Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person – the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.
Very Rev. Archimandrite Zacharias (Zacharou)
Certainly, the Gospel of Christ was not received of man and is not after man. He Himself assures us that ‘without Him’ no good work is able to be completed. This is why He says imperatively to Nicodemus that he must be ‘born again’ from above, in order to understand His mysteries, to enact His commandments and thus to become ‘fit for the Kingdom of God’.
In our given situation we know that nothing is able to help us to fulfil our great purpose, which is to become children of paradise, neither the vanity of the world that surrounds us, nor the corruptible achievements of its created intelligence. Neither do we have enough light in our mind and strength in our heart so as to overcome all the ‘filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness’ that we carry within us, so that we may be raised up over the wall that surrounds us. We are too weak to stand in the presence of God and thus to receive from Him the gift of the Spirit and to become a ‘new creation’, capable of every good work that is pleasing to God and of truthful relations with our fellows.
However, we shall be blessed if, being conscious of our poverty and our nothingness, we take refuge in God, trusting in the honour He bestowed on us through His commandments and promises towards us. As the eternal Gospel of Christ affirms, ‘as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.’ Man’s rebirth occurs through his acceptance of the word of Christ. This word, as the ‘seed’ of God, remains in him as the law of life and does not allow him to sin ‘because he has been born of God’.
(to be continued)
 Cf. Gal. 1:11-12.
 Cf. John 15:5.
 Cf. John 3:3.
 Luke 9:62.
 Jas. 1:21.
 2 Cor. 5:17.
 John 1:12.
 Luke 8:11.
 1 John 3:9.
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