The Chapel

The Chapel is your online place of quiet and contemplation where you'll find daily Scripture, words from the Church Fathers, and sacred art.

Seal of Salvation

Cyril of Jerusalem | July 1

Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous.  —Matthew 23:2829

“Those who think they can test God's grace deceive themselves.”

Woe Unto You Scribes and Pharisees: James Tissot

Those who think they can test God’s grace deceive themselves. They don’t know the power of His grace. Keep your soul free from hypocrisy, because He reins and searches hearts. For those who are going to enlist people for war examine the ages and bodies of those taking service. In the same way, the Lord examines the purpose of enlisting souls. He rejects as unfit for His service anyone who has a secret hypocrisy, but He read­ily gives His grace to those whom He finds to be worthy. He doesn’t give holy things to the dogs, but when He recognizes a good conscience, He gives it the seal of salvation. That seal is wonder­ful. Demons tremble at it and angels recognize it. Some are compelled to run from it while oth­ers notice that it is kindred to them. Therefore, those who receive this spir­itual, saving seal also need to have a compatible disposition with it. For just as a writing reed or a pen needs someone to use it, grace also needs believing minds.

All Scripture references are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version. Excerpts from the early Church Fathers are in the public domain, but were organized and arranged for daily reading in Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, © 1999 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. (No longer in print). Used by permission and in accordance with sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 of Hendrickson’s “Rights and Permissions”. All rights reserved.

About artwork used on this site: The AFFN makes every effort to appropriately attribute and acknowledge the creative work of the artists represented here. Images appear on this site for educational purposes, have been attained within appropriate usage guidelines, and the AFFN does not claim ownership of any images created by third-party artists. Copyright holders reserve all rights to displayed images. Images on this site are not for sale and may not be used without the consent of the copyright holders. If you are the copyright holder of artwork appearing on this website, and believe appropriate permissions were not obtained, please contact us directly at