An encounter with Jesus
To understand the term “born again,” you need to realize God is not into behavior modification—He has provided for nothing less than return to His original dream for man. To be born again refers to being restored to the image and likeness of God’s original creation as recorded in Geneses 1 and 2. John described this in the opening of his Gospel:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3. Do you want to see what God intended when He created you? Then look at Jesus. When God created man, He breathed into him the breath of life and created him in the very image and likeness of Himself. Then He gave mankind the authority to rule over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).
Obviously something went very wrong. Man fell from this original destiny, breaking fellowship with God and submitting his will to the fallen angel, Lucifer, whom we know as Satan (or the devil). In that moment, Adam was born again from the image and likeness of God into the likeness and nature of Satan. This spiritual death, or separation from God, was passed down from Adam to all men (Romans 5:12).
That’s why Jesus came—to deliver us from the dominion of Satan (Colossians 1:13) and to restore us to the nature and likeness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Once a person accepts the work God did in Jesus through the cross (in destroying Satan’s power over mankind), he becomes a new creation. He is born again in the likeness and nature of God (2 Corinthians 5:17).
How we become born again is found in Romans 10:9-10. There we find we must confess Jesus as Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead. Being born again puts us back into the fellowship with God that Adam enjoyed before he sinned. We become the children of God (1 John 3:2)!
The Word of God will work for anyone who will put it to work. This is the story of the Cross. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).