According to scripture, when someone is born-again, it begins with the work of the Holy Spirit. It is a work of new birth and new creation in Christ by the Spirit in a person’s heart. John 3:5-6 says, “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Again, in 1 John 5:1, we are told that everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. The one who is born of God through His Spirit is to become a new person in Christ. It means we are no longer the old sinful person we used to be. Instead, we are being transformed daily into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18), bringing glory to the Father. Titus 3:5 tells us, “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,”
What does this new life look like for a believer who is genuinely born again? Firstly, it is comprehending and understanding one’s own guilt and sinfulness and coming to a place of hating that sin (Psalm 119:28; 2 Corinthians 7:10). It is then turning to God and being persistent in living a holy life and walking with God according to His ways given to us in the Bible (John 14:16, 1 Peter 1:16).
The one who is genuinely born again and repented of his sins will show evidence of this change. That is why Jesus says in Matthew 3:8, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” The fruits can be seen in a humble confession of sin and an earnest desire to overcome it and be delivered from it. This must be for all sin, whether outwardly or even the heart’s secret sins.
The outworking of this transformation is that:
- you will bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) as He sanctifies and dwells with you
- your faith will be in Jesus Christ alone (Romans 10:9-11)
- there will be changes in your life pointing to the continuing death of the flesh and new life in the Spirit (Colossians 3:1-17)
- you will have a great love for God, making Him the treasure of your life, and likewise a love for your neighbour (1 John 4:20, Romans 12:9-21)
By these, you can examine and know the one who is genuinely born again in the Holy Spirit. Amen!