Sunday, June 16, 2013

Our Father, by grace

Yet the love of God for humanity is such that by grace he becomes Father of those in relation to whom he had previously only been Maker. He becomes their Father when created human beings receive "into their hearts the Spirit of the Son, crying out, 'Abba, Father'" (Gal. 4:6), as the apostle says. These are the ones who, by receiving the Word, receive authority from him "to become children of God" (John 1:12). Being creatures by nature, they would not become "sons" except by receiving the Spirit of the natural and true Son. So it was in order to bring this about and to make humanity receptive of divinity that "the Word became flesh" (John 1:14). . . . Accordingly, the Father calls "sons" those in whom he sees his own Son and he says "I begot" since "begetting" signifies "son," while "making" is indicative of the works. Therefore, we are not begotten first but made, for it is written, "Let us make humanity" (Gen. 1:26). But when we later receive the grace of the Spirit, we are henceforth said to be also begotten.

Athanasius
Orations against the Arians