New Birth as a New People: Spirituality and Community in the Fourth Gospel

Gail R. O'Day

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 1/1/1988

Issue: Spirituality and Community (Vol. 8, No 1, Winter, 1988)

In John 1:12 the Fourth Evangelist writes, “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” The expression “children of God” is a good metaphor with which to begin our discussion of spirituality and community in the Fourth Gospel. When one becomes a child of God, one is given a new identity, “born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (1:13). When one becomes a child of God, one also enters into a new community, the community of those who are able to say, “We have beheld his glory” (1:14). A new family is formed of the newly born children of God (cf. 20:17). Thus, through belief in Jesus’ name, we become a new people and I become a new person.

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