Saturday, July 26, 2014

Can Lay Persons Be As Holy As Clergy? Part Two

"But the power belongs to the priests, they say. I know it, too... But not simply to priests as such, but to those who serve in the priestly ministry of the Gospel [That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:16] in a spirit of humility and who live a blameless life. 

Such first present themselves to the Lord [Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Roman 6:16] and offer themselves as a 'perfect, holy and well-pleasing sacrifice,' as their own pure act of worship [I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1- Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27] in the temple of their own bodies [What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?1 Cor. 6:19], inwardly and spiritually.

They are accepted and appear on the altar that is on high [For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us... Heb. 9:24], offered by Christ the High Priest as a perfect sacrifice, changed and transformed by the power of the Spirit. They have been transformed into Christ, who died for us in the glory of His Godhead." (St. Symeon the New Theologian. Discourses, XXVIII, 9. B#74, p. 302)

Click here to read Part One.

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