42. Is being born again the same thing as being saved?

It is common in contemporary Evangelicalism to hear the terms “saved” and “born again” as catch-all terms for becoming a Christian. In the bible, the teaching about man's being brought out of the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of his Son reflects a much more detailed and nuanced understanding. Being “saved” is seen sometimes as a past event, sometimes as an ongoing reality, and sometimes as a future deliverance we have to look forward to. We were saved from our sin and guilt in the past (e.g. Luk. 7:50; Eph. 2:5, 8), we are being saved from this present evil world and the remaining corruption in our hearts in the present (e.g. 1 Cor. 1:18), and we will be saved from God's wrath on the Day of Judgment, and brought into his eternal New Jerusalem (e.g. Rom. 5:9).

The teaching on being “born again” is much more specific, and the bible always places that event at the beginning of the Christian life, before conversion, justification, and so on (see question 41 above). When these  terms are used imprecisely, it is easy for errors to slip in to one's understanding, such as the teaching that we're “born again” through faith, when the bible teaches that we're “born again” to faith, that is, that God's regenerating grace produces in our hearts the willingness to believe in him and be saved.

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