“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH WORKS was invalidated with the annulment of the Law that incited to these works. Our righteousness has become the righteousness of Christ which He gained when He accepted death as a sinner. He thus ended the Law and the righteousness of the Law and earned the righteousness of God with resurrection from death. When he offered us the death of Christ as our death, and the resurrection of Christ as our resurrection, Christ’s righteousness which He gained justifiably to offer us descended on us so that our righteousness in Christ may become free to be taken through faith, a fellowship in the death and resurrection of Christ. The righteousness in itself is from all sin and downfall, putting on purity and honesty which are of the essence of the nature of God that is in Christ, that Christ gave us as a fellowship in the attributes of His nature. For us to put them on in our renewed nature we must be cleansed through the Holy Spirit for our sins to be removed. Baptism through the Holy Spirit gives us salvation in the nature of the renewed person. When we look at this free act that God fulfills for us we find it is a vivid image, from beginning to end, of God’s free mercy flowing on us in our renewed creation. The Holy Spirit fulfilled it through the mystery of the second birth to become a new creation in accordance to the image of Christ our Savior, as pure as the purity of Christ, having acquired His special righteousness. In this way man obtained the special qualifications for salvation and righteousness that offer the merit of inheritance special to the Only Begotten Son in the highest glory. Consequently man gained the living hope of entering into eternal life while not owning the qualifications for it except the righteousness and grace of Christ.
The inheritance prepared is at the echelon of the wealth of Christ in the qualifications of divine glory. We are called to that inheritance because Christ gave us a fellowship in His glory: “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them.”1
The inheritance of Christ in the glory on high is the qualification of His eternal Kingdom. Christ being the King of heavenly creation is a truth avowed by the angels saying: “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!...”2
“And I fell at his feet (St Michael the Archangel) to worship Him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus.”3
Christ is therefore the King of all heavenly beings worshipping Him in love and awe. The Bible reminds us here that Christ made us kings and priests to God His Father. For he is the Highest Priest over all the Kingdom of Heaven and has made us with Him priests to God His Father. Christ’s priests follow a true kingly ritual (that of Melchisedec, cf Heb 7:1-3) i.e. not received from anyone.
The inheritance of Christ in the heavens is great, unlimited and timeless. It is an eternal kingdom and priesthood giving us fellowship in Him before God, His Father. Who can measure the height the fellowship of kingship with Christ above all the divine beings and all creation in the heavens? As much as we suffered from the scorn of the world as slaves everybody over-lording it over us, and all that is left is to surrender in submission, inasmuch as the freedom Christ freed us making us kings and priests with Christ eternally in His Heavenly Kingdom. This is our firm hope concerning the coming Kingdom where we will be efficient members in it at the level of Christ.
26 June, 2005
1 John 17:22.
2 Rev 19:6,7.
3 Rev 19:10.
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