True faith is fundamental for salvation, and without the right doctrine, our spiritual life may defected. Hence, the spiritual deviation is usually a sign that our faith needs to be straightened. God is a real being; we cannot create our God as seems fit, but we identify and discover Him just as He is, which is necessary for acquiring real knowledge of God and acquainted with Him that is unshakable by the fierce ideological currents.
Demons dwell in those manmade gods and people worship them. Thus, they lead them to evildoing, immorality, and all sorts of wrongdoing, defecting their mind, soul and spirit. On the contrary, those who know the real God, walk in the light, knowing the truthfulness and safety of their straight way. Essentially, you are what you believe in: if you believe in the true God, and you see Him in all your ways, He will lead you to good doing, and will open your eyes to summits of righteousness beyond thinking that makes you cry out, “my Lord and my God!” On the other hand, broken faith leads man downhill and gradually prevents his eyes from seeing truth. Without fast remedy, man will lose completely his spiritual vision, and will resist the truth, denying all goodness with a contaminated will that has developed from constantly repeated transgression.
God is real; we do not invent our God. But we do experience and receive Him to dwell and exist in our practical life. He does not tolerate doubt or evasiveness, nor does He need to give reasons, excuses or intellectual explanations because we live His evident presence. True faith is a fruit of experience and “passing on”, supported by the Scriptures’ letter and Spirit; thus we discover the Scriptures’ authenticity and truth. It is that samefaith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
Hosea the prophet cries out, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being priest for Me,,,” (Hosea 4:6). Here, “knowledge” means knowing of God through real, true-life experience. Whoever rejects this knowledge is cast out of the presence of God, and so does not find in oneself the ability to worship in spirit and truth. “I will also reject you from being priest for Me”, thus, he loses the spirit of prayer, and his spirit withers in him like autumn leaves. “Now he who keeps his commandments abide in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (1 John 3:24). Also, “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13). St. Paul says, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9).
In order to comprehend God’s fatherhood, our knowledge of God the Father must be preceded by our knowledge of the Son, through communion of the Holy Spirit. “For you did not receive the spirit of adoption again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15). Hence the dogma-of-the- Trinity is significance in our dealing with God as a Father.
Theology is not just a science to be learned and taught based on hypothetical theories, but who loves God is a godly theologian. This is how John the fisherman became John the theologian. The theologian is one who enters into a relationship with God and is acquainted with Him, one who was touched by His love. He will have no difficulty in comprehending that faith which was once for all delivered to the saints, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1Co 2:10). This is not a call for ignorance, but it is a call for knowledge of God through experience and personal awareness of Him in the light of His word. For theoretical knowledge of God does not bear fruit for righteousness, as well as the lack of knowledge.
Many worship invisible idols that do not appear as paganism; but in fact, they do not worship the true God but gods of their own imagination, according to the passions of sin and the will of the flesh and soul; this is concealed paganism. Consequently, they cannot see or do good things, even if they are able to speak about it. For in the back of their minds dwells idols that prevent them from seeing the truth and doing good. When they speak of God, they do not speak out of personal experience, but they speak fanatically, causing divisions and futile talk.
The spiritual soul accepts the Bible easily and rejoices with its teachings, readily comprehending the truth of God. But, the stained soul by idolism find hardship in grasping the meaning of scriptural words that makes it extremely difficult to comprehend faith in Christ. True faith is able to comprehend all the mysteries of the Bible practically and without extra effort. Thus, life steered by the true faith becomes a fifth gospel; God’s message that read by everyone. And the person, through this living faith, simply and joyfully realizes the mystery of the Bible for salvation. Truly, proper doctrine is indispensable for salvation, and through it faith is one and Christ is indivisible.
True faith is not a matter of fanatic ideology; in fact, it rejects and more so cannot bear fundamentalism or prejudice. Openhearted to everyone, it accepts, loves and serves all, rejecting evil primarily in itself then in others. Conversely, prejudice and divisions are signs of untrue faith, for truth is not prejudiced, as it is liberated from all biased thought in order to comprehend the one truth in God. Acceptance of others without discrimination – as Christ accepted us while we were still sinners – is a sign of the true faith in Christ, and is one of the most significant traits of civilization. For Christ was a Forerunner to every ideology of tolerance that is free from any conditions or fetters. He thus gave great value to the human being, and Christianity became a leader and guide to humanity in the progress of civilization.
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The English Section:
The First Article: “Contemporary Desert Mystic –III”by Rev, Dr. John Watson. This part on Fr. Matta El-Meskeen, consists of two chapters: 8- life of warfare and Life ofPrayers 9- Church and political actions.
The Second Article is “How To Read the Bible-III” by Fr. Matta El-Meskeen. In this issue we present the last part of this great spiritual book.
The Third Article, is, “The Martyrdom of St. Stephen&Saul Of Tarsus” by James M. Helmy, D.D.S.It presents reflections on the martyrdom of St. Stephen and its effects of on the Life of St. Paul.
The Arabic Section:
The First Article is “Make to Yourselves Friends of the Mammon of Unrighteousness” by Fouad Youssef.
The Second Article is "The Church In the Gospel of Mathew” by George Awad, Ph.D.
The Third Article is “The Biblical Base of Orthodoxy” by Said Hakim, Ph.D. This article presents the Biblical dogmatic bases of Orthodoxy.
The Fourth article is “The Coptic Lectionary (9)”. It presents studies on the readings of the Third Season of the Coptic Liturgical Year.
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