Table of Contents
Evangelism is an important task of the church, and it is important to recognize that the Holy Spirit is the primary agent of it. He inspires Christians to evangelize and to proclaim the good news. This inspiration also guides the church’s proclamation and obedience to the faith. Consequently, Christians must listen carefully to the Holy Spirit and follow his promptings. Moreover, evangelizing mission is pursued within the framework of the respect for individual freedom, and through dialogue with other faith traditions.
The Holy Spirit is a gift of God. According to the Orthodox Church, it is given to people who believe in Jesus. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit was given to some people. Since it was considered a private gift, the church did not censor it. Nevertheless, the gift of the Holy Spirit has been used by some Christians, and is even attributed to certain orthodox saints.
The Chrismation of the holy spirit is an important ritual in the Orthodox Christian faith. The Holy Spirit comes to a person as a gift from the Father and is received through baptism. This rite is often associated with a celebration of the Eucharist. The Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Spirit manifests itself in various ways, including prophecy and the use of tongues.
For those new to the Orthodox Church, chrismation is considered a personal Pentecost. As a new member of the church, the Chrismation prayer marks acceptance of the faith. The prayer confers the gift of the Holy Spirit to the person, and the person is considered a member of the Church. The chrismation is also connected to the anointing of priests and kings in the Old Testament.
Purity of soul and body
In the Bible, the holy spirit speaks about the purity of soul and body. An impure soul cannot receive the grace of God, as it is full of lusts and worldly affections. A pure soul is free of such things and is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Orthodox saints have a close relationship with animals. Many are known for their benevolence towards animals, while others play a protective role for them. One such saint is St. Tryphon, patron of gardens. Animals are an extension of God, and Saints are encouraged to send them away from the suffering of humankind and into their care. They also proclaim that God is in a relationship with all creatures and that those that benefit humankind are a symbol of God.
Keeping faith in tradition
Keeping faith in tradition for the Orthodox requires a conscious effort to remain true to the past and to the orthodox tradition. It is impossible to be content with a ‘theology of repetition’ or to accept the formulae of the past without seeking to understand their meaning. To be faithful to Tradition, true thinkers must enter its spirit and enter it from within. This is much more than intellectual assent.
The tradition of Orthodox Christianity encompasses the books of the Bible, the Creed, decrees of Ecumenical Councils, writings of the Fathers, and the entire system of doctrine, worship, and art. The Church has the responsibility to preserve this great inheritance and pass it on to future generations.
The book of Tobit, considered canon by most Orthodox theologians, contains a section that describes spiritual deception among saints. In the story, the good angel Raphael lied to Tobit about his identity, but reveals his identity at the end. Similarly, St. Nektarios of Aegina used deception several times. For instance, he once did a work for a student, but let people think he was doing it.
The Holy Spirit can work through people in ways that cannot be explained by our native intelligence or our background. We cannot explain how we hear and confess without the help of the Holy Spirit.