Saturday, November 16, 2013
Christ as our Friend ( Elder Porphyrios )
With the love of Christ He becomes our friend. Saint John says, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. The person who fears is not perfected in love" (1 John 4:18). So as our love grows it dissolves our fear. Christ then becomes our friend.
Elder Porphyrios says,
Let us stretch out to Him and approach Him as a friend. Do we fall? Do we sin? With familiarity, love and trust let us run to Him––not with fear that He will punish us, but with the confidence which we deserve from the sense of being with a friend. We can say to him, 'I have fallen, forgive me.' At the same time however, let us have the sense that He loves us and that He receives us with tenderness and love and forgives us. This requires a surrender to His lordship and a willingness to work continually to carry out His will. We cannot lead a life of disregard and willful pursuit of self-gratifying pleasure a the expense of love for others and expect Christ to be our friend.
Don't let sin separate us from Christ. When we believe that He loves us and we love Him, we don't feel strangers and distanced from Him, even when we sin. We have secured His love, and however we behave, we know that He loves us.With true love for Him there is no fear. As long as we bind our soul with Him, our relationship with Him is unshakable. Love permeates and dominates.
Elder Porphyrios reminds us,
It is not the outward formalities that count; it is living with Christ that matters. When you achieve this, what else do you want? You have gained everything. You live in Christ and Christ lives in you. Thereafter everything is easy: obedience, humility and peace.Quotes from Wounded By Love, pp 104 - 105.