On Abiding in Christ the Savior

On the Commandments of Our Lord and God Jesus Christ, Part 4

St. Justin of Ufa and Menzelinsk was ordained to the priesthood in September 1853. His wife died in 1862, and he was tonsured into monasticism in June 1863. He served at various monasteries and seminaries, and on January 27, 1885, he was consecrated Bishop of Mikhailovsk, vicar of the Ryazan Diocese. He served in a number of dioceses, and on October 14, 1896, he was appointed Bishop of Ufa and Menzelinsk. He retired in 1900 and spent the rest of his life until his peaceful repose on September 26, 1903, in monastic reclusion. In 1988, he was glorified as a locally venerated saint in the Synaxis of Crimean Saints.

Part 1, 2, 3

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Besides the commandments of Christ that are obligatory for all, there are also His more personal commandments:

1. On worshiping God in spirit and truth (Jn. 4:24)

2. Preserving that which is holy—the mystery of faith from “enemies” (Mt. 7:6)

3. On constancy in prayer (Mt. 7:7–11)

4. On being wary of false prophets (Mt. 7:15–23)

5. On listening to the word of God (Mt. 12:50, Lk. 11:28)

6. On confessing God (Mt. 10:32–33)

7. On spiritual food (Jn. 6:27–71)

8. On the dignity of children, and not tempting them (Mt. 18:3–6, 10, Lk. 18:15–17)

9. On sound reasoning and peace between Christians (Mk. 9:50)

10. On Christian judgment (Mt. 18:15–17)

11. On forgiving all (Mt. 18:21–35, Lk. 17:1–4)

12. On spiritual thirst (Jn. 7:37–38)

13. On knowledge of the truth, and on freedom from slavery to sin (Jn. 8:36)

14. On divorce (Mt. 5:32, Mk. 10:2–12)

15. On virginity (Mt. 19:11–12)

16. On not tempting others (Lk. 17:1–2)

17. On the power of faith (Mk. 11:23–26)

18. On preserving the soul for eternal life (Lk. 18:18–22, Jn. 12:25–26)

19. On salvation from the temptation of false teachers (Mt. 24:4, Mk. 13:5–6, Lk. 21:8)

20. On imitating the example the Savior (Jn. 13:15–17)

21. On the humility of those who fulfill all that’s commanded (Lk. 17:10)

22. On rendering Caesar his due, and God his due (Mt. 22:21)

23. On Communion (Mt. 26:26–29, Mk. 14:22–25, Lk. 22:19–20)

24. On love, following the example of Christ the Savior, as the Christian banner (Jn. 13:34–35)

25. On abiding in Christ the Savior

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you (Jn. 5:4–14). He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mk. 16:16). Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Mt. 28:19–20).

Having given His Disciples all the aforementioned commandments, in both word and example, our Lord and God Jesus Christ said to them at the Last Supper: For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you (Jn. 13:15), and thereby obliged all His faithful and true followers to unflinchingly fulfill all His commandments. It’s absolutely necessary for us to fulfill the commandments of our Lord and Savior, only because He is our Lord and Savior. It’s necessary to fulfill His commandments in order to experientially come to know their life-giving power and divine significance for our lives: If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, the Lord Himself said (Jn. 7:17). It’s absolutely necessary to fulfill the commandments of Christ in order to enter into the spirit of Christ, to cleave to Him with our entire being: But, it’s said, he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit (1 Cor. 6:17) with the Lord, and thus becomes a true Christian; but he who cares little for their fulfillment, or doesn’t fulfill them at all, can never acquire the Holy Spirit, and consequently, bears the name of Christian in vain: If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His (Rom. 8:9)—he’s not a Christian. So, my beloved brother in the Lord, turn all your attention to the commandments of Christ; have them ever before your eyes and in your hands until you learn them; assimilate them to yourself, so they might become your inheritance—might become your flesh and blood. Then it will be easy for you to fulfill them in all the necessary cases of your life, and in fulfilling them, you’ll be a true follower of your Savior and will undoubtedly receive salvation.

To be continued…

St. Justin (Polyansky) of Ufa and Menzelinsk
Translation by Jesse Dominick



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