If there’s one thing that I really hate to talk about, it’s religion. I hate it when people ask me what my religion is because I don’t want to be defined by the stigma that comes with the name of the group I belong to. I want to be defined by my relationship with Jesus, not by my religious affiliation.
So when people ask me what my religion is, I always say that I am a Christian. And by being a Christian, it means that I am a follower and a disciple of Jesus Christ. And by being a disciple of Christ, I mean that I want to live my life the way Jesus’ did, NOT by my own strength and wisdom but by the grace and power of God living in me. Jesus is the Lord and Savior of my life.
But then last month, we met a new friend from India in a training and he ask us about our religion. I have no choice but to answer him and I told him that I am a Christian but a Protestant Christian. He asked me what’s the difference from other sects so I shared to him what we believe in. A few days later, he asked me again if I am a protestant. I answered, ‘yes but I preferred to be called a born-again Christian.’
I don’t know why but for some reasons, I am not comfortable calling myself a Protestant. But I am sure that I am a born-again Christian. And by being born-again, I consider myself a new creation, saved by God’s grace and transformed by the power of Christ. I am a sinner who was changed by God and is still being transformed to be conformed into the likeness of Jesus, in terms of character and ministry. I live in the truth which God has declared in the Bible that ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17)’
So I guess that’s what being born-again means. It means being born of water and the Spirit as what Jesus said in John 3:5. And as what Jesus has declared, being born again (of God) is a first requirement for anyone who wishes to see the kingdom of God.