The Ecclesiological Chapters of St Justin Popović, 11–15.

11. The love (ἀγάπη – 1 Cor. 13.1f.), about which the Apostle Paul speaks, is the love of Christ; it the love which the Lord himself named “new love,” and the commandment concerning it, a “new commandment.” This differs from all other love in our human world. The whole “newness” of this love is found in this, that it requires us to love as Christ loved: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I loved you” (John 13.34). The divine-human “new” love renders the New Testament eternally new. The very God-Man Christ himself constitutes the personification of such love. Through himself, he gave the witness and the verification of the fundamental message of the New Testament: “God is love” (1 John 4.16). But Christ is not only God–love, he is also “the God of love” (2 Cor. 13.11). Because of this, the truly divine and eternal love is only that, which emerges from him, the God-Man.

12. Undoubtedly we are saved only as living and organic members of the divine-human body of the Saviour, i.e. of the Church: of the holy Church, of the apostolic Church, of the catholic Church. Therefore the Church is not something other than the whole divine-human life of Christ, extended into all the ages and into all eternity.

13. The true “Go-spel” (εὐ-αγγέλιον – Gal. 1.7) concerning man does not exist without the God-Man and outwith the God-Man. The whole annunciation (εὐ-αγγελισμός), the whole Gospel, is found only in the God-Man … What is the “Gospel“? The Gospel is everything which Christ, descending from heaven to earth, brought with him as God, and everything which he did graciously for us as God-Man, and everything which he gave to us as Saviour in his divine-human body – in the Church. These things constitute the Gospel. In other words: The Gospel is the whole God, all the Truth of God, all the Justice of God, all the love of God, all the Life of God, all the perfections of God, which have been revealed and given to us by God the Word, the Lord Jesus … The God-Man Christ, all in all in the fulness of his Divine-Human Hypostasis (Θεανθρωπικὴ ὑπόστασις), is precisely the only true Gospel, the unique true Good Message (Καλὴ Ἀγγελία) for the human race.

14. The life of the Christian constitutes a continuous struggle (подвиг), a struggle for Christification, a struggle for divino-humanisation. In what does this consist? It consists in Christ being within you, not only as living truth and living righteousness and living love; not only in living his truths living within you and increasing and being multiplied; but in his being himself within you with the fulness of his Divine-Human Hypostasis; in his form (μορφή – Gal. 4.19) being upon whatever you have and within whatever you are; that it is not you who lives, but Christ who lives in you; that you become according to your soul wholly in the form of Christ (ὅλος χριστοειδής); that the form of Christ be reflected upon whatever you have and within whatever you are. But how is the form of Christ formed within us? Through the holy mysteries and the holy virtues. Each mystery and each virtue forms and paints the form of Christ within us, until all the mysteries and all the virtues together, living within us, form this fully, so that there appear within us the eternal living form of the God-Man Christ. The beginning of the above comes to be with the mystery of holy Baptism: this firstly paints the image of the Saviour within the Christian. In the continuation, this image is preserved, complemented, and perfected through the rest of the holy mysteries and holy virtues: of Divine Communion, of confession, of faith, of love, of prayer, of fasting, of meekness, etc. This process continues through all our life “until Christ is formed in you“. Yes, Christ and no one else, and not our own self, ought to take form within us. For without the form of Christ within you, man is a monster and horror. Because of this he ought to turn all his concern to Christ’s being formed within him.

15. The Epistle to the Ephesians! Behold an Epistle which is entirely from heaven! … Its depths, like its texture and its breadth, is really “the depths of God” (1 Cor. 2.10). The fundamental, the all-inclusive Go-spel of this Epistle is the pre-eternal decision (“counsel“) of the Triadic God “to recapitulate all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth” That is to say, the recapitulation in Christ is the enchristening and Christification of all things. It is all things’ being recapitulated in one body, the body of Christ, the Church, i.e. all things’ being incorporated in him, being ecclesialised and trasnformed into the Church, so as to reach their divine and eternal purpose; for the Church is “the body of Christ, the fulness of the one filling all in all” (Eph. 1.5, 10, 23) … This Go-spel, the all-holy mystery of the trihypostatic God, reveals the whole sense of heaven and earth, of all beings, of those in the heavens and of those upon the earth, and of all creatures, of those constituting the heaven and of those constituting the earth.