Orthodox Christian Topics
Orthodox Christian Messages XIII
Written by Greg Pantelidis BSc(Hons)

1. Keep the five ethical precepts: Fasting and canonical eating, Charity and canonical possessing, Obedience, Humility, and Chastity.
2. Do not rebel against God. You must obey God. If you do not obey God you will lose gospel virtue, gospel wisdom, and spiritual gifts.
3. If you have the Holy Spirit you have light. If you do not have the Holy Spirit you do not have light.
4. Lord Jesus is the king of kings, the warrior of warriors, the philosopher of philosophers, the teacher of teachers, the perfect practitioner and teacher of spiritual law.
5. The commandments are not 613. The commandments for an Orthodox Christian are 1 million and more. Every form of evil is the transgression of a commandment. Every form of evil is forbidden for an Orthodox Christian.
6. Be frugal and specific in reading and you will be enlightened and comforted.
7. Have a frugal, simple, humble, and watchful mind, and you will be enlightened and comforted.
8. In all your works know that you require the help of God. In all your problems seek the help of God. With the help of God we can achieve everything.
9. Do not seek first places in the world. True glory is worldly non-glory. True glory is humility and obscurity.
10. With the help of Lord Jesus we can do all things. (See Phil. 4:13).
11. We have an inclination to evil that must be corrected by the grace of Lord Jesus. (See Gen. 6:5).
12. You must be purified of sin and passion in order to help others be purified. It is a great shame to be unpurified and to attempt to purify others.
13. If the officeholders of the church are not light, how can they give light to the people? If the officeholders of the church are not salt, how can they salt the people? If the officeholders of the church are enemies of God how can they reconcile the people to God? If the officeholders of the church do not have gospel virtue how can they make the people have gospel virtue? If the officeholders of the church practice lawlessness how can they teach the people to be lawful?
14. God works in synergy with us. All our good thoughts, good words, and good works are gifts of God. It is up to us to make good use of them. For we know in part and prophesy in part. (See 1 Cor. 13:9).
15. God calls every person to His kingdom. Each person responds for himself. The free will of each person cannot be compelled. Either a person receives God or rejects Him.
16. The fundamental tenet of the Orthodox Christian spiritual life is humility. Only the humble receive the grace of the Holy Spirit. (See Prov. 3:34 and 1 Peter 5:5).
17. God allows poverty, disease, and oppression so that we humble ourselves and devote ourselves to Him.
18. In the secular church each person is the competitor of other persons. That is why there is envy, enmity, and hatred in the secular church. Competing persons cannot have peace and love for each other. Competing persons cannot cultivate brotherhood and unity.
19. Our chief work is to humble ourselves. From humility we will increase in grace, love, and every virtue. God requires us to be humble so that He can give us His Holy Spirit.
20. Do not exalt your opinion but be always ready to humble your opinion.
21. Let the fathers and mothers and brethren test your opinion. Never have an untested opinion.
22. Every baptized Orthodox Christian is a member of Christ. Respect and love every member of Christ. Support every member of Christ. Help every member of Christ.
23. It is easy to do evil. It is with much effort that we practice virtue. Virtue is difficult, but vice is easy. We must move ourselves to always practice virtue.
24. If a person does not believe in God and return to Him through repentance, he cannot become good and wise. Goodness and wisdom are gifts of God.
25. If you are devoted to God you will not pay attention to food, possessions, glory, or romance. Neither will you have conflict over food, possessions, glory, or romance.
26. When combating an evil thought change topic, so that you do not give place to the evil thought to act.
27. Does a transgressor need punishment? The guilt of his conscience will accuse him all his life. Is there a greater punishment than this? A transgressor must mourn for the rest of his life.
28. The imitation of Lord Jesus is to keep His law. By keeping the law of Lord Jesus we imitate Him and become as He is.
29. Seek the One, the Trinitarian Lord. Do not seek food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, or romance.
30. Be rich in virtue, spiritual knowledge, and good works. Do not be rich only in food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, or romance.
31. Lawlessness is death. Lawfulness is life. Lawlessness is darkness. Lawfulness is light. Lawlessness is sorrow. Lawfulness is joy. Lawlessness is unhappiness. Lawfulness is happiness.
32. The law of Moses and the law of Lord Jesus were given to show us the way of life. Without faith in Lord Jesus and the sacramental life of the Orthodox Christian Church we cannot keep neither the law of Moses nor the law of Lord Jesus.
33. Lawlessness separates us from God. As long as we cling to lawlessness we are separated from God. When though we cling to lawfulness we return to God. For God is not a God of lawlessness (See Ps. 5:4), but a God of lawfulness.
34. Practice lawful thoughts, lawful feelings, lawful words, and lawful works. Be an exemplar of lawfulness.
35. Keep monastic commandments if you have the blessing from your spiritual father. Monastic commandments are celibacy, complete poverty, and complete self-denial.
36. If you break God’s law you must repent and return to the practice of God’s law.
37. Call to Lord Jesus unceasingly. Call: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy”. It is with the power and mercy of Lord Jesus that you can be freed from vice and practice gospel virtue. It is with the power of Lord Jesus that you can be saved.
38. Live the quality life, the life of lawfulness. Reject the non-quality life, the life of lawlessness.
39. The New Testament does not allow evil for evil. (See Rom. 12:17). The Old Testament allowed evil for evil, but in the New Testament it is strictly forbidden. The New Testament says: good for good, good for evil, good for neutrality.
40. The life of gospel virtue must be chosen voluntarily. Gospel virtue cannot be compelled. Gospel virtue requires a free will devoted to Lord Jesus.
41. The vices are perversions of natural attributes. For example, Godly jealousy is a jealousy for virtue, spiritual knowledge and spiritual gifts. Ungodly jealousy is a jealousy for glory, possessions, beauty, or romance. Godly fear is a fear of transgression, punishment, and separation from God. Ungodly fear is fear of social situations, fear of tyrants, fear of public exposure, fear of public opinion.
42. We first receive the betrothal of grace. If we preserve our betrothal, in the other life we receive the marriage of grace.
43. The science of virtue is the greatest of sciences. Understanding virtues and vices is true wisdom.
44. Have the four pursuits before you: food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, and romance. Which of these is the dragon promoting greed and overpractice in? Overeating, overpossessing, vanity, disobedience, or unchastity?
45. Seek the joy of the spiritual life, the life of non-wealth, non-glory, and non-pleasure.
46. Do you love food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, and romance, or do you love God and neighbor?
47. The Holy Spirit is given by faith in Lord Jesus, repentance, and the sacraments of the Orthodox Christian Church. Only by faith in Lord Jesus can we receive the Holy Spirit.
48. Love cannot bear to see other persons suffering. Love seeks to deliver other persons from their faults and torments. Love embraces all, both saint and sinner.
49. Go to the top. The Lord wishes you to rise to perfection and excellence. It is the will of God that you become perfect in holiness. (See Matt. 5:48).
50. The four types of person constitute the four ways: the carnal way, the psychical way, the natural way, and the spiritual way.
51. All the good we have is a gift of God. All the bad is due to us. We must seek deliverance from the bad we have. We must not hide the bad we have but confess it and seek deliverance.
52. Reject attachment to food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, and romance. Food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, and romance are gifts of God. Do not view these gifts as yours and you will be free, happy, joyful and charitable.
53. True slavery is slavery to the passions. True freedom is freedom from the passions.
54. We must resolve our guilt due to sin by repentance and Holy Confession. Only by restitution and the sacrament of Holy Confession can we resolve our guilt.
55. Saint Kosmas Aitolos on Holy Confession. (From Teaching IV).
1. Firstly, you must forgive your enemies.
2. Secondly, you must find a Confessor who is good, educated, and virtuous. Say to him all your sins cleanly. If you have 100 sins and say only 99 to the Confessor and do not reveal one, all of them remain unforgiven. And when you sin you must have shame, but when you confess you must have no shamefulness. At confession say first to your Confessor: I will be sent to Hell-fire because I do not love God and my brethren with all my heart as myself. Then at confession say whatever troubles your conscience: if you have killed, fornicated, taken a false oath, dishonored your parents, and such things.
3. Thirdly, your Confessor will ask you: Why have you done these sins? Be careful not to blame anyone else but yourself. Say: These I did by my evil choice.
4. Fourthly, when you leave confession you must make a firm decision that you would rather shed your blood than sin again.

56. Wealth, glory, and pleasure cannot give true joy and happiness to our heart. True joy and happiness of heart is found in humility, non-wealth, non-glory, and non-pleasure.
57. If you have guilt you must resolve it by repentance and Holy Confession.
58. Keep the fundamental precept: obedience to Lord Jesus. Obedience to Lord Jesus is achieved by obedience to your spiritual father, obedience to your elders, and obedience to your mother and father.
59. O, how comforting is obedience! How joyful is obedience! How useful is obedience! How blessed is obedience!
60. Always speak with love. Love never speaks harshly.
61. You can achieve all things with the help of God. (See Phil. 4:13).
62. Every person you encounter is sent to help you achieve your destiny of salvation.
63. Natural law is symmetry: good for good, evil for evil, neutrality for neutrality. Spiritual law is one-sided symmetry: good for good, good for evil, good for neutrality.
64. Humility is to acknowledge the gifts of God.
65. Take care of your soul. Take care of your body.
66. Do not be a self-corrupter. Do not corrupt your soul. Do not corrupt your body. Care for your soul. Care for your body.
67. What we sow we will reap: good for good, evil for evil, neutrality for neutrality. The world practices symmetry and will return good for good, evil for evil, and neutrality for neutrality. The Orthodox Christian must never return evil for evil, or neutrality for neutrality. An Orthodox Christian must return always good: good for good, good for evil, good for neutrality.
68. Be altruistic. Consider the soul needs and body needs of your neighbor. Consider the likes, dislikes, and neutralities of your neighbor.
69. Reject praise, honor, and glory. Seek non-praise, non-honor, and non-glory.
70. Be a heavenly person. Be an angel upon the earth.
71. Do not be an imposer, imposing your opinion and will on others. Respect the opinion and will of others.
72. Is your suffering the reaping of what you sowed, or is it a test?
73. The four pursuits of food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, and romance cause suffering. We must transcend the four pursuits by being detached from food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, and romance. The four pursuits generate the five vices of wrath, sorrow, lethargy, pride, and envy. An Orthodox Christian must transcend these five vices which cause suffering. An Orthodox Christian must transcend attachment to the four pursuits and transcend the five vices they generate. Suffering will end if we transcend attachment to the four pursuits and the five vices they generate.
74. Be just not only in words but also in thoughts, feelings, and works.
75. Works are of three types: right works, wrong works, or no works. According to natural law we reap right works for right works, wrong works for wrong works, no works for no works.
76. From overeating arises suffering. From stealing and overpossessing arises suffering. From disobedience arises suffering. From vanity arises suffering. From unchastity arises suffering. But from fasting and canonical eating arises joy. From charity and canonical possessing arises joy. From obedience arises joy. From humility arises joy. From chastity arises joy.
77. Lord Jesus made the eternal sacrifice of atonement for the sins of all persons. All we need now is to partake of this atoning sacrifice, repenting unceasingly of our sins.
78. Lord Jesus is God in the flesh. God became man in order to give man the Holy Spirit he had lost.
79. Call unceasingly to Lord Jesus: Lord Jesus have mercy.
80. Suffering comes from attachment to the four pursuits of food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, and romance. This suffering takes the form of wrath, sorrow, lethargy, pride, envy, rancor, fear, greed, and hatred. If we become detached from the four pursuits of food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, and romance, our suffering will come to an end.
81. To become an abode of the Lord you must receive Him when He visits you, devoting your soul and body to Him.
82. If we have humility conflict over food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, and romance will cease.
83. Partake unceasingly of the holy things: Holy Communion, Holy bread (antidoron), Holy water, Holy oil, Holy cake (phanouropita), Consecrated bread (arton), Consecrated barley (koliva).
84. The remedy to all our problems is one: humility. Faith in Lord Jesus and humility are the remedy to all our problems.
85. Humble greatly your soul. (See Wisdom of Sirach 7:17). Great humility is the panacea of our soul.
86. If only you could be perfectly dead to self. Dead and free! Perfectly obedient to Lord Jesus. No longer living for self. (See Gal. 2:20).
87. Are you suffering from attachment, greed, wrath, sorrow, lethargy, pride, envy, rancor, fear, or hatred?
88. Are you suffering from some thought and some passion? Identify the thought clearly and honestly, then confess it to your spiritual father. Do the same for the passion.
89. Are you suffering from attachment to food, possessions (including knowledge), glory, or romance? Become detached and you will be free and happy.
90. What is the solution to harsh elders and the rebellion that arises towards them in subjects? The apostle Peter teaches to be submissive. (See 1 Peter 2:18).
91. The dragon seeks to lead us to pride on the right and despair on the left.
92. Have faith in the power of Lord Jesus. It is with the power of Lord Jesus that we can defeat sin, passion, pride, and despair. It is with the power of Lord Jesus that we can practice every virtue. It is with the power of Lord Jesus that we can be saved.
93. Can you fathom my shame before the Judgment Seat of Lord Jesus? Can you fathom that Lord Jesus will judge my thoughts, feelings, words, and works from the day I was born to the day I died?
94. All our passions will be defeated if we practice humility, meekness, mercy, and love.
95. Practice the three ascetic practices: frugality, celibacy, and self-denial.
96. The fundamental practice of Orthodox Christianity is self-denial. (See Matt. 16:24).
97. Practice self-denial and you will be free and happy.
98. Practice self-denial and you will be useful to Lord Jesus, and useful to your neighbor.
99. Practice self-denial and your life will be full of joy and blessing.
100.Practice self-denial and you will attain salvation.
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