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Life in Christ

481

1984

The Law of the Gospel fulfills and surpasses the Old

Law and brings it to perfection: its promises, through

the Beatitudes of the Kingdom of heaven; its com­

mandments, by reforming the heart, the root of hu­

man acts.

1985

The New Law is a law of love, a law of grace, a law of

freedom.

1986

Besides its precepts the New Law includes the evangel­

ical counsels. “The Church’s holiness is fostered in a

special way by the manifold counsels which the Lord

proposes to his disciples in the Gospel” (

LG

42 §2).

A

rticle

2

GRACE AND JUSTIFICATION

I.

J

ustification

1987

The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us,

that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us “the

righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” and through

Baptism:

34

But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also

live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the

dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion

over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but

the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider

yourselves as dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

35

1988

Through the power of the Holy Spirit we take part in

Christ’s Passion by dying to sin, and in his Resurrection by being

born to a new life; we are members of his Bodywhich is the Church,

branches grafted onto the vine which is himself:

36

[God] gave himself to us through his Spirit. By the participa­

tion of the Spirit, we become communicants in the divine

nature. . . . For this reason, those in whom the Spirit dwells

are divinized.

37

34

Rom

3:22; cf. 6:3-4.

35

Rom

6:8-11.

36 Cf.

1 Cor

12;

Jn

15:1-4.

37 St. Athanasius,

Ep. Serap.

1, 24: PG 26, 585 and 588.

734

654

460