“And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’ ” Matthew 3:17
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
IT HIS IS THE FIRST TIME a definition is given for the Godhead. The voice from heaven is certainly that of the Father because he says, ‘This is my Son.’
For the first time, God declares from heaven that he is Father and Son. From this
comes the inevitability of the Spirit because the Father lives and the Son lives, and the
Father is holy and so the Son also is holy. So the Spirit also must be holy, and thus we
know him as the Holy Spirit.
In the Godhead there is no division or multiplication because the Father, Son and Holy
Spirit are one God. By the Holy Spirit the Father lives, and by the Holy Spirit the Son lives,
and in the Father and Son the Holy Spirit lives. Christ confirmed to us that in and through
the Father the Son exists, and in and through the Son the Father exists. In God fatherhood
and sonship are one and the same, and it was imperative for the Holy Spirit to be included in
the same being. As we said, though, it is impossible for the Godhead to be divided,
multiplied or confined, because the Father fills the heavens and the earth, and the Son fills
the heavens and the earth and the Holy Spirit fills the heavens and the earth. The Father, Son
and Holy Spirit are one God who fills the heavens and the earth.
When Adam fell into sin and was thrown out far away from God, God prepared a
way to restore Adam into his presence, for he was his creation, made in his image and
likeness. Despite the fact that Adam sinned and all of his descendants inherited death
that comes from sin, God still loved his creation greatly, as the Bible teaches us, “God
so loved the world (the world of man).”1
God prepared for Adam and his sons salvation from Adam’s sin, the punishment of
death with which he was rightfully condemned because of his sin. He appointed his
beloved and only Son to take on flesh, that is, to take on the body of man. However, he
was by necessity free from sin because the Son of God is holy, and he lives by the Holy
Spirit. He obeyed the Father, took on human flesh and became a man but without sin,
and his body was formed within the womb of a holy virgin. He was born, and on the day
of his baptism the Father was heard calling from heaven, “This is my Son, whom I love;
with him I am well pleased.”
God had assigned him to carry the sin of man in his holy body, but the wages of sin is
death. So it had to be that the Son of God, who is called Jesus, died bodily, carrying man’s
sin and the curse of the law. It had to be that his death was that of crucifixion because cursed
is everyone who is crucified.2 He obeyed the Father and carried the sin of the whole world in
his holy body, hung upon the wooden cross. This was counted as a sin offering for the whole
world. He died and was buried, but because he is the Son of God who lives by the Holy
Spirit, he rose again, after he had completed the requirement of death, cursed upon a tree and
carrying in his body all the sin of humanity. So when he carried the sin of man with him in
his death, sin itself could not escape and had to die as well.
By the power of God and the Holy Spirit within him, on the third day he rose from
the dead, which was the full punishment of death. So he completed on the cross the
sacrifice of full redemption. When he rose, he raised the body which is counted as the
body of all mankind. Thus man was resurrected with Christ and rose with him to
heaven. When Christ sat at the right hand of the Father, he also seated every sinner at
God’s right hand. In this way, eternal reconciliation between God and sinful mankind
was achieved, for all who believe in Christ and his cross and resurrection.
The sinner is made righteous by the righteousness of Christ. Sinners are counted
righteous and holy and without blame in Christ before God, a new creation by the Spirit,
justified and redeemed.
On the day of Christ’s baptism, the Father’s statement from heaven, “This is my Son,
whom I love; with him I am well pleased” was spoken from the Father to the Son, but it
became the portion of man who entered again into God’s pleasure.
July 19, 2005
1 John 3:16.
2 Cf Gal 3:13.
St. Macarius the Great
The Lord was Humbled beyond All Men!
Do not despise His divine dignity when thou behold Him outwardly humbled as
one like us. It was for our sake that he appeared thus, not for His own. Consider,
at the hour when they cried, Crucify Him, crucify Him,1 and the multitude came
together, how He was humbled beyond all men. …
So was the Lord at the hour of the cross. As a man that was going to die, He
was held of no account by the Pharisees. And when they spat in His face, and put
on Him the crown of thorns, and buffeted Him, what further humiliation could He
have undergone? It is written, I gave My back to the smiters, and I hid not My
face from shame and spitting, and my cheeks from buffeting.2
1 Luke 23:21.
2 Cf Is 50:6.
|| The Orthodox Faith (Dogma) || Family and Youth || Sermons || Bible Study || Devotional || Spirituals || Fasts & Feasts || Coptics || Religious Education || Monasticism || Seasons || Missiology || Ethics || Ecumenical Relations || Church Music || Pentecost || Miscellaneous || Saints || Church History || Pope Shenouda || Patrology || Canon Law || Lent || Pastoral Theology || Father Matta || Bibles || Iconography || Liturgics || Orthodox Biblical topics || Orthodox articles || St Chrysostom |||| Bible Study || Biblical topics || Bibles || Orthodox Bible Study || Coptic Bible Study || King James Version || New King James Version || Scripture Nuggets || Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus || Index of the Miracles of Jesus || Index of Doctrines || Index of Charts || Index of Maps || Index of Topical Essays || Index of Word Studies || Colored Maps || Index of Biblical names Notes || Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids || New Testament activities for Sunday School kids || Bible Illustrations || Bible short notes
|| Prayer of the First Hour || Third Hour || Sixth Hour || Ninth Hour || Vespers (Eleventh Hour) || Compline (Twelfth Hour) || The First Watch of the midnight prayers || The Second Watch of the midnight prayers || The Third Watch of the midnight prayers || The Prayer of the Veil || Various Prayers from the Agbia || Synaxarium