“Because the Scriptures have a specific, God-given meaning (2 Peter 1:20, 21), it is impossible to truly understand them apart from the Church, for apostolic interpretation is held in the consciousness of the Church.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Acts 8:30-31) “…to assert the "centrality" – even "sufficiency" – of Scripture does not mean a self-sufficiency. As Father Georges Florovsky writes, "We cannot assert that Scripture is self-sufficient; and this not because it is incomplete
“When Simon the magician attempts to buy some of the power manifested by the apostles (Acts 8:18-19), it exposes another possible clash between true faith and the lies of this world. Underlying Simon’s appeal are dangerous assumptions contrary to the nature of the Holy Spirit and the relationship between the Lord and His creation. The Apostle Peter…rebukes him (vs. 20), telling the magician plainly that his request shows that his heart is “not right in the sight of God” (vs.
“Let us carefully how Levi’s [Matthew’s] life changes when he follows our Lord. First, Levi “left all” (vs. 28). We should not assume, from this statement, that he suddenly abandons everything…Levi did not leave at once but began withdrawing, bit by bit, from his former life. First he left his occupation, then his home, and finally even his native land…We too have answered the call of Christ, the Wisdom of God. We began dropping our former values to follow Wisdom more fully.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13). The word of God and the sword here are living and powerful. The phrase His sight (v. 13) tells us this refere
“Our quest for communion with the everlasting God reorients our vision, directing it toward the eternal destiny of all mankind. We understand history and each person’s life from the perspective of our ultimate goal of union with Him.” (Dynamis 4/11/2014) “Our surrender to the Lord must include our whole heart, soul, and mind (Mt 22:37), if we are to unite our spirits to Christ our God. When we are truly joined to Him, He gives us the grace to obey Him. We are to strive to be
“Ongoing sin tolerated in a believer’s life is one of the main things that blocks effective prayer and hinders growth…The one who loves God cultivates pure prayer and throws off every hindering passion.” (Foundation Study Bible, Psalms 66:18, St. Maximos the Confessor) “God is not content with our doing what is right some of the time. He wants us to do what is right all the time. We are under His orders to eliminate any thoughts, practices, or possessions that hinder our devo
“An activity that is based on the frenzies and impulsions of human ambition is a delusion and an obstacle to grace. It gets in the way of God’s will, and it creates more problems than it solves. We must learn to distinguish between the pseudo spirituality of activism and the true vitality and energy of Christian action guided by the Spirit." (Thomas Merton) “..if you try to live without Him [God], you will be abandoning the purpose for which you were made.” (Life Application