What actually happens when a person is born again? Here is what takes place when a soul is born again. First, the person realizes that he is a lost sinner and that he deserves to spend eternity in hell. (Only the Holy Spirit can make anyone realize this.) He then repents of his sins, that is, he acknowledges to God that he is a sinner and that he needs a Saviour. He accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, and at that moment he is born again. His sins are forgiven. He receives eternal life from God.
But that is only a small part of the story. It is just the beginning. We learn from the Bible that many other wonderful things occur when God saves a person. Here are ten other amazing occurrences:
1. For one thing, the believer is accepted in the Beloved One.
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6
This means that he stands before God in all the acceptability of His Beloved Son. God sees him in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). It also means that the Christian is welcome in God's presence as long as Christ is welcome, and that is clearly forever.
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6-7
2. Also, he becomes a child of God.
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. John 1:12
You can imagine how honored you would feel if you were the child of some world-famous ruler. How much greater honor it is to be the child of the mighty Maker of the universe, before whom angels bow!
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26
3. He is justified by God.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified...Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Romans 8:30,33
God, the Judge, declares the believing sinner to be "NOT GUILTY" and looks upon him as if he had never sinned. He can do this because Christ has died as a substitute and has borne all the punishment which the Christian should have borne. Thus the Christian stands without guilt in God's sight, and he will never be punished for his sins.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1
4. He becomes indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
The Bible plainly teaches that God, the Holy Spirit, actually dwells within each believer (I John 4:13). The body of the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this sacred privilege, the child of God should be careful what he says, what he does and where he goes.
5. He becomes a member of the true church.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13
The church is described as "the body of Christ" (Colossians 1:18,24). It is composed of all true believers in the Lord Jesus (Acts 2:47). There is no greater honor on earth than to be a member of the true church.
6. He becomes an heir of God.
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:17
God is the Creator of the universe and He owns all things. God's children are promised that they will one day reign with Christ over all the earth, and they will then possess all things.
7. He becomes a saint.
To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:7
Those who are saved are spoken of in the Bible as "saints." A saint is one who has been set apart for God by the Holy Spirit (Psalm 4:3). In God's sight every saint is holy, because God sees him in Christ, and Christ is absolutely holy.
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 1 Corinthians 1:2
8. He is complete in Christ.
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:10
The Christian has a perfect standing before God. He is as near and as dear to God as Christ is. When a person has Christ, he has all that he needs for a happy life and a happy eternity.
9. He receives the divine nature.
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4
He will soon notice that he has new desires, new ambitions, a new hatred of sin, and a new love for his fellow Christians. When the divine nature is encouraged by the believer himself, he will become more and more like the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:10; II Corinthians 3:18). This is God's purpose for every one of His children.
10. He immediately begins to enjoy the constant protection of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Nothing can happen to a Christian without God's permission. In other words, there are no accidents in a believer's life. Everything that does happen to a child of God is for his own good. Even trials, tests and disciplines work for his spiritual benefit (Romans 5:3-5). Thus a Christian truly leads a "charmed" life.
In view of these marvelous provisions which God has made, every Christian should show his appreciation in at least two ways.
1. He should never cease to worship God for salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. He should give his life in willing service to the One who gave His life on Calvary's Cross.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
Copied for WholesomeWords.org from What Christians Believe: Basic Studies in Bible Doctrine and Christian Living by Alfred P. Gibbs... [et al.]; staff members of Emmaus Bible School. Chicago: Moody Press, 1951.