Summary: Spirit begettal is evidenced by our communion with God and a desire to do His will. Actual spirit birth occurs at our resurrection.
Discussion: The term “born again” (Strong’s #1080) is not necessarily a correct translation in every scripture. For example, in the context of John 3:1-13, verse 3, “born again” should be translated “begotten,” meaning conception, not birth, since one’s spirit birth (in heaven) will take place when one dies. Therefore, we prefer to use the term “spirit begotten” Christians.
In order to be spirit begotten, a person must confess he is a sinner, believe Jesus’ sacrifice covers his sins, and give his will and his life to God to do God’s will. Many simply pray the sinner’s prayer and believe Jesus’ blood covers their sins. That is a very good first step. However, Jesus instructed, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me,” Matthew 16:24 (ESV).
What does this mean? We are to sacrifice our natural desires to become prosperous, gain earthly influence or power, and have status in this present evil world (Galatians 1:4). Instead, we are to focus all of our energies to serve God. This involves studying God's word, proclaiming the Gospel, developing the fruit of the spirit, suffering for righteousness, loving God with our whole being and our neighbors as ourselves. It is a life long commitment and a huge undertaking.
The Apostle Paul lost his great prominence and status when he became a Christian. (See Philippians 3:5-7.) He said, "I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ and be found in him," Philippians 3:8,9 (NET). Paul emphasized, “This one thing I do,” Philippians 3:13.
Our new values and our new attitudes are evidences of spirit begettal. The natural man cannot appreciate nor understand these things. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV), “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
Finally, we have the sweet communion of fellowship with God. Romans 8:15, 16 (WEB), “ye have received the Spirit of adoption, by which we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself testifies with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”
Wherever we are in our relationship with God, God will always bless and encourage us to come closer. We have the promise, “Come near to God and he will come near to you,” James 4:8 (NIV).