The Real Meaning of Born Again

By: Brian Robertson

"There is no concept that has attached itself to Christianity that is so misunderstood and so exploited as that of being "born again."



The standard concept of "born again" often seems, in practice, to be the following: At a specific time and place, a person receives inspiration from the Holy Spirit and arises a new person in Christ. The result for many is the cancer of spiritual pride and a sense that "I've got my ticket to heaven" while anyone who disagrees with the person is bound for decidedly warmer climates.

Further, the misconception takes hold in another way -- the person "born again" often believes that, for them, the game's over. They've won. Any activity after that may consist of trying to convert others or, at best (or worst) smugly pleased that those who don't listen are certainly going to suffer for their difference of opinion.

This is spiritual pride and lethargy, plain and simple. First, what is 'born again' is not the individual into a strong sense of spiritual accomplishment and pride. What is 'born again' is the very Christ and not the person himself or herself. It is the process in which the Cosmic Christ is born within the lowly manger of the person's heart and soul and being. To claim that as an ego experience is just that -- ego, spiritual pride and, in many ways, a trap.

The Saints and realized beings all indicate the same thing time and time again - once the Christ is born again, the work is just beginning and humility exudes like perfume.

St. Francis, for example, turned aside all compliments with, "As I am in the eyes of God that is, and no more..."

The birth of the Cosmic Christ within a person is a call to action, to act out of that Godhead and to become the hands, feet, lips and eyes of the Christ in this world. It is to serve others with great humility, to know that being "born again" is not past tense but rather past, present AND future, namely a constantly unfolding process in which the person has been granted the "armor of the Spirit", the strength and protection to do what must be done.

And what is it that must be done? What does the born again Christ ask?

"For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then, the just will answer him saying: Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and come to you?

"Truly I tell you, inasmuch as you have done it for any one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it for me."

Pray, then, that the spirit may fill you and that you may see the Christ in all things. Realize that the true meaning of Grace is that you are given a gift, and that while you have to do nothing to receive such a gift before having received it, the earning of it comes only afterwards as the process of christing unfolds within you. It is at that moment, when you touch the sick or clothe the naked with Christ's touch, that the Kingdom of Heaven is alive.