The compound word “born-again” was first used by Jesus himself while he was chatting with a religious old man named Nicodemus, a Pharisee who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.
This man came to Jesus at night, fully convinced that Jesus was truly from God. He was probably the first and only Pharisee who saw Jesus in this light because we know from scripture that they were the first set of “anti-Christs”. In response to his statement of conviction, Jesus said to him,
“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3), but just as any man would have responded if they were Nicodemus, he asked Jesus ”
how can a man be born again when he is old?…surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be “born-again” (John 3:4 NIV).
I can imagine the reaction on Nicodemus’s face; he must have put on a sad countenance, fully aware of how impossible it would have been for him to be “born-again” since he was already old. But Jesus wasn’t talking about a physical birth. He was talking about a spiritual birth; no one was going to be limited by age, whether old or young.
“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to spirit” John 3:6 NIV
First things first; being born again is a spiritual, not physical or emotion occurrence, we get it wrong when we think that we aren’t “born-again” anymore because we don’t ‘feel’ born-again, for the things of the spirit are accessible by faith, not feelings.
In the book of Romans 10:9, we are told that if a man confesses Jesus as Lord and believes that God raised him from the dead, he would be saved. This is how I got saved. I hope yours wasn’t a cumbersome process. I got a tract recently where I read that in order to be saved, I have to confess “all my sins” rather than confess Jesus as Lord. Obviously, there was absolutely no way in the world I could possibly remember all of my sins and I hope you didn’t go through that stress either. The point is this: our salvation was as a result of confession and faith, not feelings. Hence, we cannot depend on our feelings for an assurance of the salvation we received by faith.