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Holy Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council

Holy Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council

Matt. 5: 14-19

July 13th, 2014

Many times God removes – intentionally one might say – certain things we rely upon in our lives precisely so that we will be dependent on Christ 

The Fathers of the 4th Ecumenical Council who we celebrate today said concerning Christ that He is God and man, and is two natures in the one person of Christ, united without confusion and indivisible; not divided, but two natures in one person, and without any mingling of the one nature with the other. Human nature is human nature, divine nature is divine nature. And they formulated the dogma definitively that Christ is perfect God and perfect man. He is perfect God and perfect man united in the person of Jesus Christ.

And this is something each person is called to become. This is what ‘life in Christ’ means; this is what ‘life in the Holy Spirit’ means; this is what it means ultimately when we say a human being is not only body and soul. Like Christ, who was not only a human being with a body and a soul but was also God, so a human being isn’t only a body and soul.  Instead, Divine Grace, divine energy, enters him. God enters him through His divine energy; through His uncreated energies he enters a human being. And in some way each person in Christ Jesus and in the Holy Spirit, each person is a god-man  [1].  This is what ‘salvation’ actually means. This person is no longer only a human being. But if you remain only a plain human being, no matter how good you are, you will be lost. You will be lost because in the end Christ is the true child of God, Christ is sinless as the Fathers tell us.

You are not able to be a true Christian if deep within your soul you do not believe this truth. Certainly, theoretically everyone believes that Christ is perfect God and perfect man, but in our actions we reveal that we don’t believe this: that when we have Christ dwelling within us we have everything.

This is obvious from our daily lives. For instance, someone hopes in other things and expects something from these – joy, purpose in life, etc. – but when he doesn’t possess these things in which he trusts and hopes and upon which he depends, then he is wounded, disturbed, as if his life has no meaning, as if he can no longer carry on living.

Many times God removes – intentionally one might say – certain things we rely upon in our lives precisely so that we will be dependent on Christ. The reason: we forget Christ, forget that He is God, that He is everything, and that we are relying upon human beings or upon ideas or upon other things instead of Him. God arranges it in this way so as to remove our reliance upon these things. Many times it is necessary – if I may be permitted to say – for God to make a deep cut with the knife, that is, to remove something that will cost us dearly. He works this way in order for us to stop relying upon this thing which to a greater or lesser extent has become like a god for us.

Jesus Christ is God. There is no other god apart from Him. Do you want to find the true God? In Christ you will find Him.

If, then, we place Christ within us and we believe in Him in this way, my Brethren – I am saying this with all my heart – this very moment something will happen within our soul and we will be much changed from what we were in that previous moment.     

 The Fathers of the 4th Ecumenical Council who we celebrate today said concerning Christ that He is God and man, and is two natures in the one person of Christ, united without confusion and indivisible; not divided, but two natures in one person, and without any mingling of the one nature with the other. Human nature is human nature, divine nature is divine nature. And they formulated the dogma definitively that Christ is perfect God and perfect man. He is perfect God and perfect man united in the person of Jesus Christ.

And this is something each person is called to become. This is what ‘life in Christ’ means; this is what ‘life in the Holy Spirit’ means; this is what it means ultimately when we say a human being is not only body and soul. Like Christ, who was not only a human being with a body and a soul but was also God, so a human being isn’t only a body and soul.  Instead, Divine Grace, divine energy, enters him. God enters him through His divine energy; through His uncreated energies he enters a human being. And in some way each person in Christ Jesus and in the Holy Spirit, each person is a god-man[1]. This is what ‘salvation’ actually means. This person is no longer only a human being. But if you remain only a plain human being, no matter how good you are, you will be lost. You will be lost because in the end Christ is the true child of God, Christ is sinless as the Fathers tell us.

You are not able to be a true Christian if deep within your soul you do not believe this truth. Certainly, theoretically everyone believes that Christ is perfect God and perfect man, but in our actions we reveal that we don’t believe this: that when we have Christ dwelling within us we have everything.

This is obvious from our daily lives. For instance, someone hopes in other things and expects something from these – joy, purpose in life, etc. – but when he doesn’t possess these things in which he trusts and hopes and upon which he depends, then he is wounded, disturbed, as if his life has no meaning, as if he can no longer carry on living.

Many times God removes – intentionally one might say – certain things we rely upon in our lives precisely so that we will be dependent on Christ. The reason: we forget Christ, forget that He is God, that He is everything, and that we are relying upon human beings or upon ideas or upon other things instead of Him. God arranges it in this way so as to remove our reliance upon these things. Many times it is necessary – if I may be permitted to say – for God to make a deep cut with the knife, that is, to remove something that will cost us dearly. He works this way in order for us to stop relying upon this thing which to a greater or lesser extent has become like a god for us.

Jesus Christ is God. There is no other god apart from Him. Do you want to find the true God? In Christ you will find Him.

If, then, we place Christ within us and we believe in Him in this way, my Brethren – I am saying this with all my heart – this very moment something will happen within our soul and we will be much changed from what we were in that previous moment.     


[1] The difference being that Christ is God and man by nature as the only-begotten Son, whereas a human person becomes a god-man by grace through adoption, i.e. Christ is God-man in His uncreated divine essence, while a human person can only become a partaker of the uncreated divine energies of God (See: 2 Peter 2:4: “…that you might be partakers (communicants) of the divine nature…”).    

 

Transcribed talks by Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos

 From: Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.

Translated by fr. Matthew Penney

 Holy Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council