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WHAT IS A MYSTERY May 16, 2011  Some people say it is not possible to fully understand a mystery, otherwise it ceases to be a mystery.  Others define.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT IS A MYSTERY May 16, 2011  Some people say it is not possible to fully understand a mystery, otherwise it ceases to be a mystery.  Others define."— Presentation transcript:


2 WHAT IS A MYSTERY May 16, 2011  Some people say it is not possible to fully understand a mystery, otherwise it ceases to be a mystery.  Others define a mystery as an invisible grace which is given through a visible substance.  The substance used is suitable for and fitting with the spiritual effect of the mystery.

3 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  But why this particular way?  The human being is not only a spirit, but also a body and a mind (psyche).  In the mystery, the substance serves the body and the psyche, which are essential aspects of the human nature.  Water is used for baptism, since baptism is a washing (Acts 22:16; Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5; 1Cor. 6:11; Heb. 10:22).

4 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  The immersion in the baptismal water gives the impression of the total spiritual washing much stronger than just sprinkling.  But we are not baptized just by water, but by the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 1:5).  John 5:8.

5 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  The grace received is the forgiveness of the original sin, as well as the sins before baptism (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16).  Through baptism also, we become God’s children, born from above (John 1:11-13; John 3:3&5).  Another gift we receive in baptism is death, burial and resurrection with Christ in a new life, and we become a new creation (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:6; 2Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15 )  We become members of the mystical body of Christ (1Cor. 12:13).  Finally, we put on Christ (Gal. 3:27; 2Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15).

6 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  The substance for the mystery of confirmation is the oil.  It was originally the laying of hands (Acts 19:6; Acts 8:14-20; Acts 9:17).  In the mystery of repentance and confession, the substance is the hand of the priest which is laid upon the confessors head, and the absolution is recited. The grace is the forgiveness of sins.

7 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  The substance in the mystery of the holy Eucharist is the bread and wine.  The substance in the mystery of the unction of the sick is the oil because it was used for healing the wounds (Mark 6:13; Luke 10:34).  The grace received is the healing of the body, and also the spirit (James 5:14- 16).

8 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  In the holy matrimony, which is called the crowning ceremony, the substance is the couple themselves, and the gift is that the two are joined together, and they become one (Matthew 19:4-6).  As a result, her body becomes his, and his body becomes hers (1Cor. 7:4).  Adultery occurs when a strange body outside of this Divine joining together enters to sever that joining together.

9 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  In the mystery of priesthood or holy orders, the substance is the candidate.  With the laying of the hand of the bishop, the utterance of the rank, and the breath of the Holy Spirit, the candidate receives a new grace with which he can serve God’s people according to his rank.  (John 20:22/3; 1Tim. 4:14; 2Tim. 1:6; Acts 13:2&3).

10 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  All mysteries are spiritual means to convey and communicate the “manifold grace of God” (1Pet. 4:10) to the members of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  This happens through the work of the Holy Spirit who takes from the merits of the blood of Christ, and gives to the people. (John 16:14).  To be continued!

11 WHAT IS A MYSTERY June 6, 2011 Lecture #2  “All mysteries are spiritual means to convey and communicate the “manifold grace of God” (1Pet. 4:10) to the members of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.”  Mysteries are the divine channels through which the faithful receive God’s grace.  “The saving effects of Christ’s redemption on the cross are communicated to us through the sacraments” (Internet article).

12 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  The goal of the mysteries is the new and holy life in Christ our savior!  Fr. Alexander Schmemann “The Eucharist” p.68.  What is the relationship between mysteries and Christ Himself, who is their founder?  1. Baptism=Death with Christ Romans 6:2-6.  2. The holy Myron=Our confirmation in the new olive tree in Christ 1John 2:20/27; 2Cor. 2:21/22. “Never broken up seal…Amen”

13 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  3. Confession=Reconciliation with Christ, not just merely receiving the grace of forgiveness to sin more! 2Cor. 5:20/21.  That is why this mystery is accurately called “repentance and confession”.  4. The holy Eucharist=Abiding in Christ and partaking from the fatness of the tree of Christ Romans 11:16-24

14 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  5. Holy matrimony=Unification with the partner after the example of Christ and the Church Ephesians 5:28-33.  6. Unction of the sick=Restoration to the salvation of Christ through prayer James 5:14/15.  7. Priesthood=The official, canonically ordained servants of the mysteries, acting in the person of Christ, the great high priest, who is offering all these gifts through the action of the Holy Spirit.

15 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  Our Lord Jesus Christ is the founder of all mysteries, which were part of the Liturgical Tradition of the early Christian Church.  Note: The Greek word “Mystirion is translated into “Sacramentum” in Latin, hence, the word Sacrament in English.  Some mysteries are given once, as they render permanent seal, e.g. Baptism, Confirmation, and Priesthood.

16 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  Mysteries which are necessary for salvation are Baptism, Confirmation, Confession, and the holy Eucharist.  The lady who was on her death bed that was preached by the priest, and was baptized, in her last days.

17 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  Institution of the mysteries: 1. Baptism-Matthew 28:19/20 2. Confirmation-2Cor. 1:21/22 3. The holy Eucharist-Matthew 26:26-29 4. Confession-John 20:22/23; James 5:16 5. Unction of the sick-Mark 6:12/13 6. Matrimony-Matthew 19:4-6 7. Priesthood-Matthew 18:18

18 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  What is required to complete any mystery? 1. The material or the substance of the mystery. 2. The minister (the priest). 3. The ritualistic prayers. 4. The descent of the Holy Spirit.

19 WHAT IS A MYSTERY June 13, 2011 Lecture #3  The word “Mystery” in the Holy Bible. 1. Something done or said in the hidden that should not be revealed, except, sometimes, to specific persons (Prov. 25:9; Matt. 6:4; Luke 8:17). 2. A spiritual hidden knowledge that requires a Divine revelation to the soul (Psalm 25:14; Daniel 2:19; Matthew 13:11).

20 WHAT IS A MYSTERY 3. A Divine grace (Ephesians 5:31).  There are seven mysteries (Proverbs 9:1).  Since the Church mysteries are gifts that surpass the human mind, it has always been the practice of the Church to administer the mysteries to children.  As there are medications for treatment and healing, prevention, and vitamins, the mysteries accomplish the same three functions upon the soul.

21 WHAT IS A MYSTERY 1. Treatment and healing: Baptism, repentance and confession, unction of the sick, and the Holy Eucharist. 2. Prevention: Myron (spiritual strive) and Matrimony 1Cor. 7:9. 3. Vitamins: Myron (spiritual fruit) and Holy Eucharist. “The medicine of immortality, the antidote against death, and everlasting life in Jesus Christ” (St. Ignatius of Antioch).

22 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  How do we prepare ourselves for receiving the grace given in any of the mysteries? 1. Faith in the effect of the mystery. 2. Repentance (the new life in Christ). 3. Fasting. 4. Reconciliation with others. 5. There is also physical and mental preparation.

23 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  The holy Church prepares the believers to receive the mysteries through the prayers and the rituals. That is why it is imperative to attend the services from the beginning.  The catechumens used to learn about the Christian faith for at least 3 years.  Those who do not prepare themselves properly receive condemnation! (1Cor. 11:27-31; Hebrews 6:4-8). (Light & fire).

24 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  The power of the mystery lies within the Holy Spirit who performs the action. The matter is only the media through which the Holy Spirit conveys His grace.  “You shall see the Levites bringing loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine.

25 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  “But after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the body, and the wine the blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ. And again let us approach the celebration of the mysteries. This bread and this wine, so long as the prayers and supplications have not taken place, remain simply what they are. But after the great prayers and holy supplications have been sent forth, the Word comes down into the bread and wine, and thus His body is confected.” -St Athanasius the Apostolic

26 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  “Approach the minister of baptism, but approaching, think not of the face of him you see, but remember the Holy Spirit of whom we are now speaking” (St. Cyril of Jerusalem).  “As in the mother’s womb lies the power to give the physical life, likewise, the water of baptism has received power to give spiritual life” (St. Gregory the theologian).  After the invocation prayer, the matter is no longer simply what it is, but it receives from the Holy Spirit the power to give a specific grace to the believer.

27 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  The example of the magnet.  Passing electricity through a wire.  The Handkerchiefs and aprons of Saint Paul Acts 19:11/12.  Therefore, the matter receives an “energia””” from the Holy Spirit so that it is no longer simply what we see, but there is an invisible power that the visible material conveys.

28 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  In the Orthodox Church, therefore, we believe that the mysteries are actually the Divine channels of grace given to the believers, by the action of Holy Spirit, who transforms the matter into a media through which the grace is transmitted.  Baptism, for example, is NOT merely the sign of accepting the Christian faith!  The holy Eucharist is not just a memory!

29 WHAT IS A MYSTERY  The priest as the servant of the mysteries.  Does the power of the mystery depend on the holiness of the priest?  NEXT TIME GOD WILLING.

30 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES June 20, 2011 Lecture #4  Is there priesthood in the New Testament?  Is there only one high priest who is the Lord Jesus Christ?  Do we need a priest, or our relationship with God should be without a mediator?

31 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES  The Protestant churches deny priesthood in two ways: 1. Jesus is the only priest referring to 1Timothy 2:5. 2. We are all priests referring to 1Peter 2:9; and Rev. 1:6; Rev. 5:9&10.  In the Old Testament, there was also a general spiritual priesthood, but there was also the consecrated priesthood! (Exodus 19:6/Exodus 19:21&22).

32 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES  A group of people attempted to nationalize the priesthood in the Old Testament, and they were punished!  Numbers 16:1-10…31-35.  King Soul 1Sam. 13:9-13; 1Sam. 16:14.  King Uzziah 2Chronicles 26:16-21  Hence, the general or spiritual priesthood does not cancel the specific and restricted priesthood, even in the Old Testament where no one can deny the presence of priesthood.

33 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES  What does the spiritual priesthood mean? 1Peter 2:5  All people are priests in a spiritual sense: 1. The sacrifice of rational worship- Romans 12:1; Gal. 5:24. 2. The sacrifice of praise- Hebrews 13:15. 3. The sacrifice of thanksgiving Psalm 116: 17; Psalm 107:22 4. The sacrifice of prayer- Psalm 141:2.

34 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES 5. The sacrifice of charitable deeds- Hebrews 13:16. 6. The sacrifice of giving- Philippians 4:18. 7. The sacrifice of obedience 1Samuel 15:22. 8. The sacrifice of contrition Psalm 51:16&17. 9. The sacrifice of mercy Hosea 6:6/Matt. 9:13. 10. The sacrifice of righteousness Psalm 4:5

35 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES  The spiritual sacrifices can be categorized into 3 types: 1. Worship and prayer: The body through fasting, service, worship (metanias)…etc; praise, thanksgiving, and prayer. 2. Charitable deeds: Doing good, and giving (money, time, words, emotions). 3. Virtuous life: Obedience, contrition, mercy, and righteousness.

36 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES June 27, 2011 Lecture #5  H.H. Pope Shenouda says that as we understand the word “king” in a spiritual sense, we must also understand the word “priest” in a spiritual sense in verses Rev. 1:6 & Rev. 5:9&10.  But now that Christ came as great high priest (Heb. 5:10; Heb. 6:20), and offered Himself abolishing all bloodily sacrifices, do we still need human priests, and what are they going to offer?

37 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES 1. Is there an altar in the New Testament? 2. Are there real sacrifices in the New Testament?  If the answer is “yes” to both questions, the result is that there must be priesthood in the New Testament.  Saint Paul says that the priesthood “changed” in Heb. 7:12, not ended or abolished!

38 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES  The “Altar” of the New Testament. 1. Isaiah 19:19&21 (compare Joshua 22:15-30). 2. Hebrews 13:10. 3. Matthew 5:23&24. 4. Malachi 1:10&11. 5. 1Cor. 10:21. The altar is called the table.

39 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES  The “Sacrifice” of the New Testament 1. Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20. 2. DO this… means there is continuity… 3. 1Cor. 11:26. 4. It is a blood that is shed Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; Matthew 26:28, and a broken body 1Cor. 11:24; Luke 22:19. 5. 1Cor. 10:16.

40 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES  All the sacrifices of the Old Testament were symbols of the ONE continuous sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, which will be offered on the Christian altar until the second coming of the Lord 1Cor. 11:26.  Since there is an altar and a sacrifice in the New Testament, this requires the presence of the servants of the altar, who are the priests with their various ranks. They will offer the one extended sacrifice which the Lord Himself offered.

41 THE SERVANTS OF THE MYSTERIES  The “priests” of the New Testament 1. Romans 15:16. 2. Isaiah 66:19-21.  How did the priesthood change?  It is a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. 1. No blood, but rather bread and wine- Genesis 14:18; Psalm 110:4. 2. Not by inheritance Heb. 7:3; Hebrews 7:11-17.




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