Thursday, March 24, 2016

Concerning Carnal Sins ( Part 2 ) - ( St. Gregory Palamas )

Do not fornicate, lest you become a "member of an harlot" (1 Cor. 6:15) instead of a member of Christ, and so you are not severed from the
divine body, deprived of the heavenly inheritance, and cast into Hell.
We have been commanded to crucify our body along with its desires (Gal. 5:24). However, we fall into the same [carnal sins], on account of
which "the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" (Eph. 5:6).
Even though we have been ordered to mortify our "bodily members which are upon the earth"(Col.3:5), we do not execute this directive. Shouldn't we tremble the apostolic warnings, decisions, and counsels that have been voiced? "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy" (1 Cor. 3:17).
And elsewhere,"This you should know: that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God." (Eph. 5:5). And
again, "For this is the will of God: your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication...
For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness" (1 Th. 4:3-7). Who could adequately compile all the commandments that the Apostles and prophets have given us concerning this topic? What does the Apostle Paul order to them who live with modesty, and who for this reason are found amongst the members of Christ? "I wrote to you in an epistle," he says, "not to keep company with fornicators" (1 Cor. 5:9). Since they
themselves are not ashamed, he advises others to avoid keeping company with them in order to
make them feel ashamed: "If any man that is called a brother [i.e., a Christian] is a fornicator ... with such a person do not even eat" (1 Cor. 9:11). Do you see that whoever rolls in fornication is a
general defilement to the Church, and for this reason everyone must avoid him and keep him distanced? St. Paul himself handed over to Satan the fornicator from Corinth, and he did not recommend for anyone to show him love or to
receive him until he displayed the necessary and satisfactory repentance (1 Cor. 5:5). Therefore, definitely save your soul, dear brothers, from all the present and future evils [of fornication].

St. Gregory Palamas

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