||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

 

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son,

and they will call him Immanuel" ó which means, "God with us."

 

Matthew 1:23

Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)

 

 

 


WHEN Adam and Eve sinned they were cast out of Godís presence. Far from God,

mankind began to propagate in the barren distance from God. He lost the

closeness to God that Adam had enjoyed. Peopleís work and life were deprived of

Godís direction and action, not just for one generation but through all generations.

Finally the relationship with God was restored through the intervention of God

himself in the life of man. He sent his only Son, equal to the Father in essential nature,

to be born of a pure virgin from the house of Israel. In supernatural birth, without a

human father, God the Father was the true supernatural father, and the newborn was the

true Son of God,1 and the firstborn of new mankind. All the desires and hope of man

were fulfilled in the one born of the Virgin. Mankind was no longer banished far from

God. He began as the son of Adam but underwent an indescribable transformation to

son of God.2 Through faith in the Son of God, Jesus, manís offspring also became sons

of the Most High. Adam had been called the head of mankind. Now the one called

Christ, Jesus, is the head of those who through faith in Jesus Christ are the new

humanity. Everyone born through faith in Jesus Christ is a son of God and is given the

right of adoption as Godís son.3

Through the firstborn of all men, Jesus Christ, mankind became Christian, in

adoption as Godís sons.

 

Through the one and only spirit who works through faith, the Holy Spirit, all sons of

Adam became Christian, and Jesus Christ became the one and only head of all

Christians. All people became one man in Christ, no longer male and female, rather, Ďall

sons of the living God through the (one) faith in Christ Jesus.í4

In this way, the sons of Adam transformed from the race of man to the race of Jesus

Christ, from the dispersed many to one spirit in one race, from origins in the dust to a

spiritual nature and from a bodily heritage of father and mother to the inheritance of the

eternal life of the Son of God in the heavens. Man is no more subject to death; he has

moved from a race of dust to the heavenly race, from an earthly heritage to the eternal,

divine inheritance.

From this truth springs the happy invitation to a true, honest and living faith that is

able to bring about this joyous transformation. However, it is extremely critical that we

clarify the divine aspects of this living and true faith in Christ Jesus.

A living and true faith in Christ Jesus means we passionately accept from the heart

the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ who accepted it Ďfor the joy set before him.í5

At the time of the cross, the joy set before him was love, a flood of love which

overflowed the torture and shedding of blood!!6 It is the love of the Father which the

Son obeyed all the way to the cross, the love of Christ for sinful man.

Adamís rebellion was a sin of all mankind against God, and through Adam all

mankind was born into death that comes from the sinful nature. In Adam all men

became sinners because his sin was embraced by all, so all were born into sin. But then

men, in heart, spirit and truth, believed in Christ. They were made sons of God in Christ

and in Christ all were counted together as one man.

Just as in Adam all men sinned and so all became sinners, so in Christ the sons of God in

Christ became holy and righteous. Christís righteousness which he proved through his cross,

redemption and resurrection qualified him as the perfect and complete man. Man became

righteous before God through the redemption bought by Christ for sinful man.

To not believe in Christ and the cross and the redemption is to turn back to the sin of

Adam and separation from God.

July 19, 2005

 

 

1 Cf Lk 1:35.

2 Cf Gal 3:26.

3 Cf John 1:12.

4 Gal 3:26.

5 Heb 12:2.

6 Gal 2:20.

 

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