1 Thessalonians 1.5

Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.

By Sophronius of Jerusalem 560-638 C.E.

Let us discern whether our confession is by the power and the grace of the Holy Spirit, or whether we have learned it from others and it is due to the common hope we share with them.

Confessing Jesus as Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit is always accompanied by fervent love, longing to obey the Lord whom we confess and a desire to do his commandments.

Confessing Jesus as Lord as a result of education, customs and sharing the life of a community remains as a seed in the mind, which may stir our minds and inspire us to study and learn even more to create an opportunity for a debate or to have something to say to others. And if this seed reaches the inner life and receives the gift of life from the Spirit of the Lord it becomes the foundation for a new life. In other words it should not be neglected but should be watered to make it grow up. Learning and studying the word of God can capture the heart, increase our love for the Lord and purify our life. This must not be neglected.

Confessing Jesus as Lord by the Holy Spirit appears as a fire, which consumes our suffering or sustains us through it. When one confesses Christ it is not simply a testimony. It is the power of life, which sustains and fortifies the soul. Thus we do not compromise in spite of the severity of our pain, or give up in spite of whatever difficulties we encounter.

The Holy Spirit, the fire of divine love, moves us always in our weakness, desiring to help us and to keep us in the fellowship of Christ and the Father. But if there is no sadness or pain in the heart [but, rather] joy in doubt and a desire to abandon faith, be careful, because your faith has come to you as part of your social upbringing and needs the living water of the Holy Spirit to grow.

Confessing Jesus as Lord by the Holy Spirit remains always a source of hope and a sure sign of eternal life. This can be seen when we refuse money, power, possessions or a higher social status in order to remain disciples of Jesus.


— Abridged and language updated from Letters of Abbot Sophronius to Fr. Zephaniah. Translated from Coptic to English by George Bebawi.


Today’s Reading
1 Kings 18 (Listen – 7:08)
1 Thessalonians 1 (Listen – 1:27)