Thursday, November 26, 2015



     God’s original plan for which everything else exists is the creation of man “in Our own image and likeness.” The first man Adam was not the man “in the image and likeness of God,” for Scripture says that Adam  the first man, was created in the image of God, but not the likeness. The perfect and holy man in the perfect image and likeness of God is Jesus Christ, by whom and for whom everything was created. He is the first of many in the image and likeness, who would become like Him, sinless and perfect. Many writers misread Scripture and say that Adam was created in the image and likeness of God. Adam was created in the image of God but not in His likeness, the likeness he would have to acquire, but he fell into sin and inherited death.  Christ however, being God was in need of nothing except the Virgin Mary, through whom He became the first man "in the image and likeness of God." Christ became what every person in the world needs to attain in order to live in eternal joy as God desires.

     An erroneous teaching has entered some parts of Orthodoxy perhaps by way of western churches and ideology, which is that man is created only dual, body and spirit. This is a misreading of the Gospel which clearly declares this truth:  “God formed man out of the clay of the earth and breathed into his person a breath of life, and the man became a living soul.”  The correct interpretation of this is that God formed man (not the body or soul of man, but man, both body and soul). At the time of his creation the  man was not yet alive, for life is derived from the spirit or breath of life breathed into him from God who endowed him with intelligence and life, for “the man became a living soul.”

     The one God in whom we believe is a Trinity, and when He created man in His own image and likeness He would certainly make him  a trinity like himself! Otherwise he would not be in His image. For these reasons, man, the image of God, is certainly triune, body, soul and spirit. Also even though sin entered the world, by breaking the commandment, man remained the image of God in whose image he was created though it was marred.  Satan, by instigating the violation was able to inflict upon man a portion of his hideous image. Through his wicked inspiration eventually sin would increase followers in the world, causing the Devil to exult thinking that he was destroying God’s most beloved creation.

     Man has always enjoyed the freedom of accepting or rejecting either God or the evil one’s words which he heeded. The first  result of agreeing with the  Devil’s malignant words was bitterness, hatred and murder, the fratricide of Abel by his only brother Cain. Abel delighted in serving God and did not live for the flesh alone as did Cain, who fell into his malicious trap.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


     God is one, a Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and He leaves His trinitarian mark on creation in various ways. One mark is a complete family consists of three. Another mark is the three births and lives of mankind, as follows.

     The Church weds a new bride to her husband and in due time she has a new  child in her womb. This child will be born in about nine months and this will be the first birth of a new person,  a stage which every one of us has already passed through for it is a birth into this present material life.

     After the nine months the child having gone through its first birth comes from its mothers womb. Before birth the child was without form and in need of its mother’s womb to survive. Gradually formation takes place and after nine month period the child emerges in the birth process, no longer dependent on its mother’s womb. The new born breathes from the atmosphere and eats and drinks foods externally, to maintain its life, for it is no longer dependent upon the mother’s womb for sustenance.

     In holy Orthodoxy the time comes for holy baptism and the child is brought to the Church where  in this baptism he will undergo a symbolic death in Christ and a second birth in the holy waters. This birth takes place in the baptismal waters being a symbolic death into Christ’s death, by being buried under the water three times. Coming up out of the water three times symbolizes Christ’s Holy third day resurrection, which for a new child and for all baptized Orthodox Christians a second birth and life.  Following entrance into this spiritual life, the newly baptized is sealed with Holy Spirit who will become His inspiration and divine guide, who leads and protects him but does not violate his freedom. This second life is spiritual and nourishment will include wisdom, love and under-standing becoming his spiritual food and drink. 

     In the first life the body and soul grows and eventually reaches adulthood. There it will live by eating and drinking wholesome foods and drink. In this first life the child will mature and able to live a pure Christian life here on earth. This second life is a period wherein it will be determined what will happen in the third birth and life which takes place after a time, usually up to a hundred or more years. Death will take place but remember that in holy Baptism, the former baby died in Christ. Herein is the difference between pious and faithful Orthodox Christians and others in the world.
For Christ established death, a second birth, and life in His death and resurrection. He says much about His and our death as follows.

Christ says: “Amen, amen, I say unto you. If a man keep my saying he shall never see death”      (John 8:51).
“Being in the form of a man, He humbled himself and became even unto death, even the death on the Cross.  For this reason God has also highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philip. 2:8).

     Our Lord Jesus came down and was born of the Virgin, so as to prepare the faithful for the third and final birth into third and eternal life through the door of death. He completely transformed the nature of death for believers He removed the sting from death, so that death, instead of a threat, leads into the reality of the third birth and life. Death has always appeared to men as a threat to be feared and most men seek to avoid death at any cost for as long as possible, but Christ conquered and transformed it.