THAT THEY BE ONE AS WE ARE ONE
In the past week or so, I used this blog to expose the terrible crimes of the pseudo-church, and the sordid character of those are reputed to be successors of Peter. and now we will attempt to shine forth the beauty of Orthodoxy. Not with the shadowy light of ecumenism, but with the light of the truths of Jesus Christ.
Christ prayer: “Neither do I pray for these alone, but to them also that shall believe on me through their word; that they may all be one, as you Father are in me and I in you, that they may also be one in us. That the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you have given to me, I have given to them. That they may be one. I in them and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that you have sent me and has loved them as you have loved me” (John17:20-23).
It is impossible that Christ prays for the unity of heretics with believers, for He forbids this. Christ prays for a unity in truth of minds, hearts and spirits. God is a Trinity united without confusion, three in one and one in three. The true Church is almost countless in number, but it is the one Catholic Church, having one Lord, one faith, one hope, and one Baptism by triune immersion. In Orthodoxy we concentrate entirely upon Christ and not on any patriarch or pope, for only Jesus Christ has preeminence. Jesus does not allow for any preeminence among His disciples. “Do not be called Teacher, for one is your Master Christ, and call no man Father upon earth for one is your Father." The unity in Christ includes one King, one Sacrifice, one Master, one Lord, one High Priest, one Savior, one Head, one Godman, one Theotokos, one Gospel, one true Church, one Creed, one Baptism, one Eucharist, one Pascha, one Body of Christ.
The one Gospel is preached to every creature, being the Good News proclaiming that salvation has come into the world. The first purpose of preaching is to bring the believers to the Church and baptize them in triune Baptism. However when, they fail to baptize, they break Christ’s commandment, and deprive those souls of the introductory saving mystery of the Church. Christ orders that everyone be baptized, not just those born of church families. He specified the three necessary immersions, when He said: “Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Though many hear the Gospel, few care to carry out its purpose in its entirety. The New Testament is an agreement between God and each of us, which means that we are bound to it if we desire everlasting life. If we break the covenant we break our hope for everlasting life. We must embrace all truth of Christ, and live by those truths, for Christ is the one Living Truth who came down from heaven and dwelt among us “full of grace and truth.”
The Lord issued numerous commandments, many being found in Matthew, Chapters 5, 6, and 7, which are also called the Evangelical Law. Every Orthodox Christian should be familiar with these chapters. The commandments of Christ are important if we wish to draw near to Him for He firmly says: “If you love me, Keep my commandments.”
Christ is the man which we must all measure up to until we come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man unto the measure of the fullness arrive at the stature of the fullness of Christ. Christ calls upon each of us to be holy as He is holy and perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, and we have only this short lifetime to accomplish this and be assured of eternal life. But the beauty is that when we only begin to keep His commandments, divine grace, warms our hearts illumines our minds begins the flow of divine grace which continues as we struggle, this causes the struggle to be delightful.
If we are inclined to love what is good and despise evil, Christ becomes even more attractive to us, but we must prove ourselves to be more attractive to Him! Proof of our obedience and love for Him is the keeping of His commandments. Yes, keeping more and more of His commandments increases our love and warmth toward Him. We who are the Church are called the Bride of Christ because we are engaged to our beloved Bridegroom, and for this reason, we should adorn ourselves with rare beauty, not being flippant or careless but extremely careful to remove every blemish so as to met our beloved with joy!. If we desire beauty, Christ is the most beautiful of men. If we desire wealth, Christ is the richest of all – the only source of eternal life, peace and joy. If we seek goodness, Christ alone is good , the Fountain of goodness and the only Lover of man.
There is much work to be done while we are here, work that is the fruit of our faith and in order to accomplish this work we need food and nourishment. Christ provides us with His own Body and Blood, which deifies us and wipes away all of our sins. The possibilities of holiness and perfection, are to be found in our keeping the commandments and eating the Mystical Supper frequently with fear of God with faith and love.
Our love for Christ also extends to our fellow Orthodox Christians whom we must love and cherish even more than ourselves. We also must not harbor hatred but love towrd our enemies and those who would harm us. We also must completely rid ourselves of animosities and bitterness and Christ will grant His peace to our souls. As we draw nearer to Christ, we yearn for even more intimacy, we desire to become one with Him and the Father and Holy Spirit. This is also what Christ expresses in His prayer, saying: That they may be one. I in them and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that you have sent me and has loved them as you have loved me” By keeping His commandments, by obeying His orders, by eating and drinking His Flesh and Blood, by pouring out our hearts to him, we become one, as He prayed for us. We must love all that He loves and hate all that He hates. Above all we stand firmly in all the truths handed down to us, defending them at any cost, for Christ is the Living Truth who came down from heaven. The more we embrace truth the more we draw nearer to Christ becoming one with Him and the Father.