It is unfortunate that the biblical term “born again” (John 3:3-7) has come to mean anybody who calls themselves a Christian. We are living in a day and age where this term has been both misused and abused (Jude 4). Even secular society has picked up on the phrase of being born again to identify a recovering drug addict or alcoholic because their life has experienced a change for the better. Can a person who wins the New York State Lotto now claim to be “born again” because he or she no longer needs to live in financial restraints as before they “hit the jackpot?” Is a person who converts to Islam or Hinduism “born again” because their lives have changed for the better? Of course not!
John is going to mention being “born of God” at least six times in the rest of our study (1 John 3:9 [2X], 4:7, 5:1,4,18 [2X-NKJV]). A person who is genuinely born again has repented of their sin and trusted in Christ alone for their salvation (Acts 2:36-38, 3:19, 17:30,31). A person who is born of God will love fellow Christians despite what they call themselves denominationally (John 13:34,35). A person who has been born of God’s Spirit will not be practicing a sinful lifestyle (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:3-5). In a nutshell, a born again Christian is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our hope is in Christ alone.
Does being born again strip us of the ability to sin? Has our flesh been completely eradicated now that we are Christians? No (1 John 1:8-10). This new birth is once and for all (1 Peter 1:23), but it is at the same time a day-to-day process of putting on the new man and putting off the old (Colossians 3:5- 14).
John tells us today that there are only two spiritual families to which a person can belong: the family of God and the family of the devil (1 John 3:8,10) There is no wiggle room and no neutral place to hide, my friend. Which family are you in this morning? Is Jesus Christ Lord of your life, or are you, like Paul once was, captivated by a religious system (Philippians 3:4-6)? There are many things that can change our lives on the outside, but it is only the new birth, which comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, that can make you a new creature from the inside out.
He who has an ear, let him hear what The Spirit saith unto the church today!