What separates us from the other religions of the world is the spiritual re-birth of those who are born again. Some try to split Christianity into two camps: the Christian and the Born-Again. They theorize that the Christian believes in treating others well and being a good citizen, tolerant and wholesome, while the Born-Agains are fanatics who evangelize others and take hard-line stances. In truth, they are not mutually exclusive. Jesus said that we cannot see the kingdom of God, “Except a man be born again” (John 3:3).Any separation of the two is a result of man influencing true Christianity with his ownsaid that we are saved according to the mercy of God, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done” (Titus 3:5). This excludes the idea that true Christianity is found in doing your best or in being your best. He also mentions the “washing of regeneration”, introducing us to a concept that is crucial to the understanding of the transformative powers of faith in Christ.The Greek word for ‘regeneration’ is “paliggenesia”, meaning, “spiritual rebirth, renovation”. It is the New Covenant version of Jesus’ statement to Nicodemus, “you must be born again”. Nicodemus found the idea impossible, as no one could re-enter their mother’s womb and start over again, but of course Jesus was referring to a spiritual rebirth.
Even the world warms up to the idea of someone being “reborn”. An actor can fall out of Hollywood’s favor, drop to rock bottom, reform and make a comeback picture and the tabloids will say that they have been “reborn”. People love these kinds of stories and they are quite common. While the world has their own version of “born again”, for the believer it excludes trips to rehab, Botox and plastic surgery. For the saint it is being born again “of spirit” (John 3:6).
Paul’s use of “regeneration” speaks of us becoming a completely new person, “by the renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). The Holy Spirit in us turns us into someone completely different. It could be said that when you are born again, the Holy Spirit gives you a new DNA sequence, one in which you have the desires of your new Father instead of your old.
I am not insinuating that we have an actual new set of DNA when we are saved, but I do believe that all of the old passions and desires that were passed onto us from our earthly families are no longer relevant whenever the regeneration of the Holy Ghost takes place in our life. If your earthly father had a drinking problem, then it is stands to reason that you have a propensity to want to drink and to be dominated by drinking. However, your heavenly Father has no such problem, and He has transformed you and “re-gened” you into the image of His Son. We can no longer blame our heritage for our problems, for we have a spiritual heritage that stretches all the way to Calvary.
If you are not walking in the fullness of your new spiritual identity, then it is because you are not fully awake as to who you really are in Christ. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus, so walk whole and free!