• Michael Haldas

Law


“…the Church is justified as being greater than the Law, for the Law does not know the forgiveness of sins, nor the mystery in which secret sins are cleansed; therefore, what is lacking in the Law is perfected in the Gospel…Who could declare things that were above the Law, except the One who ordained the Law?” (St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Cyril of Alexandria)

“Blame cannot be placed with God for our failure to understand. Even in our legal tradition, the principle of ignorantia juris (ignorance of the law) admits of no exception. Compassion and common sense may allow for mitigating circumstances when it comes to facts, but not in cases involving duty. According to Saint Paul, even those who never have read the Law of God “show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness” (Rom 2:15). God reveals Himself in a manner that each person can understand.” (OCPM 2/13/2017)

“Attending to the law of the Lord as presented in this passage [Deuteronomy 19:11-21] reminds us of a twofold blessing. First, God led our forebears to emphasize justice, law, and order and to insist on removing “evil from among you” (Deuteronomy 19:19). Second, we are blessed that we have God’s laws, together with the Holy Spirit, to guide our thinking and direct our actions from the heart.” (Dynamis 7/9/2019)

“Faith readily admits that sin exists today among Christians, just as it did among the people of ancient Israel. What, then, is the essential difference between faith in Christ and the rituals of the Law? We are constantly reminded of our sinfulness, just as Israel was. The difference lies in what God has done about sin. God the eternal Son lived exactly as we do: He became in every respect a man, immersing Himself in our condition to the point of death, the result of our sin. All aspects of human sin were apparent to the Lord Jesus, and He chose to bear the consequence of sins despite being sinless Himself. There was no sickness He chose to avoid, nor any sickness He did not heal. By shedding His blood, he experienced fully our alienation from God and effected atonement for us with God. He took a body (Hebrews 10:5) and completed God’s will in and through that which He assumed (Hebrews 10:7).” (Dynamis 12/19/2018)

“We have all heard the expression, ‘no one is above the law.’ Whereas this is true in our country’s system of law, it is not true theologically. Christ is above the Law because, as the Holy Fathers teach us, He ordained it; and, as St. Paul’s Epistles remind us, the Law was simply a tutor or a guide to make us aware of our sinfulness until the coming of the Lord and His Gospel. Why is this important to understand or to remember? It is because we often slip into thinking about our faith in terms of being a good person, following the rules, and being moral. This is the “law of the mind” and the path to a growth stunting self-satisfaction. Christ is above and beyond the Law, and we have to go above and beyond the mindset of following the rules and being moral through sheer willpower, to uniting our being to Him and then letting our good and moral behavior simply be a by-product of the union of our heart with His.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“Pointless also are any attempts to rationally or formally fill in the gaps of Scripture with strictures, like the many tracts of "moral theology" that have littered Christian literature...In such books, it seems that all of life is determined by correct rules and advice for following those rules. There is no room for the living Christian conscience, which is instead replaced by rational analysis and formal deduction that leads a person into temptation and confusion.” (Ivan Ilyin)

“In the Scriptures morality follows our faith. It follows our being saved and filled with grace and living a new life in Christ. Morality always comes at the end as a consequence.” (Father John Zeyack)

“The law is good because God gave it (Rom 7:16). It was a schoolmaster for God's chosen people, to confront and control their sin until the Incarnation of His Son fulfills it; and a guide to lead all people to Christ.” (Orthodox Study Bible 1 Timothy 1:8)

“We must realize that we grow spiritually because of God’s work in us by his Spirit, not by following special rules...we cannot be saved by keeping that law [e.g., "following the rules"]; we must trust in Christ.” (Life Application Study Bible, Galatians 3: 3:2-3, 24-25)

“…may we be ever grateful to our God and Savior Jesus Christ for showing us “a more excellent way” (1 Cor 12:31). He provides grace to us through our rebirth in the Spirit, that our “deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (Jn 3:21). The Lord Jesus leads those who are united to Him far beyond outward obedience to the law. He enables us to fulfill the law (Mt 5:17) with a righteousness that goes beyond exterior compliance, for He calls us to an inward change of heart, basing all our actions on God’s will as revealed in Christ.” (Dynamis 7/9/2019)

“Because the God who sent the law also sent the Spirit, the by-products of the Spirit-filled life are in perfect harmony with the intent of God’s law. A person who exhibits the fruit of the Spirit fulfills the law far better than a person who observes the rituals but has little love in his or her heart.” (Life Application Study Bible, Galatians 5:23)

"I am reminded today that all the texts, customs, and pious practices of my Church-Tradition are not there to make me a “slave” or robot of external motions. I am called to internalize them in my heart, in the Spirit of His Son. Without Him, without His Spirit, my external piety is but another form of slavery." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“He who does not view the ritual of the Law with his senses alone, but noetically penetrates every visible symbol and thoroughly assimilates the divine principles which is hidden in each, finds God in the Law.” (St. Maximos the Confessor)

“All of us are being challenged by Jesus to go beyond the law, to go beyond the excuses, to go beyond the authority, and to come down to that love which expresses itself in compassion…compassion comes over rule, and love is over the law, and integrity is over authority. And if we really want to follow God’s Law, we have to take the consequences of that.” (Father John Zeyack)

“Loving God and loving one’s neighbor sum up the law. But it is Christ’s love which frees us from our sins to truly love others." (Foundation Study Bible, James 1:25)

#SrDrVassaLarin #StMaximostheConfessor #FatherJohnZeyack #IvanIlyin #OrthodoxStudyBible #LifeApplicationStudyBible #Dynamis #StAmbroseofMilan #SaintCyrilofAlexandria #OCPM #SacramentalLivingBlog