Three Christian Virtues: Faith


Christian faith is a mysterious spiritual condition, which affects mind, heart and will . It is a condition, which can influence the whole spiritual life of a person and, it is the beginning of everything. Faith is a sparkle, rising above the level of spiritual life and the evidence of the high spirituality. A believer feels that he has an advantage in comparison with other people. It will be even better to recall the words of Saint John of Kronstadt: “Faith is a key to God’s grace”. Apostle Paul wrote: “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans, 5:2). According to the ancient expression, faith is a chamber which allows us to draw water from the Divine spring. It makes possible to reach the heights, which cannot be reached without it, because it endows with the ability of wonder-working. 

Christ promised: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark, 16:17-18) – these words were proven many times in the history of the Church. Faith is the means with the help of which we can enter invisible spiritual part of the world. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews, 11:1).

Life in Christ

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John, 5:1). What is the meaning of these words? Why Goв кreferred to as the “light”? It is obvious, that God’s perfection is described by these words: He is perfect Good, perfect Purity, perfect Truth, perfect Kindness and Love, perfect creative Force, perfect Care about the world and Vision of it.

According to the Fathers of the Church, Light is not God Himself, but it is just the fullness of His attributes and their expression. In Psalm 102 it is said: “wearing light just like the robe” (Psalm, 103:2).

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus taught: “God is inconceivable Light, which cannot be explained and expressed by words. This is why God Himself has not any name. The wisest of the Hebrews couls not stand, that the God’s name was expressed by the same letters, which are used for the names earthly creatures. They could not dare to pronounce the name of infinite Being. The only name they could use was “I AM”, not only because that was what God had sad to Moses: “I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus, 3,14), but also because that name could not be limited by anything”.

Faith as the foundation of life

What do we need to strengthen our faith, to make it be firm and saving, healing and consoling? What do we need in order not to lose our spiritual balance? What do need in order not to be a reed in the wind?

For this we need to live in the Church both spiritually and physically. While in the Church we are all for one and one for all, led by Christ and in God’s grace. In the Church we are just like in parental home, where we are protected from each side, where we are cared of and have spiritual food. We came to the Church with our sorrows, and there we find the cure from any spiritual and corporal disease. In the church, in the holy house of God we can find the true life. In this house we are born for eternal life, in this house we will end our earthly life and the prayers for us will sound there after our death.

Why do we “walk by faith, not by sight”?

Why does God not appear to us so that we do not hesitate at all? Because we are the people of flesh and blood, and we cannot be so close to God. Here is an example: we all need sunlight to live, just like all other creatures on earth. But should we enter into the sun, it will burn us right away. We get just the right ammount of sunlight in order to survive. Nature protects us from scorching sunrays, as there is an air veil between us and the sun. And there is a thin veil between us and God, despite the fact He is always with us. God said to Moses: “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live” (Exodus, 33:20). The images in the form of which God appeared to people are really just the “images”, “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews, 12:29). However, god let people see Him. The Son of God appeared to people in the body of flesh and blood. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah, 53:4). He is not a consuming fire, but a quiet Light. But here you need faith as well, as it is needed to accept God’s perfection and His inconceivable Being. We need faith to see and accept God in His meekness and humility. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew, 5:8). A pure heart makes faith strong enough so that you fell the grace of God. This is what the saints’ faith is.

Source: 
http://azbyka.ru/otechnik/Mihail_Pomazanskij/apologeticheskie-zametki

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