Origen’s Thoughts on Holiness

Moved by Origen’s thoughts on holiness this morning. Origen lived from 185 a.d. to around 254 a.d. Origen was the first second-generation leader among the early church fathers. His father was martyred around 203 a.d. Origen spent most of his time as the headmaster of a school for Christian converts in Alexandria, North Africa.

“There would be no need for the Holy Spirit if we could become holy in our own strength, but God has sent him to our aid because we can’t. We derive our existence from the Father; the Son, the “Word”, reveals the truth to our minds, and the Holy Spirit makes us holy

It is when the Holy Spirit has worked in us, making holy what was before unclean, that we can go on to receive God’s righteousness in Christ. That is to say, it is not our holiness, but his, given to us through the power of the Spirit as he works in us, and it makes possible that true and deep understanding of God’s ways and purposes which we call “wisdom”.

So the believer is intended to make progress, to grow. The Father gives natural life to everybody, but his purpose for us is so much more than that. He wishes us to go on to share more and more fully in Christ’s righteousness, understanding, and wisdom. Eventually–as the Holy Spirit cleanses and purifies us–all the stains of human sin and ignorance are removed and the being made by God becomes worthy of God.

Then, and only then, is human destiny fulfilled. God gave us life for this purpose–that we might be perfect, as he is perfect.”

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