That term or phrase sounds like something that was coined by a 20th century evangelist. In my mind I can hear the Reverend Billy Graham say it. “You must be born again.”
The truth is, It was Jesus who coined the phrase. He was talking to an influential spiritual leader who had come to speak with Jesus “after dark one evening”. The leaders name was Nicodemus.
“After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”’
John 3:2-3 – NLT
It was a new phrase to old teacher, a new concept. So Jesus explained what he meant and how it was possible.
“Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked. Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:5-17 – NLT
What about me? Have I experienced the new birth? Yes! I live with the promise of eternal life! I was physically born into the family of Herbert and Elaine Loeffelbein, but I was reborn into the family of God almighty.
What about you? Have you experienced the new birth?
The apostle Paul summed it up like this:
If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised from the dead, you will be saved.
Here it is quoted in context: “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”’
Romans 10:9-13 – NLT