On the Orthodox Definition of Justification and Grace

St. Macarius the Great ca. 4th cent.

This is the foundation of the road to God, in much patience, in hope, in humility, in poverty of spirit, in gentleness to travel along the road of life. By such means one can possess justification for himself. We mean by justification the Lord Himself. These commandments, which so enjoin us, are like milestones and signposts along the royal highway that leads a journeyer to the heavenly city. For it says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are the meek; blessed are the merciful; blessed are the peacemaker” (Mt. 5:3). Call this Christianity. If anyone does not pass along this road, he has wandered off along a roadless way. He used a bad foundation. Glory to the mercies of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit forever. Amen. (The Fifty Spiritual Homilies, Homily 27.23)

St. Gregory Palamas ca. 1296-1359

So the Fathers tell us that the divine grace of the suprasensible light is God. But God in His nature does not simply identify Himself with this grace, because He is able not only to illumine and deify the mind, but also to bring forth from nonbeing every intellectual essence. (The Triads, B.23)


  1. We have made these two important concepts into something other than the One whom we really seek. We have wrangled these terms endlessly and we’ve wittled our “religion” down to a moralistic philosophy of either slaves who fear punishment or mercernaries out for a reward. We’ve concentrated on “gifts” and not the Giver; the Gift is The Giver. Heaven is the Trinity, it’s Christ Himself, God and Man bound inseperably and unconfused.

    In this quote St. Macarius states that Heaven is God; thus to be in Heaven is to be in God:

    If God also should wish to make Himself similar to one of His creatures for the exultation and happiness of his intelligent creatures, as, for example, Jerusalem, the city of light, or the heavenly Mount Sion, he can do all things as he wishes, as it is said: “You come to Mount Sion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22). All things are easy and possible for him who can transform Himself into any form that he wishes for the benefit of those souls who are worthy of and faithful to Him. (Homily 4.12)

  2. Awesome!

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