I was Born From Above (Titus 3: 5-7)
In the late 1980's and early 1990's the phrase "Born Again," became associated
with fundamentalism of the very conservative Baptist type. This was unfortunate
for two reasons. First, because the term fundamentalism had, until then,
a much broader and inclusive nature which defined an adherent to its precepts
as someone who believed the basic doctrines of the Gospel, the nature and
atonement of Christ, and the authority of the Bible.
The term "Born Again," is one not only used by Christ to explain conversion,
but is also a very helpful term to describe the fundamental change that takes
place in a person when he/she rests in Christ for salvation and forgiveness.
For example, in 1 Corinthian 5:17, we find, "Therefore if any man is in Christ,
he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things
The nature of being born again, is spelled out well in the early verses of
John 3. This is the story of Jesus and Nicodemus. In summary, what is said
here is that there needs to be a change in the heart and life in the person
effected so that their principles, actions, motivations, and dreams are new.
It is as if the person is a new person, re-born. This is because of the work
of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the new person. The Spirit gives us a
new principle of holiness, and the person responds accordingly.
Now the mode of the operation of the Spirit in doing this is a mystery. How
the Holy Spirit enlightens, quickens, and sanctifies the souls of men and
women is as difficult to understand as the causes and workings of the wind.
But this implanting of new habits and a new nature, by the Spirit, is of
great importance to us. It is part of the amazing plan of God to re-new and
re-claim, a people, holy to Himself.
Being born again is not a natural change. It is a supernatural change. It
is a change of the essence in the person effected. This is why it is called,
the new birth, resurrection, new creation, and change of heart in the Scriptures.
Many have called being born again the "infusion of a new spiritual principle,"
in the life of the person changed. And maybe that is the best explanation
of it. It is a new spiritual principle or nature that is given to us. This
is why we call the grace of God, free grace. It is available to "whosoever,"
will come to Christ believing in His atonement for forgiveness, (John 3:16)
and it is free.
"Conversion requires an alteration of the will, and an alteration which,
in the last resort, does not occur without the intervention of the supernatural."
C. S. Lewis