By Scott Johnson
Nicodemus engaged with Jesus one night in a very important conversation. This meeting led Jesus to explain and proclaim that one must be born of water and the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God or as he emphasized--one must be born again! John recorded this conversation and about 60 years later expounded on the topic "Born Again" as he wrote 1 John. This short letter contains the phrase "Born of God" (which is Born-Again) 6 times and in each chapter except the chapter 1. John tells us how we can know that we are born again--- not a one time event--- but as a life process. Born again is not so much about what we did, but about what we do. Born again is not so much about a past historical event but about a present and ongoing demonstration (in a weak and imperfect body) of our allegiance to God the Father. We are born of his Spirit and now Christ lives in us!
A born-again person seeks to do the right.
If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him. (1Jn 2:29)
A born-again person seeks to reject the wrong.
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. (1Jn 3:9-10)
A born-again person seeks to love.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1Jn 4:7-8)
A born-again person believes (and acts on that belief) that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. (1Jn 5:1)
A born-again person is in the world but not of the world.
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1Jn 5:4-5)
A born-again person is safe and saved!
We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1Jn 5:18-20)
This is the one who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1Jn 5:6-13 NIV)
Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to [email protected]