Born-again virginity is the claim that after having sex, a person can be restored to virginity by a spiritual renewal, vowing sexual purity until marriage and asking God for forgiveness. Some women have taken the idea of born-again virginity so far that they actually have had surgery to physically restore themselves to a “virgin” physical-sexual state.
The pressure upon some Christians to become “born-again virgins” is likely due in large part to the fear of condemnation from Christian brothers and sisters, or perhaps fear that God will not accept them unless they take steps to become “born-again virgins.” Neither of these reasons should be a concern because God offers forgiveness and grace to all who ask with a sincere heart (1 John 1:9). We need not try to restore for ourselves what God has already restored in us spiritually.
The Bible says that when we are born again, we are new creations, our old selves are dead and gone, and we have new life given to us by the Holy Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 5:17). This means that God chooses to no longer remember our past transgressions (Jeremiah 31:34), including losing virginity before marriage. Our sins are as far away from us as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). There is absolutely no doubt that God will forgive sex before marriage. God’s love for a person is not diminished because of the mistakes that person has made.
However, though our sins are no longer counted against us, they are still very real and still carry with them earthly consequences. Once an act is done, it’s done. It is, therefore, not possible to claim physical born-again virginity, just as it is not possible to reverse the consequences of any other sins we commit. What we can be done with, though, are the guilt feelings associated with having had premarital sex. This kind of guilt can cause us to doubt the power of God’s forgiveness because we can’t forgive ourselves. We can be tyrannized by our emotions and feel we are too bad to be forgiven. There are several reasons for this. First, the conscience speaks against forgiveness. The only thing our conscience knows about is guilt and conviction. It knows nothing of grace and mercy. Second, Satan is the “accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10), and he will do all he can to obscure the love and graciousness of God. But Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Once we recognize that it’s to his advantage to keep us incapacitated and immobilized by our guilt feelings, we can reject his lies, cling to the promises of Scripture, truly believe that we have died to sin, and begin to live for God in Christ (Romans 6:11).
Consider the apostle Paul—consumed with rage against Christ and “breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples” (Acts 9:1), full of blasphemy and ungodliness, yet God forgave him and made Paul His chosen vessel to preach the Gospel to the whole world. Notice that God never required Paul to become a born-again anything other than a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. Paul goes on to tell us that although some of us were sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexual offenders, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers (1 Corinthians 6:9-12), yet through the infinite goodness and free grace of God, we are washed from the filth and guilt of our sins, justified by the righteousness of Christ, sanctified by the Spirit of Christ, and decked and adorned with the precious grace of Christ, holy and perfect in the sight of God. Knowing this, how can we possibly hold onto our guilty feelings?
Rather than seeking born-again virginity, a Christian who has made the mistake of sex before marriage should commit himself/herself to God and to abstaining from sexual intercourse until marriage. Claiming born-again virginity is not biblical. Believing wholeheartedly in God’s total forgiveness and making the choice to live righteously and in ways that are pleasing to Him—that is biblical.