Greetings dear family of our beloved Saviour, Jesus Christ, may the superabundant grace of the Holy Spirit be the Light of our souls, that Light which transforms our nature into the likeness of Christ. Amen
I thought I would do a letter on the “New Creation” which Christ brings to our world. Through Christ’s redemptive sufferings He has purchased for us our triumph over death (the second death, Rev 2:11) and merited for us the gift of eternal life, “dieing He destroys our death, rising He restores our life.” But the Christian message is not simply about our salvation from sin and death, it is also about our transformation into a new life. See (Rom 6:4 and 2 Cor 3:18)
Through Jesus, our relationship with God is restored to its former glory and more! No longer do we have the Master-slave relationship, now we have the Father-child relationship. This is something which is unique to the Christian faith; the other monotheistic faiths (faiths that believe in one God) remain with the Master-slave relationship. “Islam” literally means “submission” to Allah. If we look at the Jewish faith, we see that although in ancient Israel the people spoke of God’s fatherhood, it was mainly in a metaphorical sense – He fathered them by providing for their needs. Now, through Christ we become adopted children. St. Paul writes, “For all who are lead by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:14 -17) Study also St Paul’s words to the Galatians (Gal 4:19-31), especially in regard to Islam who have Ishmael (son of Abraham’s slave Hagar) as their prophet, instead of Isaac (son of Abraham’s wife, Sarah).
In St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he says, “He [God] destined us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ.” (ch 1:v 5) In his letter to the Galatians he says, God sent His Son so that we might “receive adoption as sons”. St Peter tells us we have been “born anew to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable.” (1 Peter 1:3 & 4)
As children we become heirs to God’s Kingdom, isn’t that an incredible thing? Just think about this; just meditate upon this one fact: the kingdom of heaven is our inheritance! Awesome!!! Now because we “inherit” the Kingdom from our Father, this clearly shows us that we cannot merit or work for the Kingdom. It is not something that we can earn, it is a gift from our Father (Rom 6:23). As children of earthly parents we do not work for the inheritance of our parent’s estate, it is a gift passed on to the children – simply because they are family. Our earthly inheritance though is perishable, but St Peter points out that our heavenly inheritance is “imperishable,” ours for all eternity!
Now this is where grace comes in: there is “actual grace” and “sanctifying grace.” A grace is the unmerited gift of something from God, but sanctifying grace is also something more than that, it is a share in the divine life, a participation in the very nature of God, imparted to us through the Holy Spirit, and especially through the Eucharist – which is the BODY, BLOOD, SOUL and DIVINITY of Christ. St. Peter tells us, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.” (2 Peter 1:3-5) We become partakers of the divine nature – Wow!!!