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Priest:Blessed are you O blessed thief and your good tongue by which you were truly made worthy of the kingdom of heaven and the paradise of joy.Priest:O blessed thief, what did you see and what did you observe, that you confessed the Crucified Christ in the flesh, the King of Heaven and God of all.Priest:You did not see Christ God glorified on Mount Tabor in the glory of His Father, but you saw Him hung in Ekranion, wherefore you cried out saying:Priest:You believed when you saw the heaven and the earth shake and the sun and moon darkened. When the dead rose, the rocks split, and the curtain of the altar was torn, wherefore you cried out saying:Priest:“Assuredly, I say to you,” said the Lord, “today you will be with Me in Paradise and inherit My kingdom.” The disciple denied and the thief cried out saying:Blessed are you O Demas, the thief more than everyone on the earth, for you have gained a way no one gained. All your life, you were a thief in Jerusalem’s forests and one word you said to the Lord and he sent you to paradise.When they crucified our Savior on the cross, they crucified two thieves with Him, one on His right and one on His left. And Demas, the thief on the right, cried out saying, “Remember me O Lord when You come into Your kingdom.” Our Savior said to Him, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Mat 25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy [fn] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.Mat 25:32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides [his] sheep from the goats.Mat 25:33 "And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.Mat 25:34 "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:Mat 25:35 'for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;Mat 25:36 'I [was] naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'Mat 25:37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed [You], or thirsty and give [You] drink?Mat 25:38 'When did we see You a stranger and take [You] in, or naked and clothe [You]?Mat 25:39 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'Mat 25:40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did [it] to one of the least of these My brethren, you did [it] to Me.'
Circumcision of No Avail25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision?27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law?28 For the is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
We do not die symbolically with Christ. We do die effectively with Christ and rise with Him.
And ere now there have been some who in their championship of true religion have undergone the death for Christ's sake, not in mere similitude, but in actual fact, and so have needed none of the outward signs of water for their salvation, because they were baptized in their own blood.
When we reply to this question we say that this thief received the best baptism after whose example we all wish to be baptised. What is baptism but dying with Christ, as our teacher St. Paul says (Rom.6)? The Penitent Thief actually died with Christ and his death became a baptism. Similarly is the baptism by blood attributed to the martyrs who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and were killed at the time of persecution before they had received the grace of baptism by water. Their death became a baptism because they died with Christ like the Penitent Thief.
It [Baprism] is an effective symbol of death.
Are you arguing that St. Basil is wrong?
Telling me to read one of Pope Shenouda's books isn't a way to make a point.
Please read "Salvation in the Orthodox Concept" by Pope Shenouda, starting with page 34, to supplement Comparative Theology. Please read his book on the Priesthood.
Grace allows our symbolic burial in the water to be treated as actual death. You can see a glimpse of this in the book you keep referring to -When we reply to this question we say that this thief received the best baptism after whose example we all wish to be baptised. What is baptism but dying with Christ, as our teacher St. Paul says (Rom.6)? The Penitent Thief actually died with Christ and his death became a baptism. Similarly is the baptism by blood attributed to the martyrs who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and were killed at the time of persecution before they had received the grace of baptism by water. Their death became a baptism because they died with Christ like the Penitent Thief.
Grace allows our symbolic burial in the water to be treated as actual death. You can see a glimpse of this in the book you keep referring to -
So I can follow your argument, can you please elaborate as to what is an effective symbol? Is there an effective symbol and an ineffective symbol? Please give some scriptural references.
An advice: When you quote one of the Fathers of the Church, you need to read what they wrote in context. Please, provide a reference to what St. Basil said so I can read the whole topic and in context, instead of one phrase. So, please provide a reference to the quote you provided, then I will address it.
I was not trying to make a point. Rather I was trying to educate you.
Can you please show me where in the above statement does Pope Shenouda say that we die in baptism symbolically?
Now as you can see, this is by no means an exhaustive list of Saints. However, the bolded section (and the two highlighted words) illustrate that there are many saints whose names we do not know, but are known to God. Now, if you read the Gospel of Luke and read about St. Desmas, we read about not only his confession of Christ, but his death with Christ as well, thus making him a confessor and martyr
Iconography - I have already referenced an icon of this saint (I don't care if you don't approve of the time it was painted) in the article above.