Why do people call themselves born again Christians, when that term is not found in the Bible?


Clarify Share Report Asked March 19 2015 Stringio Kathy Brundidge

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Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
John 1:12-13 " But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

John 3:3 "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, 
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

John 3:7 "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."

1 Peter 1:23 "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

March 20 2015 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Galen 2 Galen Smith Retired from Multnomah Bible College and Biblical Seminary
It can be precarious to explain why other people do things, especially if they have not expressed a reason. Nevertheless, I can answer for myself, and I believe many others call themselves "born again Christians" for similar reasons.

First, JD Abshire has provided us with biblical evidence of the use of the term "born again." In John 3:1-21 we have the story of the encounter between Nicodemus and Jesus. Jesus told him, "no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again" (John 3:3). This puzzled Nicodemus, who asked in return, "How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" (John 3:4). Jesus then clarified what he meant. He was not talking about a second physical birth, for as Nicodemus recognized, a person cannot crawl back into the womb and have a second physical birth. This new, second birth is not a physical birth, but a spiritual birth (John 3:5-8). Physical birth is called "being born of water" (we speak of a woman's "water" breaking when the amniotic fluid bursts out), and the second birth is a spiritual birth, being "born...of the Spirit." This happens when the Spirit regenerates us, giving us spiritual life. It is referred to by several terms in Scripture: being "born again," "born from above," "regenerated," etc. 

Second, the word "Christian," which simply means a follower of Christ, is also a biblical term. It is used in Acts 11:26, where the believers in Christ in Syrian Antioch were first called "Christians," in Acts 26:28, where King Agrippa told Paul, "will you persuade me to become a Christian in such a short time," and in 1 Peter 4:16, where Peter speaks concerning suffering "as a Christian."

But why combine these two terms? For me the reason is because there are many varieties of religious systems that fall under the general umbrella of "Christianity." Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Latter Day Saints (Mormon), and many others claim they are Christian. So, in order to differentiate from some of these other groups, I like to add the clarification of being a "born-again" Christian. Both terms are biblical, so they are not just pulled out of thin air. I don't mean to condemn the other groups (though I think being born again is essential, since Jesus said, "you must be born again" [John 3:7]), but simply to give further definition to what sort of Christian I am. I suspect this may be the reason others describe themselves this way.

March 20 2015 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

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