Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 15

28.  The ancient Greek philosophers say that the being of created things has coexisted with God from all eternity and that God has only given it its qualities. They say that this being itself has no opposite, and that opposition lies only in the qualities. But we maintain that only the divine essence has no opposite, since it is eternal and infinite and bestows eternity on other things. The being of created things, on the other hand, has non-being as its opposite. Whether or not it exists eternally depends on the power of Him who alone exists in a substantive sense. But since ‘the gifts of God are irrevocable’ (Rom. 11:29), the being of created things always is and always will be sustained by His almighty power, even though it has, as we said, an opposite; for it has been brought into being from non-being, and whether or not it exists depends on the will of God.

This text explicitly states some of the comments I made on earlier texts. Nothing but God has existed from all eternity. God did not form creation from anything pre-existing and the whole creation is contingent on God. But, as St. Maximos points out, the gifts of God are irrevocable, so when he gave us eternal being in his image, it’s a gift he will never take back. He will never withdraw his sustaining power.

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