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Either way, this reminds us that baptism is about much more than taking something away—the guilt of original sin.
It is also the giving of something great, namely a new destiny. There is something that happens to us in the here and now.
It is a person; it is he.” Defined this way, the two statements start to line up.
Nicodemus is talking about one way of seeing Jesus—as teacher, miracle-worker, one ‘with’ God.
But ‘born again’ actually has meaning both a more specific and also deeper meaning than this when considered in its context.
The critical question: just how does one become born again? But for an infant it would be more accurate to use passive language, as baptism then is more about being personally committed to Christ by one’s parents.
Jesus, in responding, corrects him, explaining that no one can see Him for who He really is—not just one who is ‘with’ God but One who God unless he have this radical new birth, seeing Jesus with fresh eyes, with the new vision of reality and our destiny that comes with grace.
As John Chrysostom puts it, He says therefore, Except a man be born again, be cannot see the kingdom of God: as if He said, You are not yet born again, i.e.
Let us return to the context one more time to find out what it is.
The encounter begins with Nicodemus commending Jesus in a way that is common among non-Christians today.