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God's Nature/Our Nature

“Being renewed by God’s power, we become partakers of the divine nature. This does not mean we become divine by nature. If we participated in God's essence, the distinction between God and man would be abolished. What this does mean is that we participate in God's energy, described by a number of terms in scripture, such as glory, life, love, virtue, and power. We are to become like God by His grace…” (Orthodox Study Bible, 2 Peter 1:4)

“…the apostle [Peter] writes, “… that you may be partakers of the divine nature…” (2 Peter 1:4). …our calling to become “like God” does not reintroduce the idea that we can achieve our salvation through our own piety and works. On the contrary, Peter teaches that divinization happens through God’s work in us. The apostle writes, “His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue [God’s excellence]” OSB 2 Peter 1:3 and footnote). This verse assures us that the power and promises of God give us all that we need to grow in our likeness to God. Second, to speak more precisely, our “theosis” [union with God] in no way puts us on the same level with God. Divinization does not mean that we share in the very essence of God, which is far above human reach. But it means that we share in God’s “energies,” that is, we participate in what the Almighty reveals of Himself through His works…” (Fr. Basil)

“Orthodox Christians view grace quite differently as the divine energies of God. While we do not know or participate in God by nature, those who are in Christ may become radiant with the divine energies like an iron left in the fire of the divine glory. To know and share in God’s life by grace as “partakers of the divine nature” is not a passive matter of benefiting from a legal degree, but a process of the healing and fulfillment of the human person as a living icon of God. It is entirely possible, then, “to receive the grace of God in vain” by refusing to participate in the divine-human synergy that is necessary for us to share personally in Christ’s salvation. St. Paul teaches that we are all fellow workers with God who must “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philipp. 2:12-13).” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“…we must open our hearts and minds in order to confront the astounding truth that the eternal Son of God has become one of us. His incarnation reveals that we need more than a teacher, a prophet, or a political or cultural leader to find the healing of our humanity in God. Only One who is both fully divine and fully human could make us “partakers of the divine nature” by grace.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“God is love” [1 John 4:8]. And yet God is demanding. If God “so loved the world that He gave His only Son” to die on the Cross for our redemption, then God expects us to approach and treat others with the same love. This is a love expressed in action and in giving, and is not to be confused with emotions or feelings. We are all outcasts and alienated from God based upon the primordial sin of Adam, and yet God did not forget us or abandon us. “You were bought with a price” [1 Corinthians 6:20]. If we are indeed to “imitate the divine nature,” as Saint Gregory of Nyssa taught, then we could convincingly say that God expects us to “perform” according to the full capacity of our human nature made in the “image and likeness of God”—all the more plausible and possible because our fallen human nature has been renewed in and through the Death and Resurrection of Christ. Our rescue from a condition of “ontological poverty” is meant to arouse in us a desire to rescue “the least of these” from the impoverishing conditions of a fallen world.” (Fr. Stephen Kostoff)

“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)

“Keep in mind the kind of God we worship: He is sovereign; He is not arbitrary; in all things He works for our good; He is trustworthy; He will save all who believe in him. When we understand these qualities of God, we know that His choices are good even if we don’t understand all His reasons.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 9:12-14)

“Our God is not a god of anger and vengeance, but one who invites us into a relationship based in loving communion. God is not waiting to send down fire upon our heads, but rather is a loving Father who desires that we connect with our true self and put off our false self.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“God has a modus operandi, a basic manner of working with mankind. First, He proclaims; then He waits for a believing response; finally, He assists the people who believe and call on Him (see Romans 10:14).” (Dynamis 6/23/2015)

“…our Lord is active in every aspect of our own life. He may act through a conflict we are now facing, or a persecution we must endure for Christ, or an exile we must endure far from our homeland or family of origin. During our travels and while we are at home, in formal interviews and small talk, in planned meetings and chance encounters, God works on our dispositions and understanding.” (Dynamis 5/10/2015)

“The Lord draws people to Himself by things that are familiar to them. As He drew the Magi with a star (Mt 2:2), as He would draw tax collectors by a tax collector (5:29), here He draws the fishermen with fish." (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 5:6)

“Our Lord and God, out of His great love, approaches us in many different ways, setting and maintaining the limits of these encounters. He waits for us to call out in faith, even as He prepares the stage for our response. He leaves us free to act, indulging us without being overindulgent.” (Dynamis 9/29/2014)

“Often we assume that God is unable to work in spite of our weaknesses, mistakes, and sins. We forget that God is a specialist; He is well able to work our failures into His plans…God works even through conflict and disagreements.” (Erwin Lutzer, Life Application Study Bible, Acts 15:36-39)

“If you see a man pure and humble, that is a great vision. For what is greater than such a vision, to see the invisible God in a visible man?" (St. Pachomius the Great)

“We experience the invisible God through the visible love of others. Love brought to perfection (Theosis) is a guarantee of Eternal Life in Heaven, because such love is united with God who is Love.” (Abouna Justin Rose)

“It is, indeed, in accordance with the nature of the invisible God that He should be thus known through His works; and those who doubt the Lord’s resurrection because they do not now behold Him with their eyes, might as well deny the very laws of nature.” (St. Athanasius)

“Though God is invisible, He is invincible...The invisible God who may appear to be absent is the invincible God who is working out His best plan.” (Charles Swindoll)

“God reveals Himself to us if we seek Him out, and He remains invisible to us only if we refuse, out of pride and self-absorption, to let Him enter our lives.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“God reveals Himself to each person according to each person's mode of conceiving Him…God reveals Himself to human reason as human reason responds to God in faith." (St. Maximos the Confessor, St. John Chrysostom)

“…the way God calls individuals is varied, yet the call is always personal and the end is the always the same. In very rare occasions, this is done in a dramatic way as it was to Moses. More often than naught, however, God comes as he did to Samuel. Most often, God comes to us in a quiet whisper, for as God Himself said,"be still and know that I am God.” Remember, no matter how God reveals himself, the calling is one and the same. God has called you to serve him. God has called you to be a Christian. This calling—to be a Christian—is as great as the call of Moses and as profound as that of Mary’s.” (Theo Nicolakis)

“God reveals of our long road only what we need to know in order to take the next step but not all that will happen in the thousands of steps that follow….Only God sees the whole Story. We are in the deep valley of a single letter or crawling like ants across a field.” (Anne Marie Gazzolo)

"We are always seeking the reason. We want to know why. Like Job, we finally want God to tell us just what is going on …But God does not reveal His plan, He reveals Himself.” (Bob Benson)

“He [Christ] not only reflects God, but He reveals God to us…” (Life Application Study Bible, Colossians 1:15,16)

"… God is at work whether or not we see visible results.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Isaiah 55:10,11)

"With God, even when nothing is happening – something is happening.” (Reubin Welch)

“He is not a"tame” God, a God at hand. He is not someone you can always figure out, or expect to figure out. This is a God beyond our comprehension, and it is one of the aspects of the biblical God that modern people dislike the most. We are always saying,"I can’t believe in a God who would do this” or"I can’t believe in a God who would judge people.” One of the things that may mean is that we don’t want a glorious God, one beyond our comprehension.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“There are several instances in the Bible where people try to summon God, spirits and/or power... The primary flaw of this thinking is believing that God can be summoned or invoked. God summons us so to speak; we do not summon Him. He’s not a tame lion we can train.” (Sacramental Living)

"He [God] will supply all your needs, but in a way that He knows is best for you…God is everpresent and provides for us…God supplies our every need.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 4:10-14, Dynamis 8/7/2013)

“God is love is not a definition of who God is, but rather describes His relationship to us as our Father.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 John 4:7-11)

“God is love....In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled, only plenteousness that desires to give. The doctrine that God was under no necessity to create is not a piece of dry scholastic speculation. It is essential… God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love.” (C. S. Lewis)

“God the Lord surrendered His own Son to death on the Cross for the fervent love of creation...This was not, however, because He could not have redeemed us in another way, but so that His surpassing love, manifested hereby, might be a teacher unto us." (St. Isaac the Syrian)"God’s love is total... It reaches every corner of our experience. It is wide—it covers the breadth of our own experience, and it reaches out to the whole world. God’s love is long—it continues the length of our lives. It is high—it rises to the heights of our celebration and elation. His love is deep—it reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair, and even death. When you feel shut out or isolated, remember that you can never be lost to God’s love.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ephesians 3:17-19)

"God reveals Himself in a manner that each person can understand.” (Dynamis 2/17/2014)

“God reveals Himself to us a little at a time, as we are able to bear it.” (Dynamis 4/9/2014)

“So many people are of the opinion that because God is an infinite being he is beyond our human comprehension. They have the notion he is someone distant, far removed from us, who may be appealed to only in great extremity across spans of space. The truth is just the opposite.” (W. Phillip Keller)

“I want a God with a face on,” said a little girl to her minister one day—thereby expressing a childlike, nevertheless profound, desire for reality in religion. She was not satisfied with some nebulous, ethereal abstraction for God. She wanted something definite, tangible. She wanted a someone for a God … not a something. Perhaps that is why men do not take God more seriously. They hold a theory about God: Their notion of God is foggy, hazy, remote—an idea that is beyond them with no connection with the everyday.” (Richard Halverson)

"What we need to not just that God exists, not just that beyond the steely brightness of the stars there is a cosmic intelligence of some kind that keeps the whole show going, but that there is a God right here in the thick of our day-by-day lives who may not be writing messages about himself in the stars but in one way or another is trying to get messages through our blindness..." (Frederick Buechner)

“God is beyond and above the entire creation, the greatest mystery of all mysteries, yet He is at the same time everywhere present and fills all things.” (Metropolitan Kallistos Ware)

“While Christ came to save and not to condemn, man has free will. Thus, he can reject this gift, and he becomes condemned by his own rejection.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 3:17-18)"…God’s concern is to"save” and not to"condemn” (John 3:17). Why, then, does the Lord place the emphasis on condemnation (John 3:17-20)? The answer is quite simple. God sees a condemned race – His own creation – perishing and given over to the oblivion of death. The Source of Life looks lovingly upon a creation permeated by death. Its self-destruction is an affront to His very nature.” (Dynamis 4/29/2014)

“Discipline sounds negative to many people because some disciplinarians are not loving. God, however, is the source of all love… God does not want to punish us but, rather, to fulfill our lives… God created us, loves us, and wants to help us to realize our potential so that we can be useful to others. He doesn’t punish us because He enjoys inflicting pain but because He is deeply concerned about our development.” (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 3:11,12, Ben Carson)

“Jesus makes a distinction between two kinds of pruning: (1) cutting off and (2) cutting back branches. Fruitful branches are cut back to promote growth. In other words, God must sometimes discipline us to strengthen our character and faith.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 15:2-3)

“God never turns away from us. When we realize our failure and return to him, He’s there waiting.” (NIV Men's Devotional Bible)

“God can use anyone, no matter how insignificant he or she appears...God uses ordinary people to do his extraordinary work.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 10:2-4)

“God has made it a rule for Himself that He won’t alter people’s character by force. He can and will alter them—but only if the people will let Him.” (C. S. Lewis)

"He [Christ] fills with life those who bear fruit for Him – and withdraws life from those who fail to bear Him fruit...He gives life to those who seek Him and He withdraws life from us only if we turn away, investing in our own thriving businesses and thus failing to bear Him fruit.” (Dynamis 8/8/2014)

“God is far from the ungodly, not in place but in will. The will of God and the will of the ungodly are far apart. But He hears the prayers of the righteous because their will and His will are in harmony.” (The Orthodox Study Bible, Proverbs 15:33)

“In our Christian anthropology (unlike classical Greek philosophy or much modern thought), human beings are not considered a composite entity made up of a permanent soul and a throwaway body, but rather a unity of body and soul. Each one of us is not simply an"enfleshed soul” or an"ensouled body,” but one psycho-physical unity, body and soul together—a person.” (Bishop John Michael Botean)

"We humans have, in fact, two sets of sensory organs. We possess organs of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing for receiving impressions from the physical world....we also have spiritual organs – the receptive capacities of the heart... these human senses of the heart are darkened, bound, or numbed in most people, including those with impaired physical sight or hearing...If we consider other sacraments such as confession and holy communion, we understand that here, too, we are coming to Christ for the healing of our spiritual senses. We ask Him to unify all our senses so that both sets of eyes and ears – spiritual and physical – may work in unison." (Dynamis 3/29/2014)

"Our physical senses – touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste – are matched with a set of spiritual senses that enable us to meet one another with love, kindness, bravery, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, self-control, faithfulness, and gentleness.” (Dynamis 9/18/2014)"The gospel is both social and redemptive. First, the physical needs must be met, and then the spiritual needs can be satisfied….Men and women are complex beings. Our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives are intertwined.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Isaiah 58:7-8, Life Application Study Bible, Exodus 15:26)

"Many spiritual functions parallel physical functions. As our bodies hunger and thirst, so do our souls. But our souls need spiritual food and water...We would not think of depriving our bodies of food and water when they hunger or thirst. Why then should we deprive our souls?” (Life Application Study Bible, John 4:13-15)

“If God were impersonal, as the Eastern religions teach, then love—something that can happen only between two or more persons—would be an illusion...The Christian doctrine of the Trinity, however, teaches that there is one God in three persons who have known and loved one another from before the dawn of time.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“No explanation can adequately portray the power and intricacy of this unique relationship. There are no perfect analogies in nature because there is no other relationship like the Trinity.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 3:21-22)

“...God is personally involved in your life and nudges you to ask for His power to help." (Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 18:14)

“I would prefer to combat the ‘I’m special’ feeling not by the thought ‘I’m no more special than anyone else’, but by the feeling ‘Everyone is as special as me’…No one is like anyone else. All are members in the Body of Christ. All different and all necessary to the whole and to one another. Each loved by God individually, as if each were the only creature in existence. Otherwise you might get the idea that God is like the government which can only deal with the people as the mass.” (C.S. Lewis)

“He [God] is more than interested in you. It’s a pretty radical notion, but He actually made us for Himself, for His pleasure. He wants to hear from you anytime, about anything. Try to know that.” (Jan Karon)

"Then God said,"Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26)

“In the book of Genesis, it says,"Then God said,"Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….” (Genesis 1:26). The Church believes that God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God who expresses Himself in three distinct Persons [Father, Son and Holy Spirit]. The"Us” in this statement is the Trinity and its image and likeness is what we are made in.” (Sacramental Living)

“The word image is in the singular, and shows the three distinct Persons of the Holy Trinity are on in nature and undivided.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 1:26)

“If there is only one God why three Persons? In the ancient Hebrew language that Genesis was originally written in, the author and compiler, Moses, used the word"Elohim” for God and this word is used throughout the Old Testament to refer to Him. Elohim is a plural term. Though the Hebrews certainly believed in one almighty God, the terminology they used implied they believed God has plurality in His being.” (Sacramental Living)

“But what is the importance of this plurality of God’s being? It’s important because we believe that all of existence springs from this divine love."We live in a Trinitarian Universe, one where infinite energy of a personal nature is the ultimate reality.”"…the living dynamic activity of love has been going on in God forever and has created everything else.” In other words, God’s very way of being is life and He creates life out of love. We are part of that life and love and can grow in union with God if we choose. (Sacramental Living, Dallas Willard, C.S. Lewis)

“We are made in God’s image and our task is to grow in His likeness over the course of our lives.” (Sacramental Living)

“In my years of following Christ, I have come to the conclusion that many Christians make finding God’s present will for us way too complex. We wrongly believe that it’s only possible for the most talented and the most gifted and the most spiritual to know the heart of God. But in reality, it’s much simpler than that. If we long to see God at work in our present, we merely need to grow in our daily longing for Him.” (Kasey Van Norman)

“Creation is filled with stunning variety, revealing the rich creativity goodness, and wisdom of our loving God. As you observe your natural surroundings, thank God for His creativity. Take a fresh look at people, seeing each one as God’s unique creation, with his or her own special talents, abilities and gifts.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalm 104:24)

“God delights in variety, as evidenced by the variety of all of the life that makes up our world, and we all have different gifts by which we can experience Him and share His love.” (Sacramental Living)

"God is love, and love is best expressed toward something or someone else – so God created the world and people as an expression of love.” (Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 1:1)

“Even our rejection of God cannot take away His love for us.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 8:38-39)

“God knows our every thought and meets us when our every thought is fixed on Him” (Orthodox Study Bible, Wisdom of Solomon 6:12)

“God is an infinite Being who has always been and who was created by no one. This is difficult to understand because finite minds cannot comprehend the infinite.” (Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 1:23)

“God is infinite and we are finite. No matter how great our intellects, we will never be able to understand Him completely. But we accept by faith the He is all powerful, all-loving, and perfectly good.” (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 16:4)

“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.” (A. W. Tozer)

“Christ is God’s destruction of human bondage and our restoration.” (Dynamis 4/7/2012)

“God [in Christ] condescends to our weakness that we might understanding something about Him and His works.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 11:7)

“Christ accepts human nature in order to sanctify human nature; He accepts our weakness in order to make us strong; He takes on our sin in order to free us from sin; He suffers in order to transfigure suffering." (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 23:46)

“God speaks to his people in remarkably different ways—through the written Scriptures, through the words of others, through circumstances and events. It is up to us to listen, to be perceptive, to be alert.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 10:3)

“Sometimes He will reveal His presence through circumstances, and sometimes with a still, small voice, but always He will help us to know He dwells with us.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Isaiah 58:9)

“...we were created for God’s Kingdom, so we are not capable of being truly happy and satisfied anywhere else. But we are afraid to turn to God, so we seek happiness and satisfaction from transitory things which can never satisfy us.” (Bishop Basil Losten)

“God loves us the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way.” (Leighton Ford)

“The purpose of God’s judgment is correction, not revenge. He is always ready to show compassion to anyone willing to seek Him.” (Life Application Study Bible, Jonah 3:10)" matter what you’ve done or who you are, you are worthy because God loves you. You matter as a person because you are God’s child. All of us, every single one of us, even those who don’t believe in Him—He just loves us …. That isn’t always an easy thing to understand or accept.” (Crystal McVea & Alex Tresniowski)

“Jesus loved people. He didn’t see them merely as targets for his preaching and his healing. Everything he did flowed out of his incredible love.” (Richard Stearns)

“...the Lord acts with us. He supports us every instant, strengthens us, but most often in a way that we do not notice. The Lord gives to us a chance to make an effort, to learn something, to experience something that brings us close to Him.” (Hieromonk Nektary)

“Our whole being by its very nature is one vast need; incomplete, preparatory, empty yet cluttered, crying out for Him who can untie things that are knotted together and tie up things that are still dangling loose.” (C. S. Lewis.)

“For every step you take toward God, God takes two steps toward you; and if you come to God walking, God comes to you running.” (James Martin)

“All humanity can recognize"natural revelation,” that is, God's energy or power and His transcendence (Godhead), by simply observing the glories of creation. Thus, the rejection of God cannot be excused by the claim of ignorance, for even"the heavens declare the glory of God; / The firmament shows the creation of His hands” (Ps 18:2).” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 1:20)

“What kind of God does nature reveal? Nature shows us a God of might, intelligence, and intricate detail; a God of order and beauty; a God who controls powerful forces. That is general revelation. Through special revelation (the Bible and the coming of Jesus), we learn about God’s love and forgiveness and the promise of eternal life.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 1:20)

"God has revealed what he is like in and through his creation. Every person, therefore, either accepts or rejects God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 1:19)

“...all people have an inner sense of what God requires, but they choose not to live up to it.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 1:18-20)

"In nature we see where God has been. In our fellow man, we see where He is still at work." (Robert Brault)

"God is personal, not conceptual… We also can't truly love just concepts. Therefore while God is love, omnipotent, infinite, divine mind and all of those other conceptual things, He is above all a divine person because He relates to our hearts and our lives personally” (Sacramental Living)

“Our God is a personal God. He cares for us, and makes His will known to us.” (Fr. Joseph Irvin)"God is not simply transcendent; He is the friend who is closer to us than our own heart.” (Metropolitan Kallistos Ware)

“It is Christ Who gives God form and features and humanity so that we may know Him.” (Fr. Joseph Irvin)

“Through Christ we see as in a mirror the spotless and excellent face of God." (St. Clement of Rome)

“Christ our God became man in order to reveal to us a complete vision of God in a manner apprehensible to human sight. Perceiving the Lord as the God-Man opens the way for us to see Him truly.” (Dynamis 8/5/2013)

“The Lord is ever disclosing Himself to our hearts and minds…God’s probing of our innermost being alerts us to His presence and enlightens our minds and hearts…The Lord regularly makes Himself known.” (Dynamis 8/7/2013)

“In his full humanity, Jesus showed us everything about God’s character that can be conveyed in human terms.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 2:5-7)

“Many people try to be good, honest people who do what is right. But Jesus says that the only way to live a truly good life is to stay close to Him, like a branch attached to the vine.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 15:5-8)

“Through Jesus we don't need perfect righteousness, just repentant helplessness to access the presence of God.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“When God created Adam and Eve, when He created human beings, He made them creative. He is the Creator, and He made us in his image.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"Man was created in the image of God. This means that each person shares a common human nature with all other men. At the same time, however, each person is unique and unrepeatable.” (Clark Carlton)

"The first of these aspects of the human spirit that the Holy Spirit restores and nurtures in those who seek and welcome His indwelling, is creativity.” (Dynamis 3/9/2013)

“When we engage in creativity, we do more than embellish or exaggerate what God has created in this world. To engage in creativity is to imitate our creative Father. In so doing we emulate one of His key characteristics and thus offer a vital form of worship.” (James Stuart Bell)

"God is life, and the will-source of life...and when I am told that He is love, I see that if He were not love He would not, could not create...I imagine that from all eternity He has been creating.” (George MacDonald)

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

“The Hebrew word almah,"unmarried woman,” designates"a hidden virgin, shut off from the occasional sight of men” (Jerome). The Greek word used … is parthenos, which means"virgin.” Immanuel, meaning"God with us,” refers to Christ's divine nature. Messiah coming as a Child refers to His human nature.”

“If Jesus was not truly born of a virgin, then certain truths that the Church holds to be true will in fact not be true. That’s because Christ being born of a virgin points to His divinity. His having no earthly father points to His uniqueness, to His heavenly and eternal origin. His birth came about through divine initiative, through the direct work of God. We believe His unique virgin birth does not separate Him from humanity, or emphasize His divinity over His humanity. We understand that His unique birth simply points to the fact that He is man but more than just man.” (Sacramental Living II)

"Christ Himself is our peace who has come to earth; in Him, man is no longer estranged from God." (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 2:13-14)

"Christ is our only security in a changing world. Whatever may happen in this world, Christ remains forever changeless. If we trust him, we are absolutely secure, because we stand on the firmest foundation in the universe—Jesus Christ.” (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 1:11-12)

“God did not need to create the universe; He chose to create it. Why? God is love, and love is best expressed toward something or someone else—so God created the world and people as an expression of His love.” (Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 1:1)

“God is Goodness. He can give good, but cannot need or get it. In that sense all His love is, as it were, bottomlessly selfless by very definition; it has everything to give and nothing to receive.” (C.S. Lewis)

“…we witness the providential grace of our compassionate, merciful God as He works through kind words and benevolent deeds.” (Dynamis 10/10/2013)

“He [God] sees our need. He sees our face. He sees our heart. He recognizes our person no matter how bad off we are. We can always turn to Him. He will always listen.” (Father John Zeyack)

“Just as there comes a warm sunbeam into every cottage window, so comes a love – born of God’s care for every separate need.” (Unknown)

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