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Have You Ever Heard of the Eight Orthodox Spiritual Laws?

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment

The Eight Orthodox Spiritual Laws

Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws that govern the spiritual universe.

Law 1: GOD LOVES YOU AND OFFERS YOU A WONDERFUL FUTURE FOR YOUR LIFE.

God Loves You.

For Thou lovest all the things that are, and abhorrest nothing which Thou hast made: for never wouldest Thou have made any thing, if Thou hadst hated it. (Wisdom 11:24, KJV)

This verse of Scripture says that God loves everything that He made, including you.

God Offers You a Wonderful Future for Your Life.

(Jesus said:) I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (St. John 10:10, NKJV)

This Wonderful Future that God Offers You Includes the Following:

a.) An incorruptible body in perfect health that will never age or die. (St. Luke 20:36; I Corinthians 15:53,54; Philippians 3:21; Revelation 21:4)

b.) The entire universe renewed for you so that you can live in it forever. (Romans 4:13; II Peter 3:13; Isaiah 65:17; Revelation 21:1,5,7)

c.) No pain or suffering. (Revelation 7:16; 21:4)

d.) The ability and desire to always do what is right. (Isaiah 60:21; Romans 6:22; Revelation 22:11)

e.) Forgiveness of sins. (Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14)

f.) Fellowship with God, the angels, and righteous men and women. (II Corinthians 6:16-18; I John 1:3; Hebrews 12:22; St. Matthew 8:11; Revelation 21:3)

g.) Happiness and joy forever. (Isaiah 65:18; Revelation 7:17; 21:4)

Law 2: GOD IS THREE PERSONS, BUT ONE GOD. THIS ONE TRI-PERSONAL GOD IS THE ONLY GOD THAT WE SHOULD WORSHIP AND SERVE.

There is One God — the Lord.

Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord. (Deuteronomy 6:4, LXX)

God is Three Persons.

The Father eternally begot the Son.

He established Me before time was in the beginning, before He made the earth: even before He made the depths; before the fountains of water came forth: before the mountains were settled, and before all hills, He begets Me. (Proverbs 8:23-25, LXX)

The First Ecumenical Council of the Church wrote a creed in 325 A.D. In that creed, they said:

And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, or that before He was begotten He was not, or that He was made of things that were not, or that He is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that He is a creature, or subject to change or conversion — all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them.

The Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father.

This verse teaches that the Holy Spirit, called here “the Spirit of Truth,” proceeds from the Father.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me. (St. John 15:26, KJV)

The Second Ecumenical Council of the Church wrote a creed in 381 A.D. In that creed, they said:

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets.

This verse teaches that the Holy Spirit is eternal.

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14, KJV)

The Father is God.

Do ye thus recompense the Lord? Is the people thus foolish and unwise? Did not He Himself thy Father purchase thee, and make thee, and form thee? (Deuteronomy 32:6, LXX)

The Father is not one-third God. He is God in His entirety.

The Son is God.

But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom. (Hebrews 1:8, KJV)

The Son is also called the Word.

(St. John wrote:) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (St. John 1:1, KJV)

The Son is not one-third God. He is God in His entirety.

The Holy Spirit is God.

(Job said:) The Divine Spirit is that which formed me, and the breath of the Almighty that which teaches me. (Job 33:4, LXX)

In Psalm 99 of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, it says:

Know that the Lord He is God; He made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 99:3, LXX)

From these two verses it is plain to see that the Holy Spirit (called “the Divine Spirit” by Job) is our Creator and is God. The Holy Spirit is not one-third God. He is God in His entirety.

All Three Persons are One God.

For there are three that bear witness in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. (I John 5:7, NKJV)

However, Each Person of the Holy Trinity is Distinct from the Other Two.

At Christ’s baptism, the Son was baptized, the Father spoke from Heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove.

When all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from Heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (St. Luke 3:21,22, NKJV)

Regarding the Holy Trinity, the Church says that three wholes make one whole. To express this concept in mathematical terms, one would say: 1 + 1 + 1 = 1.

God, the Holy Trinity, Does Not Want Us to Worship and Serve Any Other God But Himself.

Thou shalt have no other gods beside Me. (Exodus 20:3, LXX)

Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. (Deuteronomy 6:13, LXX)

Law 3: MAN IS MORTAL, SINFUL, AND SEPARATED FROM GOD. HIS SINS PREVENT HIM FROM ENJOYING THE WONDERFUL FUTURE THAT GOD OFFERS HIM.

Man is Mortal. He Dies.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27, KJV)

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (I Corinthians 15:22, NKJV)

Man is Sinful. He Sins.

For there is not a man who will not sin. (I Kings 8:46, LXX)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23, KJV)

God is in All Places at All Times.

Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? And whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I should go up to Heaven, Thou art there: if I should go down to Hell, Thou art present. (Psalm 138:7,8, LXX)

The eyes of the Lord behold both the evil and the good in every place. (Proverbs 15:3, LXX)

It is impossible for us to physically separate ourselves from God. This diagram shows how God is in all places at all times. Each triangle represents God. The stick man represents a human individual.

Omnipresence of God

We Separate Ourselves from God in Will, Purpose, and Soul When We Sin.

Nay, your iniquities separate between you and God, and because of your sins has He turned away His face from you, so as not to have mercy upon you. (Isaiah 59:2, LXX)

The Lord is with you, while ye are with Him; and if ye seek Him out, He will be found of you; but if ye forsake Him, He will forsake you. (II Chronicles 15:2, LXX)

This diagram illustrates how sin is going against the will of God. We sin in thought, word, or deed whenever we think, say, or do anything contrary to the will of God. We separate ourselves from God in our sinful choices that we make and not in physically distancing ourselves from Him. The separation occurs in our souls.

Illustration of Sin

Some Examples of Sins are Mentioned Here in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21, NKJV)

Our sins prevent us from enjoying the wonderful future that God has planned for us. If we continue to practice sin, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God. We will not inherit the renewed universe at the end of this present age.

(St. Paul said:) The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23, KJV)

He was speaking of the Second Death spoken of in the Book of Revelation.

The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:13-15, NKJV)

St. John Chrysostom called this Second Death a “deathless death.” People who receive the Second Death at the end of this present age will have bodies that will not die, but they will be tormented forever in body and soul.

Law 4: THE SECOND PERSON OF THE GODHEAD, JESUS CHRIST, ASSUMED MORTAL HUMAN FLESH AND BLOOD LIKE OURS FOR OUR SALVATION. HE SANCTIFIED THE HUMAN NATURE THAT HE ASSUMED.

Jesus Christ Existed Before His Birth.

Jesus told the Jews:

Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. (St. John 8:22, KJV)

I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but He sent Me. (St. John 8:42, KJV)

Before Abraham was, I AM. (St. John 8:58, NKJV)

In Fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecies, the Second Person of the Godhead Assumed Human Flesh.

He was born at night in fulfillment of a prophecy in the Psalms.

I have begotten Thee from the womb before the morning. (Psalm 109:3, LXX)

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (St. Luke 2:8-11, NKJV)

He was born in Bethlehem in fulfillment of a prophecy in Micah.

And thou, Bethleem, house of Ephratha, art few in number to be reckoned among the thousands of Juda; yet out of thee shall One come forth to Me, to be a ruler of Israel; and His goings forth were from the beginning, even from eternity. (Micah 5:2, LXX)

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem. (St. Matthew 2:1, NKJV)

He was born of a virgin in fulfillment of a prophecy in Isaiah.

Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Emmanuel. (Isaiah 7:14, LXX)

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (St. Luke 1:26-35, NKJV)

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (St. Matthew 1:18-21, NKJV)

He was God in the flesh who conversed with men in fulfillment of a prophecy in Baruch.

This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of Him He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob His servant, and to Israel His beloved. Afterward did He shew Himself upon earth, and conversed with men. (Baruch 3:35-37, KJV)

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (St. John 1:14, KJV)

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same. (Hebrews 2:14, KJV)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.) (I John 1:1,2, KJV)

Jesus Christ Had a Human Nature like Ours in All Respects.

Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17, KJV)

For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. (Romans 8:3, KJV)

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the Cross. (Philippians 2:5-8, NKJV)

Only He Never Sinned.

(Jesus said:) The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him. (St. John 8:29, NKJV)

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (II Corinthians 5:21, NKJV)

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.” (I Peter 2:21,22, NKJV)

Jesus Christ Has a Divine Nature and a Human Nature that are Inseparably Joined Together in One Person.

In 451 A.D., 650 bishops met in Chalcedon near modern day Istanbul, Turkey. They wrote:

Following the holy Fathers we teach with one voice that the Son [of God] and our Lord Jesus Christ is to be confessed as one and the same [Person], that He is perfect in Godhead and perfect in Manhood, very God and very Man, of a reasonable soul and [human] body consisting, consubstantial with the Father as touching His Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching His Manhood; made in all things like unto us, sin only excepted; begotten of His Father before the worlds according to His Godhead; but in these last days for us men and for our salvation born [into the world] of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God according to His manhood. This one and the same Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son [of God] must be confessed to be in two natures, unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably [united], and that without the distinction of natures being taken away by such union, but rather the peculiar property of each nature being preserved and being united in one Person and subsistence, not separated or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and only-begotten, God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, as the Prophets of old time have spoken concerning Him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ hath taught us, and as the Creed of the Fathers hath delivered to us.

Jesus is not half man and half God, nor is He a mixture of both God and man, thus forming some new substance, just as sodium and chlorine mix together to form salt, or hydrogen and oxygen mix together to form water. Jesus is totally human and totally God, but He is one Person with one single personality. Regarding the two natures of Christ, the Church says that two wholes make one whole. In mathematical terms, this concept is expressed in the equation: 1+1 = 1.

Jesus Christ Has a Human Soul.

(Jesus said to His disciples:) My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. (St. Matthew 26:28, NKJV)

The Flesh that Jesus Christ Assumed was Mortal. He Could Die.

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. (St. Matthew 16:21, NKJV)

His Divine Nature Cannot Die.

Before the mountains existed, and before the earth and the world were formed, even from age to age, Thou art. (Psalm 89:2, LXX)

Jesus Christ Sanctified the Human Nature that He Assumed.

(Speaking of Jesus, St. Paul wrote:) For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens. (Hebrews 7:26, NKJV)

Jesus is “holy, harmless,” and “undefiled,” but He has a human nature like ours. He, therefore, sanctified (that is, made holy) the human nature that He assumed.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Express Image of the Father.

(Jesus said:) He who has seen Me has seen the Father. (St. John 14:9, NKJV)

St. Paul said that Jesus is the express image of the Father.

Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person. (Hebrews 1:3, NKJV)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15, NKJV)

Law 5: JESUS CHRIST DIED ON THE CROSS FOR US SO THAT WE CAN ENJOY THE WONDERFUL FUTURE GOD HAS PLANNED FOR US. HE AROSE FROM THE DEAD ON THE THIRD DAY AND ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN. HE WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE WORLD IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.

In Fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecies, Jesus Christ Died on a Cross for Us as a Sacrifice for Our Sins.

In fulfillment of a prophecy in the Wisdom of Solomon, He was condemned to a shameful death.

Let us condemn Him with a shameful death. (Wisdom 2:20, KJV)

But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered Him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto Him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify Him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath He done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify Him. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged Him, to be crucified. (St. Mark 15:9-15, KJV)

In fulfillment of a prophecy in the Psalms, His hands and His feet were pierced on the Cross.

They pierced My hands and My feet. (Psalm 21:16, LXX)

Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced. He retained the scars of the nail prints in His hands and His feet after His resurrection.

(Jesus said to His disciples after His resurrection:) Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. (St. Luke 24:39, NKJV)

Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” (St. John 20:24-27, NKJV)

In fulfillment of a prophecy in Isaiah, He was crucified among sinful men.

He was numbered among the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12, LXX)

There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. (St. Luke 23:32,33, NKJV)

In fulfillment of a prophecy in Isaiah, He suffered and died for our sins.

He bears our sins, and is pained for us… But He was wounded on account of our sins, and was bruised because of our iniquities… And the Lord gave Him up for our sins… Because of the iniquities of my people He was led to death… And He bore the sins of many, and was delivered because of their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:4,5,6,8,12, LXX)

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. (I Corinthians 15:3, NKJV)

In Fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecies, Jesus Christ Arose from the Dead on the Third Day.

In fulfillment of prophecies in the Psalms, He arose from the dead.

I lay down and slept; I awaked. (Psalm 3:5, LXX)

Arise, O God, judge the earth: for Thou shalt inherit all nations. (Psalm 81:8, LXX)

In the Bible, death is often called sleep. Awaking from sleep, therefore, is resurrection from the dead. God literally arose from the dead. (Jesus is God in the flesh.) St. Matthew wrote about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” (St. Matthew 28:5-7, NKJV)

In fulfillment of a prophecy in Hosea, He arose from the dead on the third day.

After two days He will heal us: in the third day we shall arise, and live before Him, and shall know Him. (Hosea 6:3, LXX)

(St. Paul wrote:) And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (I Corinthians 15:4, NKJV)

Jesus Christ is the Sacrifice for Our Sins.

(Speaking of Jesus, St. Paul wrote:) But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (Hebrews 9:26, NKJV)

However, All Three Persons of the Godhead Forgive Our Sins.

The Father forgives them.

God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32, NKJV)

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (II Timothy 1:2, NKJV)

The Son forgives them.

Christ forgave you. (Colossians 3:13, NKJV)

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (II John 3, NKJV)

The Holy Spirit forgives them.

Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:29, NKJV)

St. Paul called the Holy Spirit the “Spirit of grace.” Being the Spirit of grace, the Holy Spirit likewise forgives our sins.

When God forgives our sins, He puts them away “as far as the East is from the West.”

As far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 102:12, LXX)

Jesus Christ is the Supreme Example of Love.

Jesus Christ demonstrated love for us in the greatest degree by the self-sacrifice of Himself. Jesus said:

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (St. John 15:13, NKJV)

and:

I lay down My life for the sheep. (St. John 10:15, NKJV)

He commands us to follow His example of love by loving others as He has loved us.

This is My commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. (St. John 15:12, NKJV)

(St. John said:) By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (I John 3:16, NKJV)

(St. Peter said:) For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. (I Pet. 2:21, NKJV)

(Jesus said:) If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. (St. Luke 9:23,24, NKJV)

Jesus Christ Died for Us so that We Can Live a Righteous Life that Pleases Him.

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. (I Peter 2:24, NKJV)

For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. (Romans 14:9, NKJV)

And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (II Corinthians 5:15, NKJV)

Jesus Christ Died so that He Can Restore Our Relationship with God.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit. (I Peter 3:18, NKJV)

(Jesus, speaking of His death by crucifixion, said:) And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. (St. John 12:32, NKJV)

Jesus Christ Died to Deliver Us from this Present Evil Age.

Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father. (Galatians 1:4, NKJV)

Jesus Christ Died so that We Can Live Together with Him Forever.

Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. (I Thessalonians 5:10, KJV)

Jesus Christ Destroyed Death by His Death.

Being both God and Man in one Person, it was impossible for Jesus Christ to remain dead.

Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father. (St. John 10:17,18, KJV)

Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it. (Acts 2:24, KJV)

The two natures of Christ are joined together inseparably. Jesus’ immortal divine nature destroyed death in His mortal human nature. Through His death He abolished death.

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (II Timothy 1:10, KJV)

(St. Gregory the Theologian wrote:) He dies, but He gives life, and by His death destroys death. (Oration XXIX)

Now, His human nature is immortal. He can never die again.

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. (Romans 6:9, KJV)

This diagram shows the benefits derived from Christ’s death on the Cross. Being the sacrifice for our sins, Jesus carried away our sins. The triangle represents God, the Holy Trinity. After Christ died on the Cross, all three Persons of the Godhead offer us forgiveness of our sins. Because of Jesus’ death on the Cross, we can also acquire the desire and the ability to do the will of God. Jesus destroyed death by His death and arose from the dead on the third day giving us the hope of immortality.

The Benefit's of Christ's Death

Jesus Christ Ascended into Heaven.

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. (Acts 1:9, NKJV)

Jesus Christ Will Come Again to Judge the World.

Jesus Christ Will Come Again.

(Jesus, speaking of Himself, said:) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (St. Matthew 24:30, KJV)

Here in this verse, Jesus was speaking of His Second Coming at the end of this present age.

When Jesus Christ Returns, He Will Call All of the Dead out of the Graves.

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. (St. John 5:28,29, KJV)

The Bodies of Jesus’ Faithful Followers Will be Changed to be Like His Glorious, Immortal Body.

Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself. (Philippians 3:21, KJV)

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (I Corinthians 15:51,52, NKJV)

Jesus Will Judge the World Righteously.

Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:31, NKJV)

In the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. (Romans 2:16, NKJV)

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. (St. Matthew 25:31-33, NKJV)

Jesus’ Faithful Followers Will Inherit the Kingdom of God.

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world.” (St. Matthew 25:34, NKJV)

Those who Did Not Faithfully Follow Christ’s Teachings and Example Will Go Away into Eternal Torment.

(Speaking of the unrighteous, Jesus said:) And these will go away into everlasting punishment. (St. Matthew 25:46, NKJV)

(Jesus also said:) But He will say, “I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me all you workers of iniquity.” There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. (St. Luke 13:27,28, NKJV)

Do you desire to have a future of eternal happiness or a future of eternal torment? The next law tells what else Jesus did to save us from eternal torment.

Law 6: JESUS CHRIST INSTITUTED CERTAIN SACRAMENTS FOR OUR SALVATION FROM SIN, DEATH, AND ETERNAL TORMENT.

Jesus Instituted the Sacrament of Baptism When He was Baptized.

Jesus was baptized in water.

When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (St. Matthew 3:16,17, NKJV)

When He was baptized, He baptized the waters of baptism. St. Cyril of Jerusalem said:

Jesus sanctified Baptism by being Himself baptized. If the Son of God was baptized, what godly man is he that despiseth Baptism? But He was baptized not that He might receive remission of sins, for He was sinless; but being sinless, He was baptized, that He might give to them that are baptized a divine and excellent grace. (Catechetical Lectures, Lecture III)

and:

He washed in the river Jordan, and having imparted of the fragrance of His Godhead to the waters, He came up from them; and the Holy Ghost in the fulness of His being lighted on Him, like resting upon like. (Catechetical Lectures, Lecture XXI)

Jesus Spoke of the Coming of the Holy Spirit. He Told His Disciples That They Would Receive Him After He Ascended into Heaven.

Jesus told His disciples that He would send them the Holy Spirit.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. (St. John 16:7, KJV)

Here in this verse, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit “the Comforter.”

The Apostles Initially Laid Hands on People After They were Baptized.

Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17, NKJV)

Later, They Instituted the Practice of Chrismation to Replace the Laying on of Hands.

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. (I John 2:20, NKJV)

The Greek word translated “anointing” in this verse is chrisma.

(St. Theophilus of Antioch wrote:) Wherefore we are called Christians on this account, because we are anointed with the oil of God. (To Autolycus, Book I, chapter 12)

The Council of Laodicea, in the fourth century, wrote:

They who are baptized must after Baptism be anointed with the heavenly chrism, and be partakers of the Kingdom of Christ. (Canon XLVIII)

Jesus Instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist Before He was Crucified.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (St. Matthew 26:26-28, NKJV)

Law 7: WE MUST INDIVIDUALLY BEGIN A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST, AND BE UNITED TO HIS CHURCH BEFORE WE CAN ENJOY THE WONDERFUL FUTURE THAT GOD HAS PLANNED FOR US.

We Begin a Relationship with God by Faith, Repentance, and Prayer.

We must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6, KJV)

We must repent of our sins.

Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (St. Luke 13:3, KJV)

Jesus gave this illustration of genuine repentance.

“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the Kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.” (St. Matthew 21:28-32, NKJV)

In this parable, the son that obeyed his father is the one that genuinely repented. We, too, must obey God in order to exhibit true repentance. Repentance involves turning from our own wills and doing God’s will. St. John of Damascus described repentance in this way:

Repentance is the returning from the unnatural into the natural state, from the Devil to God, through discipline and effort. (An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book II, chapter 30)

We must draw near to God in prayer.

Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. (James 4:8, KJV)

Since God is three Persons, we should pray to each Person of the Holy Trinity. The Father draws us to the Son. Jesus said:

No one knows the Son except the Father. (St. Matthew 11:27, NKJV)

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him. (St. John 6:44, NKJV)

Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. (St. John 6:45, NKJV)

If you are reading these eight spiritual laws, the Father is drawing you to the Son. The teaching of the Son is that of the Father. Jesus said:

My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. (St. John 7:16, NKJV)

I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him. (St. John 8:26, NKJV)

As My Father taught Me, I speak these things. (St. John 8:28, NKJV)

We come to the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said:

No one comes to the Father except through Me. (St. John 14:6, NKJV)

and:

Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. (St. Matthew 11:27, NKJV)

(St. Paul said:) For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:18, NKJV)

The Father and the Holy Spirit bear witness of the Son. Jesus said:

The Father who sent Me bears witness of Me. (St. John 8:18, NKJV)

Speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said:

He will testify of Me. (St. John 15:26, NKJV)

After having begun a relationship with God, we must maintain that relationship. Therefore, we must pray frequently to God.

For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13, NKJV)

And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. (St. Luke 18:1, KJV)

Pray without ceasing. (I Thessalonians 5:17, KJV)

We Receive Jesus Christ When We Receive the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist. The Holy Spirit Seals Us for Salvation from Eternal Torment When We are Chrismated.

When we receive baptism, we put on Christ.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27, KJV)

God forgives our past sins when we are baptized.

Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed. (Romans 3:25, NKJV)

And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Acts 22:16, KJV)

(St. Peter said:) There is also an antitype which now saves us — baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 3:21, NKJV)

We get a good conscience toward God when God forgives our past sins at our baptisms.

When we are baptized, the Holy Spirit regenerates our fallen natures so that we can more easily obey God.

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. (Titus 3:4,5, NKJV)

In this passage, St. Paul calls baptism “the washing of regeneration.” Baptism is important. Without it, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. (St. John 3:5, KJV)

When we are chrismated, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit unto the Day of Redemption.

Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (II Corinthians 1:21,22, KJV)

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the Day of Redemption. (Ephesians 4:30, KJV)

Chrismation is important. Without it, we will not be marked as one of God’s people.

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. (Revelation 9:4, KJV)

This seal is an invisible mark that God, the angels, and demons see. We need the seal of God in our foreheads. We get that when we are chrismated.

When we receive the Eucharist, we physically receive Jesus Christ and become members of His body.

(Jesus said:) For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. (St. John 6:55, KJV)

(Regarding the Eucharist, St. Justin the Martyr wrote:) For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. (First Apology, chapter LXVI)

(St. Irenaeus of Lyons wrote:) When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him? — even as the blessed Paul declares in his Epistle to the Ephesians, that “we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” (Ephesians 5:30) (Against Heresies, Book V, chapter 2)

The Eucharist is important. Without it, we have no eternal life in us.

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. (St. John 6:53, KJV)

These Sacraments by which God dispenses salvation to us are not works done in righteousness to gain His approval. They are gifts that we must unworthily receive.

We Cannot be Joined to Christ Unless We are also Joined to the Church.

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:15,16, KJV)

In the previous passage, St. Paul says that every member of the body is “fitly joined together.” The head is Christ. The body is the Church.

And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all. (Ephesians 1:22,23, KJV)

We must be joined to the Church (the body of Christ) in order to be joined to Christ (the head of the Church).

These two circles represent two different types of lives. The S in both circles is self. The triangle in both circles represents God, the Holy Trinity. The first circle shows self on the throne of his or her life. God is outside this person’s life. The Church is not a part of this person’s life either.

Life without God in it.

The next circle shows self in the Church and God on the throne. Self is a member of the Church and yields obedience to God, the Holy Trinity. The Church and God are a part of this person’s life.

Life with God in it.

Which circle do you want to represent your life?

Here is a prayer that you may pray if the second circle is the one that you want to represent your life.

O God, — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, — be merciful to me, a sinner. Help me to become united to your Church and live a life that pleases you. I want you to be a part of my life from now on. I yield the throne of my life to you. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer and truly meant it in your heart, then you have just told God that you desire to be one of His people and you have just begun a relationship with Him. Salvation is a process, a journey. We must devote our whole lives to seeking God’s kingdom and trying to live a life that pleases Him. The next law tells more about the things we need to be doing in order to inherit the Kingdom of God.

Law 8: WE MUST CONTINUE TO WORK OUT OUR SALVATION IN THE FEAR OF GOD.

We Must Strive to Do God’s Will and Keep His Commandments.

Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven. (St. Matthew 7:21, KJV)

If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (St. Matthew 19:17, KJV)

He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (I John 2:4, KJV)

St. Theophilus of Antioch lived in the second century and wrote:

For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who keeps these can be saved, and, obtaining the resurrection, can inherit incorruption. (To Autolycus, Book II, chapter 27)

(Blessed Augustine of Hippo wrote:) For in proportion as a man loves what Christ disapproves does he himself abandon Christ. (The City of God, Book XXI, chapter 27)

We Must Practice Good Deeds in the Hope of One Day Being Resurrected Immortal and Rewarded by God.

Who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality. (Romans 2:6,7, NKJV)

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (I Corinthians 15:58, NKJV)

(St. Cyril of Jerusalem said:) The root of all good works is the hope of the Resurrection; for the expectation of the recompense nerves the soul to good works. For every labourer is ready to endure the toils, if he sees their reward in prospect; but when men weary themselves for nought, their heart soon sinks as well as their body. (Catechetical Lectures, Lecture XVIII)

We Must Be Merciful to Others in order to Continue to Enjoy God’s Mercy.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (St. Matthew 5:17, KJV)

We Must Continue to Repent and Confess Our Sins After Our Baptisms.

(Jesus said:) Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent. (Revelation 2:5, NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9, NKJV)

We Must Continue to Fellowship and Worship with Other Orthodox Christians.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. (I John 1:3, KJV)

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (I John 2:19, KJV)

Since the first century, it has been customary for Orthodox Christians to meet together on the first day of the week (the Lord’s Day) to receive the Eucharist (“break bread”) and worship.

But every Lord’s day do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. (The Didache, chapter 14)

Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. (Acts 20:7, NKJV)

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. (Revelation 1:10, NKJV)

We Must Pray Daily and Frequently.

Seven times in a day have I praised Thee because of the judgments of Thy righteousness. (Psalm 118:164, LXX)

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ephesians 6:17,18, KJV)

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18, KJV)

We Must Fast Periodically.

Prayer is good with fasting and alms and righteousness. (Tobit 12:8, KJV)

Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.” (St. Matthew 9:14,15, NKJV)

Since the first century, it has been customary for Orthodox Christians to fast on Wednesdays (the fourth day) and Fridays.

But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites; for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week; but do ye fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday). (The Didache, chapter 8)

We Must Read the Bible Daily.

And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (II Timothy 3:15,16, KJV)

We Must Persevere in the Midst of Life’s Problems.

(Jesus said:) And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (St. Matthew 10:22, KJV)

(St. Paul wrote:) Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (II Timothy 3:12, NKJV)

We must through many tribulations enter the Kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22, NKJV)

By your patience possess your souls. (St. Luke 21:19, NKJV)

Eternal Life is a Gift.

The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 6:23, KJV)

Nevertheless, We Must Still Work for It.

Jesus told the following parable:

For the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. (St. Matthew 20:1-16, KJV)

The penny in this parable is eternal life. The laborers in this parable still had to work for it although it is a gift. Salvation is a gift. We cannot earn it, but we must still work for it.

(St. Paul wrote:) Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12, NKJV)

Finally, start attending worship services at an Orthodox church and talk to the priest about becoming a catechumen.

Categories: Religion