The Kingdom of Heaven exceeds the scale of space, showing the greatness of the eternal future life, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is greater than space. We cannot even imagine, we do not have a yardstick, a criterion by which we could assess the greatness of this future life,” said the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in his sermon after the Divine Liturgy on November 28, discussing the meaning of faith and good deeds in our salvation.
“Today, during the Divine Liturgy, we read from the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians (Eph. 2:4-10). This is a very small passage, but there is something in these verses that reveals to us the very essence of the Gospel and the essence of the Christian life. I will remind you of these words: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
“Let’s think about it. The apostle says that the grace of God saves us. You can do a lot of good, kind deeds: arrange the life of the state correctly, work honestly at enterprises, not offend anyone, cultivate the land. All of this is very valuable for human community, but all of this cannot lead us to the Kingdom of Heaven, because deeds do not save us. They provide our earthly life with comfort, prosperity, and security, which, of course, is very important, but this is not directly related to the salvation of our soul. Because no human deed can lead a person into the Divine Kingdom, but only Divine power: for you are saved by grace.
“Well, where is the man’s place in this? Grace is Divine power. How do you need to live, work, and act in order for grace to save you? After all, water does not flow under a lying stone, and the grace of God does not work automatically. Here the apostle says to us: by grace you are saved through faith.
“Faith is an indispensable condition for acquiring the Divine grace. No grace of God will save a person if there is no faith. Indeed: if a person does not believe in God, does not believe in any kind of grace – how can grace act on the one who denies both God and both Divine grace and Divine help? Faith is an indispensable condition, it is that part of the great path to salvation that we ourselves go through. Grace moves us like a gust of wind. But in order for a gust of wind to move a sailing ship, you need a sail, you need to put something under this power, under this force, and our good deeds become such sail,” His Holiness Patriarch Kirill pointed out.