Useful Tips

If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior


Excuse sin? Then his punishment will be yours.

/Thinking out loud/
Author Andrey MISHIN
March 20, 2004

For if you will forgive people their sins, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, and if you will not forgive people their sins, then your Father will not forgive you your sins.
Matthew 6: 14.15

“A sinner who comes to the entrance of the sanctuary with a sacrifice should have seen Christ killed in his animal, who will give His life for the sins of the world, and by faith will receive his salvation” - this can be taught today in the church, but these words are far from reality and are not make sense. Yes, the animal symbolized by itself Christ, but this image was to be revealed later, during His coming to earth. No one had previously suspected that the Messiah could be scolded and rejected and suffer for the sins of the world, and all the prophecies about Christ were written for the future and were opened only after the death of Jesus. Nowhere in the Pentateuch of Moses does God speak directly of the rejection and death of Christ, and yet it was a law for Israel, on the basis of which the words and works of the prophets were built. And the shed blood of animals then was not a symbol, it could become a symbol only after the shedding of blood by the Savior. We learn from this that God’s plans were not to reveal this light ahead of time, so that it would not be misinterpreted in a human way, but Christ should come and reveal Himself. And the sacrifice of God's Son, and with it the granted freedom from retribution for sin, was an amazing gift or surprise for the followers of Jesus for their selflessness.

The philosophy of modern believers regarding sacrifices and symbolic rites performed is far from the reality of the time in which they were established and relevant. Their beliefs regarding the present day, by which they judge the past, are not consistent. After all, their idea of ​​saving ancient people by faith in the future Redeemer was born from the real thought that Christ saved the believer when he accepted the sacrifice that Jesus had already made for the sins of people. But the mere acceptance of the merits of Christ does not yet give a person the right to hope for salvation, nor does he make him spiritual.

What spirituality can there be when a person only receives from God His love and forgiveness? When a person does not intend to devote his life to the Lord, he needs God's mercy only in order to continue to burn his life in his whims. And even when a person realizes his guilt and intends to change, but at the crucial moment does not make the right decision and follows his own desires, absolution only dampens his attitude to what is happening. To reassure a person at this moment means to lose him for eternity. God cannot wish such an evil to anyone, but for that people themselves are looking for an excuse for their actions and seduce themselves with false hopes of accepting the sacrifice of Christ for their sins.

As a rule, people take a passive role in love. They can give when they receive, reciprocate only when they see a manifestation of love. They are determined to accept, and if they have nothing to answer for love, then the reason will be that they are not loved enough. A similar thing happens in relations with God. Christians often rely on the Lord to show His love so that they will want to renounce their favorite sinful activities. But even when God demonstrates His boundless love, this is enough only for a short-term sensual impulse. Under his influence, it may seem to a person that he is ready for anything for God's sake, but when it comes to making important decisions, it becomes very unpleasant for a person because his interests are violated. He again feels unloved and deserted.

Often, many believers hope that once they know the love of God and the good news of salvation in the forgiveness of sins, they will no longer be attracted to sin and will no longer be able to live their former unrighteous lives. However, they are deeply mistaken, because the love of Christ cannot change the mind and heart of a person until he intends to change anything in his life. A man must take a step towards God by sacrificing the dearest for Him, just as the Father sacrificed the Only Son for his salvation. Otherwise, a person simply will not appreciate His love and forgiveness, he will only use it.

Returning to the sacrifice ceremony in ancient Israel, we can say that in the practical meaning of this rite, God did not offer people to use the sacrifices they made to save themselves from the penalty of sin, but wanted to draw their attention to the price of deliverance from sin - death. The death of an animal was a type of Christ's death for the sins of people, but this meaning of sacrifice was revealed to believers in the distant future. For the present moment, death for sin pointed to a person's spiritual principle - in order to live, he must die for sin. The same principle has not lost its relevance with the advent of Jesus. If God could be reconciled with human imperfection, then Christ would not have to die for the sins of the world. And the point here is not at all the obstinacy of God that He could even sacrifice the life of His Son for the sake of principles. It is simply impossible to build any real relationship with God on human principles of love and pleasing oneself.

Any relationship needs care, requires constant attention, careful attitude and hard spiritual work. For the development of strong and harmonious relations, a person needs to constantly give up himself for the sake of common happiness, to please, not himself, but the object of his love. People who choose a passive role in love, in fact, do not like, but only use someone else's manifestation of love. Such relationships are doomed, because in them there is only one active - the loving side. Love always requires the same full love in response, and without reciprocity no relationship can develop. Then what kind of relationship with God can we talk about when a person expects only to accept the love and forgiveness of Jesus ?!

To receive salvation, as a gift, from the Creator’s hands is an old idea of ​​many Christians, but sometimes they don’t even realize that they will still have to pay for it. Only not with money and donations, not with good deeds and merits before God, but with all your life, which will henceforth belong to the Lord. And He will certainly accept, forgive, and share His kingdom with them.

2. Activities

2. The activities of a Christian.

The life of Christians should be aimed at “becoming courageous and ready to follow Christ” (17, 4). This New Testament way of life, according to the teachings of the Monk Makarius of Egypt, presupposes the existence of a feat, because "a person comfortably accommodates and accepts the evil one" (11, 11) and therefore experiences difficulties in fulfilling the gospel duty. The activity of a Christian, based on asceticism, is the main theme of the ascetic theology of St. Macarius. Deeply penetrating the mystery of the person, the holy father reveals two opposing forces in the nature of man, which determine the need for a Christian feat in his life. Positive power is the inner desire to “be clean, unquestioned, undefiled, not to have a vice in oneself, to always be with God” (2, 3), a negative one is a state of unnatural damage “by an ailment of ignorance, vice, unbelief, fearfulness and other sinful passions” (4, 26). These factors cause “struggle, balance, declination and preponderance of either love for God or love for the world” (5, 8), filling life with exploits. A description of the necessary exploits is associated with a description of the organs of cognition - the heart, will, reason, mind, conscience, which are directly involved in the spiritual revival of a person. This form of presentation - firstly, of external behavior, and secondly, a description of the functions of the organs of cognition of spiritual being - is objective and contributes to the saving work of the Christian.

According to the teachings of the Monk Makarius of Egypt, to achieve perfection, the soul of a Christian must "turn away from evil circles" (4, 4) and "worldly lust" (4, 5), "completely move away from all guile and thin prejudice" (4, 24), “fight against your former morals and skills” (32, 9), “proceed with all diligence and humility to embark on the Christian feat” (34, 3), “ceaselessly mourn, cry, and hurt” (1, 10), “be protected by curiosity, with cleverness and rationality of one’s will "(4, 4)," to have the Lord in the mind "(3, 3)," to force oneself into such a good deed "(19, 1)," to properly preserve perfect chastity and love for Christ "(15, 2)," abide in all meekness and wisdom "(6, 2)," choose the good according to free will "(27 , 21). The soul "must swiftly and thoroughly, relentlessly and tirelessly seek the gift of God" (29, 3), "completely surrender to the Lord" (18, 11). With these and other descriptions of the ascetic aspirations for God, Avba Makarii testifies that the activities of a Christian should be directed against his own passions), peace and evil power. These adversaries are crafty and ruthlessly hindering the salvation of man, from which the path of Christian asceticism is "narrow and narrow" (12, 5).

According to the Reverend’s teachings, the most difficult obstacles to spiritual rebirth are the most evil and sinful nature. It is especially important to trace the relationship of these major obstacles and determine the “weapon” to combat them. Avva Makarii considers the heart as the main organ of the spiritual and spiritual nature of man. “The heart is sovereign and royal in the whole body articulation” (15, 18), “the soul is connected and connected to the heart” (15, 33), “the heart has many natural thoughts that are closely connected with it” (15, 32), “ the heart is some infinite depth "(15, 30)>," the heart is the abyss "(17, 15). Since this central organ is “depth” and “abyss”, therefore, it can contribute to the highest spiritual experience of a person, as well as contain knowledge of the highest mysteries of God. At the same time, its "depth" can serve to the same extent a fatal, satanic acquisition, it can become the "throne of Satan" (15, 33) and the "abyss" of sin, which, "having entered the soul, has become its member. And flows into the heart with a multitude of unclean thoughts "(15, 33) through the natural thoughts of the heart," freely and with power "(15, 12) defiles a person. Therefore, the state of mind is always a direct indication of the state of the heart.

The satanic power, occupying the "domineering and regal in the body articulation" of the heart region, also affects sin on the mind and flesh of man. The reverend describes this influence in such a way: "Sly spirits, Satan and demons hold the mind and stammer. They do not allow to pray and draw close to God" (27, 19), as well as sin, having become "a member of the soul, it has even become attached to the body person (15, 33). This characteristic suggests that human activity depends on the state of the heart. In “Spiritual Conversations”, St. Macarius the Great, from the height of his spiritual knowledge, vividly illustrates the close connection of evil power with sinful nature and the power of sin's influence on spiritually non-regenerated people: “Prince of cunning, being a kind of mental darkness of sin and death, some kind of innermost and it crucifies the whole human race on earth, circling the human race, catching human hearts with inconsistent thoughts and worldly desires, the darkness of ignorance, blinding and oblivion fills every soul that is not born again and has not settled in thought and mind in and century "(5, 3).

In the process of spiritual rebirth and perfection, the Christian is obliged to overcome these obstacles. But, according to the teachings of Abba Macarius, belonging to Christians "glory, beauty, and heavenly unspoken wealth are acquired through labor, sweats, trials, many deeds, but only under the grace of God" (5, 5). Moreover, the feats undertaken indicate, firstly, the inner desire to “be pure, reproachful, undefiled” and love of God, and secondly, the “predestination in human nature”, that is, the state of free will, because “ the completion of the work by the Spirit depends on the will of man "," God seeks it "(4, 4). Further, revealing the inner interconnection of the organs of cognition of spiritual being, the Monk Makarius of Egypt defines the guiding part of the will - the mind with which "the soul turns away from all worldly desires, and for this it receives help from the Lord for its real protection." Such a saving activity of a Christian implies, according to the laws of spiritual life, a transition to inner asceticism, that is, a focus on mental warfare. The Holy Father writes the following on this occasion: “Who protects himself according to the external person (judiciousness of the will. - Auth.), He must fight and fight with thoughts as much” (3, 3). The struggle with one’s carnal mind and thoughts, according to St. Macarius, is possible: “We affirm that the mind is a fighter and has equal power to bicker with sin and resist thoughts” (3, 5), as well as “. Vicious aspirations and vile wishes can prevail "(15, 21), is necessary because" the unbearable mountains fell on the mind, and the mixed vicious thoughts became, as it were, the property of a person "(35, 23), and" the Lord stands and considers your mind, thoughts and movements of thoughts "(31 , 3). At the same time, mental warfare determines the degree of spiritual maturity of a Christian, since “all pleasing and service depends on thoughts” (31, 3), and “everyone should fight in thoughts so that Christ shines in his heart” (42, 3 )

The actions of the mind and its confrontation with sinful suggestions are closely connected with a conscience, which, according to the teachings of Macarius the Great, is called “convicting” (15, 31), because it does not give its consent to thoughts that obey sin, but. always convicting, testifies that he will speak before the line of God on the day of judgment "(15, 32).

The presence of such soul forces, their internal organization and saving orientation distinguishes a Christian from all people in the world by "renewing his mind, dying of thoughts, love and heavenly adherence to the Lord," and according to the teachings of St. Macarius of Egypt, a Christian with such a spiritually revived state of mind is "new creature "(5, 5). Thus, the activity of a Christian, aimed at spiritual and moral perfection in Christ, should represent fullness, that is, spiritual life, consisting of external asceticism and internal of doing. The absence of the inner growth and doing of Christ “deprives the Christian of“ heavenly food, ”because he strives“ by one appearance and bodily successes of the external man, ”with his mind and heart,“ carried away by the world and earthly attachments ”(31, 6). According to the teachings of the Monk Makarii. man received from God natural “weapons” necessary for the struggle to overcome sin, “provide for the intrigues of resisting strength” (7, 8) and conquer evil, and also, gradually and unceasingly moving away from the world, draw closer to God. the doctrine, according to the teaching of the holy father, contributes to the acquisition of gracious help, with the help of which “sin is eradicated” on the path of Christian asceticism (3, 4) and a state of perfection is achieved.