Sunday's reading from the Coptic Lectionary was Mark 2:1-12, the story of the man lowered through the opening in the roof. In the passage, Christ states, "The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins..."
A good question raised in our Sunday college meeting was, "Does God take the first step or do I?" The answer is, God invites. God's grace is present to heal. But we must take the first step, no matter how small. Admit it: there are times when our hearts do not even have the smallest intention or desire to turn to God.
St. Basil writes,
If the Son has not authority over the judgment, and power to benefit some and chastise others, how could He say, ‘The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son’ And in another place, ‘The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins; and again, ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth;'...The explanation is clear from the Scripture, since the Saviour said, ‘Then will I reward every man according to his work;' and in another place, ‘They that have done good shall come forth unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.' And the Apostle says, ‘We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad.' It is therefore the part of the recipients to make themselves worthy of a seat on the left and on the right of the Lord: it is not the part of Him Who is able to give it...*