“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
THE THRONE OF GOD is the place of His presence, surrounded by angels, the heads of angels, the seraphim and cherubim, all dutifully offering Him who is on the throne the services they are appointed to fulfill in the veneration and awe that befit Him. Emerging from the throne are voices of praise, and from before the throne springs the river of grace and living water from which the faithful drink. We are acquainted with the image of living water in baptism because it is the Holy Spirit that makes it the living water, about which the Bible says we all drank together1 of the river of God’s grace that Christ describes: “If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink,”2 and from His insides will come out rivers of living water.
In truth grace is God’s nature of giving, as it is impossible for a person who is thirsty to come to Him and not leave praising the grace of God that enfolded him. Compared to the aridity that besets man in the world, the quenching of thirst from God befalls every living soul that comes to Him. The living water that overflows from the grace of God carries the ever overflowing generosity of the nature of God.
It is immediately evident on he who receives the grace of God, and can be easily read on his face; with others talking and joyful about it, as on reading the Epistle of Acts how the people used to meet to pray, give praise, and break bread, finding favor with all the people.3 The grace of God cannot be hidden and is a testimony of God’s presence, as Moses’ face shone with light, because he always enjoyed the favor of being in the presence of God. The light of Moses’ face is interpreted in the New Testament by the presence of the grace of God that lights the face of he who received the grace.
We hear the angel who told the Virgin Mary about her conception of the Only Son: “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you.”4 The filling of the Virgin with God’s grace was a heavenly expression of God’s presence, because the Virgin’s pregnancy of the Son of God, through the Holy Spirit, was the actual presence of God in the Virgin’s womb to form within her an image of His Son according to His heavenly glory. Christ was thus born bearing the nature of God as the Bible says that in Christ dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily that we may become complete in Him.5
We too consequently took the grace of God i.e. the fellowship of Divinity in a mystery through the omnipotent power of God. For that reason Christ openly says: “I in them.”6 Christ’s presence in us is the fullness of the work of grace without cost and is consequently the hidden fullness of divinity that is unseen.
Thus, the age of the first earthly creation ended in us, and we took the fullness of Christ bodily, that is the new creation of the renewed man, to inherit through it Christ’s inheritance in glory and appear in front of God, His Father, as saints without blame before Him in love.7
The grace of God does not remain idle within us, but is renewed in relation to our closeness to Christ. According to the amount the ancient temporary man in us perishes the heavenly new man is renewed8 to take on the form of Christ. Christ expresses it in His words: “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them … I in them.”9 We thus change every day, and every hour of the hours of salvation with the renewal of our minds by means of the Gospel, the living and effective word of God. Our victory over the world is thus fulfilled through the power of Christ and His grace active in us according to the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul brings to our attention that: “By grace you have been saved”10and “justified freely by His grace.”11 The act of grace in us is reckoned as our salvation and qualifies us for our preserved share in heaven. His word “freely” means without an effort in fulfilling of the law or duties imposed on us in the world, because God’s gift is a heavenly gift that is not owned through skill, wisdom, or effort, yet overflows on us in a mystery, but with us being conscious of practicing the salvation that is ours. We thus become enflamed and utter praise to the Holy One unceasingly every moment of this age, thus reviving within us God’s promise, pleasure and glory.
28 June, 2005
1 1Cor 12:13.
2 John 7:37.
3 Act 2:46, 47.
4 Lk 1:28.
5 Col 2:9, 10.
6 John 17:23.
7 Eph 1:4.
8 2Cor 4:16.
9 John 17:22,23.
10 Eph 2:8.
11 Rom 3:24.
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