The Danger of Misunderstanding Being “Born Again”

In many African cultures, there’s a saying that goes, “You cannot put a new cloth on an old body.” This adage underscores the danger of merely external changes without a genuine transformation. Similarly, in Christianity, claiming to be “born again” without experiencing a true spiritual rebirth is a perilous misconception.

The term “born again” originates from Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John 3:3, where He says, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” It is not about ritualistic practices or mere attendance at church; it is about a deep, personal relationship with Christ that brings about a transformative change in one’s life.

In our African context, people often seek spiritual fulfilment through various substitutes. Some might turn to traditional African religions, hoping to find spiritual satisfaction in ancestral worship or rituals. Others might engage in prosperity gospel teachings, believing that material wealth is a sign of God’s blessing and equating it with spiritual rebirth.

The danger lies in the complacency that comes from these substitutes. Just as putting on a new cloth doesn’t change the body underneath, these practices might offer temporary comfort but fail to address the heart’s true condition. Without genuine repentance, faith in Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, one remains spiritually unchanged.

The danger of thinking you are born again when you are not is eternal. It is like building a house on a foundation of sand; when the storms of life come, there’s nothing to stand on. True rebirth is a profound, life-altering experience that goes beyond outward rituals and touches the very core of our being. Let us seek the genuine transformation that only Christ can bring and avoid the pitfalls of false substitutes.