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Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky
Orthodox dogmatic theology

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The source of faith.

“If ye have faith, and doubt not... if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and

be thou cast into the sea — it shall be done” (Matt. 21:21). The history of the Church of Christ is

filled with the miracles of the saints of all ages. However, miracles are not performed by faith in

general, but by Christian faith. Faith is a reality not by the power of imagination and not by

self-hypnosis, but by the fact that it binds one with the source of all life and power — with God.

In the expression of the Hieromartyr Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, faith is a vessel by which water

is scooped up; but one must be next to this water and must put the vessel into it: this water is the

grace of God. “Faith is the key to the treasure-house of God,” writes St. John of Kronstadt (My

Life in Christ, Vol. I, p. 242 in the Russian edition).

Faith is strengthened and its truth is confirmed by the benefits of its spiritual fruits which

are known by experience. Therefore the Apostle instructs us, saying, Examine yourselves,

whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus

Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5).Yet, it is difficult to give a definition of what faith is. When the Apostle says, “Now faith is

the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen(Heb. 11:1), without touching

here on the nature of faith, he indicates only what its gaze is directed towards: towards that which

is awaited, towards the invisible; and thus he indicates precisely that faith is the penetration of

the soul into the future (“the substance of things hoped for”) or into the invisible (“the evidence

of things not seen”). This testifies to the mystical character of Christian faith.

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