Fascination with wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.
Wisdom of Solomon 4:12

Monday, June 23, 2014


Every human being is born in the flesh (in Adam), with our very being in a fragmented condition; our mind, body, and soul (heart) is misaligned and therefore darkened. At some point as we grow, we encounter the law. First, the law of our homes, then that of our community & land, and perhaps in due time even the law of God.

Being darkened from birth, these laws produce a certain rebellion within our being. This is particularly true when it comes to the law of God. Consider our contemporary American society, things such as fornication, gluttony, pride, and the like are the rule rather than the exception. Worse yet, these things so opposed to the law of God are even socially encouraged. Consequently, our rebellion against the law of God further darkens and fragments us causing us inner distress. Consider the number of people that are taking anti-depressants in our land.

Wanting to be our own god, we choose a life apart from God who is the only source of life and true peace. This universal principle that we all experience is the law of death working within us, & it is that principle which ultimately destroys us if we stay in its current.

The apostolic Christian tradition has some good news for us- news that has changed the history of the world. It tells us that something has happened to alter our metaphysical situation. We are told that God himself, the one who is life, has taken on manhood in a real, historical person- Jesus of Nazareth. In doing so, He has re-created mankind (new Adam), killing off the old kind of man with his principle of death, and creating a new kind of man, one who is dead to the law and alive to God. The apostolic Christian claim is this: the universe has been metaphysically changed by the birth, death, resurrection, ascension of the God man. These historic events have enabled God to fill of all things in the giving of the Holy Spirit to the new creation.

What this means to each person is that we are born in the flesh, fragmented and subject to the power of death, but we need not remain in that condition. It is now possible to become another kind of being. This metamorphosis however is not accomplished merely by our own will or by our own power, but by trust in the love of Christ for us and by dependence upon His energy to work in us. This is possible for us to experience because it is what God desires for us if we too desire it.

The life of one who desires this metamorphosis  is a life of continually dying and being reborn. The truth is that this experience is truly attainable; we can take possession of God in Christ because he has made it possible. He comes to us in baptism and chrismation, planting the seed of his Spirit. He remains with us throughout our life as we turn to Him.  This life of turning (repentance) feels like a battlefield, or an arena, it is a life made up of an invisible warfare resulting in a Metamorphosis. This transformation from beginning to end is what the bible calls 'salvation'.  By the way 'salvation' is more appropriately translated by the term 'healing' – in the Greek of bible both terms are synonymous. Change or metamorphosis is the healing of the whole human person: body, mind, and spirit.

The question remains - is it possible for a person to truly change?  The answer is irrefutably, YES! If you need proof all one need to do is study history. Namely, look at the lives of the great saints of Orthodox Church. St. Mary of Egypt, and St. Augustine are two prominent figures, but there are hundreds if not thousands more. Change is the new order.

Are all of you ignorant, brothers and sisters (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another – to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”  But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.    
        Romans 7:1-13