many people assume that Christianity is one body chopped up into several thousand pieces, which would also be referred to as Denominations. Superficially that would be correct. But despite the denominational differences (assuming that we’re talking about full on Christian denominations, not blatant cults or close but no cigar sects), there is a much smaller core of true believers that bear the evidence of their salvation in Christ Jesus.
There’s an untold number of people that believe, since they’re not practicing Satanism, or any form of witchcraft, and believe in God and Jesus, that they are a Christian. Anybody can call themselves whatever they want.
For a cheesy example…
I’m sitting here, and most of you have never seen my face before. So if I were to tell you that I was a Korean with an adopted Irish name, who’d care to give it a thought, right? But the truth is, I’m a medley of different nationalities, with a greater percentage being Irish.
The claim above would prove itself out as false as soon as you caught a glimpse of my mug. You’d realize that I’m not Korean at all, you may not know exactly what nationality I’d be specifically, but you’d know for sure that I’m of no Oriental descent. Even if I truly believed that I was Korean, the evidence would show otherwise.
And so it is also in the world of Christianity. Millions of people say that they’re Christian, but when you get to know them a little, their actions, words, beliefs, reactions, worldview, etc., will tell you otherwise. Their denominational differences don’t account for a hill of beans if they’ve not been Born Again in Christ Jesus. And also, one might consider where their definition of right and wrong comes from; the Word of God or the fallen World.
The Difference is:
If you’ve got a new born spirit inside of you, then you know it without any doubts. You remember it being birthed inside of you, either immediately or shortly after receiving Christ Jesus into your life. It’s an occurrence that I’ve never known anyone who’s been born again to forget.
It’s also more than a feeling, but is also a change. You can go to church your whole life, call yourself a Christian, go through all the motions, even do your utmost to be the best person in town, even be a Pastor of a Church! None of that matters if you’ve not been Born Again in the Spirit.
That is the criteria that Jesus himself gives us, and is what he made available by virtue of his death on the Cross. Without that first step, all other steps will not get you into heaven, no matter how pious or religious one may behave.
In this sense, being Born Again is synonymous with being Saved.
Ephesians 2: King James Bible
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
To wrap this up, I would say that on the surface, there doesn’t seem to be much difference. Similar to the way a frozen lake that has a 2 inch layer of ice, may looks the same as a lake that has a 2 foot thick layer of ice. (If you’ve had the displeasure of finding out the hard way the difference between the two layers of ice, I give you my sympathy and condolences.)
But their is a major difference between the two. One is spiritually connected to the Father, given an assurance of where they will wind up after death, and also will be rewarded for their deeds. The other will be in for the shock of their lives when they find themselves before the Father, expecting entrance into Heaven, and Jesus says, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
If you would like to have that blessed assurance, but are not sure whether or not you’ve been Born Again, please go and see the Salvation page, and learn a quick and easy prayer. If you mean what you’re praying, no matter who you are or what you’ve done, the Father will honor it, and your spirit will be made alive! Born anew! If you’d like start your walk with the Creator of all the Universe, today is the day of Salvation!
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