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"You must be born again."

John 3:7


Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)





n the original language the word ‘must’ carries the meaning of ‘imperative’ or ‘necessary.’ Christ here is speaking to the sons of the Kingdom, the children of the living God, for whom Christ came to create them particularly for the inheritance of heaven. Our eternal life above requires we be born from above. Christ here is simplifying for us the terrifying, timeless mystery of his birth. He is born of the Father before all ages, light from light, true God from true God. Within this highly exalted form, very fearsome, incomprehensible and indescribable, he condenses for us his greatly holy and mysterious self. Through a new birth we are qualified to be called the sons of God and the brethren of the Lord, to live by his life and enjoy with him the hidden mystery of his Father in his heavenly home, beyond description.

Let the reader not miss the fact that the divine new birth from above is one of the touches of the Father and the fragrance of the Son, along with the groomsmen, all the angels and archangels and all the heavenly troops. Our new creation will join with all the heavenly creations who will work together for the benefit of our new creation, providing support, protection and praise. Our new spiritual creation will be worthy to enter the heavenly troop, for God is their Father and Christ the Son is their brother. For this reason, brethren, we do not exaggerate when we say above we will be like gods,[1] not as we see ourselves but as the servants of the Kingdom of God see us. I can say this based on the fact that we will be in the likeness of the Son in every way, with God himself ‘Our Father.’ Our condition will be 100% heavenly, gathered together in the house of the Father.

So do not make light of Christ’s statement, ‘You must be born from above.’ The Gospel is my witness, because it says when Christ appears we will appear with him,[2] and ‘we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.’[3] This means we will see the truth of just how close he is to us, and how close we are to him, in the original image and condition,[4] made by the Father through his Holy Spirit. Christ shows us an amazing thing, as he addresses the Father but is in fact revealing to us, ‘I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity.’ [5] What a mystery, and you must believe above we will be like gods,[6] and we will be in their ranks in glory because the glory of the Father will draw us together.

The truly wonderful thing is that, after this heavenly flight and intimacy with the Father and Son as gods through grace,[7] Christ turns to give a practical yet mysterious and miraculous model of how a man is born from above. He establishes the solemn mystery of baptism by which we, three times under the water, truly undergo the death and burial of Christ, and we then rise by the breath of the Holy Spirit. We receive the new spirit of man which we sanctify directly by partaking of the body and blood of the Lord. These things are not revealed except to the spiritual, and those who believe live them, in the hope of the heavenly birth.

So all who are baptized by water and the Spirit are qualified for the mysterious heavenly birth that is not revealed except through revelation by Christ!

September 26, 2005



[1] See John 10:34-35.

[2] See Col 3:4.

[3] 1John 3:2.

[4] ‘he also predestined [them] to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers’ Rom 8:29.

[5] John 17:23.

[6] See 2 Pet 1:4.

[7] See John 10:34-35.

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