2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Forgiving Sins

[I Cor. 15:58–16:3; Luke 5:17–26] But that ye may know that the Son of man hath pow­er on earth to for­give sins, He said to the para­ lyt­ic, I say unto thee, Arise, and take up they couch, and go into thine house. Remis­sion of sins is an inner, spir­i­tu­al mir­a­cle; heal­ing from pa­ ral­y­sis is an out­er mir­a­cle — the nat­ur­al act­ing of God in the world, a phys­i­cal mir­a­cle. The flow­ing in of God’s pow­er is jus­ti­fied and con­ firmed by this event in the moral realm, and in the move­ment of phe­ nom­e­na in the phys­i­cal world. The lat­ter is in view of the for­mer, for in the for­mer lies the goal of every­ thing. The Lord does not coerce one’s free­dom, but gives under­ stand­ing, inspires, and amazes. One of the best means for this is an out­ er mir­a­cle. This came to be when man became a ratio­nal crea­ture, ruled by free­dom. This con­nec­tion is so essen­tial, that those who reject the super­nat­ur­al action of God in the world also reject the free­dom of man, along with the recog­ni­tion that the lat­ter must nec­es­sar­i­ly call forth the for­mer. On the oth­er hand, those who con­fess the truth of God’s influ­ence in the world beyond a nat­ur­al flow of events can say bold­ly: we can feel that we are free. The recog­ni­tion of free­dom is as strong and irre­sistible as the recog­ nition of one’s exis­tence. Free­dom urgent­ly demands direct providen­ tial actions of God: con­se­quent­ly the acknowl­edge­ment of these actions stands as firm­ly as the recog­ni­tion of freedom.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse