Why is it that the Apostle Paul, the author of much of the New Testament, NEVER uses this term? Why is this term never used in the Book of Acts to describe the many mentioned Christian conversions? Why is this term only used by Jesus in a late night conversation with Nicodemus, and by Peter once in just one letter to Christians in Asia Minor?
If you attend a Baptist/evangelical worship service what will you hear? You will hear this: "You must be born again: you must make a decision for Christ. You must ask Jesus into your heart. You must pray to God and ask him to forgive you of your sins, come into your heart, and be your Lord and Savior (the Sinner's Prayer). You must be an older child or adult who has the mental capacity to make a decision to believe, to make a decision to repent, and to make a decision to ask Jesus into your heart."
It is very strange, however, that other than "you must be born again" none of this terminology is anywhere to be found in the Bible! Why do Baptists and evangelicals use this non-biblical terminology when discussing salvation?
Let's look at the two passages of Scripture where we find the term "born again". Let's look at I Peter chapter one first (I'm going to use the ESV):
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
Now let's look at the other passage of Scripture that mentions the term "born again", the Gospel of John, chapter 3:
You Must Be Born Again
Believe God's Word!
(A note of interest: the term "born again" is mentioned FOUR times in the ESV. Peter uses the term TWICE in I Peter chapter one. I used the King James for the reason that some Baptists believe that the King James Version is the only true Word of God on planet earth. To them, God wrote the KJV by hand himself, and the completed copy descended from heaven right into the hands of King James I of England.
That story is too "Mormon" for me!
And, besides, why would God give the "true Bible" to a baby-baptizing Anglican?? Strange theology!)