Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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"The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8). What does this verse mean exactly?

In John 3:8, our Lord explains to Nicodemus the importance of baptism. The reference to the "wind" is a translation issue. In Greek, "wind" means "spirit". Through this passage, we come to understand the role and presence of the third person of the Holy Trinity Who is most essential in the sacrament of baptism. Our Lord advises Nicodemus not to be surprised at being asked to be born from above; for baptism is indeed a rebirth. Those who obtain it subsequently become spiritual; because they are born of the Holy Spirit Who alone dwells in this Holy Mystery. The laws governing the wind motion are but partially discovered. However, the risings, fallings, and daily frequent direction changes of those gentle breezes, as referred to in the verse, will probably ever remain a mystery to us. So will the operation of the Holy Spirit in the Mystery of Baptism, in which we are born again, remain undisclosed and obscure to us.
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