Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.(John 3:3).Salvation is our utmost need because sin is our utmost problem. We are sinful and wretched; needy of God's grace: "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". (Romans 8:23).
The pandemonium of our times are just symptoms of the true state of the sinful heart of humankind: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked..." (Jeremiah 17:9). "desperately wicked": Apt description of the human condition: " No mincing with words at all. The Bible goes straight to the root of all our predicaments: Sin. "You are a sinner"... "...[You must] be born again".
The expression born again as used by Jesus is the Greek word anothen which means "born from above". To be born again therefore is firstly a work initiated by God's Spirit before humans respond through faith in Christ Jesus. It is God's merciful act of grace towards humanity, where He saves us from sin and reconciles us unto Himself through Christ Jesus. That explains Paul's words "we are sitted in heavenly places". For us who profess the Christian faith and have a relationship with Christ, you will admit salvation is not a consequence of our moral worth. No, we can't table any of those. Our moral worth is like filthy rags before God. It is just the grace of God we are saved. We were once dead in sins.
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:5).Now, just as our natural birth is a necessary condition to be part of the human race, to be born again is also a 'sine qua non': an indispensable necessary condition that has to be met to be a member of God's family. Though it greatly counts, to be born again is not necessarily a change of mind or transformation of character. Anyone can undergo a character transformation without necessarily being born again. A necessary requirement to be born again is to express saving faith in Christ Jesus:
...as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).Do you have Jesus? Are you saved? Are your sins forgiven?
...there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12).