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To be free, we have to be born again

John wrote: “We are well aware that we are from God, and the whole world is in the power of the Evil One” (1 Jn 5:16). Meanwhile we belong to the world, -and we don’t have to do anything extraordinary to belong to it, because without us being aware the world envelops, traps and keeps us under its influence-, we are slaves of the world, of the devil and the flesh; but when we decide to follow Jesus Christ, accepting Him as our only Lord, making an effort to be obedient to His Word, we enter and move into the Kingdom of God and acquire through grace the freedom of God’s children, which we have to defend with all our strength, if we do not want to fall again under slavery to our enemies.

Jesus proclaimed the need of a rebirth to enter the Kingdom of God: “In all truth I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above. Nicodemus said, ‘How can anyone who is already old be born? It is possible to go back into the womb and be born?’ Jesus replied: In all truth I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born through water and the Spirit (Jn 3:3-5). Here we are referring not to a natural birth, but to a spiritual birth. The children of God, those born to a new life, those born again by the Spirit to an incorruptible life, the life of God, are not born of flesh and blood, or of human desire, but of God (cf Jn 1:13).

To be born again implies receiving the life of God in the spirit of man. Man is body, soul and spirit (cf 1 Thes 5:23). Through sin our spirit is born dead, but when we receive the life of God through the Holy Spirit, due to the work of Christ, our spirit begins to receive life. And we do not live only with a body and a soul, but the most important part of man, the spirit, receives the life of the Spirit. If a man is not born again, he remains spiritually dead, but if he is born to a new life, he goes experiencing and benefiting of this life, that he was receiving as he was cooperating with the Giver of Life.

This is the birth to a new life, a new man, a spiritual man, as opposed to the carnal man, who is sold to the power of the flesh and sin. Here the Baptism is fundamental. Paul said to the Romans: “You cannot have forgotten that all of us, when were baptised into Christ Jesus, were baptised into his death. So by our baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glorious power, we too should begin to live a new life. If we have been joined to him by dying a death like his, so we shall be by a resurrection like his; realising that our former self was crucified with him, so that the self which belonged to sin should be destroyed, and we should be freed from the slavery of sin. Someone who has died, of course, no longer has to answer for sin” (Rom 6:3-7).

This birth is achieved by faith in the Son of God, without which, on the other hand is not possible to please God: “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God” (1 Jn 5:1).

To be or to live in Christ, is to be a new creature, a situation that has nothing to do with the one of slavery, but with that of God’s children: “So for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old order is gone and a new being is there to be seen” (2 Cor 5:17).

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