The phrase "being born again" has become a staple to the Christian faith in many churches all around the globe nowadays. It refers to the new life we now have in God through Christ that involves a spiritual rebirth thus the term "born again."
We've all probably heard the encounter between the pharisee Nicodemus and Jesus and the conversation they had about being born again. In John 3:3, Jesus tells Nicodemus, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[b] he cannot see the kingdom of God." It confused the scholar back then and it still confuses many today.
But sadly many Christians loosely throw around the concept and phrase, often losing the true essence of spiritual rebirth. Being born again can mean a lot of things to many people and many of the interpretations can be far from the truth. Here are three common ways that many Christians misunderstand being born again.
Misunderstanding #1. Being born again means being perfect
Often, believers think that when we are born into the faith as we receive Jesus into our lives that almost instantly all our vices, bad habits and problems will go away. God never says this and in fact tells us that coming into a relationship with Him is only the start of the journey.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." Progressively Jesus changes us into His image and likeness as He removes the occurrence of sin in our life.
Misunderstanding #2. It comes by confessing alone
Christianity is far from just being lip service. It is a faith that encompasses every part of our being. To say that "we're Christian" alone does not mean that we now live a life in Christ. Even Romans 10:9 tells us that "...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
More than just confessing with our mouths, we are to believe in our hearts, which will then result to a new way of life as we surrender to God and trust Him to do what's best for us. That's why it's called faith. In Matthew 7:21, Jesus emphasized, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
Misunderstanding #3. We are born into a religion
Being born again does not just result simply to becoming a member of a church organization or being born into an earthly alliance. When we are born again, we are born into both a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and then consequently added to the fellowship of saints. It has very little to do with ritual and tradition and has everything to do with love and intimacy.