Thoughts on Life and New Life
By Michael Haldas, July 6, 2016
“The gift of new life requires the reception and cooperation of the believer through faith and obedience to God. We are His children (Romans 8 v. 14) as He leads us by the power of the Spirit. In this new life, the body becomes the follower, not the leader. In choosing the way of the Holy Spirit, we put to death sinful passions expressed through our thoughts, words, and deeds.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 8:13)
“…the Christian Faith expresses and points to the gracious and mysterious relationship between God and humanity. God became man in the person of Jesus Christ, not to institute a new philosophy or code of conduct, but primarily to bestow upon us “new life” in the Holy Trinity. This reality, which is manifest in the Church, cannot be wholly captured in language, formulas, or definitions. The content of the Faith is not opposed to reason, but is often beyond the bounds of reason, as are many of the important realities of life.” (Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald)
“The joy of the Cross is the gift of a new life – the ability to live in peace and to become likened to God. This is referred to in Scripture as becoming a new creation. Healing through the cross brings clarity to our lives and reveals the wonder of the life to come. It replaces fear and bitterness with light and peace; it quenches our earthly thirst with the sweetness of Living Water.” (Sarah Byrne-Martelli)
“To be in Christ is to be in ministry and to be in ministry is to communicate to people the joy and power of the new life in Christ.” (Lloyd John Ogilvie)
“The church is primarily the community of the Resurrection, a community in which we can live the new life of the Spirit.” (Josh and Sean McDowell)
Thoughts on God’s Nature and our Nature
By Michael Haldas, July 7, 2021
“Whereas the Son is God by nature, we become sons of God by adoption. We cannot become members of the Godhead by nature because we are human by nature. But we do become members of His family by grace. In adoption we become everything God is, except that we do not share His nature. Because we are given new life, adoption is also called a new birth, being born again.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Galatians 4:4-5)
“When the Lord ascended to the heavens, He did not divest Himself of His humanity. He raised “the likeness of Adam, cast into the vaults of Hades, lifting it with [His] Ascension to the heavens and making it equal in rank to Thy Father’s throne” … Christ’s raising of human nature to the right hand of the Father assures us that the way is now open to all who diligently seek the restoration of their humanity.” (OCPM 6/8/2016)
“Christianity is a revelation of eternity and life. The angels rejoice greatly because God has revealed Himself mystically to His creature, man. Our human nature has become part of the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and that is a great gift which we do not even appreciate; instead, we have cleaved to the things of this world. We have been given the opportunity to prepare ourselves for eternity, to vanquish evil, and to always be with our heavenly Father.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)
“When Christ became man, He transformed the stuff of this world into His own divinity…All creation is transformed by the incarnation…The life of Christ reveals the sacramental nature of all creation and its true nature and destiny.” (Archpriest Lawrence Cross)
“The nature of God is beyond our understanding, but God, in His grace, has chosen to reveal Himself to us—… supremely in Jesus Christ…Christ revealed God in human form…In Christ, God revealed his nature…in a way that could be seen and touched.” (Life Application Study Bible, Jude 1:10, Ezekiel 1:26, John 1:18)
~Michael Haldas, https://www.ancientfaith.com/contributors/michael_haldas.
Michael Haldas is an author, a religious educator and a speaker. He wrote Sacramental Living: Understanding Christianity as a Way of Life (published by Eastern Christian Publications), a book which he presented special editions of as gifts to Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in private audiences. Michael is also published monthly in Theosis Magazine and he has authored several Orthodox Christian themed articles for various publications. Additionally, he has recorded and contributed to multiple YouTube, DVD and CD educational projects. He teaches adult religious education and high school Sunday school at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Bethesda, Maryland and has worked with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Religious Education Department to create educational lessons and materials.