Our Relationship with God: 4. The natural and supernatural gifts of Man

Our Relationship with God: 4. The natural and supernatural gifts of Man


Very Rev. Archimandrite Zacharias (Zacharou)

Something similar occurs with our natural gifts: when man puts all his confidence in them, giving them absolute value, then his very gifts obstruct the road that leads to the acquisition ofzacharias-zaharou-in supernatural gifts that are conferred by God in His goodness. In our relationships, we notice the same thing: if they are not founded upon the assurance of our holy relationship with God, they will be weak and brittle, always ready to collapse and in danger of becoming an unending source of grief and torment. That is why the Lord says that every wise man who is taught the mystery of the Kingdom of God ‘bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old’.[1] This means that he acts in such a way so that all the natural features of his unredeemed nature may serve the increase of the supernatural gifts which God grants in accordance with the process of his spiritual regeneration for the glory of God and the salvation of all men.

Certainly, all that happened to those of old, was nothing but shadows and types of that which God was about to reveal in the last days. In the Person of the Lord Jesus He passed down to us the perfect truth and we came to know the perfect relationship with God and with men. During His life in the flesh, Christ made manifest the perfect relationship of love which exists in the bosom of the Holy Trinity. The Son reveals and glorifies the Name of His Heavenly Father and the Father glorifies the Son and bears witness repeatedly that the Son lives wholly in the Father and the Father in the Son and that He is ‘the Son of His love’[2] and of ‘His good-pleasure’.[3]

[1] Matt 13:52.
[2] Col. 1:13.
[3] Cf. Matt. 3:17, 12:18, 17:5, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22.



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Pemptousia Partnership

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.