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Catholic Dictionary




Spiritual rebirth at baptism, as commanded by Christ: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God" (John 3:5). The term is used in Catholic theology to describe the spiritual change worked by divine grace, by which a person, from having been conceived and born in sin, is regenerated into a new creature, a child of God and heir of heaven. It is synonymous with supernatural regeneration. In some Protestant circles the expression refers to a new experiential knowledge in Christ, wrought by baptism or by a sudden and lasting conversion from sin to a fervent service of God.