The Meaning of Giving Holy Orthodoxy
First Corinthians Chapter One
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
With one voice and one mind, that of Christ Jesus, through the Paternal Love of the Father Who art in Heaven, and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who Art EVERYWHERE PRESENT, and Fillest All Things, the Treasury of All Blessings, let us NOT divide and form contentious factions amongst the Brethren. Let us heal the divisions that result from denominationalism that issue forth vain contentions and false doctrine, which swell from the source of the problem: the pride and heresies of Rome.
St. John Chrysostom had this to say about 1 Corinthians 1:1, "'Unto the Church of God.' Not 'of this or of that man,' but of God. 'Which is at Corinth.' Seest thou how at each word he puts down their swelling pride; training their thoughts in every way for heaven? He calls it, too, the Church 'of God;' shewing that it ought to be united. For if it be 'of God,' it is united, and it is one, not in Corinth only, but also in all the world: for the Church's name (Ecclesia: properly an assembly) is not a name of separation, but of unity and concord."
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
Today, there seem to be many contentions amongst Christians. These divisions are quite self-evident by examination of the principles which each denomination espouses as matters of Faith and Doctrine. Did you know, however, that many of these contentions were already settled by the Operation of the Holy Spirit in Church-wide councils? If so, it must be apparent what the councils decided would be a valid response against those who would espouse false doctrines contrary to the decisions of the Church-wide councils. So, therefore, it is very self-evident that the Church that adheres to the Church-wide councils is One in Essence and undivided. As St. John Chrysostom relates: the Church of God is a name of unity and concord and properly an assembly of God. (N.B. The term "assembly of God", as used in this article, should not be confused with the denomination using the name, "Assembly of God").
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
We have in our midst Baptists, Lutherans, Church of God in Christ, the Four-Square, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Unity Church of Christ, the Church of the Brethren, the Presbyterian Church, the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church, etc. in the group of over 300 denominations we call Christian..., but will the Genuine Christian Church please stand up?
It seems that many religious leaders attempt to teach the concepts of the Christian Faith without benefit of Holy Tradition, without Apostolic Community, without accurate understanding of Holy Scripture, without full understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and without the recognition of the unity available only through the Headship of the Holy Triune God.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Does the world perceive Christ as divided? Yes!!! Denominational Christianity, in the world's perception, is a scandal of great proportions. In truth, however, Christ is not divided. Not only that, Christ has never been divided and NEVER WILL BE DIVIDED!
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
Shall we let a man or woman be head of a Christian denomination, or, shall we seek the Headship of Jesus Christ, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, delivered by the Agape of the Father, guiding us into the unity of the Christian Faith without contention in His One, Genuine, Holy Orthodox Church of God?
15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
How many theologies are circulating through Christian denominationalism? How many leaders are there that teach novel twists of biblical interpretations? Which interpretation of Holy Scripture should we believe? Have we been shown to be in the study of truth or following a leader with blind trust, no matter what he/she teaches, wrongly? Is one person so perfect that he/she never commits error? Contentions/arguments are the root cause of division. False teachers have drawn and still do draw the flock astray. It is a past and a current problem. Yet, such divisions do not have to continue! The Apostle Paul preaches Unity and Concord through the Only Sure Vessel, which is Christ Jesus...The Great Apostle takes no part in vain contentions, and/or sowing discord, and/or preaching false doctrines.
16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
Shall we not embrace the leadership of our Lord Jesus Christ, instead of following a sinful man/woman? Does not the Faith remain pure, when we resolve all contentions in Ecumenical Councils? Can we truly embrace the Ecumenical Councils as the work of the Holy Spirit: guarding us from error and false teachings?
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Let us now take stock of our lives. Have we followed the ten commandments? Assuming the answer to be, "No", are we, then, not right with God? Assuming the answer to be, "Yes", would not we perish in Hades because of our state of guilt? For those people who are in this state, and who do not know our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Great Apostle, Paul, tells us that for them (of a hard heart), the preaching of the cross is foolishness!
But, for those of us who are saved: The Cross is the Power of God. Alleluia!
Are the hard hearted victims of theft? For those of us who are not saved, our eyes are shut, refusing to behold God and His Lordship over our lives, having a different master. Reality, therefore, for the hard hearted, is devoid of the power of Faith. Notably, Jesus Christ, our Lord God, teaches us, and demonstrates to us, that: Faith, AS THAT OF A TINY MUSTARD SEED, will manifestly suspend the "laws of physics", including the raising of people from the dead, the healing of incurable diseases, etc. If only we could be capable of such Faith. Christ Jesus laments that none of us have been able to exercise this dynamic strength of Faith.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
The scholasticism of Western theology is destroyed. Eastern theology continues to embrace mysticism to the Glory of God.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
The limitation of the five senses, the utter lack of understanding by men and women of things Divine, the utter lack of being able to grasp the Holy Wisdom of God is humankind's impediment to understanding the Creation of God. A creature cannot understand the Creation, because the creature is a part of the Creation. Thus, certain perceptions are beyond the creature, no matter what tools are brought to aid in the attempted revealment of the universal creation.
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
The world is blinded by its vain contentions and sinfulness. Salvation is by Faith. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. By the foolishness of preaching are we saved who believe. Those who seek a sign, or, who seek wisdom miss out on the believing Faith that saves.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
The world limits its knowledge to kingdoms, wars, famine, pestilences, suffering, sin, scientifically observable - verifiable laws, and therefore plants spiritual confusion. God presents, however, a different pathway: Follow One Invisible King and Lord, BELIEVE GOD IN ALL THINGS WITH A TRUSTING HEART, GIVE UNSELFISH Agape (charity) for all, ADOPT Resonance of Purpose, EMBRACE a Beautiful Way of Life filled with Peace and Harmony, and RECEIVE Holy Wisdom sent by God, the Logos (Word), to our ears to be INFUSED into our hearts.
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
St. John Chrysostom comments, "Just so with regard to the things of God; should we desire to explain them by the wisdom which is from without, great derision will ensue, not from their infirmity, but from the folly of men. For the great things of all no language can explain."
"Now observe: when I say, He (Christ) was crucified; the Greek saith, And how can this be reasonable? Himself He helped not when undergoing crucifixion and sore trial at the moment of the Cross: how then after these things did He rise again and help others? For if He had been able, before death was the proper time. (For this the Jews actually said.) (St. Matthew 27:41, 42.) But He who helped not Himself, how helped he others? There is no reason in it, saith he. True, O man, for indeed it is above reason; and unspeakable is the power of the Cross. For that being actually in the midst of horrors, He should have shewn Himself above all horrors; and being in the enemys hold should have overcome; this cometh of Infinite Power. For as in the case of the Three Children, their not entering the furnace would not have been so astonishing, as that having entered in they trampled upon the fire;and in the case of Jonah, it was a greater thing by far, after he had been swallowed by the fish, to suffer no harm from the monster, than if he had not been swallowed at all;so also in regard of Christ; His not dying would not have been so inconceivable, as that having died He should loose the bands of death. Say not then, why did He not help Himself on the Cross? for He was hastening on to close conflict with death himself. He descended not from the Cross, not because He could not, but because He would not. For Him Whom the tyranny of death restrained not, how could the nails of the Cross restrain?"
"Vast is the import of the things here spoken! For he means to say how by contraries God hath overcome, and how the Gospel is not of man. What he saith is something of this sort. When, saith he, we say unto the Jews, Believe; they answer, Raise the dead, Heal the demoniacs, Shew unto us signs. But instead thereof what say we? That He was crucified, and died, who is preached. And this is enough, not only to fail in drawing over the unwilling, but even to drive away those even who are willing. Nevertheless, it drives not away, but attracts and holds fast and overcomes."
"Again; the Greeks demand of us a rhetorical style, and the acuteness of sophistry. But preach we to these also the Cross: and that which, in the case of the Jews seemed to be weakness, this in the case of the Greeks is foolishness. Wherefore, when we not only fail in producing what they demand, but also produce the very opposites of their demand; (for the Cross has not merely no appearance of being a sign sought out by reasoning, but even the very annihilation of a sign; is not merely deemed no proof of power, but a conviction of weakness; not merely no display of wisdom, but a suggestion of foolishness;)when therefore they who seek for signs and wisdom not only receive not the things which they ask, but even hear the contrary to what they desire, and then by means of contraries are persuaded;how is not the power of Him that is preached unspeakable? As if to some one tempest-tost and longing for a haven, you were to shew not a haven but another wilder portion of the sea, and so could make him follow with thankfulness? Or as if a physician could attract to himself the man that was wounded and in need of remedies, by promising to cure him not with drugs, but with burning of him again! For this is a result of great power indeed. So also the Apostles prevailed, not simply without a sign, but even by a thing which seemed contrary to all the known signs. Which thing also Christ did in the case of the blind man. For when He would heal him, He took away the blindness by a thing that increased it: i.e. He put on clay. (St. John 9, 6.) As then by means of clay He healed the blind man, so also by means of the Cross He brought the world to Himself. That certainly was adding an offence, not taking an offence away. So did He also in creation, working out things by their contraries. With sand, for instance, He walled in the sea, having made the weak a bridle to the strong. He placed the earth upon water, having taken order that the heavy and the dense should be borne on the soft and fluid. By means of the prophets again with a small piece of wood He raised up iron from the bottom. (2 Kings 6, 5-7.) In like manner also with the Cross He hath drawn the world to Himself. For as the water beareth up the earth, so also the Cross beareth up the world. You see now, it is proof of great power and wisdom, to convince by means of the things which tell directly against us. Thus the Cross seems to be matter of offence; and yet far from offending, it even attracts."
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
For both Jews and Greeks, who are called, Christ is the Power of God, and they are able to see the wisdom (Sophia) of God and thus offer Orthodoxia (Correct Glory) to God. For such is the unity of God and His peoples who worship Him in Oneness of mind, Oneness of spirit, Oneness of purpose.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Since pride is the proto-sin of all sins, God purposefully calls the peoples who are NOT recognized by the world as wise or strong. In this manner, God raises His chosen peoples up to a level that is both wiser and stronger than men of the world.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
Sadly, it is a stumbling block for the wise men, the strong men, and the noble men (in pursuit of the flesh); they are unable to notice God and the power of the Cross due to their spiritual blindness and their hard-heartedness.
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
Yet, if any should be able to crash down the walls of the hard heart of the wise men, the strong men, and the noble men (in pursuit of the flesh), it would be the work of God's elect.
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
From humble beginnings, God raises up His elect to do mighty things in His Name for the Glory of God, properly due Him. By these things, God injects Agape (charity) into the world to enable the salvation of all, to bring to naught the evil works of Satan.
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
The works of the flesh shall never glory in His presence, because these works bring destruction, pain, sorrow, and death.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Yet, for those who are in Christ Jesus, is found Life. Unto us is made wisdom, righteousness, remission of sins, and salvation. Alleluia!
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Those who give Orthodoxia shall give such ONLY to the Lord Jesus Christ, in unity and concord. Thus the Faith exhibited is free of contentions and murmurings; but INSTEAD exhibited as One in Essence and Undivided!
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