Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Polycarp on Grace, Faith, Works and Salvation in 135CE

It does my heart good to see how the solid roots of your faith, which have had such a reputation ever since early times, are still flourishing and bearing fruit for Jesus Christ. In Him, endurance went so far as to face even death for our sins; but God overruled the pangs of the grave, and raised Him up to life again. Though you never saw Him for yourselves, yet you believe in Him in a glory of joy beyond all words (which not a few others would be glad to share), well knowing that it is by His grace you are saved, not of your own doing but by the will of God through Jesus Christ.

So gird up your loins now and serve God in fear and sincerity. No more of the vapid discourses and sophistries of the vulgar; put your trust in Him who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory and a seat at His own right hand. All things in heaven and earth have been made subject to Him; everything that breathes pays Him homage; He comes to judge the living and the dead, and God will require His blood at the hands of any who refuse Him allegiance. And He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also, if we do His will and live by His commandments, and cherish the things He cherished. …

We know that God is not mocked, and therefore we owe it to ourselves to behave in a manner worthy of His precepts and His glory. … To please Him in this present world is to earn the world to come, for we have His promise that He will raise us from the grave; and if we prove ourselves good citizens of His here, we shall reign with Him hereafter, if we have faith. … The happy man is he who keeps this in mind, and I am sure that is true of you. May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal High Priest Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of God, help you grow in faith and truth, in unfailing gentleness and the avoidance of all anger, in patience and forbearance, and in calmness and purity. To you, and to ourselves as well, and to all those under heaven who shall one day come to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and in His Father who raised Him from the dead, may He grant part and portion among His saints. 

No comments:

Post a Comment