KNOW YOUR FAITH, LIVE YOUR FAITH,TEACH YOUR FAITH!

If I am the son/daughter of God, why do I need the intercession of the saints?

July 19, 2017

If I am the son/daughter of God, why do I need the intercession of the saints?

Welcome back my beloved to the second part of our series about repentance and confession and why they are so crucial in a life of the Christian believers.

In our previous video, we took the time to understand the Orthodox understanding of repentance and how it brings about a change of direction or orientation in a life of a believer. Now we tackle the subject of confession, and we will attempt to dig deeper to understand: why the has Lord given to his church this mystery as one of the means of salvation?

Let us first begin with the word confession, otherwise known at the Greek language as “homologya” now this word homologya is composed of two words “homo” meaning the same and “logya” meaning a word. What this translate into is that confession is rooted in a deep understanding that we ought to have the same words, thoughts and convictions as Christ. What he declares, we declare, what he preaches we preach.  This then leads us to understand that my confession, my declaration of the truth; the same word can take on two types of confession. A confection of faith, and a confection of what sin is. The first is an affirmative stance on declaring, in the same words, the faith of the church.  This is clearly identified in the liturgical life of the church. For instance, our creed is a great example of the confession of our faith. “truly we believe in one God” we use the same words setup by the church to declare our beliefs.  Again we see this at the end of the liturgy when the priest and the deacon, before the distribution of the mysteries, pray what is called “the Confession”.  The priest say “Amen, Amen, Amen, I believe, I believe, I believe, and confess to the last breath that this is the life-giving flesh…”. Then the deacon replies by saying “Amen, Amen, Amen, I believe, I believe, I believe that this is true Amen”.  It is these types of affirmative confessions of faith that the Lord speaks about to his disciples in Luke12:8 “I tell you, everyone who confesses me before men, the son of man will also confess him before the angels of God”.  Furthermore, if we look in what St. Paul says in Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Here we clearly see that we have two great scripture references have had an affirmative statement of ones faith is very much a confession and it speaks of God with the same words as were handed down to us by Christ.

The second type of confession is that confession of sin, to understand this let us take a step back and remove ourselves from the role of sinner who expose her or his personal sin in confession. Let us ask the following questions: do we have the same definition of sins as Christ in his church? When we see, a person bending the truth for personal gain do we use the same word homologya as Christ? Do we call I a lie? When we see, someone taking something that is not his without consent do we use the same word homologya as Christ? Do we call that theft? Confession of sin therefore is calling it as it is, it is when I truly confess my sin without excuses, justification, or embellishment, and call it as it is. I have lied, I have stolen, I have lusted… We must be careful because the devil tempts all of us to use different words when speaking of our actions, thoughts, or even our lives. Rather than calling sins what they truly are he tempts us to use different words, he masks lusts, and calls it love. However, we as Christians must be bold enough to proclaim the truth and call out sin for what is truly is. Confession therefore, as we have seen and explained, as the revelation of what in a person’s heart and both the mater of faith and sin. The benchmark when you as orthodox Christians to pronounce both our sin and faith, this homologya these same words is the church.

All this can be summed up beautifully, by quoing the fifth litany of the ninth hour prayer of the Coptic orthodox church: “O you who accepted unto Him the confession of the thief on the cross, accept us unto you, O Good one, we who deserve the sentence of the death because of our sins. We all confess our sins with him, acknowledging your divinity, and cry out with him, saying, remember us, O lord, when you come into your kingdom.” We confess and we acknowledge.  Now we have seen these two parts, two videos, and discussed repentance and confession as seen in the Orthodox church.

 

Remember my beloved, know your faith, live your faith, and Teach your faith.

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