Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13)
In all the commentaries I've read on this verse, and what I believe to be true, there are five key points made with regard to being born again. Salvation comes from the sacrifice offered and the gift given. It is available to anyone, but not everyone has it. God offers it to all people of all races and nationalities. God does not discriminate.
The Bible tells us that we MUST be born again. Salvation is not a result of our natural birth. It is not a lineage passed down from generation to generation. You do not receive it because your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents received it. No one can give it to you and no one can take it from you. No one can speak on your behalf in an attempt to secure it for you. It is a choice, freely and willingly made by you!
We are sin. We are creatures of habit. Over the years I've learned that it takes repetition to both break and make a habit. If you've spent decades doing something one way and want to change that, it takes determination and steadfastness. It takes conscious attention to the pattern of what it is you do that you want to change. When the Holy Spirit enters the picture, the change is almost immediate. You can FEEL his presence, you can TASTE the joy and you KNOW you have been changed! But we are human and Satan will continue to tempt us. He will work very diligently to corrupt what he knows to be "of God". That is why we MUST be on guard. The little lies we tell, the things we say, the words we choose and hurts we cause - all need to be given over to God. The changes we make reflect the lives we lead. If there is no change, then there is no salvation. If you say "I'm a Christian" and continue to live the life devoid of God's commands, who are you fooling? Certainly you are not fooling the Creator!
Being a Christian is an action. It's not a "right of passage" nor is it a title designed to use to boast of your belief in Jesus. It is who you are, not what you are. It's not a box that you check on a social networking site. It is not something that makes you any greater than the guy next to you on the subway. It is how you live your life and who you give glory and praise to. It is what you DO and how you do it. Keep that bloody crown visible, visualize those nail-scared hands and feet. Run your hand across your own flesh in the place where he was pierced. When you scrape your leg, imagine his stripes! Then look to him and praise him and thank him that he took it all on for you! Do what you do to honor HIM!!!