St. Hesychios the Priest on Faith & works

“Wishing to show that to fulfill every commandment is a duty, whereas sonship is a gift given to men through His own Blood, the Lord said, ‘When you have done all that is commanded you, say: “We are useless servants: we have only done what was our duty”‘ (Luke 17:10). Thus the kingdom of heaven is not a reward for works, but a gift of grace prepared by the Master for his faithful servants. A slave does not demand his freedom as a reward: but he gives thanks as one who is in debt, and he receives freedom as a gift. ‘Christ died on account of our sins in accordance with the Scriptures’ (1 Corinthians 15:3); and to those who serve Him well He gives freedom. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant,’ He says, ‘you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your Lord’ (Matthew 25:21). He who relies on theoretical knowledge alone is not yet a faithful servant: a faithful servant is one who expressed His faith in Christ through obedience to his commandments. He who honors the Lord does what the Lord bids.” – St. Hesychios the Priest, On Watchfulness and Holiness, 79-81


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