ORTHODOX TEACHING ABOUT GOD
There is only one God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in nature and essence. We Orthodox repeatedly confess in our Creed that there is only one God, the Creator of all that exists. The foolish idea replacing God with “Mother Nature” is a modern hoax conceived by unbelievers who in their imaginations invented a fictional character in the attempt to justify their denial of the true God, and Creator of heaven and earth. We also realize that God does everything with a perfect purpose, most especially His wonderful formation of mankind in His own image, and the freedom for us to attain to the perfection of His likeness. These thoughts should arouse in our minds the purpose for which God created us, and this in turn should arouse in our hearts extreme love and respect for our God and admiration for all His works, further it will inspire us to greatly honor and care for all of the Lord’s creation. In turn, we will observe more of the beauty that surrounds us, but we will especially observe the extreme beauty of our Creator which His creation slightly proclaims and which reveals some of His eternal beauty.
Because God never ceases to be one in three, God is a monad which is important for if the monad did not exist, there could be no numbers nor anything else, for the monad is necessary for additional numbers to exist; and without numbers there would be no God or creation, in addition everything God made is necessary and there is nothing superfluous. The firm belief in the oneness of God we Orthodox proclaim in saying the Creed of ourHoly Church: “I believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten . . . ” All creation by its countless visible wonders, repeatedly proclaims God’s innermost divine beauty.
He created the visible and invisible worlds which we see with our limited sight, among them we easily observe the sun, the moon, and stars, the clouds, the oceans, lakes, rivers and streams, birds and small animals, beasts and great elephants, which causes us to shout: “Glory to God in the highest In wisdom have you created them all.” But we must marvel even more that we the race of man are the greatest and crown of all His creation. This realization should humble our souls and fill us with constant admiration and joy, because He used Himself to create man – the very top of all creation. For He made man similar to His own self, in His own image with the added wonder for us to become His perfect image and likeness.
This is why Christ commanded very important things such as: “Be you holy for I am holy, says the. Lord, and: Be you perfect as your Father in heaven.” Jesus Christ the Son of God and of the Virgin is the first man to become God’s perfect image and likeness, and our becoming His image in ourselves is the only important thing; this is what our lives are about! If we are not now realizing and working toward such a wonderful goal, to become holy and perfect, it is more than time to begin, if we have become lethargic, it is time to be aroused then this beginning will enlighten our minds and deep love for Christ will be in our hearts.
Every day and several times a day, especially upon arising and retiring, we should rather focus our thoughts joyously upon the true God whom we Orthodox worship in spirit and truth. Think of the fact that He, the Godman, feeds us with Himself in the holy Mysteries. Thinking how merciful and good God is, and that He alone is worthy of our complete love and adoration. For this reason the first commandment reminds us of what we speak, that we should place the “love of God with all our hearts” and above everything. If we fail to keep God’s first commandment of love for Him then we cannot keep any other. And unless we rouse ourselves we will be outside the realm of salvation, failing to relish the great hope of our future everlasting life, and sadly be left with the future condemnation of our unbelieving souls.
God could not do more than He has done to show His love for us; especially for the Son of God to be willingly suffer his terrible passion, and be maligned and insulted for the salvation life of us sinful human beings. Indeed we must never forget how he suffered His passion by being assaulted, maligned, and repeatedly spat upon, as His tormentors poured from their profane mouths insults and bitter hatred. Christ never hesitated and in fact often looked forward to His suffering and death upon the Cross, for through the “death of God”, he was well aware that He alone would conquer and neutralize our enemy and thus wipe away all of our sins and iniquities. He excludes no one, but invites all sinners to be saved and come to knowledge of truth. Excluded are those who refuse to come to Him to change their lives, abandon their sins, turning to God with all our being.
We can never be thankful enough, we can never completely understand, but let us give what we can and ask the Lord to help us to increase our little thankfulness , and continually approach Him with heartfelt repentance and thankfulness for His wonderful gifts to us from our beginning of our lives as infants to the end of this short present life which does not just end in death, for death is like a door leading to life if we are faithful, and death completes our entry into the life which never ends for it is eternal and endless life.
St. John the Divine Apostle gives this advice:
“My little children, these things I write unto you that you sin not. And if any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that says I know Him, and does not keep His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God perfected. Hereby do we know that we are in Him. He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked”. (1 John 2:1-6).