My beloved 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 ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
WHAT IS DIVINE REVELATION?
By Father Anthony Alevizopoulos
According to the Orthodox Christian faith, the Church is not founded on written texts but on the confession that Christ is God-man (theanthropos), namely that in the Person of Christ, God was joined with man, "indivisibly, immovably, unmistakably, inseparably," and man has come into actual communion with God, and in the Person of Christ and man were hypostatically united, in one unique hypostasis.
The Son and Logos/Word of God continues to be hypostatically united with His body and as the Head of the Church, He is always united with us (St. Matthew 18:20; 28:20). The presence of Christ is activated by the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church (1 Cor. 12:3). This is why the Church is also...the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Cor. 2:7-11).
Our holy faith was delivered to the body of Christ, "to the Saints once and for all" - and whoever does not belong to this body, cannot properly interpret Holy Scripture (2 Thess. 3:6; 2 Peter 3:16; Jude 3-4). In this Holy Tradition is the experience of the Church, the holy memory of the Church, which is guarded as a precious treasure (2 Timothy 1:13-14).
Holy Scripture does not contain the fullness of the Divine Revelation. Already in the Old Testament, the importance of oral tradition and the care of its passing down from generation to generation is highlighted (Psalm 43:2; 44:1; Joel 1:3). The New Testament mentions that it does not have the completeness of the Words and Works of Christ (St. John21:15).
The same Holy Scripture make use of Holy Tradition (Numbers 21:14-15; St. Matthew 2:23; Acts 20:35; 2 Timothy 3:8; St. Jude 14). Christ did not exhort His Disciples to write books but to preach, promising that He would always be with them (St. Matthew 28:20) and that He would send them the Holy Spirit to be with them (St. John 14:16), to teach and to remind them of His teaching (St. John 14:25-26), to guide them "to the whole truth" by revealing to them the deeper meaning of the Words of Christ, all those things that they were not able to "bear" by their own power (St. John 16:12-15).
The Holy Apostles were also not limited to written texts - they passed on to the first Christians much more than what was written "with paper and ink" (2 John 12; 3 John 13-14; I Cor. 11:34). Some of those things written proved to be relevant to the time, because they were not maintained by the Church, such as the number of Deacons (Acts 6:3), the order of widows (1 Timothy 5:9), the washing of feet (St. John 13:14).
At the center of Holy Scripture is the Person of Christ (St. John 5:38-39; Galatians 3:24). Without Christ, we cannot understand Holy Scripture (2 Corinthians 3:14). Therefore, union to the Body of Christ, namely to the Church, assures the purity of the Gospel Truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Holy Scripture is not intended for just anyone, but for the faithful, who are gathered in one body. Holy Tradition is the atmosphere in which the body lives and understands the truth properly; it is the constant experience of the Church, her conscience - not personal opinions, teachings and writs of men (Isaiah 29:13; St. Matthew 15: 3,4,9; St. Mark 7:8; Col. 2:8).
(To be continued)
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God