In order to evaluate the
benefits given us by our Lord Jesus Christ, let us first remember what
blessings the first man Adam had while he was sinless, and what sorrows befell
him and all of mankind after his fall into sin.
The first man, having been created in the image and likeness of his Creator,
had the most vital and close relationship with Him and therefore enjoyed total
happiness. God, having created Adam in His image and likeness, endowed him with
many of His qualities. The most important of these was immortality. God, being
all-just, created Adam sinless and pure. Being all-blessed, He created Adam
blessed also, and this blessedness or beatitude was meant to increase in him
day by day.
As the book of Genesis states, Adam lived in the most beautiful garden
(named Eden or Paradise),
planted by God, and there he enjoyed all the blessings of life. He knew no sickness nor suffering. He feared nothing, and all beasts
submitted to him as their master. Adam suffered neither cold nor heat. Although
he toiled by caring for the garden of Eden, he did so
with pleasure. His soul was filled with awareness of the Divine presence, and
he loved his Creator with his whole heart. Adam was always calm and happy and
knew no unpleasantness, sorrow, or concern. All his desires were pure,
righteous, and orderly; his memory, intellect, and all other faculties were in
harmony and were constantly being perfected. Being pure and innocent, he was
always with God and conversed with Him as with his Father, and in return God
loved him as His own beloved son. In brief, Adam was in Paradise,
and Paradise was within him.
If Adam had not sinned, he would have remained forever blessed, and all his
descendants would have enjoyed blessedness. It was for this very purpose that
God had created man. But Adam, having succumbed to the tempter-devil,
transgressed against the law of the Maker and took pleasure in the taste of the
forbidden fruit. When God appeared to Adam right after he had sinned, Adam,
instead of repenting and promising obedience henceforth, began to justify
himself and to blame his wife. Eve in turn blamed the serpent for everything. And so it was that sin became a part of human nature, deeply
injuring it because of the lack of repentance of Adam and Eve. The
existing communion with the Maker was cut and the blessedness lost. Having lost
Paradise within himself, Adam became unworthy of the
external Paradise and was therefore banished from it.
After the fall into sin, Adamís soul darkened: his thoughts and desires
became muddled, and his imagination and memory began to cloud. Instead of peace
and joy he met sorrow, agitation, ruination, misery, and woe. He experienced
hard labor, poverty, hunger, and thirst. And after years of unsurpassed
sorrows, sickly old age began to oppress him, and death neared. Worst of all,
the devil, the perpetrator of every evil, obtained through sin the ability to
influence Adam and to further alienate him from God.
The whole of nature, which had previously served Adam as a means to
happiness, had now become hostile to him. From then on Adam and all his
descendants began to suffer from cold and heat and to experience hunger and the
effect of changes in climate and environmental conditions. Animals became
unfriendly toward people and looked upon them as enemy or prey. Adamís
descendants began to suffer from different diseases, which gradually became
more varied and severe. Men forgot that they were brothers and began to fight
with each other, to hate, to deceive, to attack and to kill each other. And
finally, after all kinds of hard labors and tribulations, they were doomed to
die, and, as sinners, to go to Hades and experience eternal punishment there.
No man, even the most talented and powerful, nor all of mankind in unison,
could ever restore what Adam lost when he sinned in Eden.
What would have happened to us and to all of mankind if Jesus Christ in His
mercy had not come to redeem us?
But we should all thank our Heavenly Father for taking pity on us. He loves
us far more than we are capable of loving ourselves. And because of His
infinite love, He has sent His only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to rid
us from our sins and from the snare of the devil and to lead us into the
eternal Kingdom of Heaven.
Through His teachings Jesus Christ scattered the darkness of ignorance and
all possible error and enlightened the world with the light of the true faith.
Now anyone who desires it can come to know the will of God and attain eternal
By His way of life Christ showed us how to live to attain salvation. And He
also assists us constantly in everything good. By His most precious blood Jesus
washed away our sins and made of us children of God, who were slaves of
passions and the devil. Those torments we, as transgressors of the will of God,
would have had to suffer, He bore for us. By His death He crushed the power of
the devil, destroyed the power of hell, and delivered us from death. By His
resurrection He gave us life and opened the gates of Paradise
to all. Therefore, death is no longer an irreversible tragedy but a passage
from this temporary world of vanity and sorrows to the world of bright and
joyous life. By His ascension into heaven Christ glorified our nature, enabling
us to share eternal bliss with the angels and all the heavenly creatures.
It is impossible fully to comprehend and to describe all the benefits that
the Lord has prepared for us. Let us just say that all who choose to believe in
Him and to live a Christian life will become sons of God, will attain
Paradise, where the angels and the just reside, and will see God face to face.
They will rejoice with a pure and eternal joy, knowing no weariness, sadness,
It is so wonderful that Jesus Christ gives these benefits not to a chosen
few but to each and every person who desires to receive them! The path to
salvation has been shown and arranged; it has been made as smooth and level as
possible. Besides this, Jesus Himself constantly helps us along the way, so to
speak, leading us by the hand. It only remains for us not to oppose Him, not to
be obstinate, but to surrender ourselves to His will. So you can see how much
Jesus Christ loves us and what great blessings He is bestowing upon us!
Let us consider for a moment what would happen if Jesus were to appear
before us now and ask: "My children! Do you love Me
for all that I have done for you and do you value those blessings that I bestow
upon you?" Who among us would not answer Him: "Yes, Lord! I love You and am grateful to
If, then, we truly love Jesus Christ with our hearts and not just with our
words, and if we are grateful to Him, are we then not bound to carry out what
He wills for us to do? When a person truly loves his benefactor, he expresses
his gratitude by doing what pleases his benefactor.
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