"Jezus antwoordde en zei tegen hem: Voorwaar, voorwaar, Ik zeg u: Als iemand niet opnieuw geboren wordt, kan hij het Koninkrijk van God niet zien. … Jezus antwoordde: Voorwaar, voorwaar, Ik zeg u: Als iemand niet geboren wordt uit water en Geest, kan hij het Koninkrijk van God niet binnengaan." John 3:3, 5.

"Lieg niet tegen elkaar, aangezien u de oude mens met zijn daden uitgetrokken hebt, en de nieuwe mens aangetrokken hebt, die vernieuwd wordt tot kennis, overeenkomstig het beeld van Hem Die hem geschapen heeft.". Kol. 3:9,10.

“… ieder die liefheeft, is uit God geboren en kent God." 1 John 4:7.


Having renewed us by the remission of our sins, He has made us after another pattern, that we should possess the souls of children, inasmuch as He has created us anew by His Spirit. Barnabas (c. 70–130, E), 1.140.

Having received the forgiveness of sins, and having placed our trust in the name of the Lord, we have become new creatures, formed again from the beginning. . . . He, then, who wishes to be saved, looks not to man, but to Him who dwells in him. Barnabas (c. 70–130, E), 1.147.

At our birth, we were born without our own knowledge or choice, but by our parents coming together. . . . In order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe . . . and the name of Jesus Christ . . . and the name of the Holy Spirit. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.183.

He himself formed man of the dust, regenerated him by water, made him grow by his Spirit, and trained him by His word to adoption and salvation, directing him by sacred commandments. This is in order that, transforming earth-born man into a holy and heavenly being by His advent, He might fulfill to the utmost that divine utterance, “Let Us make man in Our own image and likeness.” Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.234.

He says, “Everyone who does righteousness is born of God”—being regenerated, that is, according to faith.
Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.576.

“Unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” In other words, he cannot be holy. Every soul, then, by reason of its birth, has its nature in Adam until it is born again in Christ. Moreover, it is unclean all the while that it remains without this regeneration. And because it is unclean, it is actively sinful. Tertullian (c. 210, W), 3.220.

When the soul embraces the faith, being renewed in its second birth by water and the power from above, then the veil of its former corruption is taken away. And it sees the light in all its brightness. It is also taken up by the Holy Spirit. This is in contrast to its first birth, when it is embraced by the unholy spirit. The flesh follows the soul, which is now wedded to the Spirit, as a part of the bridal portion. The flesh is no longer the servant of the soul, but of the Spirit. Tertullian (c. 210, W), 3.221.

Hoodwinking multitudes, [Marcus, the heretic] misled many of this description who had become his disciples. He taught them that they were prone, no doubt, to sin, but that they were beyond the reach of danger because they belonged to the perfect power. . . . After baptism, these heretics promise another [rebirth], which they call Redemption. And by this, they wickedly subvert those who remain with them in expectation of redemption. As if persons, after they had once been baptized, could again obtain remission! Hippolytus (c. 225, W), 5.92.

Christ is the God above all, and He has arranged to wash away sin from human beings, regenerating the old man. Hippolytus (c. 225, W), 5.153.

Christ is called the Resurrection. For He causes those who sincerely attach themselves to Him to put away their deadness and rise again and put on newness of life. Origen (c. 228, E), 9.319.

The Logos, who cleanses the soul, must first have been in the soul. It is after Him and the cleansing that proceeds from Him that the pure life comes to everyone who has made himself a fit dwelling for the Logos, considered as God. Now, all that is dead or weak in the soul has been taken away. Origen (c. 228, E), 9.334.

The world is crucified to them. When they see the consummation of this world to be at hand (as far as their effort is concerned), then Jesus will no longer be with them. Rather, He will be in them, and they will say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Origen (c. 228, E), 9.386.

I used to regard it as a difficult matter (and especially difficult because of my character at that time) that a man could be capable of being born again. Yet, this was a truth that the divine mercy had announced for my salvation. I thought it difficult that a man quickened to a new life in the bath of saving water would be able to put off what he had previously been. That is, although retaining all his bodily structure, he himself could be changed in heart and soul. I said, “How is such a conversion possible, that there could be a sudden and rapid divestment of all [our corrupt habits]?” . . . I used to indulge my sins as if they were actually parts of me and native to me. But after that, by the help of the water of new birth, the stain of former years had been washed away, and a light from above—serene and pure—had been infused into my reconciled heart. Then, by the agency of the Spirit breathed from heaven, a second birth had restored me to a new man. . . . I was enabled to acknowledge that what had been previously living in the practice of sins (being born of the flesh) was of the earth and was earthly. But now it had begun to be of God and was enlivened by the Spirit of holiness. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.275, 276.

The new man is born again and restored to his God by His grace. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.449.

That which he makes us by a second birth, He wishes us to continue when we are newly born. So that we, who have begun to be sons of God, may abide in God’s peace. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.454.

© OTR 2023