What does it mean

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QUESTION: What is being BORN AGAIN? What does the term mean in the gospel of John?

ANSWER: Your question regarding the meaning of born again is a very important one. The scripture you are referring to is part of the conversation Jesus had with a Pharisee named Nicodemus. This Pharisee first approached Jesus at night (in order to conceal his meeting from the other religious leaders) to tell him they (the Pharisees) KNOW he came from God because no one else can do the same miracles he does (John 3:2)! Jesus interjects by stating what is required to enter the Kingdom of God.

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 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. 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 (John 3:1 - 3, KJV)

Note that in John 3 there are three types of births discussed. They are those who are born of the flesh (verse 4), water, and of the spirit (both in verse 5).

In the world of Christianity the expression in question generally used to refer to someone who has "accepted Jesus" and been baptized. Some say they believe in the doctrine of 'once saved, always saved' by this. It should be abundantly clear from the entire discussion between Nicodemus and Jesus in John 3 that there is a SECOND birth. Note Nicodemus asks if one can enter a SECOND time into his mother's womb. Jesus, however, is talking about a DIFFERENT womb.

The womb Jesus was referring to was the EARTH. He was discussing this womb when later in John he said the hour was coming when those who are in their graves will hear his voice and be resurrected.

28. Do not wonder at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves shall hear His voice 29. And shall come forth: those who have practiced good unto a resurrection of life, and those who have practiced evil unto a resurrection of judgment (John 5:28 - 29, HBFV).

What is REAL Repentance?
What does the Bible say about Heaven?
Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem?
What is the unpardonable sin?

One could say that a Christian who was symbolically buried in a watery grave at baptism (see Romans 6:3 - 4, Colossians 2:12 - 13, 3:9 - 10 and 2Corinthians 5:17) then resurrected from it has been reborn or BEGOTTEN (or "begun" as the Greek seems to indicate) of water, receiving the earnest of God's spirit for his mind, giving him the mind of Christ. However, we are most interested in the new start which will bring immortality to us. Jesus was born of the flesh as the seed of David. However, you will notice that he was the Son of God with POWER when he was resurrected from the dead.

3. Concerning His Son; Who came from the seed of David according to the flesh, 4. Who was declared the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead - Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 1:3 - 4, HBFV)

We will not have been "saved" from death until we are born again with spirit bodies by a resurrection out of the womb of the earth, as John 3:6 states. Those composed the spirit can be invisible or visible (John 3:8). The power to make us spirit beings comes from above, from God. While there are many other scriptures showing the resurrection as the birth of a new body, I hope this brief answer aids your studies.

Additional Study Materials
What is the FIRST resurrection of the dead?
Does God hear the prayers of unbelievers?
Why was Jesus born?
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