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God's Personal Nature

“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. 21)…In his rebuke of Simon, the apostle speaks of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as “the gift of God” (vs. 20)…The Spirit is a Divine Person, not an impersonal force…Simon, however, perceives the apostles’ power merely as an impersonal force, a view which is consonant with his experience as a magician and manipulator of occult power. An impersonal force does not give, it merely generates output. When we choose magic, gaming, or a cause-and-effect approach to life, we are dancing with error.” (Dynamis 5/19/2021, Orthodox Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 3:16-18)

“If everything just goes back to matter, energy, time, and chance—to the impersonal—then good and evil, right and wrong, are just names we attached arbitrarily to things we happened to like or not like. They have no ultimate meaning because they are inescapably personal, and the universe is ultimately impersonal.” (Donald Williams)

“According to historic, orthodox Christian faith, “salvation is thwarted to the extent that we treat God as an impersonal being, or as merely the creator of an impersonal order to which we have to adjust. Salvation is only effected by, one might say, our being in communion with God through the community of humans in communion, viz., the church...To depersonalize God is to deny the importance of communion and the community of communion that is the church, home to that meal that is called “Communion.” (Charles Taylor, James K.A. Smith)

“Every impersonal view of creation assumes that power comes from fate or from impersonal forces. This assumption is shared by secularism, magic, and pantheistic paganism. However, God is not a force, but a Person. He gives us personal power, He changes hearts, He works miracles. When we detach God from so-called real life and divorce Him from creation, we disregard Him who brings everything into existence from non-existence and continuously sustains it. God’s power may not be manipulated, sold, or exchanged.” (Dynamis 5/19/2021)

“God our Creator and Redeemer is not an impersonal force, not an intangible source of being, not an abstract concept, and not a projection of our imagination. God is a personal being who seeks a personal relationship with us, His creation. We are made in His image so that we might know, love, and worship Him.” (Fr. Basil)

“Faith is not logical certainty but a personal relationship, and because this personal relationship is as yet incomplete in each of us and needs to continually develop further, it is by no means impossible for faith to coexist with doubt…Yet doubt does not in itself signify a lack of faith. It may mean the opposite – that our faith is alive and growing…Faith is not the supposition that something might be true, but the assurance that someone is there.” (Dynamis 2/9/10, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware)

“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)

“God is not some far distant deity who set the world in motion and then went about His business. Instead, He is deeply involved in the lives of the people He created and loves us so much that He came down from His high position to save us (Phil. 2:5–9).” (Foundation Study Bible, Psalms 113:6)

“The problem with trying to explain God’s personal nature to someone, especially someone who is suffering, is just that. His personal nature can’t be explained only experienced. Therefore it’s probably best to share your experience of God, that is tell your story, and let someone else draw their own conclusion, rather than trying to convince them of God’s personal nature through logic and discourse.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

"Ultimately the mystery of the Holy Trinity cannot be explained; it can only be experienced." (Archimandrite Sergius)

#MetropolitanKallistosWare #SacramentalLiving #DallasWillard #CSLewis #FoundationStudyBible #SacramentalLivingMinistries #ArchimandriteSergius #Dynamis #OrthodoxStudyBible #DonaldWilliams #CharlesTaylor #JamesKASmith #FrBasil

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