What does it mean to be born again? And why does it matter?

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Our first birth gave us physical life; the new birth gives us spiritual life and membership in God’s family (John 1:13). To be born again is to have the Holy Spirit transform our hearts from indifference and hostility toward God to a love of God and a desire for righteousness and holiness. The only way one can come to God and experience what it means to be “born again” is through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ (read more).

I’ve been a Christian all my life. From a young age I attended church regularly on sundays. As a scout, being an active member of the church was a requirement and something I had pleasure doing. Especially playing the guitar. Actually, I found deep meaning in praising with music over the years. Training children to sing on special ceremonies and to see the look of awe in their parents eyes and the community gave me much joy.

However, since I left my home town (Viseu) to study in Lisbon, I abandoned everything I was involved with, which includes the church and my relationship with God. I became distant from God.

11 years later, I met someone that got me closer to God again. Andrea came from Ecuador and shook my life to the core with her relationship with God. I found forgiveness in the Lord after all these years. When I repented from my sins after such a long time, I felt like releasing a big dump of trash from my back and my life. However my journey was just getting started. I gave the bible a try, and oh my… what an amazing book it is! I never thought the bible could be so interesting. All I’ve heard was “The old testament is hard to read”, “The old testament is too violent”. Guess what, never trust others opinions and go find out by yourself. It’s worth it!

So my eyes only opened last year 2021 and I’ve been digging through a lot of material on Christianity. This year I felt I need to take the next step and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, which meant being baptized in the waters just like the Bible describes. It was not an easy decision as I come from a conservative catholic family and I was baptized already as a child. But this time, I wanted this decision to be mine.

Coming to Hillsong’s Summercamp I decided there was the best opportunity to be baptized in the water. I just trusted God’s guidance over these months to remove my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. That gave me peace.

As Steve Harvey says: I’m an entry level Christian, trying to be better every day with renewed strength from the Holy Spirit.

João Mendes

Engineer, Musician
Instagram: @joaocamendes
Lives in: Portugal

3 thoughts on “[SC22002] Guest Post by João Mendes: Born Again

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