In his night time meeting with Nicodemus, Jesus made this audacious claim: Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
Consider the implications of this for a moment. To be born again is to be made new. To change. To completely be remade. But from what exactly? Our nature outside of Christ is an indicator of this. Over and over, throughout the Old and New Testaments, we're told what the Flesh brings on: For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:17-21) Those who practice (live a lifestyle of) such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Paul fleshes out this concept of born again by showing what the natural man (What the New Testament calls "the Flesh" looks like. In our natural state, we are rebellious, selfish, self-seeking, and destructive toward ourselves and all others. We ignore the call of God to purity. To be born again means to begin anew. To start fresh. To give all this world has to offer up to follow the will of God completely in submission to the Authority of Jesus Christ. Only then will we produce the righteousness that God desires. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us, and HE begins to produce in us the godly qualities that God desires, so that we can reflect the image of Christ to all we see, including ourselves. Let us then, if we love Jesus, seek to be made new BY Jesus, and walk in the Holy Spirit that He gives us. Galatians 16, 22-26-
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh....But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.