Virgin Mary.

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Could you please explain the significance of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY in the church today? – Chinedum, Nigeria

Mary was an ordinary human being, a maiden chosen by God to be the mother of His Son. In her song (Luke 1:46, 47) Mary says her 'spirit rejoices in God my Saviour'. The expression 'my saviour' indicates that she recognised herself as a sinner, needing a Saviour. That this is indeed so becomes clear when we consider that the Scripture teaches that 'all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23).

There is nothing in the Scriptures to indicate that Mary has any special place in the church other than as the mother of Jesus. Mary was subject to death, just as any other human being, and according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 will not be raised and go to heaven until all the redeemed are resurrected at the Second Coming of Jesus. The Christian can pray to Jesus without any other intercessor. Jesus, who died for us in order that we can be saved, invited us to pray to the Father in His name. Mary, and all the saints who died believing in Jesus, are sleeping in their graves, waiting until Jesus comes again. In the meantime Jesus loves to have us pray directly to Him and to His Father. That is why He died for us: to show how much He loves us, and that He has forgiven us our sins.

It is right that we should be respectful of the memory of Mary. She played a crucial role, being the mother of Jesus. However, the idea that she, herself was sinless in order to be Jesus' mother, or that we need to pray through her as an intercessor between us and God, is not a concept to be found in the Bible. I look forward to meeting Mary in heaven. I am sure she has fascinating stories to tell. I respect and honour her, but my prayers and worship go directly to God.

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