Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Orthodoxy - Dogma - Psychotherapeutic - Salvation


Regarding the Church

by the Elder Porphyrios of Kafsokalyvia

Source:  "Elder Porphyrios: The Biography and the Words"
published by the Sacred Monastery Chrysopege, Chania, Crete


...The Church is a beginning-less, never-ending, eternal institution, just like Her founder, the Triadic God, is beginning-less, never-ending and eternal. The Church is uncreated, just as God is uncreated.  She has existed before the ages, before the angels, before the creation of the world.  ...before the foundation of the world... (Ephesians 1:4), as the Apostle Paul tells us.  She is a divine institution, and there, "...within Him, dwells all the fullness of godhood... (Colossians 2:9).
(OODE note:  Given that "all the fullness" dwells within Christ, and Christ is the Head of the Church, this phrase necessarily applies to the Church).
This is an expression of the variform wisdom of God. It is the mystery of all mysteries. It was undisclosed, and was made manifest at the end of the ages (1 Peter 1:20). The Church remains unshakeable, because She is rooted in the love and the wise providence of God.

The eternal Church is comprised of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity.  From the very beginning, both the angels and humans were in God's will and His love.  We humans weren't born just recently.  In God's omniscience, we have existed before the ages. God's love fashioned us in His image and in His likeness.  He included us in His Church, even though He knew of our apostasy.  He gave us everything to make us gods also - through Grace and for free - and yet we, with the misuse of our freedom, have lost our primordial beauty, the primordial justice, and have cut ourselves off from the Holy Trinity; we have lost Paradise, everything.  However, outside the Church, salvation does not exist; life does not exist.  That is why the merciful heart of God - our Father - did not leave us out of His love. He opened the gates of Paradise for us once again - at the end of the ages - and revealed Himself in the flesh.
With the divine Incarnation of the only-begotten Son of God, God's pre-eternal plan for man's salvation was manifested again to mankind.  As the Apostle Paul said to Timothy:  "...and admittedly it is great, this mystery of godliness; Who revealed Himself in the flesh, was justified in the Spirit, was seen by the angels, was preached to the Gentiles, was believed in the world, and ascended in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16). The Apostle's words are words that are dense with meaning - divine words, heavenly words!
In His infinite love God has reunited us with His Church, in the Person of Christ.  By entering the uncreated Church, we approach Christ; we ourselves enter into the uncreated.  In other words, we the faithful are called upon to become uncreated - to partake of the divine energies of God, to penetrate the mystery of godhood, to overcome our worldly conscience, to die as "the ancient person" and become godlike.  When we live in the Church, we live in Christ.  This is a very delicate matter.... we cannot comprehend it. Only the Holy Spirit can teach it to us...




Translation by A. N.


Article published in English on: 3-4-2011.

Last update: 3-4-2011.