What actually happens when a person is born again?
First, the person realizes that he is a lost sinner and that he deserves to spend eternity in hell. (Only the Holy Spirit can make anyone realize this.) He then repents of his sins, that is, he acknowledges to God that he is a sinner and that he needs a Saviour. He accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, and at that moment he is born again. His sins are forgiven. He receives eternal life from God.
But that is only a small part of the story. It is just the beginning. We learn from the Bible that many other wonderful things occur when God saves a man. Here are ten other amazing occurrences:
- For one thing, the believer is accepted in the Beloved One (Ephesians 1:6). This means that in God’s sight he is accepted just as much as God’s son is accepted. God sees him “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17). It also means that the Christian is welcome in God’s presence as long as Christ is welcome, and that is clearly forever (Ephesians 2:6,7)
- Also, he becomes a child of God (John 1:12). You can imagine how honoured you would feel if you were the child of some world-famous ruler. How much greater honour it is to be the child of the mighty Maker of the universe, before Whom angels bow! (Galatians 3:26)
- He is justified by God (Romans 5:1, 8:30, 33). God, the Judge, declares the believing sinner to be “NOT GUILTY” and looks upon him as if he had never sinned. He can do this because Christ has died as a substitute and has borne all the punishment which the Christian should have borne. Thus the Christian stands without guilt in God’s sight, and he will never be punished for his sins (Romans 8:1)
- He becomes indwelt by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Bible plainly teaches that God, the Holy Spirit, actually dwells within each believer (1 John 4:13). The body of the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this sacred privilege, the child of God should be careful what he says, what he does, and where he goes.
- He becomes a member of the church (1 Corinthians 12:13). The church is described as “the body of Christ” (Colossians 1:18, 24). It is composed of all true believers in the Lord Jesus (Acts 2:47). There is no greater honour on earth that to be a member of the true church.
- He becomes an heir of God (Romans 8:17). God is the Creator if the universe and He owns all things. God’s children are promised that they will one day reign with Christ over all the earth, and they will then possess all things
- He becomes a saint (Romans 1:7). Those who are saves are spoken of in the Bible as “saints”. A saint is one who has been set apart for God by the Holy spirit (Psalms 4:3). In God’s sight every saint is holy, because God sees him in Christ, and Christ is absolutely holy (1 Corinthians 1:2)
- He is complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). The Christian has a perfect standing before God. He is as near as dear to God as Christ is. When a person has Christ, he has all that he needs for a happy life and a happy eternity.
- He receives the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). He will soon notice that he has new desires, new ambitions, new hatred of sin, and new love for his fellow Christians. When the divine nature is encouraged by the believer himself, he will become more and more like Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 3:18). This is God’s purpose for every one of His children.
- He immediately begins to enjoy the constant protection of God (Romans 8:28). Nothing can happen to a Christian without God’s permission. In other words, there are no accidents in a believer’s life. Everything that foes happen to a child of God is for his own good. Even trials, tests, and discipline works for his spiritual benefit (Romans 5:3-5). Thus a Christian truly leads a “charmed” life.
In view of these marvelous provisions which God has made, every Christian should show his appreciation in at least two ways.
- He should never cease to worship and thank God for salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
- He should give his life in willing service to the One who gave His life on Calvary’s Cross (Romans 12:1)
God bless us all!
(Thank you to brother William MacDonald and his book, “Lessons for Christian Living” for this powerful teaching for all believers, on every level of faith.)