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Why do some call themselves a born-again Christian?

I understand what the phrase means and what Jesus meant in John 3 when he told his followers they must be born again to inherit eternal life. The way I look at it, everyone who believes in Christ is given a new life and is therefore, born-again, simply by believing in Jesus as their savior. So, why the distinction?


Asked by cleanaturalady at 4:24 PM on Aug. 9, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (30)
  • I don't believe we should have to tell others that we are "born again", but that they should be able to gather it by observing our actions. The Bible says we should let others praise us, and not our own mouths. (Proverbs 27:2)

    I believe only the truly converted are "born again". The fruits should match those of the Spirit's. (Galatians 5:22-26) When a person says that they are a "born again" Christian but continue to practice willful sin (the very opposite of the Spiritual fruits, Galatians 5:17-21), they are liars. Not because I said so, but because the Bible does. If we are in Him we won't have to tell anybody, our lives will attest to it.

    Answer by Lexylex at 6:34 AM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • Because when you have received the holy spirit you are a new life, a born again person in Christ. You are very different, one the inside, not out.

    Answer by BakingForFun at 4:27 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • Yes, anyone who is a Christian and therefore has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is indeed "born again" whether they use the term to describe themselves or not.

    Here's where some people are coming from.....
    -Some people believe "born again" should only be used for those who have rejected the faith or backslidden from it but have come back.
    -Catholics believe being "born again" occurs at Baptism but use the term less frequently than other groups.
    -Some people believe that "born again" occurs at a specific point in conversion.
    -Some people believe that there are people raised in Christianity and practice the religion but never make a specific point to "believe" it themselves or invite the Holy Spirit and therefore are just "religious followers" and not actually "born again believers."

    I could go on. I think a lot of it stems from denominational and hermenutics differences and misunderstanding of John 3.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 4:30 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • I know what you mean, NovemberLove. I believe it is almost a form of Gnosticism to refer to only certain believers as born again. It makes it seem like it is some special club that only specific Christians can belong to. 1 Corinthians 11-14 specifically says that we are all one spirit and one body of believers.


    Answer by cleanaturalady at 4:39 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • I feel the same way about only calling certain individuals "saints" too :-) I think the Bible is clear that the body of believers are all saints and that it isn't an exclusive title. JMHO :-)

    Answer by NovemberLove at 5:01 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • Yea when you are saved for the 1st time its salvation but when you are already saved and re-comitting your life to Jesus and surrendering to God is when it is called born again and there may be more than one occasion of re comitting your life to God

    Answer by waytruthlife at 5:24 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • I use the term to differentiate between those who attend church and those who have truly accepted Christ. Going to church doesn't make you a born again Christian any more than if I go to synagogue or mosque makes me Jewish or Muslim. Primarily I use it so that people will know where I am coming from. So they have some sort of frame of reference for what I believe.

    What concerns me is when people use those labels either to brag, "I'm a born again...." or as a put down.  I see that in the area where politics and religion overlap, "evangelicals  support...."  For a while the term "fundamentalist" was used that way. 


    Answer by teamquinn at 5:29 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • waytruthlife,

    The only thing I don't get about that is Jesus says in John 3 that you MUST be Born Again in order to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. So if backsliding and re-dedicating are being "born again" does that mean to go to heaven someone must backslide and then be re-dedicated? Salvation + Backsliding + rededication =heaven?

    Answer by NovemberLove at 5:35 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • Quoting Cleanaturalady "The way I look at it, everyone who believes in Christ is given a new life and is therefore, born-again, simply by believing in Jesus as their savior. So, why the distinction?"

    Because you have to do more than simply believe.


    Answer by Anonymous at 5:41 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • Anon :41, John 3:16 says that whoever believes has eternal life in heaven.  In John 3:3 where it mentions being born again, it can also be interpreted at 'born from above'.  How are we born form above?  Through our belief.  Jesus explains this to Nicodemus in verses 13-15 of John 3.  So, I don't see where your answer that 'because you have to do more than simply believe' answers my question as to why some people choose to set themselves apart as born again when as believers we are all born again and given a new life at the time of our belief.


    Answer by cleanaturalady at 6:26 PM on Aug. 9, 2009