Holiness Acccording to the Orthodox Christian Church

Saints Eutcyhius and Florentius of Nursia

Saints Eutcyhius and Florentius of Nursia

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ.

HOLINESS ACCORDING TO THE HOLY ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FAITH

The God of the Old Testament was the Holy God. The word holy means separate, different, unlike anything else that exists.

The Holy God of the Old Testament revealed Himself to His chosen people who were able to behold His glory. The glory of the Lord was a special Divine Manifestation of the Person and Presence of God. It consisted in the vision of Light, Majesty, and beauty and was accompanied by the voice of the Lord and His holy Angels. It created in the persons who observed it overwhelming feelings of fear and fascination, as well as profound convictions of peace, wellbeing, and joy.

In this way did Moses experience the Holy God in His Divine Glory on Mt. Horeb, the mountain of God., before the passover, and in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt.

"And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and to, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, 'I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.' When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And He said, "Here am I." Then He said, "Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." And He said, "I am the God your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God" (Exodus 3:2-6).

Moses said, 'I pray Thee, show me Thy glory.' And He said, 'I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you My name 'The Lord'; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But, "He said, "you cannot see My face; for man shall not see Me and live." And the Lord said, "Behold, there is a place by Me where you shall stand upon the rock; and while My glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with My hand until I have passed by; then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen" (Ex. 33:18-23).

Other select persons of the Old Testament also experienced the presence of Divine Holiness and the Glory of God. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Elijah, and Ezekiel had such experiences, as did Isaiah whose classic vision has become a standard part of the Church's liturgical prayer.

"In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: 'Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; and the whole earth is full of His glory.'

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of Him who called, and the house was filled with smoke, And I said: 'Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!' Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth, and said: 'Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.' And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then said, 'Here am I! Send me." (Isaiah 6:1-8).

The psalm also sing of the Holiness of God and proclaim that all creation speaks of God's glory (see Psalms 8, 19, 93, 104, 148, et al.).

The main teaching of the Old Testament and the foundation of all of its life was that God's people should share in His Holiness. This was the purpose of the entire Law of Moses in its Commandments of morality and worship.

"For I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls upon the earth. For I am the Lord Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; you shall therefore be holy, for I am holy" (Leviticus 11:44-45).

The people were to be holy and to gain the wisdom and righteousness of God through their service and worship of Him. And of the so-called Wisdom writings of the Old Testament, and all of the teachings of the Prophets and Psalms are centered around this same fundamental fact: God's people should acquire and express the holiness, wisdom, glory and righteousness of God Himself. This, and nothing else is the meaning and purpose of man's life as created and guided by God.

The ultimate perfection of God's purpose for man is fulfilled in Christ. He alone is the fulfillment of the law and the Prophets. He alone is the "Holy One of God" (St. Mark 1:24; St. Luke 1:35; 4:34). He alone is perfectly righteous and wholly without sin. Thus, Saint Peter speaks of Jesus to the people after the event of Pentecost.

"The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His servant Jesus, Whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Author of Life, Whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses" (Acts 3:13-15).

The holy Apostle Paul concurs with the teaching of Saint Peter by referring to Christ not merely as Holy, Righteous, and Wise, but as Himself the very Holiness, Righteousness and Wisdom of God Himself in human flesh.

"For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ Crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

He is the source of your life in Chris Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness, and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, 'Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 1:22-24, 30-31).

The Glory of God is revealed in the person of Christ. This is the consistent witness of the holy Apostles who beheld the "Kingdom of God come with power" on the mountain of the Transfiguration (see St. Matthew 17:1-6; St. Mark 9:1-7; St. Luke 9:28-36). [Source: Orthodox Church in America)

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"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom

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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George