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Peace with Justice for the whole Creation - The Faith we affirm - The foundation of our responsibility


21. We owe our life to God the Creator, the triune God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit; who in his mercy has revealed himself to humanity in Jesus Christ. Irrespective of persisting confessional differences we all share in this faith.

22. God manifested perfect love in the way that the whole of creation was accomplished. "And God saw everything that he had made and behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1.31). God created us all, as unique human beings, in his image, as brothers and sisters, as part of, and in deep dependence on, creation as a whole. God called us to a life in love - establishing between us relations and structures of love. The human community is to be in the image of the infinite love which links the three divine Persons in the Trinity; therefore it should be a "koinonia" (communion) of love. The sacredness of the human person has a central place in the mystery of the "oikonomia" (order of salvation). The Creator "placed him on the earth, a new Angel, a mingled worshipper, fully initiated into the visible creation, but only partially into the intellectual; king of all upon earth, but subject to the King above..... a living creature, trained here and then moved elsewhere; and to complete the mystery, defied by its inclination to God" (Gregory of Nazianzus, or. 45,7). Creation is founded and recapitulated in the incarnation of the Logos of God and the divinisation of humanity. "Christ made new the old man" (Hippolytus, contr. haeres, 10, 34. PG 16, 3454).

23. As the entire human race was already existing in the old Adam, in the same way it is recapitulated in the new Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ. For us Christians "humanity is one, namely the entire race" (Gregory of Nazianzus, or. 31,15. PG 36, 149).

24. But we have sinned against the purposes of God. The fall of humanity (Gen. 3) resulted in the loss of divine peace and justice for humanity and brought harm and damage on the whole of creation. The loss of divine peace and justice caused the loss in human relationships, as can be seen in the Biblical story of the murder of Abel (Gen. 4. 1-8). It disturbed not only the human community but also had consequences for God's creation. 'When you till the ground, it will no longer yield you its wealth,' God says to Cain (Gen 4.12).

25. On the basis of the Biblical witness we affirm that, despite the alienation of humanity from the source of all life, God remains faithful. Again and again God gives hope by establishing and re-establishing the divine covenant with humanity. We hear of a sequence of covenants from Noah (Gen. g), to Abraham (Gen. 12), to Moses and the people of Israel. God seeks communion with humanity. In order to enjoy the gift of life the people had to remain faithful to God. But the history of salvation shows that they were ready to destroy the covenants by being disobedient to the Creator. Injustice and iniquity prevailed among them (Is. 1.4). This is why prophets were sent to call the people back to the ways of God by changing their hearts and minds.  

26. God's covenant has been ultimately established in Jesus Christ. Through him the reconciliation of humanity with its Creator has been fulfilled: 'For God wanted all perfection to be found in him and all things to be reconciled through him and for him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, when he made peace by his death on the cross' (Col. 1.19-20). In Christ, crucified and resurrected, the way is opened for fallen humanity to receive peace with God and between themselves (John 14.27), to attain divine justice (Mt. 6.33) and, finally, full salvation together with the whole creation, as the apostle Paul says: 'Therefore if any one is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold the new has come.' (2 Cor. 5.17). There is a promise for the whole of creation. God's work of creation is not yet closed. God continues exercising his creative power over the world. Thus Jesus says: 'My Father is working still, and I am working' (John 5. 17).

27. Reconciliation in Jesus Christ opens the gates to everlasting life. The fullness of blessing will be revealed with the final coming of God's reign which is 'righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit' (Rom. 14.17). We are waiting together with the whole creation for this future glory to be revealed and we know that it is only then that our present sinful condition will be finally overcome. Still, at the same time we affirm that the future manifests itself already here and now in our earthly life. The highest destiny of humanity, therefore, is to seek here and now divine peace and justice, in the awareness of our solidarity with the whole of God's creation.

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