Written by Vladimir Moss


From the Morning Prayers in the Orthodox Church we read:= 

O my most merciful and all-merciful God, Lord Jesus Christ, through Thy great love Thou didst come down and take flesh, that all might be saved. 

All prayer should begin with thanksgiving for the good things that God has done for us. And the beginning of all good things is the Incarnation of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Without the Incarnation human nature would not have been recreated in the Virgin’s womb, making possible its entrance into the Kingdom of God. If God had not become man, He could not have died the death of the Cross, offering a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men. If God had not become man, He could not have descended as a man into hades, or risen from the dead on the third day, raising all men with Himself.

And again, O Saviour, save me by Thy Grace, I pray Thee. For if Thou shouldest save me for my works, this would not be Grace or a gift, but rather a duty. 

If we truly believe that Christ offered the perfect sacrifice for sin on the Cross, then we must on no account attribute our salvation to any good works on our part. For if we saved ourselves, as it were, through our good works, we would be receiving salvation as a reward for good works, as our due, as payment, as our right. But sinful mankind has no rights; a sinner and a debtor has no rights in relation to his creditor. He can only beg for remission of his debts, which he receives gratis, by grace, through faith in His mercy. For “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the Grace of God” (Ephesians 2.8).

Yea, Thou Who art great in compassion, and ineffable in mercy. For he that believeth in Me, Thou hast said, O my Christ, shall live and never see death.

All those who are born in sin must die; that was the sentence of God on the human race after the sin of our first parent. But while we cannot escape physical death, we can escape the death of the soul, which is the inescapable lot of all those who die in their sins, not having believed in the mercy of God bestowed on us freely on the Cross.

If, then, faith in Thee saveth the desperate, behold, I believe, save me, for Thou art my God and Creator. 

When we realize that no good works of our own can save us, but only the good Work of Christ on the Cross, we turn to Him in desperation, saying: Save me, I believe. That was sufficient for the good thief on the right of Christ. He believed in Christ as his God and Creator, and in His words: “This day you will be with Me in Paradise”. And he was the first to enter Paradise.

Let faith instead of works be imputed to me, O my God, for Thou wilt find no works which could justify me. But may my faith suffice instead of all works, may it answer for and acquit me, may it make me a partake of Thine eternal glory. 

We are saved by grace, which comes to us through faith, not through works. Good works are essential as a testimony to the genuineness of our faith. But in themselves they do not save. Only faith in the good Work of Christ on the cross can do that.

And let Satan not seize me and tear me from Thy hand and fold. 

If we falter in faith, Satan can seize us, tearing us away from the protection of God and His Holy Church, which is the community of those who are being saved through faith.

But whether I desire it or not, save me, O Christ my Saviour. Forestall me quickly, for I perish. Thou art my God from my mother’s womb. Vouchsafe me, O Lord, to love Thee now as once I loved sin. 

How can we not desire to be saved? If we do not believe, we will not desire to be saved, because we do not believe in the necessity of salvation, or believe falsely that we can be saved through works. Therefore let us cling to Christ, Who has loved us from our mother’s womb. Let us love Him now, believing without doubt that we need to be save and that only through faith in Him we can be saved.

Vouchsafe me, O Lord, to love Thee now as fervently as I once loved sin itself, and to work for Thee without idleness, diligently, as I worked before for deceptive Satan. 

When we work, not for the sake of Christ and in order to demonstrate our faith in Him, we are in fact working for Satan. So let us abandon these falsely-called good works, and work for Christ alone, out of faith and love for Him alone.

But supremely shall I work for Thee, my Lord and God, Jesus Christ, all the days of my life, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


December 12/25, 2018.

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