Read John 2 & 3
Key Verse: John 3:3 “…unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Have you ever been challenged to explain what you mean by the term, when you refer to yourself, or to someone else, as a “born-again” Christian? Maybe you’ve found it a bit difficult to say what you mean. If I can be so presumptuous, allow me to suggest what you mean!
You mean that the kingdom of God is a spiritual reality–unseen except with newly-born eyes. Your physical eyes won’t do. Although, ironically, as useless as your natural eyes are, you can’t have spiritual eyes until you have physical eyes. That’s why u’be got to be naturally born (“of water..”) before you can be spiritually born (“…and the Spirit..”–v.5). First flesh, then spirit. Jesus doesn’t relate to disembodied spirits in the human realm. You’ve got to have a body, both now (“au naturel”) and in eternity (“au glorified”).
You also mean that this spiritual birth is affected by the Holy Spirit–God Himself. “Spirit gives birth to spirit”, Jesus says. It’s only at the initiative of the Spirit that any mere human spirit even considers, let alone commits itself to, coming to Christ.
That’s right–I’ve just introduced a new ingredient: “coming to Christ”. Being “born again” is meaningless without belief in and commitment to Christ. “The Son of Man must be lifted up” on the cross that all men and women throughout history can see Him and decide. If the decision is to believe, then the believer “may have eternal life”.
Finally, you mean that you’ve been born to a new life that is eternally inviolable–no one can take it away from you. Not that the forces of evil won’t try to wrest it from you, or if that fails, to erode it from you casually and swimmingly imperceptibly. But, in being born again you’ve been “saved” from destruction. When Satan counts his victims you won’t be among them. You’ve entered a new life.