“Present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
Romans 6:13, 14
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
WE ARE PARTAKERS in the death and resurrection of Christ and are therefore considered being alive and risen from death. Our members which are members in the body of Christ He pervaded with His righteousness and have consequently become members of God fulfilling His will and serving Him. It is utterly shameful that we should take Christ’s members and surrender them to sin, although sin was reckoned to have died with the old body. We now live the age of grace and not the age of the Law. Sin was subjugated by the cross, and became alien to man who rose from the dead and became alive through Christ.
Being alive through Christ and our members reckoned members for Christ, we are therefore required by God to offer our members, which have become themselves members of Christ, to be qualified to serve the righteousness of God.
This means that man should live in piety considering that he no more lives for himself but to God as witness to His grace and doer of His will, reckoning he is dead to sin and has become alive to God’s righteousness. Sin having been subjugated under Christ’s feet, our feet thus trod on it, and the Law that had brought sin into being has receded, and so grace replaced sin. We are the children of God’s grace, God becoming the agent in us if we so desire and do.1 God thus surrounded His children with the living word, i.e. the gospel, and through grace which He pours onto us from above. Following the way of salvation became equal to following the way of Christ leading to heaven and future glory.
The sinner’s condition became like a stranger away from his real home, with no place to rest in the world. His condition became as that of the prodigal son who when he became in dire straits away from home said: “I will arise and go to my father.”2
Christ told the story of the prodigal son addressing His words to every person who has left the way of truth and salvation following the crowd of sinners, playing with those who are amusing themselves, while the Heavenly Father’s eyes will not leave him till he repents and rises, going to his father’s house.
The truth is that Christ from His cross calls sinners to repent. He died for the sake of the sinner, i.e. sinners are the subject of his basic work and the sole purpose of the cross. So the sinner must not discount his life, Christ having set the value of the sinner’s life
3 Note Matt 11:28, 29.
4 Note 2Cor 6:2.
with His blood. For the sinner’s sake the Father gave away His Son to become incarnate, to die and be crucified in order to save the sinner’s life from the enemy’s claws and death’s darkness. The Lord calls all the weary in this life on whom the world weighs to come to Him to rest from this world’s lure and worries.3
The Father calls from heaven, and the Son calls from the cross for man to beware of the world’s deception, the serpent’s deceit, come to God confessing his sins so as to please the heart of the Father, don the robe of salvation and enfold him in the group of saints, transporting him from darkness to light. He will thus become one of the chosen after having been counted among the repudiated.
The time, my beloved, is an accepted time, and the day a day of salvation.4 Do not put off the call lest you miss the train and there will be remorse. Rise quickly and go to your Father because He is waiting for you, and has prepared for you the robe of righteousness, and the ring of salvation.
I have come to You O Lord, from my days astray, so accept me.
I lost my days in amusement and play, and my worries have increased.
O hope of my life, do not ignore me, for I love You and have come to You;
I have no achievement to present You neither prayer nor offering.
Would only my tears be accepted, for they are my offering,
My worries have become heavy, yet I await Your salvation.
July 7, 2005
Prayer of St Macarius the Great
O God, cleanse me a sinner, for I have never done anything good in Thy sight; but deliver me from the evil one, and let Thy will be done in me, that I may open mine unworthy mouth without condemnation, and praise Thy holy name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
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