Every Christian experiences both an immediate and long-term transformation when they are born again.
To be Born Again is being transformed from this…
So from zombies to immortals. An extreme to an extreme. That’s how dramatic God’s transforming and sanctifying power changes a person.
Because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, Mankind’s nature became sinful. And, as stated by the Good Book, the wages of sin is death. Not only is Man destined for physical death, but Man is destined for eternal death as well. Due to this, humans are as good as dead. Humans are, in accurate spiritual technicality, walking dead – zombies.
Just as zombies are mindlessly walking around causing mayhem (most notably, murdering or eating people), humans as spiritual zombies will go sinning no matter what (being slaves of their sinful nature). And just as zombies are unaware that they are dead, humans as spiritual zombies are unaware that they are spiritually dead. The spiritual zombies are generally blind of their own wretchedness and their terrifying end. Thus, they will not desire salvation when they are not aware that they are in need of saving in the first place.
But to those whom God opened the eyes, they will be able to realize their miserable condition, see the hope and salvation that is in Jesus Christ alone, and ask for forgiveness and salvation. As soon as they have asked Jesus Christ to become their personal Savior and Lord, they are Born Again – they are “resurrected” from being spiritually dead. From that moment on, they cease to be zombies but immortals. As the theme of Highlander (by the band “Queen”) goes, the immortals are “born to be kings… princes of the universe.” And Christians are immortals, because, after being saved from Eternal Death, God gifted them Eternal Life! They are adopted to be and have the right to be called Children of God – “born to be kings… princes of the universe.”
As I’ve mentioned earlier, a Christian’s transformation – or “Quickening”, since we’re using Highlander analogy – is both immediate and long-term. The immediate transformation is one of identity. No longer slaves of sin, but children of God. No longer zombies, but immortals. However, it doesn’t mean that after this transformation of identity, one is free from sinning. When someone is still a spiritual zombie, it is his or her essence to do evil. Once someone is made into an immortal by the justification of Jesus Christ, whenever he or she sins, he or she is no longer acting in his or her essence but is actually acting outside of his or her character. To “fix” this, this is where the long-term process of transformation comes in. It is called sanctification.
It is true that immortality (i.e. Eternal Life) is obtained immediately when one is born again, but the full realization of immortality (or the Christian’s “Happening”, in accordance to the Highlander analogy) is after the resurrection and then entry to Heaven. Thus, sanctification works until an immortal gets to that point. Sanctification is the process of being set apart by being made holy through the merits and justification of Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is necessary since it is said in the Good Book that sinners will not be allowed to enter Heaven in the Second Coming of Jesus, thus, during a Christian’s lifetime, he or she undergoes sanctification that by the time Jesus returns, he or she is made fully holy to be presented to the Father. And once Heaven is entered, the Happening shall be experienced – the enjoyment of God’s glorious presence forever!