Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute and host of the Bible Answer Man broadcast, recently spoke with the Most Reverend Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia. Hank asked this remarkable servant of Christ to speak to the significance of the church—as the sphere within which union with God is accomplished. His Eminence explained that “to be a Christian does involve personal experience but not isolated experience—to belong to the community of the faith….Not ‘I’ but ‘we.’” Indeed, says Metropolitan Kallistos, “We do not come to our Savior Christ alone, isolated. But we come as brothers and sisters, sharing together in the experience of faith.” Moreover, “this sharing in faith is expressed through outward actions. Christianity is not just a theory—it is a way of life. And in that way of life we have certain actions which we call sacraments. And above all there are the two sacraments of Holy Baptism, which happens only once,” and “Holy Communion, the sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist,” which is celebrated Sunday by Sunday. “At Baptism, the new Christian is buried and raised with Christ; at the Eucharist the members of Christ’s Body the church receive His Body….The Eucharist, by uniting the members of the church to Christ, at the same time unites them to one another: ‘We, who are many, are one bread, one body; for we all partake of the one bread’ (1 Corinthians 10:17). The Eucharist creates the unity of the church.” St. Ignatius christened the Eucharist our “medicine of immortality and the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ.” It is within the church that divine life penetrates the fabric of our humanity. The future life is infused into the present one and is blended with it so that our humanity may be transformed into the glorified humanity of the New Adam, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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