«Be ye holy; for I am holy». 1 Peter 1:16
«And ye shall be holy to me; because I the Lord your God [am] holy». Leviticus 20:26
Saint Justin Popovich of Chelije in Serbia
True spiritual life begins when we live in Christ and Christ lives in us, right here on this earth.
Actually, a man’s real life begins with his faith in the Lord Christ, which commits all his soul, all his heart, all his strength to the Lord Christ, Who gradually sanctifies, transfigures, deifies them. And through that sanctification, transfiguration, and deification the grace-filled Divine energies, which give him the all-powerful feeling and consciousness of personal immortality and personal eternity, are poured out upon him. In reality, our life is life inasmuch as it is in Christ. And as much as it is in Christ is shown by its holiness: the holier a life, the more immortal and more eternal it is.
“What are Christians? Christians are Christ-bearers, and, by virtue of this, they are bearers and possessors of eternal life…. The Saints are the most perfect Christians, for they have been sanctified to the highest degree with the podvigs of holy faith in the risen and eternally living Christ, and no death has power over them. Their life is entirely Christ’s life; and their thought is entirely Christ’s thought; and their perception is Christ’s perception. All that they have is first Christ’s and then theirs…. In them is nothing of themselves but rather wholly and in everything the Lord Christ.”
Who is a Christian? A Christian is a man who lives by Christ and in Christ... Life according to the Gospel, holy life, Divine life, that is the natural and normal life for Christians.
Verily, verily I say unto you: he that believes in me has eternal life (John 6: 47), and he has already passed from death unto life (John 5: 24).
Faith in the Lord Christ unites man with the eternal Lord Who, according to the measure of man’s faith, pours out in his soul eternal life so that he then feels and realizes himself to be eternal. And this he feels to a greater degree inasmuch as he lives according to that faith which gradually sanctifies his soul, heart, conscience, his entire being, by the grace-filled Divine energies. In proportion to the faith of a man the sanctification of his nature increases. And the holier the man is, the stronger and more vivid is his feeling of personal immortality and the consciousness of his own and everybody else’s immortality.
Living by Christ, the saints can do the works of Christ, for by Him they become not only powerful but all-powerful: “I can do all things in Christ Jesus who strengthens me” (Phillip. 4: 13). And in them is clearly realized the truth of the All-True One, that those who believe in Him will do His works and will do greater things than these: “Verily, verily I say unto you: he that believeth in me, the works that I do he shall do also and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14: 12). And truly: the shadow of the Apostle Peter healed; by a word St. Mark the Ascetic moved and stopped a mountain… When God became man, then Divine life became human life, Divine power became human power, Divine truth became human truth, and Divine righteousness became human righteousness: everything which is God’s became man’s.
There is no spiritual death from which one cannot be resurrected by the Divine power of the risen and ascended Lord Christ; there is no torment, there is no misfortune, there is no misery, there is no suffering which the Lord will not change either gradually or all at once into quiet, compunctionate joy because of faith in Him.
And again there are countless soul-stirring examples of how a sinner becomes a righteous man in the Lives of the Saints
Taken from Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ, by Saint Justin Popovich .
We have seen the true Light,we have received the heavenly Spirit,we have found the true Faith,worshiping the undivided Trinity,for He has saved us.
O Lord, sprinkle on my heart the dew of Thy grace;
By the power of Thy love, grant me to hold fast to that which is good.
Establish me in the path of Thy commandments
and to my last breath let me not stray from the light of Thine ordinances,
that Thy commandments may become the sole law of my being
on this earth and in all eternity.
Yea, Lord, I pray Thee, have pity on me.