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Hearing and Believing

“ ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. (John 17:24)’” How do we describe the spiritual state of the person who avoids condemnation on the Day of Judgment? The Lord affirms in verse 24 that those who hear and believe in Him have already attained everlasting life. This life of which the Lord speaks has become a gracious reality. Life, for the faithful, is not limited to life after death: we may embrace it now. We move out of our former manner of living – a state called death – into a mode of spiritual existence called life.” (Dynamis 4/29/2020)

“St. Paul recognizes something that we who live in a society of religious toleration and indifference might forget. He puts it bluntly in 1 Corinthians: “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). By this, we must understand the absolute difference between the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God. If we try to accommodate the wisdom of the Gospel of salvation to the wisdom of this world, they will see it as folly. And ultimately, we will feel disgraced by it as if one must be a fool to believe it. But if we hear and believe the Gospel on its spiritual terms, for us it will be the power of God to save us.” (Fr. Basil)

“We open our minds and hearts to understand the Word of God as it comes to us through Scripture, but also through the Liturgy and through the entire range of ascetic practices and charitable acts that make up our daily life in Christ. Then, by the power and guidance of the Spirit, by His “internal testimony,” we receive the Word of God, we allow ourselves to be transformed by it, and we bear witness to its truth, so that others, by the grace of that same Spirit, might hear and believe.” (Fr. John Breck)

“…the faith of the Apostles was life-transforming. The life of each disciple of Christ was radically changed through an encounter with the Son of God. Simple, ordinary people became champions of the faith. In hearing the call to service, the Apostles sacrificed much for the sake of the Cross and offered their lives so that others might hear and believe in the Gospel of the kingdom. In so doing, their own lives were transformed in holiness, they were granted great wisdom, and they were received by our Lord into a blessed and eternal communion of life and love.” (Encyclical of SCOBA)

“Thomas represents all of us who want to see something of Christ so that we can believe. There are not a few Christians who want to see something in order to believe in Christ’s resurrection. Despite what’s often said, Thomas wasn’t an unbeliever; he was a doubter. He couldn’t get his mind round the fact that a human being had defeated death and had risen from the grave. He felt he couldn’t rely only on the testimony of the other disciples, who had actually seen Christ; he wanted to see for himself before he believed.” (Sotirios Theologou)


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