What does ‘born again’ mean?

And what does it mean to be ‘saved’?


The Bible says you cannot see the kingdom of God unless you are born again (see the Bible's book of John, 3:3 (chapter 3, verse 3)). Being born again means you enter a new spiritual life through God's Holy Spirit.

Christians say that when someone gets “saved,” it means they have personally and deliberately determined to turn from their past sinful ways and put their trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible identifies Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who will “save” them from everlasting punishment in Hell (the place of eternal torment) after they die.

People will not go to Heaven because of their good deeds, nor to Hell because of their sins. And this is a good thing, because if people went to Hell because of their sins, everyone would go there. So God has made a way of escape for us.

How to get everlasting life

Born-again Christians believe that saved people will not go to Hell. Instead, they receive everlasting life, and will go to be with God and all other saved people in Heaven when they die.

The Bible tells us the Son of God came to earth as a person, Jesus Christ, more than 2000 years ago and died on a cross to pay for the sins of humans. God the Father then worked a spectacular miracle — He raised Jesus from the dead, proving He has power over life and death. This coming back from the dead is called the Resurrection.

The Bible says that whoever believes on Jesus Christ will not perish, but will have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Why do Christians believe salvation is so important?

The Bible says all people are sinners and that sin brings death (Romans 3:23 and 6:23). God won't allow sin into Heaven, so people need God to cleanse them from their sins to experience life in Heaven with Him.

God has already made this possible for us. The Bible tells us that God allowed Jesus Christ to die for our sins so we can have salvation and avoid going to Hell.

But we have to receive this gift. It is like being unable to buy something yourself because the price is too high, and then someone pays for it for you. You still won't have the item until you decide to receive the gift.

How do people receive God's gift of salvation?

The King James Bible says: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Born-again Christians are people who have said with their mouth that they are now making Jesus Christ the Lord of their life. They also genuinely believe in their heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. According to the Bible, this means they are saved.

Christians often pray a prayer to God like the following one to let Him know they want to become saved and born again. (You can change the words to make it more personal.)

Dear God,
I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve to go to Hell. Please forgive me of all my sin and give me eternal life. I'm not trusing in my good works or in my religion. I'm trusting only in You. In the best way I know how, I now invite Jesus Christ to come into my heart and life as my Savior.  Amen.

You too can become saved today if you genuinely repent of your sins and believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead in payment for your sins.

What next?

Show your faith in Jesus right now. Start by letting another Christian know you are saved. Or even just let us know if you are not sure whether anyone close to you is a born-again Christian.

Get a Bible and read it regularly so you can know Jesus Christ better.

As a born-again Christian you will avoid the terror of what the Bible describes as the alternative to spending eternity in Heaven — the everlasting torment of Hell.

You may also like to see a short Gospel movie on how to be saved and gain eternal life. The link below will take you to the movie by opening in a new window, so when you have finished you can close the window and you will still be on this page.

Photo credit: Anita B Patterson.

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