If you heretics would stop making up problems we wouldn't have to disagree with you, particularly when you ask us the irrelevant question on whether your church has grace or not.
In response to your quote from the scriptures: All the more reasons for you to join Christ's Church Isa.
What the Scripture are saying is what we seem to be saying: "Those who were once enlightened....if they fall away...."
Any Arminian Evangelical would say the same. So let me try again. In the words of Hebrews, you seem
to be saying you have no assurance of having "been enlightened".
Not at all. As I confessed at my Chrismation:
Priest. Hast thou renounced all ancient and modern heresies and false doctrines which are contrary to the teachings of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Eastern Church ?
Answer. I have.
Priest. Dost thou desire to be united unto the Holy Orthodox Catholic Eastern Church
Answer. I desire it with all my heart
Bishop. Dost thou believe in one God, who is adored in the holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit : and dost thou worship him as thy King and thy God ?
Answer. I believe in one God who is glorified and adored in the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and I worship him as my King and my God.
[Then I made one lowly reverence, kneeling and bowing my head to the earth, and reciting the Creed.
I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of his Father before all worlds ; Light of Light, Very God of very God, Begotten, not made ; Being of one Essence with the Father; By whom all things were made; Who, for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man. And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried. And the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead ; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets. In one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the Life of the world to come. Amen.
Priest. Blessed is God, who enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world.
Dost thou believe and confess that power hath been given by our Saviour Christ unto the Orthodox-Catholic Church to bind and to loose : and that whatsoever, by virtue of that power, is bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven ?
Answer. I believe and confess it.
Priest. Dost thou believe and confess that the Foundation, Head, and Great High Priest and Chief Shepherd of the Holy OrthodoxCatholic Church is our Lord Jesus Christ; and that Bishops, Pastors and Teachers are appointed by him to rule the Church ; and that the Guide and Pilot of that Church is the Holy Spirit ?
Answer. I believe and confess that this Church is the Bride of Christ, and that therein is true salvation, which was in the Ark of Noah at the Flood
Priest. Dost thou promise true obedience, unto thy life's end, in guidance which is salutary unto the soul
, to the Most Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America; to the Most Holy Metropolitan the Equal-of-the-Apostles; and to the Bishop of this Diocese, as the true Pastors appointed by the Holy Spirit; and to the Priests ordained by them ?
Answer. I promise it, with heart unfeigned.
The priest: Tell us of the other dogmas of our Orthodox Church, its Traditions and ordinances ; how thou holdest concerning them ?
And I replied:
I accept and confess the Apostolic and Ecclesiastical Canons, established at the Seven Holy CEcumenical and Provincial Councils, and the other traditions of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church of the East, its rules and ordinances; and I likewise will accept and understand Holy Scripture in accordance with the interpretation which the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church of the East, our Mother, hath held, and doth hold.
I believe and confess that there are Seven Sacraments of the New Testament, to wit: Baptism, Chrismation, the Eucharist, Confession, the Priesthood, Marriage, and Anointing with Oil, instituted by Jesus Christ and his Church, to the end that, through their operation and reception, we may receive blessings from on high.
I believe and confess that, in the Divine Liturgy, under the mystical forms of bread and wine, the faithful partake of the holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto the remission of their sins, and unto life eternal.
I believe and confess that it is proper to reverence and invoke the Saints who reign on high with Christ, according to the interpretation of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Church of the East; and that their prayers and intercessions avail with the beneficent God unto our salvation : Likewise that it is wellpleasing in the sight of God that we should do homage to their relics, glorified through incorruption, as the precious memorials of their virtues.
I acknowledge that the images of our Saviour Christ, and of the Ever-virgin Mother of God, and of other Saints are worthy to be owned and honoured; not unto idolatry, but that, through contemplation thereof, we may be incited unto piety, and unto emulation of the righteous deeds represented by those images.
I confess that the prayers of the faithful, which are offered up to God for the salvation of those who have departed this life in the faith, are favourably received, through the mercy of God.I believe and confess that power hath been given by our Saviour Christ unto the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, to bind and to loose: and that whatsoever, by virtue of that power, is bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven
I believe and confess that the Foundation, Head,and Great High Priest and Chief Shepherd of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Church is our Lord Jesus Christ: and that Bishops, Pastors and Teachers are appointed by him to rule the Church : and that the Guide and Pilot of that Church is the Holy Spirit.I confess that this Church is the Bride of Christ, and that therein is true salvation
I promise true obedience, unto my life's end, to the Most Holy Synod of All America and Canada, the Bishop of that Diocese is named, as the true Pastor of the Orthodox Church in America, and to the Priests appointed by them.
Then the Priest giveth me the end of his priestly stole in his right hand-the symbol of his exercising the authority of the Church-saying; Enter thou into the Orthodox Church;
and cast away all the errors and false doctrines wherein thou hast dwelt: and honour the Lord God, the Father Almighty, and his Only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, one true and living God, the holy Trinity, one in Essence and indivisible.
And having thus spoken, he lead me into the Church, holding the end of the priestly stole, and placed in front of the tribune, where, upon a table, was laid the book of the Holy Gospels ; and when I had taken my place, I immediately let go of the end of the pall from my hand. And as we entered the Church, the Reader read Ps. LXVII And when the Psalm was finished, the priest commanded me to kneel down before the Holy Gospels. And when I had done this, the priest recited the following Verses :
Send thy Holy Spirit, and they shall be created; and renew the face of the earth.
Turn again, O Lord, how long ? And be entreated for thy servant. The crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough ways plain. O Lord my God, save thy servant, who putteth his trust in thee. Be thou unto him, O Lord, a pillar of strength against the face of the enemy.
Let the enemy in nowise prevail against him, and let not the son of iniquity go about to offend him.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let the voice of my cry come unto thee.
O Lord God Almighty, who alone art holy, and restest in the Saints ; who, because of thy great and incalculable love toward mankind, dost alwayoffer unto them that have sinned divers manners of repentance,and dost show unto them that have wandered from the truth the right path unto knowledge of thee, the only true God, who art glorified and adored in the Trinity, that not one of them should perish, but that all may be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth: We thank thee, we glorify thee, and we magnify thee, for that thou hast now shed down into the heart of this, thy reason-endowed creature, Isa, the light which is unto the knowledge of thy truth; and hast graciously enabled him to have recourse unto thy Holy Apostolic Orthodox-Catholic Church. Illumine his heart, O Lord, we humbly beseech thee, with the perfect light of the grace of thy Holy Spirit unto the enlightening of his mind in the truth of thy Holy Gospel. Grant that he may unfeignedly, irrevocably and without hypocrisy unite himself unto thy Holy Catholic Church, and truly accept and confess the Orthodox-Catholic faith. Number him with thy chosen flock, and unite him to the body of thy Holy Church. Make him a vessel of honour, and the temple of thy Holy Spirit; that, being ever nourished and guided by the Same, he may keep thy saving commandments; and that doing thy gracious, acceptable and perfect will, he may be counted worthy to receive thy heavenly good things, together with all those who are well-pleasing in thy sight.
For thou art the God of mercy and compassion and love toward mankind, and wiliest that all men should be saved ; and unto thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages. Choir. Amen
And after the Prayer, the priest commanded me to stand, saying :
Rise, and stand aright: stand with fear.
And rising, I said:
This true faith of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Church, which I now voluntarily confess and unfeignedly hold, I will firmly maintain and confess whole and in- its fulness and integrity, until my last breath, God being my helper; and will teach it and proclaim it, so far as in me lieth ; and will strive to fulfil its obligations cheerfully and with joy, preserving my heart in purity and virtue. And in confirmation of this, my true and sincere profession of faith, I now kiss the word of Christ my Saviour. Amen.
Then the priest gave me the Holy Gospels and the cross to kiss. And after I had kissed them, he said:
Blessed is God, who willeth that all men should be saved, and should come unto the knowledge of the truth: Blessed is he forevermore. Choir. Amen.
Then he said to me:
Bow thy knees before the Lord God, whom thou hast confessed, and receive remission of thy sins.
And I knelt down and bowed my head, having my eyes cast down.
Then the priest, who received this power from Christ through the hand of the bishop, pronounced
Our Lord and God Jesus Christ committed unto his Apostles the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and bestowed upon them the full power through his grace, both to bind and to loose a man from his sins upon earth : May the same, through his unspeakable mercy, pardon and absolve thee. And I, by his almighty power, given unto me, an unworthy priest, through his holy Apostles and their successors, do pardon and absolve thee, my child Isa, from all thy sins: and do unite thee unto the assembly of the faithful, and unto the body of Christ's Church : and do communicate thee with the Divine Sacraments of the Church
: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Then the priest said to me:
Rise, brother, and as a faithful servant of Jesus Christ pray thou unto him with us, that he will vouchsafe unto thee, through anointment with the holy Chrism, to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit
...Then the Priest recited this Prayer, aloud, with all attention :
Blessed art thou, O Lord God Almighty, Source of all good things, Sun of Righteousness, who sheddest forth upon them that were in darkness the light of salvation, through the manifestation of thine Only-begotten Son and For thou art our God, and unto thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages.
And after this Prayer, the Priest straightway anointed me with the holy Chrism, making the sign of the cross upon my brow and eyes, and nostrils and lips, and on both ears, and breast, and hands and feet, saying :
The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
And when this had been done, he said the following Prayer :
0 Lord our God, who hast graciously vouchsafed to show this thy servant, Isa, perfect, through the true faith which is in thee, and through the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit, in thy holy and most heavenly anointing: Do thou, O Lord of all, maintain in him the true faith; further him in righteousness and verity; and adorn him with all thy gifts.
For thou art our God, the God whose property it is to show mercy and to save ; and unto thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Then, taking the sponge, and dipping it in the warm water, he wiped the places which have been anointed with the holy Chrism, saying : Thou art justified. Thou art illumined. Thou art sanctified; in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God. Thou hast received anointment with the holy Chrism, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages
Priest. Peace be with you all.
Choir. And with thy spirit.
Priest. Bow your heads unto the Lord.
Choir. To thee, O Lord.
And all bowed their heads, and the Priest recited, secretly, the following Prayer : He who hath put on thee, O Christ our God, now boweth his head with us unto thee. Keep him always a warrior invincible in every attack of those who assail him and us: and make us all victors even unto the end, through thy crown incorruptible
.[Exclaming]For thy property it is to show mercy and to save ; and unto thee do we ascribe glory, together with thy Father who is from everlasting, and thine all-holy, and good, and life-giving Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages.
And then the Church proceeded to celebrate the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil with hymns from the Divine Liturgy of St. James the Brother of God in celebration of the Lord's harrowing of Hell on the mystical and Blessed Sabath, and I received for the first time the Body and Blood of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ unto remission of my sins and unto life everlasting from the chalice of His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church, the Ark of Salvation.
Maybe the fault lies with us, for misunderstanding you. However, if you give the impression of having no assurance that you have been enlightened,
We don't give the impression of anything. It is not a question of whether any outsider thinks of us personally as unenlightened. It is the question of them accepting the light of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church, to learn how we ought to behave ourselves in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. I Tim. 3:15. Or rejecting her.
Heb. 10:19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
At my Chrismation I placed myself into the hands of the living God and by the hands of His priest I had the boldest to enter into the holiest and partake of the blood of Jesus and His consecrated Flesh, drawing near with the true heart in full assurance of this Faith. My heart in confession is continually sprinkled from an evil conscience, washed with pure tears of repentence, the promise of absolution perfecting what is lacking. Such is mine, if I hold fast as I promised Him that profession of the True Faith of His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to the end, as He says:
Heb 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 10For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
"Through faith and patience inherit the promises." Not otherwise. For our gospel came not unto un in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as we know what manner of men the Apostles and their successors the bishops of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church are among for our sake. I Thess. 1:5., that our hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; (Col. 2:2)
it is not hard to understand why we conclude you probably haven't been.
Given that you depend on our Scripture, and our transmission of our scripture for a thousand years (until the Mss. your KJV depends on), yes, it would be very hard to understand, if that issue concerned us. Were it not for the Apostolic injunction "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (I Peter 3:15), it wouldn't concern us at alll.
Knowing this, you might find it in your hearts to forgive us for taking that to be your meaning.
I only fear for you not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit in the sacred chrism.
Already got a Vatican education.