“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
The Second Epistle to the Corinthians 5:17
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
IT IS KNOWN, dear brother, that the old creation in Adam perished with sin overcoming it. Hence it earned the penalty of its action and was condemned to eternal death. For that reason God sent His Son to the world to create Himself, through Himself, a new spiritual creation not subject to death and over which the possessor of death, the devil, had no power. The first creation ceased to exist before God and only His beloved Son remained with all those who submitted to him and had been accepted as brothers. He became incarnate especially to take on the image of His brothers in everyway but sin, and adopted their case before God, His Father, defending them until death, accepting His slaughter. This way He freed humanity forever from the power of the evil one, and we became in Christ the sons of God after having been enemies through our thoughts, actions and own wills. As a result we also became a new creation through the spirit in the person of Jesus Christ. He offered us His grace through the Holy Spirit flowing in us from the Father. Thus we shared the Trinity of the Son, the Spirit, and the Father in will, desire and action. Because Christ, His name be glorified, aimed at implanting in us the will and desire to follow good works according to His plan, so that Christ became active in us in accordance to our desires and our acts.
As for that which concerns the old body whether it be the desire, will or vain work, all has been counted dead without the force or power to subjugate the new man once more, because Christ paid the cost of it in His body on the cross. The devil consequently has no share in us on condition man acknowledges these vain matters till they are annihilated before the face of God. It is very important in the case of the new man to be justified from all his evil thoughts and deeds in order to be saved from the curse of the old man. Thus did Christ determine that: “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men”1 if he goes back on it and offers his sincere repentance before God.
In general men desire to don the new man over the old. However this is impossible in customary renovation because we must remove the old man, rejecting him with all his deeds to allow grace to don us the new man, the vanquisher of sin and death. As for him who neglects to confess and repent, he will lose eternal life and remain under the curse, because it is impossible for the person allied to sin and its works to become close to Christ or that Christ should be near him. The loss of partnership with Christ is the loss of God’s consent and exclusion from eternal life.
We do not pay the price of the new man, it is a given grace from God to whoever accepts the Son as God and Savior. No matter how much man is immersed even till his head-top in this world’s evils and corruption when he cries out to Christ asking for help and renewal, he will have it immediately. There is therefore no excuse to anyone who refuses to come to the Savior to surrender himself.
I heard of a lady of high society in England who was at the head of a musical band and thought of immigrating to Hong Kong. She was her father and mother’s only child and left her home, family and country to become a foreigner in Hong Kong. But God called her through the Holy Spirit to serve the criminals in that rich decadent country. She obeyed the Holy Spirit’s voice and went to the prisons preaching in Christ’s name. The Holy Spirit acted in her and through her to the extent that when she prayed with any of the convicts asking him to believe in Christ and cry out in the name of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit entered him and he preached with her to the rest of his prison friends.
I mention this story that greatly affected me in my life that the reader would read it, no matter his condition, so that he goes to Christ and cries out through the Holy Spirit for the power of God’s grace to descend upon him and become a missionary and soldier in God’s army of salvation.
18 June, 2005
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