On how Strangers Become Members of the Household


Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. (Eph 2:19)


Before the coming of Christ the Lord, it seemed that only the Jews were close to God, and that pagans were far away. In actual fact, both the Jews and the pagans were alike in being estranged from God and from true reverence for Him.
Then He came, Christ the Savior, 'and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh', and, by that, brought them both - the Jews and the pagans - 'in one spirit to the Father'. In the new creation, the new man, the Church of God, there is one Spirit, and every man who enters into the Church of God receives this Spirit, so that, however greatly the number of members of the Church increases, there always remains the one Spirit of God; and no matter how many peoples and tribes and races come into the Church of God, the Spirit does not change but remains for ever and ever one and the same Spirit. This is why pagans are not 'strangers and foreigners' in the Church but, like all the other members of the Church, 'fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God', for the Church is founded on holiness, and its foundation stone is the Saint of saints, and, according to the plan, all the members of the Church must be holy. The name 'saint' is also given to those who lived before Christ but awaited Him and committed themselves to Him, as to those who lived after Christ, acknowledging Christ the Lord, the Son of God, as Savior, Redeemer, Giver of Resurrection and Judge. Sin acts to estrange man from God. Bust, through Christ the Lord, division and estrangement disappear and all the faithful, were they formerly Jews or pagans, become of the household of God, all by and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Oh, my brethren, the Lord Jesus Christ has given us something greater and more precious than this life-- He has given us friendship with God. And this is something infinitely greater and more precious than life lived in estrangement from God.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Peace-Maker and Peace-Giver, sustain us to the end in peace with God. To Thee be glory and praise for ever. Amen

St. Nikolai Velimirovich
The Prologue from Ochrid

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"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honoring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshiping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honoring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration. This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world."
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