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Obedience (and Freedom and Salvation)

“Obedience is not to carry out this or that order that you were given, while you object on the inside. Obedience is to subordinate your soul’s convictions so that you may be freed from your evil self. Obedience is to become a slave in order to become free. Purchase your freedom for a small price…And don’t listen to that thought of yours which advises you.” (Elder Joseph the Hesychast)

“Obedience is to subordinate the soul to Christ…but this subordination is offered in full freedom…Christian obedience is commitment to Christ as our King and God. It is allegiance. We become His obedient servants…If we…are to gain our freedom, let us ever commit ourselves to keeping our lives centered on that which the Lord directs, commands, asks, and explains.” (Dynamis 3/31/2021)

“In His divine nature, Christ shares one will with the Father and the Holy Spirit; He can do nothing of Himself (Jn 5:30), apart from the Father. But in His humanity, He possesses free will and at all times must choose to remain obedient to the divine will of the Father.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 4:3)

“The virtues that are typically associated with the child are humility, simplicity, unaffected love, trust, and obedience. Christ exercised these virtues through the whole of his life. Unfortunately, as a consequence of the fall and sin, we are prone with age to shed these gifts of childhood.” (Vigen Guroian)

“People are free to follow the road to Christ and His Kingdom. In the spiritual life, our freedom plays a defining role in our salvation…spiritual guides aren’t interested in acquiring some form of mechanical obedience, but rather they attempt to bring their spiritual children to spiritual maturity, so that they can decide for themselves. Spiritual guides help people to uncover their deeper self and, by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, to overcome narrow human boundaries and to attain salvation. It’s the combination of our freedom and Divine Grace that brings us salvation. Neither Divine Grace without our cooperation, nor our efforts without the aid of the Holy Spirit will bring us to salvation. Our freedom and responsibility as independent factors in the task of our salvation are to be understood in this context.” (Protopresbyter Efstratios Karatsoulis)


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