One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism. Descending,then Ascending Fulfills The Gospel. Audio Homily 2010

The descent into Hell and the raising of Adam and EveLISTEN NOW

Synopsis: In this longer than usual sermon, the first part of Ephesians chapter 4 is expounded on. This selection not only presents important dogmas that are the bedrock of our faith, it also presents the proper perspective to have regarding our neighbor – a perspective that will help us to fulfill all the commandments. The doctrine of Christ's descent into Hell is discussed, and its moral application to all of our prayer, and indeed, all of our life. This selection contains some of the most important spiritual lessons a pastor can preach.

More homilies on the 25th day after Pentecost are HERE

Ephesians 4:1-6I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, (2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; (3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (4) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
 
(7) But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (9) (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? (10) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)


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3 Responses to “One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism. Descending,then Ascending Fulfills The Gospel. Audio Homily 2010”

  1. Thank you, Father.

  2. Deborah says:

    I thank you, as well, Father. This was a powerful exhortation and inspired these thoughts:
     
    Your words and this passage in Ephesians reminded me of the scripture "Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ"  Galatians 6:2
     
    Christ descended and entered into the suffering of mankind, even into the depths of Hades.  So in order to follow Him, to fulfill His law and purpose, I have to descend and enter into my brother's suffering. Only by going to where he is, in the lowliness of his suffering, will I be able to reach him in order to pick him up and ascend with him to the throne of God's grace.  Prayers are only lip service, empty words, without this.
     
    This is what makes true intercession and prayer so hard.  This is what often makes me, in my sinfulness, avoid even attempting it.  I want to ascend, to experience the Beauty and Peace of God.  But first I must descend not only into my brother's suffering but must also face my own.  I must first descend into the darkness of my own sinful heart and deal with what I find there.  To do this is not easy or painless.
     
    It is only through the Spirit of Christ that I am able to enter into this fiery furnace to face my sins and enter into the sufferings of others. Only through His strength am I made able to bear my own burdens, much less the burdens of others.  And only when I have done this will I be able to come up out of the fiery furnace of Hades and ascend to Heaven.  Through His grace and power, in the strange economy of God, in descending I ascend and in entering into the fiery furnace I am bedewed and not consumed.

     

  3. Thank you, Father!
    Yes, it's not easy to descend into one's own hell…As you encounter darkness. But without this it's impossible to see the light. The light is not visible when it shines. We begin looking for light when we occur in the darkness. Our Lord passes us through many dim places, circumstances which seem to us endless, but it teaches us to seek the light. His Light that enlighten the world. And which guides us to the road of salvation.
    Only from the depth of the darkness we can appreciate the light. It gives us strength to carry the burdens of our neighbors, and our own ones. But it takes time. And our efforts. Prayers, prayers, prayers….
    Stretching a helping hand to our neighbor – is an antidote to despair. Sometimes it's the only way out when we are in a gloomy state of mind, when our soul seems a dusty dry desert.  But if we manage to help someone – just a kind smile, a reassuring, some time we allocate, something – just a movement of our soul – even practically invisible to us, but so precious in the eyes of God – and we help not only to our neighbor, but to ourselves. As thus we fulfill God's Commandment, which is the Light to our ways…
    Father, bless.
    Deborah, thank you! May God teaches me to face my own sufferings. In the Light of His Eternal Truth.
     

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