Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Righteous, justified by faith

God does not want those whom He will save, who seek His mercy, to be ignoramuses, unmanly, cowardly, or spiritually untested. It is a matter of divine inheritance stored up for experienced Christians. So He places temptations before us so that our obedience to His commandments may be demonstrated. His illumination is within us; knowledge of His will is taught by the Scriptures; furthermore, our conscience guides us like a compass. All of the above enlighten us in the face of temptations. But when evil prevails over our will, we do not obey His commandments.

We were created with free will, and free will cannot be controlled by others. As such, if we feared God, we would not fall into temptation. If we did not love ourselves more than God, we would not tend towards sin. But His goodness did not leave our falls without a rectifying remedy, whereby we return once again and a victory occurs in spite of our fall.

All who compel themselves to be saved, the Scriptures call righteous, justified by faith. God will not let them fall, for they are struggling properly. He will not let them be tempted beyond their strength when they are making every effort to be patient. But when we are cowardly and lukewarm, when we have a slothful will, this constitutes an occasion for a temptation beyond our strength.

Your grumbling is sinful; it is a result of self-love and unmanliness. Have patience in everything; thank God; blame your lukewarmness, and not God, Who was crucified for you and, consequently, must love you. Since He loves you, how can He let you fall into temptation? Seek forgiveness from Him, and secure yourself with patience.

Elder Ephraim of the Holy Mountain (Athos)  
“Remember who your teachers were…”
2 Timothy 3:14

1 comment:

yudikris said...

What a beautiful saying, Dad... :)