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Merit


“What is meant by, ‘according to Measure”? It means not according to our merit, for then would no one have received what he has received: but of the free gift we have all received. And why then one more, and another less? There is nothing to cause this, he [St. Paul] would say, but the matter itself is indifferent; for everyone jointly contributes towards ‘the building.’ And on this account he shows that it is not of his own intrinsic merit that one has received more and another less, but that is for the sake of others, as God himself has measured it.” (St. John Chrysostom)

“He that had received the five talents, had five required of him; while he that had received the two, brought only two, and yet received no less reward than the other [Matthew 25]. And therefore the apostle [St. Paul] here also encourages the hearer on the same ground, showing that gifts are bestowed not for the honor of one above another, but for the work of the Church, even as he says further on, for the perfecting [restoring or equipping] of the Saints, to the work of ministry, to the building up of the body of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:12] (St. John Chrysostom)

“Each and every person has the same measure of value to God...it is not because of our merit that we have come to faith in Christ. Instead, God chose us out of his goodness and grace…The fallacy of gaining salvation by human effort remains as strong as ever—people still think good intentions are the key to unlock the door to eternal life...it is God’s sovereign choice to save us by His goodness and mercy, and not by our own merit.” (Scott Hinkle, Life Application Study Bible, Deuteronomy 7:6-8, Romans 9:16, 11)

“Our salvation and calling are based on His grace and love, not on anything we have done to merit God’s favor…The teaching of the New Testament is that God’s grace, our free will, and our faith and good works, are intimately connected. The Holy Spirit energizes in us both faith and good works as we thirst for and seek God’s grace. Neither faith nor good works can be presented as merit before God, but only as return gifts in humility, love, and thanksgiving.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 2 Timothy 1:9, Fr. Theodore Stylianopoulos)

“The Church...has given us the methods of prayer, fasting, almsgiving, etc. as a means of helping to restore our spiritual health. These are not attempts to earn merit or reward before God, but rather therapeutic exercises.” (Clark Carlton)

#StJohnChrysostom #FrTheodoreStylianopoulos #ScottHinkle #LifeApplicationStudyBible #OrthodoxStudyBible #ClarkCarlton

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