Gregory Nazienzen- On the Three Births

(from Oration on Holy Baptism, 381 A.D.)

The Word recognizes three births for us; namely, the natural birth, that of Baptism, and that of the Resurrection. Of these, the first is by night, and is servile, and involves passion; but the second is by day, and is destructive of passion, cutting off all the veil that is derived from birth, and leading on to a higher life; and the third is more terrible and shorter, bringing together in a moment all mankind, to stand before its Creator, and to give an account of its service and conversation here; whether it has followed the flesh, or whether it has mounted up with the Spirit, and worshipped the grace of its new creation.

My Lord Jesus Christ has showed that He honored all these births in His own Person; the first, by that first quickening Inbreathing (Gen. ii. 7); the second by His incarnation and the Baptism wherewith He Himself was baptized; and the third by the Resurrection, of which He was the first-fruits; condescending, as He became the Firstborn among many brethren (Rom. viii. 29), so also to become the Firstborn from the dead (Col. i. 18).

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