My Beloved the benevolent
Grace and peace wishing every goodness and blessing
We discussed in the previous letter the new life that God granted us through Christ Jesus, and we contemplated together on the fact that one of the characteristics of the new life is that true greatness lies in humility and serving others. How Christ our Lord offered the practical example of this new understanding of greatness when he kneeled and washed His disciple’s feet before His crucifixion.
In this letter we will discuss another characteristic of the new life in Christ Jesus which is peace with God. St. Paul the Apostle wrote to the Romans, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Rom. 5:1-2
+ We were in enmity with God because of Adam’s disobedience, which affected the entire human race, “they have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable;” Rom. 3:12 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Rom.3:23
+ “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom 5:8 “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Rom. 5:10 Christ’s act of redemption transferred us from a state of enmity with God, to reconciliation and peace with God, “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation” Eph. 2:14 “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled.” Col. 1:21 “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Cor. 5:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” 1 Pet. 3:18
+ Reconciliation and peace with God means the new life which means a life of holiness in Christ Jesus, “and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:15 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17
+ St. Paul described the new life that we were granted saying, “through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand” Rom. 5:2 Truly, the new life is a grace from God, for without God we cannot do anything, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Phil. 2:13 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10 St. John Chrysostom speaks of this grace in which we all reside and says, “What grace is this? You were counted worthy of the knowledge of God, you were snatched from sin and recognized the truth, and received all the blessings of baptism. The goal of being before Him is to receive all these gifts. Because we did not only receive forgiveness of sins for reconciliation, but toreceive these countless blessings.”
One of the most important blessings of a life of holiness is a life of peacewith God. A holy life grants a person peace with God because he is reconciled with God. A life of sin puts a person in a state of enmity, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” 1 Jn. 3:4 “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning.” 1 Jn. 3:8 “Whoever has been born of God does not sin”1 Jn. 3:9 “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” 1 Jn. 3:10
+ Brotherly love is a main feature of the new life in Christ Jesus. Brotherly love is a feature of life at peace with God “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.“ 1 Jn. 3:14
Is it possible for a person to obtain peace when he is separated from God, the source of life? Is it possible for a person to have peace when he is walking in darkness? Christ is the true light that shines on every man, “Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shinning. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light” 1 Jn 2:8-10
+ Brotherly love should be practical love, “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 Jn. 3:17-18
May God grant us a peaceful life with Him and with others and open our minds and hearts to help our brethren in need with work and truth.
May the Lord bless your offering to support Santa Verena Charity programs.