To be born again means to be transformed

Published 9:07 am Monday, March 2, 2020

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: What does it mean to be “born again.”? — S.A.

Dear S.A.: Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). It’s an age-old question that an upstanding and scholarly teacher in Israel asked Jesus. He couldn’t understand how a person can enter the womb and be born “again.” It means to be transformed, to have a new beginning. It is not just a remodeling job. Today we hear a lot about recycling, reconstruction, and reshaping. We renovate houses, spend millions of dollars every year on health spas, beauty resorts, and cosmetics, all by people hoping to reshape their faces or renew their bodies.

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In like manner, people frantically pursue all sorts of promised cures for the renewal of their inner lives. Some people seek the help of psychiatrists. Others search for spiritual renewal in exotic oriental religions or processes of inward meditation. Still others seek inner peace and renewal in drugs or alcohol. Whatever the path, however, they eventually come to a dead end. Why? Because man cannot renew himself. God created us and only He can re-create us. Only God can give us the new birth we so desperately want and need.

There are many consciously searching to fill a void in life; to find a purpose for living. When we say “Yes” to Christ, and receive His forgiveness for sin through His gift of salvation, we embark on a whole new path in life under His control. The central truth of the new birth is clear: Mankind apart from God is spiritually dead and needs to be born again. Only by God’s grace through faith in Christ can this new birth take place. “For by grace you [are] saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)