Some of my friends talk about being born again but I don't understand what they mean. I know it has something to do with Jesus, but I've never been religious and I guess I'm kind of in a fog. What exactly does it mean? — F.J.
The term "born again" actually comes from the Bible, and it describes what happens to us when God comes into our lives and changes our souls by His Spirit. Let me explain.
One night, Jesus was talking with a religious leader named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a good man and sincerely wanted to know what he needed to do to be saved and go to heaven. But Jesus told him that all his good deeds couldn't save him. Something else needed to happen, and that "something" was a new heart -- something only God could give him. Jesus said, "You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again'" (John 3:7).
And this is true of us. We have sinned, and our greatest need is to be forgiven and cleansed of our sins. But how can that happen? We can't cleanse ourselves; only God can do it. And He made this possible by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to take the penalty for our sins. When we turn to him in repentance and faith, God forgives us -- completely and fully.
But God does something else, too: He comes to live within us by His Holy Spirit. And when He does, our souls or spirits are changed -- and we are born again. Don't worry because you don't have a religious background. God loves you, and He wants to welcome you into His family. Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life today -- and He will.