Monday, February 10, 2020

When Does Christian Life Begin?

A Christian life begins when we have overwhelming energy to fulfill a desire to be united with Jesus Christ.  This is called zeal.

Saint Theophan says,
Christian life is zeal and strength to remain in communion with God by means of an active fulfillment of His holy will, according to our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the help of the grace of God, to the glory of His most holy name.
This zeal is evident to others as well. Others can observe the peacefulness they exhibit, the steadfastness they exhibit, and the sacrifices they are willing to make to live in a Christian way.

Saint Theophan says,
The person in whom this ardor is constantly active is one who is living in a Christian way.
This is about more than just trying to live by the rules of the church and commandments given to us by Christ out of obligation or fear. It's more than just tying to be a "good" person. The true Christian life is based on zeal, an inward awareness of God, a sense of communion and love with Him. The Spirit must be alive within and burning like a fire.

Saint Theophan says,
All this is good, but as long as it does not bear in itself the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, it has no value at all before God. Such things would be like soulless statues.
The beginning of Christian life begins with the inner working of divine grace. The first step to receiving this grace is Holy Baptism.

Reference: Path to Salvation by Saint Theophan the Recluse, pp 27,29

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