A Review of “Are You Saved?” by Bishop Athanasius of Bani Mazar and Bahnassa


H.G. Bishop Athanasius

In the Name of the Holy Trinity – One God. Amen!

This book is great indeed for our life, to understand its process that contains many question marks and the principals of salvation and how we can live by them.

Once it was told that one of the devils told St. Macarius the Great as his soul was departing his body, “blessed are you Macarius for you have made it.” St. Macarius did not answer the devil until he entered into paradise and said, “Now, by the grace of Christ, I have arrived.”

From this we can understand that salvation is a process that the believer lives by through his entire life on earth. It starts first by believing in the divinity of Christ, Who was born from the Holy Virgin Mary, redeemed us by His crucifixion and death for us, His resurrection through His divine power, His ascension to heaven and His sitting at the right hand of His Father. The believer continues looking up to where Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father. The believer lives in the world but the world does not live in him, looking forward to the city whose creator and maker is God; pursuing holiness without which, no one can see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14)

And so, the believer continues in keeping the commandments, being fed by the Book of Life, drinking from the fountain of love of the Lord Jesus, living humbly and in meekness to find rest (Mat. 11:29), carrying in his body the character of the Lord Jesus. He goes about doing good (Acts 10:38), “A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench.” (Mat. 12:20) He lives in peace with all men that they bless him. He lives for Christ so that Christ can live in him, that He (Christ) faces everything on his behalf, protects him while he keeps silent, and always puts on himself Christ. (Gal. 3:27)

You will enjoy reading in this book God’s plan for salvation for everyone who, baptized and believing, puts on Christ, Who is the mystery of our salvation that leads us to paradise and the Kingdom of heaven. Thus we will be saved from the dread judgment and eternal hell that is prepared for the devil and his followers.

May God bless this great work that is very important for our salvation!

May the Lord reward all those who labored in publishing this book, the author, its translator, and reviewer, through the prayers of St. Macarius the Great!

Bishop Athanasius, of Bani Mazar and Bahnassa

March 31, 2013 AD – Baramhat 22, 1729 AM

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Introduction by the Translator

Hieromonk Yuel (Joel), St. Macarius the Great Monastery, Egypt

So many times during our journey in life, we search for answers for many questions that may not be that important. However, if we realize that “God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1Tm: 2:4),” i.e., God’s wish is our salvation; and if we realize that He did pay the price for this salvation by His precious Blood, then we will discover that there are more important questions that are worth searching for answers. Such questions are for example: “are you saved? What is meant by salvation? What must I do to be saved? What is the significance of salvation? And what will happen to those who do not accept this salvation?

As we contemplate in the story of humanity starting with Adam and Eve who fell into sin by the deception of the devil. So, they were exposed to the fruit of disobedience and the wage of sin. They were deprived from being in the presence of God as they were casted out of the paradise of Eden. However, we find that God with His immeasurable mercy gave them the promise of salvation. This is the salvation that humans waited for many agonizing years. During these years, Satan had the authority over all souls. This continued until the fullness of time, and a Savior was born. Thus God fulfilled his promise and His desire to “demonstrate His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Rm. 5:8) giving us salvation.

The question then is, “if we have been translated from death to life through the death of Christ on the Cross, does this mean that everyone will be saved? “ Many believe that their place in heaven has been assured and their names are written in the Book of Life. But those people forget that the road to salvation is indeed narrow and requires many sacrifices and a lot of struggle. Truly our Lord Jesus Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the entire humanity when He accepted to be hanged on the Cross to redeem us from our sins. However, we need to remember that every one of us has a role that we must do through our journey on earth in order to realize this precious redemption. This role is our effort that is supported by His Grace. That is our struggle; in which God supports us in our weakness. We get this support through the Mysteries of Grace that God bestowed upon us through the Church.

Therefore, “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Heb. 2:3) There will be final Judgment, whether we like it or not, and there will be an account which we will present when we stand before the awesome Judge at the end of our life, “for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10)

This book “Are You Saved?” gives us the opportunity to understand and contemplate in all the questions mentioned before. This book offers to us the answers to those questions in a correct “Orthodox” way. It explains for us the meaning and understanding of the process of salvation. The author has succeeded in a marvelous way to give us a mixture of biblical quotations and sayings from the “Fathers of the Church” who are examples for us to imitate through this process of salvation. She put a great effort explaining to us that this process of salvation started a long time ago, we live it at the present time, and we look for its joyful ending in the future.

The story of our salvation is indeed the story of the amazing love of God for us. This love makes us feel ashamed because of our sins; and this love encourages us to repent and come back to the bosom of the Savior and Redeemer of our souls. We do that not only because of our fear of judgment, but because of our love to our heavenly Father, “because He first loved us.” (1 Jn. 4:19) For, “He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him Who died for them.” (2 Cor. 5:15)

May God make this book a source of blessing for us all!