The Word of
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation; Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.”
(2 Co 5: 18-20)
The ministry of reconciliation is the task, which our Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished for the world through His incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection from the dead.
Reconciliation with God is the basis for reconciliation to ourselves. The feeling of the inner sin is the major cause for rejecting ourselves. Consequently, we reject others and reject God himself. The cults of the contemporary atheism refuse to discuss the existence of God or the phenomena of belief because they reject God to liberate man from the feeling of sin and inferiority in front of God.
When man rejects God because of his inner sin; is he able to accept others? The man, who rejects God, can’t accept others except through his future schemes to satisfy his lust, greediness, envy, aversion, depravity, domination, trickery, and murder. Individuals’ transgressions multiply among communities and cause social injustice, hostility and wars. All these evils are perfectly covered under attractive moral titles to mask the true wicked and ugly face. This hypocrisy shows that we reject our true life deeply. We are ashamed of ourselves and can’t find an escape.
Therefore, Jesus Christ came to our sinful world to restore humanity from its failure, “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight”(Co 1:21-22). He accepted us, as we are, regardless of our sins and transgressions, as holy and blameless, “and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him…having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Co 1:20). His reconciliation with us reconciles us with ourselves. It develops harmony between our souls and flesh. It frees us out of the bondage of sin, which restrains truth, hinders love and constrains our freedom.
The outcome of reconciliation is not limited to ourselves, but it extends to urge others to reconcile to God, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.” (2Co 5: 19-20).
The word of reconciliation is the work of Christ in us, and the word of antagonism is from the devil that is the source of enmity. Whoever has the word of reconciliation abides in Christ and Christ in him, “Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him”(1Jn 3:6), “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Mt 5:9). The word of reconciliation is the righteousness of God declared in pure hearts, “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning… 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” (1Jn 3: 7-10).
Is the word of reconciliation indeed in us, or the word of enmity? St. Paul is asking everyone, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? -- Unless indeed you are disqualified” (2Co 13:5). St. John says “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit”(1Jn 4:13). He has given us the word of reconciliation, imploring on Christ's behalf, “be reconciled to God.”
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The English Section:
The first article, “Be Transformed”, byFr. Matta El-Meskeen is a call for transformation. In this third part of the article, the author continues pursuing the call for transformation in the epistles of St. Paul and the Catholic epistles.
The second article is, “Forgiveness” by Rev. Dr. John Watson.
Dr. Watson is an Anglican priest who lives in Dorset, UK. He is a renownedauthor of several books in Coptology, including, "Among the Copts" and "Christians Observed: Narratives for Today’s Church."Hefavors 'Coptic Church review Magazine' with his insightful articles and contributes to ‘Watani's Coptophile column.’ In this article, he writes about forgiveness as a miracle, and its implementations in the practical Christian life.
The third article is “The Heavenly Banquet and The Table of the Messiah in the NT”, by Rodolph Yanney, MD. In this part, the writer presents the Lord’s teachings on theEucharist in the Parable of the Weddingof the King’s Son, the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
The fourth article, " English Bible Translations” by J. M. Helmy includes a brief study of the different English Biblical translations. He differentiates between two types of translations, the literal translation and the “dynamic equivalent” translation. He gives a brief and clear explanation for each type with examples.
The Arabic Section:
The first article, “In the Death and the Resurrection”, byFr. Matta El-Meskeen, addresses the achievements of humanity by means of the death and the resurrection of the Lord. Through fellowship in the death and the resurrection of Christ, we receive our daily blessings.
The second article is “The Second Mile” by Father Bishoy Kamel . The writer explains how to practice the commandment of the ‘second mile’ on a sensible level. He explicate how this commandment moves us from isolation to serving God, giving practical examples from the life of St. Pisarion and in contemporary experience.
The Third article is “The Gospel of Mark” by Fouad Youssef. Afterwe completed the Introduction to The Gospel of St. Matthew, by this article, we are starting new series for studying the Gospel of Mark.
In the last Arabic article we continue our study of the Coptic Lectionary. In this issue we study “The Organization of The third Curriculum of the Coptic liturgical Year”. This subject is very important and vital to the Coptic preachers and teachers of the word.
We thank every person who offered help in publishing and distributing the magazine, asking the Lord to reward them with His heavenly blessings. Also, we ask for your continued prayers for the success of this work serving the “Word of Life.”
We remind all members to renew their subscription for the Fourth Volume of Word of Life Magazine.