Friday, August 21, 2015

Part Six

Living The Orthodox Christian Life

     The everyday lives of all men are basically the same, working, feeding and maintaining the human body. Food is usually acquired by farming or working and purchasing.  If we are healthy we do not forget to eat for it is well known that you must eat in order to stay alive and we prefer life to death. and eat most every day. Every man alive preserves his precious life by working, acquiring and using the things which are helpful to his body. Life can be seen as work for the purpose of acquiring and utilizing those things which support life.

      Common life’s main objective is feeding and maintaining the body; Christian life aims at feeding and perfecting the soul leading to eternal life in the kingdom of God. Christian life accomplishes its objective by means of mental and spiritual work in the imperishable Spirit of God.  Common life maintains the body which will perish but on Christian life raises the soul into the eternal kingdom. Christian life provides the means to ascend through spiritual food and drink and proper garments for the soul, all of which are provided by our Lord and Savior Christ.

     Man is destined to become the perfect image and likeness of God and accomplishes this by faith in Jesus Christ and good works with membership in His holy Church. It is the greatest of  honors far superior to any other honor to be a human being, for we are created in the image of God destined to become the image and likeness, and this involves struggling to become holy like God the Father!  This is the aim and objective of our Christian life imposed upon us by the order of Christ who says: “Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food which endures unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give you; for Him it is whom the Father has certified” (John 6:27). Christ clearly teaches us not to work for the food of the body alone, but much more so for the food of the soul, not for the food that perishes but for the food that leads to everlasting life.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Part Five

The Great and Final Judgment

     Everything that God creates and forms is good and perfect and it could be no other way. He has His perfect plan for the entire universe which He created and He confided His plan to us in these words: “Let us create man in our own image and according to our likeness.”  Every human being in the world is welcome to take advantage of the generous offer of God. He sent His Only-begotten Son Jesus Christ into the world to teach and inform us what we are offered by God. More, He came into the world and voluntarily suffered crucifixion in order to effect our salvation and through the Cross we are saved. We have the freedom to accept or reject God’s wonderful offer, but we are also warned of the day of the great and final judgment, wherein each of us will be judged by Jesus Christ. We  will saved by our faith and judged according to our works, for faith is evident by works.

      The entire race of man is subject to our Creator’s perfect law, whether they agree or disagree.  Our Lord encourages us to accept and work toward our eventual destination and threatens us with punishment if we reject to conform and follow His law.  The reward for faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and keeping His commandments is everlasting life, but the penalty for rejecting Him and His commandments is everlasting condemnation. 

     Those who deny the future judgment, everlasting life and everlasting punishment also deny the existence of the perfect law which expresses the perfect volition of the perfect being – God. But when they deny the perfect volition of God they also deny the existence of God, and then hold that the principle of creation and beginning of the universe is the work of non-being matter or some other blind and brute force acting at random.

     The fools disregard the harmony and order of heaven and earth.  Using their minds they call themselves learned and think that they are thoughtful in what they say. Yet they foolishly assert that  the principle of all things is  mindless and senseless.  They deny the justice of God, and yet if they become victims of injustice, they protest in the name of justice!

     Such insanity prevails today throughout many schools of the West; and they foolishly praise it as being some sort of exceptional wisdom, yet they do not give their attention to the law of God, nor do they take any notice of the wrath that threateningly hangs over their heads. God, being righteous will continue to do His part. He made a law, and stated His will to all the nations to which it was possible to state it; subsequently He will also judge the nations according to the law stated in the fixed day of judgment, and woe to them who have disregarded it and not behaved in accordance with the law!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Part Four

The Basic or Fundamental Law of the Church

     What is a law?  Usually it is the will of a ruler or rulers to those under them. Laws are usually sanctioned with rewards or penalties. This gives force to the law and good reason for its observance. It is impossible to begin conceive the human race without necessary laws. The first law to be made by a ruler or a state is called the basic or fundamental law, without which the state could not exist. Thus the will of God for those ruled by Him for the edification of the Church, and sanctioning a reward or penalty, is called a law. The first law made by God for His Church is called its fundamental law. With this law the Church continues to exist, without it would be reduced to nothing. The fundamental law of the holy Orthodox Church is this: “It is the duty of every human being to recognize Christ the crucified as His beloved Son, as the right and perfect Logos or Word of the perfect Mind, and to listen to what He says." 

     Everyone who accepts and submits to this law is set on the path to salvation and eternal life and can be saved, while those who reject this law are on the road leading to perdition and eternal death. This cannot be taken lightly as the law is real, the reward is exceedingly great and the punishment is exceedingly torment.

     This fundamental law of the Church was made effective at the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River, for after His baptism and at the same time as the Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove, the Father cried out from heaven: “This is my beloved Son in whom I have well decided; listen to Him.” John the Baptist believed by the people to be a prophet, preached and showed this same fact to them. Also on Mt Tabor at the Transfiguration of Christ, the same voice spoke from within the cloud, saying: “This is my beloved Son in whom I have well decided; listen to Him.”

     And this voice says Peter in his second epistle: “which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount.” That is the reason why after the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, he reminded the Jews: “For Moses truly said unto the fathers:  A prophet shall the Lord your God raise you of your brethren like unto me, Him shall you hear in all things whatever he shall say unto you. And it shall happen, that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people” (Acts 3:22-23).