Form and content in the life of a Christian
– I was baptized and I want to be a real Christian. What should I do now? What usually a person will hear in response? “Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, fasting for days, fasting before Communion; the rule in the morning and in the evening, the rule before Communion, in the temple on Saturday and Sunday, to confess and receive communion; read spiritual literature, read the Gospel and the Apostle every day. " Perhaps they will say about charity and good deeds in general, although this is rare. You can also often hear about the observance of the commandments, and in general – the patient and attentive attitude towards people. Not working In general, all of this really answers the question “what to do?”, But none of these items, apart from reading the Scriptures, contain anything specifically Christian, and none of them belong only to the Orthodox Church. But for me, when I hear such lists, it is not the most difficult. The problem for me is that all of the above are laws, regulations, restrictions. This is the letter that kills. This is a frame that adds nothing to the content of the picture. “By law I died to the law, to live to God” (Gal. 2:19), says the apostle Paul. That is, the Old Testament Law made the apostle Paul "dead." What does it mean? The law determines the whole life of a person, strictly regulates it; in a sense – deprives him of his freedom, makes him dead. The new law, the old attitude. But isn't this the case with the gospel law? All this: “do not judge,” “first remove the speck from your own eye,” the commandments about love for God and neighbor, prayer rules, church discipline – do I not perceive them the same way, “as in the Old Testament”? Are they not prescriptions for me, fulfilling which, I will be “good” and will not owe anything to God? If so, then according to the apostle Paul, they will “kill” me in the same way, or at least they will not become the source of life of which the apostle John speaks in his epistle (1 John 1: 1-4). And it is this life, the abundant life, that is for me personally the most desired gift that I would like to receive from God. On the other hand, it is obvious that the complete absence of commandments and external restrictions is practically impossible for me. “Standing in freedom,” as the apostle Paul calls, is really hard, and I really want to have clear and specific laws that would relieve me of the need to make choices and be responsible for it every time. Study, study, studyWhere is the way out? For me, he is in following Christ. Even speaking of the love for the brothers, Christ connected her with the discipleship: “by this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love between one another” (John 13: 35). That is, love is secondary, and primary is discipleship. The commandments of Christ acquire a completely different meaning: these are not external rules, instructions from above “how to live”, but the organic consequence of following Christ. He who follows Christ does the same as He: loves God and his neighbor, does not judge others, prays for offenders, and so on. It can be summarized as follows: not the one who observes the commandments follows Christ, but the one who follows Christ observes the commandments. It is the same with neighbor love: it is a sign that a person has become a disciple of Christ, and not a means by which you can become one. Thus, for me, the law, the commandments, the rules, church discipline is a form, and discipleship, following Christ is the content. The form expresses and emphasizes the content, but does not replace it. Only discipleship, following Christ can become the true content of my life.
Do you agree?
Do not judge strictly – this is just my thoughts, and not the ultimate truth 🙂 I would be happy if you share your responses, thoughts, objections. This can be done on social networks: on Facebook and VKontakte.
PS Today we have, we can say, a professional holiday – the day of memory of St. John the Merciful, who became famous, as they would say now, by active charitable activities. Our colleague 🙂
Of course, no charitable undertaking means anything by itself. Only the support of good people — you, our donors, and volunteers — has been helping us for more than four years helping people who seek help.
In social networks (facebook, VKontakte, classmates) we posted a small story from the life of the saint – the ideal to which we would like to grow as a charitable foundation.
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