Man and His Free Will
that man "works" for his salvation. Salvation is not imposed upon him in spite
of himself as Augustine of Hippo's and John Calvin's doctrine of predestination
would have it, nor is it obtained solely by the endeavors of human will, as Pelagius
taught. Salvation is synergetic, that is, man co-operates in the work of his salvation.
God does not take upon Himself the role which belongs to man; likewise, man can
attain to nothing by his own efforts alone, neither by his virtue, nor by observing
the commandments, nor by a good disposition. None of these things have any value
for salvation except in the contest of Divine Grace, for salvation can not be
purchased. Man's labors and the keeping of the commandments only demonstrate his
will and resolve to be with God, his desire and love for God. Man cannot accomlish
his part of co-operation in his salvation by his own power, however small this
part may be, and he must entreat God to grant him the strength and grace necessary
to accomplish it. If he perceives that he does not even wish his own salvation,
he must ask to receive this desire from God "Who gives to all men and disregards
none." For this reason, without despising man's role, we say that we receive "grace
for grace" (John 1:16)
and that to approach and enter the Church is according
to the Fathers, "the grace given before grace," since in reality all is grace.
This is the true meaning of the words of the Holy Fathers, "although it be a question
of grace, yet grace is granted only to those who are worthy of it" indicating
by the word "worthy" the exercise of our freedom of will to ask all things from
|Added: Aug 29, 2010
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