OUR BELIEF IN GOD1
FR. TADROS Y. MALATY
GOD IS LOVE
"God is love" 1 John 4:8. He is neither an idea that we
believe in, nor a Supreme Being isolated from mankind in
His heaven far away from our world, but He is the Lover of
mankind, He granted us His divine knowledge to enjoy His
love and to touch His Fatherhood. He would like to be very
near to mankind, to unite them to Himself, to live within
their souls, and grants us participation in His Glory.
In other words, God reveals Himself to us, not to involve us in theoretical discussions, nor to practise His authority upon us, but to attract us to Himself as children to their true Father in whom they find the essence of life, satisfaction, immortality and eternal glorification.
REVELATION OF GOD
God created man in His image, as the most perfect of His
creations on earth. God did not plan to leave man in Paradise
alone, but to embrace him as His beloved, to meet him (Gen.
18:17), and to reveal Himself, His nature, His mysteries and
His will to him.
God spoke to mankind through nature (Rom. 1:20). As
they refused to hear the voice of the natural law, He
presented His written Law through Moses and sent His
prophets to them (Heb. 1:1,2). At last, the Incarnate Son of
God came to enlighten their inner life and to set His
Kingdom within them. He came to reveal the mystery of God, the Lover and Savior of men. His revelation has its effect on our nature and eternal future.
MYSTERY OF GOD
"Mystery" in Christianity does not mean that a believer
takes obscure dogmas without understanding them,or that
these dogmas are unacceptable to his mind. Our minds
cannot conceive this naturally without God's grace and
revelation. Mystery does not oppose man's thinking but is
supreme and inconceivable without God's help.
God created us as rational beings. He reveals Himself and His deeds to us, not to abolish our minds but to elevate them so that all our human nature can accept Him and acknowledges His mysteries.
MONOTHEISM AND TRINITARIAN FAITH
Our faith in its essence is a call to enjoy the experience of the One God, Lover of mankind. The Old and the New Testaments confirm the belief in the One God, but the Old Testament deals with this matter in its passive aspect, for its aim was to keep the believers away from idols and from practising the abominations of nations that accompanied paganism (2 Kings 21:2; Chorn. 28:3).
The New Testament witnesses to the One God in a
positive aspect, for it does not only declare the oneness of
God but it also deepens our faith in God by revealing the
"Trinitarian" faith. In fact this faith does not oppose
"Monotheism," but emphasizes it by revealing some mys-
teries of the One God and giving interpretation to these
THE TRINITARIAN DOGMA AND THE BIBLE
The Holy Trinity was referred to at Jesus' baptism (Joh. 1:27-33). Besides our baptism is fulfilled in the name of the Holy Trinity (Matt. 28:19). St. Paul benediction enumerates the Trinity in 2 Cor. 13:14.
In the Old Testament we find the Trisagion (holy, holy,
holy) of Isaiah's Vision (6:3); and the name of God is
mentioned in plural "Elohim," even in the Deuteronomy 6:4 "unity" passage [see Gen. 1:26, 11:7].
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Is it necessary to believe in the Holy Trinity?
1. The "Trinitarian" faith solves many problems which
was caused by the absolute "monotheistic" faith. For
example, we say that God is love and His love is eternal;
does this mean that there was another being whom God
loved eternally? We can not say that He loves Himself
eternally; this means He is selfish (God forbids!). We cannot
say that He eternally loved by power and not by action, and
after the creation of the heavenly and earthly beings His love
became in action; this means that creation was necessary for
God to realise His love and changes it from power to action.
What we say concerning love might be repeated in
regards to other divine characteristics like peace-making,
Truly if we accept the Holy Trinity as three Hypostaseis in
one divine essence, this problem will be easily solved. This
faith in the One God of three Hypostasies declares the act of
love, unity and peace in God as an eternal action of the Holy
Trinity. The Father loved the Son and there was no time when the Father did not love the Son. Love as a divine character was eternally in power and in action, for "Love" is God Himself who loved eternally, and was not in need of the creation to declare His characteristics. God's love to us is an extension of His work and eternal loving nature. Then the Trinitarian faith reveals God as a dynamic, personal and communal Being and not a solid being.
2. Someone may say that the "Trinitarian" faith may
incline to "polytheism." We reply that the Son is the Word of
the Father; many religions believe that the words of God are
eternal. the Word of God is not "outside" God, but is one
with Him, as brightness that shines from the light. The
Father was not without His Word, as light is never without
brightness. Thus our belief in the Son does not mean
The Holy Spirit is the "Life," and the Father is the "Being." This "Being" is not separated from "Life..."
It is important to believe in God who is "the rational,
Being" one essence, eternally simple, for the three are not
separated, nor has one existed before the others. They are
like the fire which has flame, light and heat at the same time.
3. St. Clement of Alexandria states that all expressions
concerning God are used because of our weakness and
disability. In other words, we must not understand "One"
here as a number among other numbers, but it means an
unspeakable unity. "Monotheism" cannot be tasted nor
understood as "Numbering," for it makes God as a solid
Being subject to numbering. St. Clement says: [God is One,
and beyond one, and above the Monad itself].
Let us not understand the Oneness of God in a material
4. We should not understand the expression "the Son" in a materialistic way as if the Son had an essence other than that of the Father, but He is the Brightness who never separates from the "Light."
Can God not bring forth a Son? For we cannot accept God as a solid, being unable to bring forth! Every energetic essence has to bring forth something. Fire brings forth light and radiates heat, the radio element brings forth energy, and the human mind brings forth wise thoughts. God can never be a solid Being, but eternally He brings forth the Son, for He is the "Light" who brings forth "the Light." Truly a light that brings forth no light is darkness.
Bringing forth the Son eternally reveals the nature of God
as the Loving Being, who in His infinite love brings forth the
Son offering to Him His own divine essence being One with
5. St. Athanasius clarifies that the "Son" is called "the Word of God," to confirm the oneness of the essence, that no one may think in two essences.
6. The unity of the Holy Trinity as a unity of love, of
continuous movement, has an effect on our lives, for we
imitate the Holy Trinity through our unity together in the
7. The "Trinitarian" faith has its effect on our daily life
and on our eternal future. For through it we acknowledge
the fatherhood of God, enjoy the divine friendship of Jesus
our Savior, and the communion of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the
door of hope in the eternal glories will always be opened
8. The Holy Trinity declares the concept of "perfection,"
i.e., the perfection of the unity of the Holy Trinity and not the theoretical and the solid perfection which has no movement of love.
THE HOLY TRINITY AND HUMAN MIND
Our Trinitarian faith does not oppose the human mind as
some- one may think, for if it is called a "Mystery" this is
because of our need for a divine revelation to accept it. Even
"monotheism" has many mysteries that the mind cannot
understand by itself. For example, all religious men say that
God fills heaven and earth and He in infinite, at the same
time there is a divine throne. Is this divine throne limited?
How does it look like in heaven? How can God occupy the
whole world and at the same time He is present in every
room and in every house of God, not partially for He is
undivided, but He is entirely present?
The human soul may be used as an example to explain the Trinitarian faith. Every soul is "Existent," rational and alive. Although man has one soul and its being is distinguished from its mind and its life, the three are inseparable.
Fire has three self-properties that look like the hypostasis, for it has flame, the light that is begotten of the flame, and the heat that proceeds from it.
It was very important to reveal the mystery of the Holy
Trinity so that our salvation can be realized. The Father,
Lover of men, sent His Word incarnate to bear our sins and
pay our debts, and sent His Holy Spirit which raises us to His
Our Trinitarian faith uncovers the real divine love, for
God does not seek our destruction, or have authority over us
as some existentialists say, He is "Love," that longs for our
adoption so that we might be united with Him and share in
His eternal Glories.
Fr. T. Malaty: The Coptic Orthodox Church and Dogma (God), Ottawa 1986.
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MAN & REDEMPTION1
MAN IN GOD'S SIGHT
Our faith in God is correlated to our life, for we acknowledge Him as the Lover of mankind who reveals Himself to His beloved creatures, likewise we can't understand ourselves as human beings, our salvation and our eternal destiny apart from our relationship with God and outside our concept of Him.
Man - in God's view - is not just one out of billions of
creatures, but God deals with him as His own image,
beloved, and His own close friend. He founded all the world
for his sake, and gave him authority even over the space.
Therefore, when man was totally ruined - his spirit and body
- the Word of God was incarnated to raise him up and to
renew his nature. Through Incarnation, God revealed two
1. God's honorable sight of man, for the Word of God Himself became man and dwelt among us.
2. He granted man freedom which sin had destroyed.
According to St. Cyril of Alexandria, the image of God in
which man was created (Gen. 1:26) was his own free will,
however, he spolied it by his disobedience to God, thus he
became incapable of interacting with God's love, freely.
THE HUMAN NATURE
When we speak about "man and his redemption" or about
the human nature and its renewal, we refer to man's soul,
mind and body, for Christ came as a perfect Man to renew
"man" in his wholeness. Therefore, the Alexandria Fathers
argued against the Gnostics who rejected the body and
looked at it as an enemy. The Alexandrians were also
interested in revealing the sanctification of mind: looking to
science and philosophy as if it were not in enmity towards
GOD'S ROLE IN MAN'S SALVATION
After his fall, man became in need to enjoy the risen life,
and at the same time he was in need for One who can redeem
him by realising God's justice. These two requirements can't
be fulfilled except through the "Incarnation and the
Resurrection." The Word of God descended to us and
became our Saviour, to realise the following advantages to
1. To declare the Creator's goodness. He created man and He is able to renew his nature.
2. To join us with Himself (John 17:23).
3. To accomplish God's sentence of death (2 Cor. 5:14) and to condemn sin (Rom. 8:3).
4. To undergo death by His victory over death and His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:21).
5. To conquer Satan, our enemy (1 John 3:1).
6. To raise us up to heaven (Eph. 2:6).
7. To renew our nature in Him, and grant us participation in His divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).
8. To realise universality of the Church, by joining the
Gentiles together with the Jews through faith in one Body.
9. To grant us the true knowledge (Matt. 11:27), for Jesus alone knows the Father.
MAN'S ROLE IN SALVATION
Grace is the centre of the Alexandria theology, for God
"first loved us" (1 John 4:19), foreknew us (Rom. 8:29),
chose us, predestined us, called us, justified us and glorified
us. He wills, decides and acts for our salvation, but we never
enjoy this free salvation unwillingly. God wills that all men
might be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth (1
Tim. 2:4), for He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked
but that the wicked turns from his way and lives (Ezek.
33:11). He offered His Son as the propitiation for the sins of
the whole world (1 John 2;2). Nevertheless, God asked us to
choose the way we desire (Deut. 30:15,19), and to declare
this choice through practical faith. Thus the good deeds that
we practise by the divine grace are necessary and essential.
H.H. Pope Shenouda III, in his book " Salvation in the Orthodox Concept" presents many proofs of the importance of "good deeds" to our salvation:
1. Evil work leads to eternal condemnation (Gal. 5:19,21; Eph. 5:5,6).
2. Judgment will be based upon our deeds (Matt. 16:27; John 5:28, 29).
3. Works are the fruit of true faith (Luke 3:8, James
4. Through good deeds we witness to our faith (James 2:18; Matt. 7:16, 17).
5. Through our good deeds we witness to be children of God (1 John 2:29; 3:9, 10).
6. Works make faith perfect (James 2:22; 1:27). We have to distinguish between many kinds of good works as mentioned in the Holy Bible:
1. The works of man's own righteousness, when man trusts in his own power, his salvation is ruined.
2. The works of the Law, like circumcision, preserving the Sabbath in a solid way etc. If these works are performed literally they ruin the spiritual life.
3 Good works which are the fruits of faith: The believer leans on the Lord's breast and asks for the work of His divine grace under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; these works are necessary to our salvation.
1. Fr. T. Malaty: The Coptic Orthodox Church and Dogmas; Man & Redemption.
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NATURE OF THE CHURCH
The Church occupies the heart of the Bible, for she is the
object of the redemption which the Bible proclaims. God
purchased her at the cost of Christ's Blood (Acts 20:28).
Understanding the Church means understanding the
relationship between God and man, manifested in, the divine
plan of salvation, God's Fatherhood, the kingdom of Christ,
the work of the Holy Spirit, the means of grace, the lessons
from the history of mankind, the destiny of men ... etc. It is
through the church that God makes known His redeeming
wisdom even to the heavenly hosts (Eph. 3:10).
The fathers of Alexandria adopted the spiritual concepts of the Church and did not consider it a political or a human organisation, for many reasons:
a. Throughout the past twenty centuries, the Church of
Alexandria was isolated from politics and had no civil
b. The Alexandrians' view of knowledge (gnosis) as a divine gift constantly granted by the Father through His Son, attracted the clergymen to practising contemplation, studying the Holy Bible and worshipping without being involved in church administration.
c. Even before the appearance of the monastic movement, the Egyptian clergymen and laity practised the ascetic life. Their minds and hearts were more often lifted up to the heavenly kingdom than to church administration.
1. COVENANT WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD:
the Old Testament, believers looked at the community as a
whole, as the people of God and the children of Abraham
who enjoyed a covenant with God (Gen. 17). In the New
Testament Christ offered a new covenant giving His Blood
and Body, and presenting them as food to His people thus
capable of granting them eternal life (Matt. 26:28; 1 Cor.
The Church of the New Testament inherited the promises that were given through the Old Testament, but in a new and deep concept. Therefore the church is ancient and is new at the same time. We, the members of the Church enjoy the ancient prophesies through the new life which we practise in Jesus Christ who never ages.
2. THE MOTHER OF BELIEVERS:
The Church is
virgin because of her purity (2 Cor. 11:2), and at the same
time she is a mother who brings forth children of God
unceasingly. Her children are a fruitful witness to Christ.
3. THE BODY OF CHRIST: The Church is the Body of Christ that grows towards perfection; her children enjoy communion in the Body and Blood of the Lord.
4. A new creation in Christ:
The believer receives the
rebirth in baptism, and he becomes a new creation in Christ
(2 Cor. 5:17), he dies with Christ and also rises with Him (Eph. 2).
The work of the Holy Spirit is the continuous sanctification of the believers so that they might become in the likeness of Christ, the Head.
5. THE BIRTH OF CHRIST:
The Church waits for her
Christ who will come to perform His eternal spiritual
marriage with her (Rev. 19:7). Christ called Himself the
Bridegroom (Matt. 9:14,15; Mark 2:18-20; Luke 5:33-35;
Matt. 25:1-3). Through this concept we acknowledge that
the Lord who is the Judge, is coming not to judge us but to
grant her to be close to Him, to unite with Him and to enjoy
His glories. As the Groom, He is jealous (Exod. 20:5; 34:24;
Deut 4: 25; 5:9; 6:51), for He cannot be in communion with
sin. Every sin we commit is a crime not only against His law
but rather against His love, for by sin we break the heart of
our Heavenly Groom. This concept also means that our unity
with God is eternal and indissoluble.
6. THE DWELLING PLACE OF CHRIST,
as the holy temple of God (Eph. 2:21 etc.), a spiritual
temple, and a sanctuary in which the Holy Trinity dwell.
7. THE CHURCH IS THE HOUSE OF FAITH,
house that preserves the deposit of faith without deviation.
THE CHURCH IS THE HOUSE OF
SALVATION, like the house of Rahab (Jos. 2). There is no
salvation outside it.
9. THE COMMUNITY OF LOVE:
The Church reveals
the kingdom of God on earth, as the pure kingdom of love,
her goal is that every soul may enjoy eternal life.. Whoever
belongs to the church but has no love, is truly outside the
church, for he does not know God (1 John 3:14, 16; 4:7,8).
This love unites us all in God who is Love, and unites the
earthly creatures with the heavenly hosts, men with angels,
the militant members with those who are victorious.
10. THE ICON OF HEAVEN: The Heavenly One descended to our land, made of us His heavenly Church. Thus we live on earth with a heavenly heart and high thought, participating with the heavenly creatures in their hymns, joy and peace.
11. EVER-YOUTHFUL CHURCH:
The Church never
ages (spiritually) nor weakens, for she is united with her
Groom who never ages. The Groom grants her His Holy
Spirit which renews her unceasingly, therefore her youth is
renewed like the eagle's (Ps. 103:5). "Even though our
outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" 2 Cor. 4:16.
12. THE FIRST-BORN CHURCH: Her Groom, the Frst-Born One, grants all her members the glory of becoming first-born in Him.
THE CHURCH CHARACTERISTICS:
1. The Alexandrian Fathers spoke about Church democracy.
It is the peoples' right to choose their shepherds, and it is the duty of the clergyman to show his loving fatherhood and not his authority.
Every member of the church - man, woman or a child -
has his own role in the church, as we shall explain when we speak about "the Church of the People."
2. Spirituality is the common feature of all aspects of church life and activities.
3. The Alexandrian Fathers- like St. Cyril The Great- state that "Unity," based on the "One faith" without deviation is a characteristic of the church.
1. Fr. T. Malaty: Coptic Orthodox Church and Dogmas - "The Church," 1987.
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THE HEAVENLY CREATURES
THE COPTIC CHURCH AND THE WESTERN THEOLOGY
When Calvin spoke about "angels," he said, "It is also our
duty cheerfully to remain in ignorance of what is not for our
advantage to know"; and Barth began his discussion of
angels with so much hesitation. The western theologians are
inclined to avoid talking about the heavenly creatures,
looking to modern man even though he has no objection to
the existence of angels theologically or logically but he does
not like to describe them on psychological bases, looking to
this speech as a kind of myth and imagination. As for the
Coptic Church, we find that the heavenly creatures have had
their own strong print on the writings of the Fathers of
Alexandria, especially Origen, as well as on her hymns,
feasts, icons, church buildings etc.
Concerning the patristic writings, there was a clear line of thought as regards to the heavenly creatures in the early church, especially the writings of the School of Alexandrian which adopted the biblical thoughts. For the Holy Bible refers to them throughout all its books, from Genesis to the Revelation. These references throughout the two testaments is not meaningless or without aim.
As to Church hymns, believers who receive the pledge of
the heavenly life waiting for being in the likeness of angels
chant hymns with the angels, blessing them, requesting their
prayers, setting feasts in their names, especially the Archangel Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, the four Living creatures, the twenty-four incorporeal priests etc.
The Coptic Church was interested in icons of the heavenly
creatures, either portraying them alone, or in the icons
presenting events of the life of Christ, or in the icons of
saints as they appear holding crowns on top of the saints'
heads. These indicate the accessibility of heaven to the
believers, and that believers struggle to attain resemblance to
Angels are highly considered, when we speak about the Church as an icon of heaven. In the "Doxology of Morning" we sing: "Hail to the church, the house of the angels." The Church as defined by an ancient Coptic homily is "a place of consolation, a place of meetings of angels and a place of the Cherubim and the Seraphim2."
THE CHURCH AND THE MINISTRY OF ANGELS
St. Paul the Apostle speaks about the angels as
"ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will
inherit salvation " Heb. 1:14. This does not mean that they
are less in rank or glory than believers, but means that they
love them and serve them for their salvation. What is their
ministry to the believers?
1. The suffering church finds a kind of heavenly joy
through her feeling that she is accompanied by angels, her
heart is involved in the eternal glory and the communion with
the heavenly creatures. Therefore Origen says: "do not
waver at the solitude of the desert; it is during your sojourn
in the tents that you will receive the manna from heaven and
eat the bread of angels3."
2. Stephen the Deacon, and Paul the Apostle spoke about
the active role of angels in receiving the Law (Acts 7:35;
Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:2-3). Origen states that angels are friends
of the Groom who prepare the Church - people of God -
during the time of her espousal to meet the Groom person-
ally. He says "When I was preparing myself for my marriage
with the Son of the King and the First-Born of every
creature, the holy angels followed me and ministered to me,
bringing me to Law as a wedding present4." [These are the
angels who are called the guardians of children and who
always see the face of the Father in heaven5].
St. Clement of Alexandria refers to Daniel (10:13-21) when he says: "The presiding powers of the angels have been distributed according to the nations and the cities6."
3. The coming of the Groom, our Lord Jesus Christ, does
not stop the work of the angels nor their acting love on
behalf of the Kingdom of Christ within us. The New
Testament declares the appearance of angels throughout the
life of Christ on earth from the announcement of His in-
carnation till His Ascension. Origen states: "When the angels
saw the Prince of the heavenly host touring the places of
earth, followed the way He had opened, following their Lord
and obeyed the Will of Him who put those who believe in
Him under their guardianship. The angels are in the service
of your salvation... They say among themselves, "If He has
put on mortal flesh, how can we remain doing nothing?
Come, angels, let us all descend from heaven ." That is why
there was a multitude of the heavenly host praising and
glorifying God when Christ was born. Everything is filled
St. Athanasius states that angels who descended from
heaven to announce the coming of Christ, ascended to
heaven on His ascension to announce to the heavenly
creatures that they might open their doors to the King of
4. Origen clarifies the communion of the Church with the
heavenly creatures, for he says: [If the angel of the Lord
encompass those who fear God and brings them deliverance
(Ps. 33:8), it would seem that when a number of people duly
meet together for the glory of Christ, each will have his own
angel, encompassing him, since they all fear the Lord. Each
angel will be with the man he has been commissioned to
guard and to direct. Thus when the saints assemble, there
exist two churches one of men and the other of angels9].
St. Clement of Alexandria sees that angels have their own role in helping clergymen in the ministry of the children of God10, and Origen speaks of their role in the ministry of the church sacraments and in the repentance of souls11, and in helping believers in their prayers.
St. Clement speaks about angels' assistance to souls in their spiritual progress12, and Origen speaks about their grief over man's fall in sin13.
5. Origen correlates between angels and our entrance to
paradise, especially the martyrs. He comments on the
Apostle's words that we became a spectacle to angels and
men (1 Cor. 4:9), saying that angels look to the martyrs in
wonder, and that they rejoice with us in heaven14.
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THE SAINTS AND THE BOND OF LOVE
The Saints are dear brothers who have struggled like us and have departed to Paradise. They are not dead, but are sleeping, as our Lord said (John 11:11), and as St. Paul called them (1 Thess. 4:13).
Our early fathers spoke clearly and in detail about our
relationship with Saints. The Saints in Paradise are the
triumphant members of the same one church in which we are
militant members. We, the triumphant and militants, are
members of the Church, which is the one Body of Jesus
Christ. The triumphant become invisible members because of
the death of their bodies, and then militants are the visible
ones. This is man's point of view, but in God's sight, we are
all a visible holy family.
They departed from earth, but did not leave the church;
their love toward their brothers did not cease by their
departure and dwelling in Paradise. The death of their bodies
does not sever the bond of mutual love between them and us;
on the contrary it increases in depth and strength. Their
prayers for the salvation of all the world never cease. They
pray for us, and we venerate them as they are our holy and
ICONS OF SAINTS
We venerate the icons of saints and put them on the iconstasis (icon-stand). Church walls and doors are hung with icons, also our homes etc., as a sign of our communion with them in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Coptic Icons have their own characteristics as we have mentioned in the book : "Church, House of God."
THE INTERCESSIONS OF SAINTS (THEIR
PRAYERS FOR US )15
We all - the triumphant and militants - as one Body, have love that never fails (1 Cor. 13:8), for our interaction is unceasing. Those who preceded us pray for us, and we through love - pray for those who departed, and God in His Fatherhood appreciates this mutual love.
Our belief in intercession is biblical, as it appears from the following points:
1. Saints who departed are still alive, for it is said, "When
he called the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob for He is not the God of the dead but
of the living, for all are alive in Him" Luke 20:37,38; Matt.
22:32; Mark 12:26. Moses and Elijah appeared on Jesus'
transfiguration (Luke 9:28-33), and many bodies of the saints
were raised on Jesus' transfiguration (Matt. 27:52,53).
2. God disclosed many secrets which concern the future
of His men in both the Old and the New Testaments (Acts
20:22, 23, 29, 30; 2 Pet. 1:14), no wonder that He reveals
our conditions to the saints who are in Paradise. Their
knowledge about us is a gift from God to them. Therefore
Abraham knew that Moses and other prophets had come
(Luke 16; 29-31), and those who are in heaven rejoice for the repentance of a sinner (Luke 15:7-10).
3. The believers who departed have a kind of privilege
before God, therefore the Lord blessed Isaac for the sake of
Abraham his father (Gen. 26:5), and He was gracious to
Israel and had compassion on them because of His covenant
with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (2 kings 13:23). He did not
tear down the kingdom in the days of Solomon for the sake
of his father David (1 kings 11:11-13). God raised a dead
man when his corpse touched the bones of Elisha the
prophet, revealing the great position of this prophet in God's
sight (2 Kings 13:20,21).
4. We, the militants ask for the intercessions of the saints,
as Jacob did when he asked for the intercessions of his
grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac (Gen. 32:9). Moses
asked for the intercession of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
(Exod. 32:13)... For God honors those who honor Him (1
Sam. 2:30). He attributes Himself to them (Gen. 26:24;
28:13), and hears their supplications... Therefore the rich man appealed to Abraham (Luke 16:27,28).
Origen says: "It is not against truth, that we ask saints and seek for their intercessions.. but that they might help us." St. Athanasius says: "O lady and queen, the mother of God (Theotokos) intercede for us."
1. Carl F.H. Henry: Basic Christian Doctrine, Michigan 1980, p63, f; J. Calvin: Institutes, I, XIV, 3; K. Barth: Die Kirchliche Dogmatik, III, 3< Sec. 51.
2. Fr. Malaty: Church, House of God, 1982, P. 332.
3. In Num. hom 17:3.
4. Comm. in Cant., 1.
6. Stromata 6:17 (Sec. 7:2).
7. In Ez., hom 1:7.
8. Exp. in Ps. 23.
9. Fr. Malaty: Church, House of God, P. 332.
10. Stromata 7:1.
11. Sel. Ps. 37.
12. Strom. 7:2.
13. In Luc. hom 35.
14. Exhort.to Martyrdom 18.
15. H.E. Pope Shenouda III: Lectures in the Dogmatic theology (in Arabic).
H.G. Gregorious (Fr. Bakhoum El-Maharaquy) The Intercessions of the Departed ones for those who are alive (El-Kiraza 1965, 1966).
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