The Orthodox Church as a Continuous Pentecost7 June 2020
Who is Jesus Christ, the God and human person? Who is God in Him and who is human? How can we recognize God and how do we know the human person? What did God give us in Jesus Christ? All of this is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, the ‘Spirit of Truth’. In other words, He reveals to us the truth about Himself, about the God in Him, the human person and the reason why He give us all this. And moreover, this infinitely surpasses anything that the human eyes have seen, that the ears have heard and that the heart has ever felt.
By His incarnate life on earth, Jesus, as God and human person, established His theanthropic Body, the Church and, through this, prepares the earthly world for the coming, the life and the activity of the Holy Spirit in the Church, as the soul of that body.
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended from heaven onto the theanthropic body of the Church and has remained within it since then as its All-Life-Giving soul. This visible theanthropic body of the Church was constituted by the Holy Apostles, through their faith in Jesus Christ, as God and human person, as the Savior of the world and as perfect God and perfect human being. Both the descent and the whole of the action of the Holy Spirit in the theanthropic body of the Church come from Jesus and are because of Him, as God and human.
Everything in the theanthropic dispensation for our salvation came through the divine and human Jesus Christ Our Lord. Finally, everything is encapsulated and exists in the category of divinity/humanity, even the action of the Holy Spirit. Every activity of His in the world is inseparable from the theanthropic feat of Our Lord Jesus Christ in wresting the salvation of the world. Pentecost, with all the eternal gifts of the Triune Divinity, including that of the Holy Spirit Himself, defines the Church of the Holy Apostles, that is, the Holy Apostolic faith, the Holy Apostolic Tradition, the Holy Apostolic hierarchy, and everything Apostolic that is theanthropic.
The holy, spiritual day which began at Pentecost, has continued without interruption in the Orthodox Church, with the inexpressible richness of divine gifts and life-giving forces. Everything in the Church exists in the Holy Spirit, from the merest detail to the most sublime majesty. When the priest censes the church, he’s asking Our Lord Jesus Christ to send down the grace of the Holy Spirit. And God’s inexpressible miracle, Holy Pentecost, is repeated at the consecration of a bishop, at which the whole fullness of grace is given, making it manifestly clear to all that the whole life of the Church is constituted in the Holy Spirit.
There is no doubt that the Lord Jesus Christ is with the Holy Spirit in the Church and that the Church is with the Holy Spirit in Christ. The Lord is the Church’s Head and Body and the Holy Spirit is its soul. Even from the beginning of the theanthropic dispensation for the salvation of the world, the Spirit was associated with the foundations of the Church, that is the foundations of the body of Christ: ‘constructing the incarnation of the Word’.
In reality, every holy sacrament and all the divine virtues are in essence the Holy Spirit at work. Through these, the Holy Spirit comes to us and into us. He arrives truly and substantially, with all His significant divine energies. This- the richness of the divinity.
This- the fullness of grace. This- the grace and life of every being. It’s eternal and a Testamental Gospel. Our Lord Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Spirit, dwells within us, as we do in Him. This is itself bears witness to the Holy Spirit within us. We and the Holy Spirit dwell in Christ, as He does in us. And we know this ‘by the spirit he has given us’ (1 Jn. 3, 24).
In a word, the whole of the life of the Church, in all its numberless theanthropic realities, is led and guided by the Holy Spirit, Who is always the Spirit of Christ, the God and human person (Gal. 4, 6). This is why the New Testament says: ‘If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Him’ (Rom. 8, 9).
Saint Basil the Great, who imitated the cherubim in the theanthropic sacrament of the Church as the most beloved of all God’s mysteries, proclaims the very true and joyful message: ‘The Holy Spirit is the architect of the Church of God’.