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“The opposite of death is not life; Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth…In Christ, our death becomes a birth into a new, eternal life. We die with Christ in our baptism in order to enter into the eternal life in Christ. There is no opposite to this life for it is eternal.” (Archimandrite Meletios Webber, Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“Adoption as a child of God is not a matter of ethnic descent (of blood) as it was in the OT; nor are we children of God simply by natural birth (the will of the flesh), nor by man's own decision (the will of man). Becoming a child of God is a spiritual birth by grace, through faith, and in the Holy Spirit…In the new birth, a true mystery takes place. For in the sacrament of baptism, we die, going down into the water to be mystically united to Christ in His death, and we live again, rising up out of the water in His resurrected humanity. In short, we are born again.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 1:13)

“…if we have been united together in the likeness of His death” (Rom 6:5). We are to be united together in Christ, sharing in His death and His Resurrection....In the original Greek, the phrase united together in Romans 6:5 implies “to be generated with.” It is another way of speaking about the mystery of new birth in the Spirit, about the reality that the Lord Jesus explains to Nicodemus (Jn 3:3-8). Perhaps we might translate this phrase more freely at this point to read: “if we have been regenerated with Christ.” How does this regeneration happen in holy baptism? Christ regenerates us when we unite ourselves to Him. Our choosing and His regenerating are synergistic, a cooperative action we undertake with God.” (Dynamis 5/1/2021)

“Popular New Age thought postulates that everyone has a “god within.” It’s a pleasant way of saying that we’re all special while making “god” to be rather banal. But there is a clear teaching of classical Christianity regarding Christ-within-us…We should not understand our relationship with God to be an “external” matter, as if we were one individual and God another. Our union with God, birthed in us at Holy Baptism, is far more profound. “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1Co 6:17). God does not “help” us in the manner of encouraging us or simply arranging for things to work out. Rather, He is in us, working in union with our work. The mystery of ascesis (the practice of prayer, fasting, self-denial, etc.) only makes true sense in this context.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…we are to embrace the Lord Jesus’ words and actions completely – to literally fill our minds with His thoughts, words, and deeds. It is imperative for us to emulate the Lord: to desire what He desires and speak in a manner worthy of Him. The Apostle Paul, by using the imagery of rebirth (Galatians. 4:19), directs us to consider what it means when Christ is “born in us.” Our emphasis shifts inward toward our spiritual formation and the interior growth that ultimately produces godly thoughts, actions, choices, and words. How does this inner formation occur? To have Christ formed in us, we must enjoy day-to-day contact with Him and engage in regular personal interaction with the Lord. This Spirit-endowed relationship is very different from a mere rote obedience to a code of rules.” (Dynamis 10/1/2021)


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