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What a ridiculous statement this appears to be! How can one be born again?

One of the most learned men in all Israel at the time of Jesus also asked that question, because he did not know the answer and was puzzled by the statement Jesus made - "You must be born again." So it is quite O.K. for us simple mortals to ask it too.

Of course to be born again does not refer to a physical rebirth as that would be quite impossible. It has another meaning which deals with a spiritual renewing. James L. Sullivan in the Holman Bible dictionary describes the new birth as follows.

The New birth

"A term evangelicals use to describe the unique spiritual experience of beginning a changed life in Christ. The origins of the term lie in John 3:3, "Except a man be born again"; John 3:6, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit"; John 3:7, "Ye must be born again"; and 1 Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." New birth, like the earlier physical birth, is an initiation to a new experience of life. The new birth comes from hearing the word of God (Jas. 1:21; 1 Pet. 1:23). It is not a human accomplishment but an act of God (John 1:13; Eph. 2:8; Jas. 1:18). Individuals, however, cooperate with God's saving work through their repentance (break with a life of sin, Luke 13:3) and their commitment of life to Christ (John 1:12; 3:16). New birth makes one God's child forever. Rededication and renewal may come often in one's lifetime, but the new birth never re-occurs. "

So, in simple terms it is a re-awakening of the spirit of man by the Spirit of God, so that man once again may have the potential to have God's fullness and power working in him. Prior to being born again man's spirit is dead in terms of Christ, this deadness being caused by separation from God. This separation is gone forever when one is reborn by the Spirit.