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God's Nature/Our Nature

“Seth was begotten from Adam and Eve. This threefold relationship illustrates, to a certain extent, the Holy Trinity. Adam had no human father. He was begotten by no one. Thus, he was unbegotten. Seth was begotten from Adam. Eve was neither unbegotten nor begotten. Instead she proceeded from Adam (Genesis 2:21). Therefore, Eve and Seth were related to the unbegotten Adam, but each in a unique manner—Eve proceeded from Adam, but Seth was begotten from him. Each person had his or her own distinct and unique properties—unbegotten, begotten, and proceeding—but all three possessed the same human nature. Similarly, the manner in which these three existed images the Holy Trinity. God the Father is Unbegotten; God the Son is Begotten from the Father; and God the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. These distinct and unique properties—unbegotten, begotten, and proceeding—distinguish each of the individual Persons of the Holy Trinity from each other; yet, They are one in nature.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 5:3, St. John of Damascus)

“St. Diadochos reminds us that we are all “made in God’s image; but to be in His likeness is granted only to those who through great love have brought their own freedom into subjection to God. For only when we do not belong to ourselves do we become like Him who through love has reconciled us to Himself.” (Martin Laird)

“…from the standpoint of Christian belief, human “growth” transcends mere biological maturation. It is “growth” toward a spiritual perfection that transcends the natural course of life from conception to death. Because of sin and a corrupted will, however, human “maturation” into spiritual life also requires penance and conversion, enabled by God’s freely offered grace through the power of the Holy Spirit…Human love “finds its explanation in the fact that we are created in the image of the Holy Trinity, the origin of our love.” (Vigen Guroian)

“Since we are made in God’s image (Gn 1:27), the capacity for love is part of our inmost essence. When the Only-begotten Son of God comes into the world, He shows us our potential to love. He does more than display for us an ideal – in a supreme act of love, He directly attacks the evil that negates our capacity to love. The Lord Jesus most assuredly is all about love, for He even embraces death in order to give us life in Him.” (Dynamis 4/28/2020)

“Each of us confronts our desire to be loved, but God isn’t like us in that He doesn’t need to be loved or valued. He is complete within Himself. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and He is affirmed and loved in an eternal communion of loving Persons. So, His call for us to love Him above all things and persons isn’t for His benefit. It is exclusively and completely for our own benefit. God’s call to love Him first is the most selfless invitation ever given to humanity, because the benefits of this loving relationship are all on one side—ours.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“Whereas the Son is God by nature, we become sons of God by adoption. We cannot become members of the Godhead by nature because we are human by nature. But we do become members of His family by grace. In adoption we become everything God is, except that we do not share His nature. Because we are given new life, adoption is also called a new birth, being born again.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Galatians 4:4-5)

“When the Lord ascended to the heavens, He did not divest Himself of His humanity. He raised “the likeness of Adam, cast into the vaults of Hades, lifting it with [His] Ascension to the heavens and making it equal in rank to Thy Father’s throne”...Christ’s raising of human nature to the right hand of the Father assures us that the way is now open to all who diligently seek the restoration of their humanity.” (OCPM 6/8/2016)

“Christianity is a revelation of eternity and life. The angels rejoice greatly because God has revealed Himself mystically to His creature, man. Our human nature has become part of the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and that is a great gift which we do not even appreciate; instead, we have cleaved to the things of this world. We have been given the opportunity to prepare ourselves for eternity, to vanquish evil, and to always be with our heavenly Father.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“When Christ became man, He transformed the stuff of this world into His own divinity...All creation is transformed by the incarnation...The life of Christ reveals the sacramental nature of all creation and its true nature and destiny.” (Archpriest Lawrence Cross)

“The nature of God is beyond our understanding, but God, in His grace, has chosen to reveal

Himself to us—… supremely in Jesus Christ…Christ revealed God in human form…In Christ, God revealed his a way that could be seen and touched.” (Life Application Study Bible, Jude 1:10, Ezekiel 1:26, John 1:18)

“God is"a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Dynamis 12/18/2012)

“Each time you deliberately ignore you conscience, you are hardening your heart. Over a period of time your capacity to tell right from wrong will diminish. As you walk with God, He will speak to you through your conscience, letting you know the difference between right and wrong. Be sure to act on those inner tugs so that you do what is right – then your conscience will remain clear.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Timothy 1:19)

“Obviously, we shall never have faith in Christ with a bad conscience - the two are incompatible.” (Dynamis 11/28/2012)

“God’s law is written on the heart of every human being. People have innate consciences that are preloaded with senses of honesty, justice, love, the Golden Rule, and so on. People know at some deep level that there is a God, that we are his creatures, that we should serve him, and that he makes demands on us for relationships with him and other people” (Pastor Timothy Keller)"People’s souls are good by nature, and the fruits of righteousness manifest themselves naturally from the soul. But lawlessness is willful and prevents these natural fruits from showing themselves. Unless people correct themselves, they will destroy their own good nature.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Proverbs 13:2)

“God’s sense of timing will confound ours, no matter what culture we’re form. His grace rarely operates according to our schedule.” (Pastor Timothy Keller, Kings Cross)

“This was Jesus’ message to us in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31). The father, who represents God in the story, rushed out to his prodigal son when the boy returned to him, humbled, humiliated and repentant, after squandering his father’s inheritance and living a decadent lifestyle. The important point of this story is that once the son decided to come back to his father and approached his father’s home, the father did not wait for the son to get to his house. The minute he saw the son coming towards him he took the initiative to run out to him and hug and kiss him. In the culture of that day, and old man running like that was considered humiliating and further underscores the depth of God’s love. This is how God is with us. He takes the initiative.” (Sacramental Living)

"…the intellect is good, human reasoning ability is good. It is a gift to us from God and it is something we should use to experience Him….God gave us our minds for a reason. But we need to study in the context of worship because it is through worship that we build our relationship with Christ and experience Him in the measure He allows us to, based on our level of spiritual growth. We are body, mind, heart and soul and we need to engage our whole being in our relationship with God, not just our brain.” (Sacramental Living)

“A giving attitude is more important than the amount given…Generosity proves that a person’s heart has been cleansed of self-interest and filled with a servant spirit of Jesus Himself.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 9:7,13)

“God shows personal favoritism to no man.” (Galatians 2:6)

“God doesn’t rate us according to our status; He looks at the attitude of our hearts.” (Life Application Study Bible, Galatians 2:6)

“We should not disqualify ourselves from service to Christ because we do not have the expected credentials. Being a good disciple [learner] is simply a matter of following Jesus with a willing heart.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 3:14)

“God will make resources available to us in creative ways to accomplish His purposes. He will give us the wisdom to raise a family, the courage to take stand for truth, or the means to provide help for someone in need….we can have faith for whatever God commands us to do, He will provide what we need to carry it through.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Kings 18:36-38)

“God often uses people of simple faith to accomplish His great purposes, no matter what kind of past they have had or how insignificant they seem to be.” (Life Application Study Bible, Joshua 2:1)

“The natural tendency of human beings is to think their way away from God…Intellectual pride, rationalizations, and excuses all keep people from God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ephesians 4:17)

"Theological knowledge [knowledge of God] is first personal and experiential, and then thought out and verbalized. A theologian witnesses to what he/she knows through experience.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Ephesians 3:18-19)

“The way we gain communion with and knowledge of God is from the heart to the mind, not the mind to the heart.” (Sacramental Living)

“Christian learning and growth is more formational than informational, meaning that the process is the means by which we learn and grow… This is why ritualistic worship, prayer, fasting, giving, Church services, and other spiritual disciplines in concert with study are incredibly important… study is but one component of an active spiritual life. Opening your heart is what truly leads to an ongoing encounter with Christ and understanding of truth. Therefore any true understanding of God is more the direct result of experience in concert with study rather than just study.” (Sacramental Living)

“God has no grandchildren; each person must have a personal relationship with Him.” (Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 28:10-15)

“God’s grace toward us always is known or experienced as personal encounter.” (Dynamis 9/7/2012)

“…we look at God as a Person but not in an anthropomorphic way like a giant human being in the sky. That would be silly. We see Him as a divine Person but a Person because He relates to us personally [through our hearts]. The danger of seeing God as a concept or using scientific terms is that it reduces Him to something impersonal and can confine Him to our human reasoning. We don't move toward God through solely our intellect and reasoning. We don't understand to experience. We experience to understand. Just like we don't experience our parents, spouses, children or anyone else by reading about them; we experience them through them. We also experience God relationally, not intellectually and conceptually.” (Sacramental Living)

“Some people assume trouble only comes because we sin. We make a mistake when we assert sickness or lack of material blessing is a sign of unconfessed sin or lack of faith…If we can trust God in pain, confusion, and loneliness, we will win victory and eliminate doubt, one of Satan’s greatest footholds in our lives. Make God your foundation. You can never be separated from His love.” (Life Application Study Bible, Job 42:17)

"At the incarnation, Christ brought His divine nature to human nature. In the mystery of the Ascension, Christ brings human nature to the divine Kingdom.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 24:51)

"Because we have so accepted this dichotomous rupture between body and soul as ‘reality’ we often describe our Faith in terms of"saving souls.” We seldom think of our bodies being eternally involved in salvation as well. However the Second Person of the Holy Trinity did not become flesh, suffer, die and rise from the dead to"save souls.” Jesus Christ came to save whole ‘persons.” (Father Thomas Loya)

“God’s tender love is ineffable. He offers Himself to those who with all their faith believe that God can dwell in the human body and make it His glorious abode. God built heaven and earth to be the dwelling place of the human race. But He also built the human body and soul to make them His own abode, so that He might dwell therein and rest there as in a well-kept house." (St. Macarius the Great)

“When Jesus ascended into heaven, His physical presence left the earth, but He promised to send the Holy Spirit so that His spiritual presence would still be among humankind….Even now, in this present existence, our God and King still communicates with us through the Holy Spirit. He speaks to our human, spiritual capacities, for He made us as creatures who are both spiritual and physical.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 3:6, Dynamis 5/21/2015)

"In raising human nature to heaven by His Ascension, Christ has given us the hope of arriving there ourselves." (St. Thomas Aquinas)

“The actions of God's will are neither capricious nor vindictive, but are based in divine mercy and compassion. Even though mankind does not understand the basis of God's decisions (see Isaiah 55:8, 9), we trust His grace and righteousness, upon which our salvation rests.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 9:14-18)

“One of the most powerful, though difficult, lessons we all need to learn on our spiritual pilgrimage is that even when bad things happen and we do not understand why, we can trust God to be present and working on our behalf…The hardest part of the life in Christ is trusting God in all circumstances (Henry Cloud and John Townsend, Dynamis 12/8/2012)

"Love is fire. All who love truly know this: God is Love, and God is Fire. God’s fire will consume those who are not fire themselves, and render bright and shining all those who are fire themselves…God's judgement is nothing else than our coming into contact with truth and light.” (Alexander Kalomiros)