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About Christianity. Lesson a week Antipaschi

About Christianity. Lesson a week Antipaschi

16.04.2018
Tags: Religion, Christianity

Blazheny unseen and faithful (John 20: 29).

These words were spoken by the Lord to his faithful disciple, who refused to believe the Lord's resurrection, when the brethren, the apostles, told him of the resurrection of the Lord; These words were spoken by the Lord to the disciple, who declared that he would not believe the resurrection of the Lord, until he personally ascertained in so many a miraculous and so important event for the whole of mankind. By the sight of the Lord, other holy apostles spoke joyfully to the holy apostle Thomas, to whom the Lord appeared on the very day of His resurrection, in the evening, having penetrated into the upper room, without opening the doors of the upper room. The upper room was tightly closed and was made of precaution against the hatred of the Jews who had just committed the deicide and took all measures against the foretold resurrection. If I do not see the nails of the nail on my arm, Thomas answered, bewildered by the most joyful news, and put my finger in the nails of the nail, and put my hand into his ribs, not of the faith (John 20: 25). So it was not unbelief, hostile to God, that expressed unutterable joy; so the soul expressed itself before the grandeur of an event that exceeded the human mind, in the grandeur of the event that changed the state of mankind. With Christ and in Christ, mankind has risen.

The all-blessed Lord did not hesitate to deliver to the beloved disciple the credential he desired. After a week after the first appearance of His Apostles, the Lord appeared to them again, when they were all together again, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, as before, for fear of the Jews. The apostles suddenly saw the Lord standing in the midst of them. Peace be upon you, he said to them. Then, turning to Foma, he says to him: Bring your finger to semo, and see My ritual: and bring your hand, and put it into my ribs: and do not be wrong, but true (John 20: 26-27). With these words, the Lord showed that He was also present, Omnipotent in the Divine, in the midst of His disciples, when Thomas, believing Him to be absent, expressed to them his state of perplexity in their account of the resurrection. Thomas wanted to make sure of the resurrection: he receives an incomparably higher identity, in which he does not pay attention to the identification in the resurrection. My Lord and my God! exclaims Thomas. "Having made sure of Your Divinity, I do not seek identification in the resurrection. To you, almighty God, all actions that are beyond human comprehension are possible. "

In response to the confession of the apostle, the Lord appeased the unseen and believers. The Lord also remembered us, remembered all who did not see Him in bodily eyes! He also remembered us, distant from Him and space and time! He remembered at that time, when He was perceived by Himself humanity, sacrificed for humanity and already glorified by the glory of the resurrection, He stood in the midst of His holy Apostles! Do not forget the Lord and we are present here in his holy temple, remembering the event, which is separated by eighteen centuries. Blessed are we who did not see Him, but believe in Him! Blessed are those of us who believe in Him! The essence of the matter is in faith. She brings man closer to God and assimilates man to God; she will represent man before God and put him on the last day of the life of this world, at the beginning of the eternal day, on the right hand of God's throne for the eternal vision of God, for eternal enjoyment in God, for eternal reign of God.

Blazheny is unseen and faithful. In these words, the Lord copied with the apostles all believers of all the earth and all times. When He brought the prayer for the apostles to His Father before His saving sorrow for us, then He united with all the true Christians the apostles. I do not pray for these only, He said, I pray not only for the apostles, but also for believers speaking their words for Mea (John 17: 20). So here: participants in the bliss of the apostles, He makes all the children of the Church. Your blessed is ashes, as they see, He said to the apostles, and your ears, as they hear. Amen, I say to you, as many of the prophets and the righteous of the Old Testament are looking forward to seeing, you see, and not seeing: and hear, hear, and not hear (Mt. 13: 16-17). The blessed visionaries and servants of the Word betrayed what we saw and heard [1], when the Word was flesh, and sat in us, and by sight, - says one of these visionaries of the Word - his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, fulfill the grace and truth 1: 14). The clearest message of the apostles makes us, as it were, viewers of events, of which the apostles were eyewitnesses. Through the mediation of the church ordinances, we entered into an essential communion with the Lord and we are in this communion through these sacraments. God, invisible to the sensual eyes, the living faith makes visible to the soul of the soul - the mind [2]. Residing according to the commandments of the Lord delivers us the mysterious appearance of the Lord. He is spiritually within the heart, when the disciples of the Lord - the concepts formed and assimilated to the mind of the Gospel - will gather in the heart, will shut its doors, so that the Jews do not enter there - thoughts hostile to the Lord, rejecting his all-holy teaching.

Being partakers of the position of the holy apostles, we dare to assert that our position is more blessed than the position of the Old Testament righteous. They believed in the coming Redeemer, we believe in the One who came and made the atonement. Thus, the promised gifts were promised, we received gifts in abundance, we have them in our hands, we use them according to our will. The gifted and rich and endless. If we sense a defect, then we are guilty, we are the only one. The absence of sensation of the gracious gifts is made by our weakness in faith; I will say frankly: by rejecting it.

Why do we not have faith? Because they did not accept, they did not want to take any effort to study Christianity, to acquire the faith from hearing [3], by which the clear theoretical knowledge of Christianity is delivered, to the acquisition of faith from deeds [4], which provides an active knowledge of Christianity. From these two cognitions is erected the person who got it, is raised by God Himself as having witnessed the sincerity of the desire to know God, depended on him and possible evidences to him, is being elevated to a mysterious, essential spiritual knowledge, always connected with living faith. Have my commandments, said the Lord, and keep them, that is to love Me: and love Me, My Father will be loved; and I will love Him and appear to Himself (John 14: 21).

Christianity can be likened to an excellent vast harbor, in which ships of all sizes and of all kinds of devices can be pestered with the same convenience. He finds shelter in this harbor and a humble fisherman's shuttle, and a huge merchant ship laden with a variety of goods, and an armored giant, armed with countless means of destruction and death, and a decorated yacht of the king and nobleman appointed for solemn and amusing trips. Christianity takes its people to the depths of every age, every state and condition, with all abilities, with every degree of education: it accepts and saves. If you confess your mouth with your Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart, be saved: in the heart of God he believes in righteousness, but his lips confess to salvation (Rom., 10: 9-10). Whoever accepts Christianity with all sincerity of heart in the bosom of the Orthodox Church, in which the true Christianity is kept alone, will be saved. All men were redeemed at one price - Christ, and in the work of redemption, the only value is the redemption price. It is given without distinction and without partiality for everyone who wants to be redeemed, believing in the value of the price and professing this value. The confession of the value of the redemptive price is together and the rejection of all one's own importance and dignity. The redemptive price is given on condition of self-sacrifice. The simplest man, who has no development in the elements of the world, is saved through the mediation of Christianity equally with the learned and with the wise. Christianity as a gift of the All-Perfect God satisfies the overwhelming majority: faith from the sincerity of the heart replaces the understanding for the infant and the prostitute, and the sage, who will come to Christianity in a legal way [5], will find in him an inexhaustible depth, inaccessible to the height of wisdom. In Christianity, the true Theology, and genuine psychology, and metaphysics are sacred. Only a Christian can acquire the right knowledge, accessible to man, about man, about the spirits of saints and outcasts, about the world invisible in physical eyes. From the enlightenment delivered by Christianity, that view of human learning that God has on it is formed. The wisdom of this world is the riot of God. The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, the thoughts from which their learning is composed, as the essence of vanity (1Cor. 3: 19-20). These thoughts, or knowledge, refer to one temporal and vain thing, leading them to vanity, pride, self-deception, to the destruction of life in cares of one perishable and transient, to sinful life, to rejection and oblivion of God and eternity. When a person who is not illuminated by the light of Christ dares to talk about spiritual things, then his mind wanders as if in a gloomy, boundless desert and instead of true knowledge, to which he has no opportunity to acquire, composes opinions and dreams, puts them into a dark and a tricky word, deceives them and their neighbors, recognizing wisdom where, with all justice, one has to acknowledge inferiority and insanity.

It is strange, amazingly dazzling and embittered those contemporaries of Christ who saw Him, heard His all-holy teaching, were eyewitnesses of His astonishing signs and did not believe in Him. Standing for seven centuries, as if at the height of a distant mountain, surprised by human insensitivity, the prophet screamed at this numerous crowd of living dead: listen to the hearing, and do not understand the imate: and see the sight, and do not see the videts (Matthew 13: 14). The same is the strange and present disbelief of many Christians, shining with the rays of the clearest truth. Scripture explains the reason for this unbelief, saying: "The heart of these people is no more." (Matthew 13: 15). It has become fleshly, debilitated from the fleshly life; it became blind and deaf, it became dead to everything spiritual, to the eternal and Divine.

The study of Christianity proves with all its certainty and determination its truth. The conviction delivered by the proper study of Christianity, the conviction of the existence of everything invisible, taught by Christianity, is much stronger than the belief in the existence of the visible, delivered by the senses. So truly this belief that thousands of thousands of people left visible to gain invisibility, did not stop capturing blood with conviction, were not afraid of savage plots, by which madness and frenzy tried to wrest from them renunciation of their beliefs.

The most superficial view of the establishment and spread of Christianity is striking. He announces in the hearing of the universe that the establishment of Christianity is by no means the establishment of man, that it is the establishment of the Divine. The Lord, having accepted humanity, was pleased to appear not in the splendor of earthly majesty, in the position of earthly humiliation. He came according to the flesh from the king's tribe; but the tribe had long ago disappeared from the height of the royal throne, evicted from the royal palaces to the huts, entered the ranks and position of commoners who had gained the livelihood of the hands. Without borrowing anything from the power and glory of man, the God-man did not borrow anything from the wisdom of man. He was unlearned [6]. Having come out to preach at the age of thirty, He chose twelve disciples from the same environment of commoners to which He belonged. These disciples were the simplest people, unlearned, illiterate, babies, as the Gospel calls them in relation to development at the beginning of the fallen nature [7], such are the persons who were supposed to be the founders of Christianity.

What does this Master teach and what does this Master preface to these disciples? He bequeaths them to recognize God as an incarnate God, to assure the whole world of this, to turn the whole world to worship and worship Himself, destroying all the religions of the world. He bequeaths to them and to all those who believe in Him renunciation of the pleasures of the world and renunciation of themselves for faith in Him and for assimilation to Him. He says about himself that he will be executed by the execution of the criminals and then draws everyone to himself. He says of them that they will be hated by everyone, persecuted, killed, that they will catch all men with their teaching, overcoming and overcoming and strong and wise earth, that they are sent like sheep to wolves [8], that from the struggle of this sheep will come out as decisive victors .

According to the reason of the world, the establishment of Christianity is alien to meaning; Assumptions of the Founder - an impossible dream, carried away by imagination and popularity; means and instruments of execution - are insignificant, strange, ridiculous; in the enterprise, in all respects incompatible with anything, the impossibility of it is visible, the destruction in conjunction with the undertaking is evident. Only three years have been used by the Teacher for the education of disciples; no care is taken to introduce them though with the literacy necessary for reading the Holy Scripture, nothing is provided for their content: on the contrary, they are commanded to have naughtiness, and instead of the available means, the promise is given to the content that God's Providence will deliver to them all that is necessary for the temporary life .

Such an inexplicable human mind is contemplated in the very establishment of Christianity; then a new, equally wonderful spectacle is the events that followed immediately after the establishment. Events began with Jerusalem, embraced the universe as soon as possible. The God-man was crucified on the cross. The death penalty on the cross in those days was equivalent to the current execution on the gallows. On the gallows, those criminal criminals who are wanted to dishonor by the very image of death are put to death. Hanging on the cross, naked, showered with reproaches, the God-man began the conquest of men predicted by Him: If I ascended from the earth, I will draw everything to myself (John 12: 32). While He hung on the cross, a robber crucified like Him, confessed Him to be Lord, and He guarded His centurion confessing the Son of God. After ten days after the Lord's ascension to heaven, the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles: they were filled with a variety of wisdom; who did not know their language correctly, were illiterate, began to speak all the languages ​​of the world, began to perform amazing miracles, began to explain the Scripture, which they never read. Thousands of Jews adopted Christianity. Confused by the success of the apostles, the Sanhedrin, consisting of high priests and other most honorable and learned people of the Jewish people, invites non-booked apostles before them, interrogates, hears answers and teachings against which there is no objection. Finding no words to counter the words with which the truth was expressed, the Sanhedrin resorts to threats, to beatings, to languishing in prison, to beating stones, thereby exposing their weakness and the power of their adversaries. Following the Sanhedrin, Herod rebels against the apostles and, to the greatest comfort of the Sanhedrin, cuts off the head of one of the apostles [9]. The persecution in Jerusalem forces many disciples of Christ to withdraw from it. They scattered throughout the universe and everywhere sowed Christianity, watering the seeds with their own blood. For twenty years, Christianity has become a universe. Fifty years after the resurrection of Christ, Christians were so numerous that in one eastern army of the Roman emperor Trajan, eleven thousand Christians were found. He betrayed them all, without exception, the death penalty [10], to the surprise of the sensible, who recognized the greatest recklessness in the extermination of their own army. Romil, the head of the Christian detachment, was at first bitterly cruel, then his head was severed. Ten thousand were crucified on the crosses in the desert near Ararat; others are killed in various ways. Trajan's act was subsequently imitated.

Roman emperors, rulers of the universe, armed with irreconcilable hatred and tyranny against Christianity. Neither the Celts nor the Marcomannis, neither Atilla nor Gen- seric, destroyed so much population in the Roman Empire as their emperors, the persecutors of Christianity, [11], exterminated them. Three centuries continued the bloody struggle between wolves and lambs. Some acted as a sword, fire, beasts, a stifling dungeon, hunger and thirst, all means of torture and murder; others fought by the power of the spirit, by the power of faith, by the power of God, enduring terrible torture, generously dying for faith. The victory crowned the struggle for three centuries, and at the beginning of the fourth century Christian faith became dominant in the world. They bowed before the teachings of non-booked fishers and strong and wise lands; all nations bowed before him. The cross, hitherto the sign of a dreadful execution, has become a sign of the highest honor: they are worn on the heads and persians of kings and bishops; He crowns the temples of the true God; he serves as a sign of every Orthodox Christian, a sign of his faith, his hope, his love. Who does not recognize in the establishment of Christianity the will of God, God's power, God's action, exceeding the mind and strength of man? The impossible, the supernatural, was accomplished, the beginning and the work of God were accomplished.

This is Christianity with a general view of it. A more detailed study of Christianity leads to a more definite conviction in his divinity. The strongest conviction is from residence according to the evangelical commandments, just as the prophet said: from the commandments of your mind (Psalm 118: 104). Persuasion from the fulfillment of commandments is a conviction acting in the very soul of man: it is stronger than any belief from outside. The gospel commandments soothe, revitalize, strengthen the soul. Those who feel their action gain in themselves a living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and it expresses before the Lord a pledge of the heart with a definite and determined confession: the verbs of the belly of the eternal imasha, and we believe and know, as Thou ecu Christ, the Son of the living God (John 6: 68 -69).

Bring the finger of your semo, says the Savior to the wavering disciple, a disciple astonished at the greatness of the works of God-bring your hand, and do not be wrong, but true (John 20: 27). Touch Me and see (Luke 24: 39); Begin to act according to the commandments of Mine, touch Me with life according to My will and see Me, the invisible, see the spiritual sensation of your soul; Everyone who thus feels Me, is assured of Me and delighted in finding Me, will exclaim with My beloved apostle: My Lord and my God (John 20: 28). Amen.


[1] See Lk. 1: 2.

[2] See Heb. 11: 27.

[3] See Rome. 10: 17.

[4] See Jas. 2: 18.

[5] See 1Cor. 3: 18.

[6] See Jn. 7: 15.

[7] See Acts. 4: 13.

[8] See Matt. 10: 16.

[9] See Acts. 12: 1-2.

[10] The Suffering of the Martyr Romilus. Midsummer, 6 September.

[11] The population of the Roman Empire during Augustus numbered up to one hundred million; By the time of Constantine the Great, three hundred years later, it descended to sixty million. The boundaries of the empire remained unchanged.

St. Ignatius (Bryanchaninov)
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