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Particulars of Christianity:
401 First Eight Writers' Consensus


7-8: Law of Christ; Repentance

Early Church Confirmation Rubric
Early Church Consensus: Introduction
1: Nature of the Godhead
2: Covenants & O.T. Saints Relationship to the Church
3: Kingdom (Hell), Timing of 2nd Advent and Kingdom
4-5: Age of the World (6000 Years); Communion Meal
6: Baptisms
7-8: Law of Christ; Repentance
9-12: Excommunication; Divorce; Sabbath; Tithing
13: Freewill (A) Against Original Sin and Total Depravity
13: Freewill (B) Against Unconditional Election
13: Freewill (C-D) Against Ltd. Atmt.; Ir. Grace, OSAS
14-15: Church Authority; Roles of Men and Women
16-18: Charismatic Gifts; Civil Gov't., War; Men & Angels
Addendum 1: Eternal Begetting - Irenaeus and Ignatius
Addendum 2: Eternal Begetting - Justin Martyr



Full Catalog

 

7) View of the Law of Christ (Rules in Christianity)

The Law of Moses had been discontinued. But Christianity had rules and Christians had to follow those rules. The rules were given by Jesus Christ when he inaugurated a new covenant. (Therefore, these rules were not based upon or a continuation from the Law of Moses.) (The rules were far fewer and simpler than the Law of Moses and more lenient in the sense that they replaced execution with excommunication and, thereby, allowed an opportunity for future repentance and reconciliation. Forgiveness was, of course, provided on the basis of Jesus’ atoning work.) Legalism was defined as the false teaching that the Law of Moses was still in effect and believers were obligated to keep the whole of the specifics of the Law of Moses instead of the Law of Christ. (Strict adherence to the Law of Christ was seen as necessary, not as legalism.)

 

Papias

FRAGMENTS OF PAPIAS, FROM THE EXPOSITION OF THE ORACLES OF THE LORD.(1)

 

For I did not, like the multitude, take pleasure in those who spoke much, but in those who taught the truth; nor in those who related strange commandments,(4) but in those who rehearsed the commandments given by the Lord to faith,(5) and proceeding from truth itself. – FRAGMENTS OF PAPIAS, FROM THE EXPOSITION OF THE ORACLES OF THE LORD.(1)

 

 

Polycarp –

THE EPISTLE OF POLYCARP TO THE PHILIPPIANS(1)

 

CHAP. II. But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise(14) up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, falsewitness; "not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing,"(15) or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching: "Judge not, that ye be not judged;(16) forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you;(17) be merciful, that ye may obtain mercy;(18) with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again;(19) and once more, "Blessed are the poor, and those that are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God."(20)

 

CHAP. V. Knowing, then, that "God is not mocked,"(6) we ought to walk worthy of His commandment and glory. In like manner should the deacons be blameless before the face of His righteousness, as being the servants of God and Christ,(7) and not of men. They must not be slanderers, double-tongued,(8) or lovers of money, but temperate in all things, compassionate, industrious, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who was the servant(9) of all. If we please Him in this present world, we shall receive also the future world, according as He has promised to us that He will raise us again from the dead, and that if we live(10) worthily  of Him, "we shall also reign together with Him,"(11) provided only we believe. In like manner, let the young men also be blameless in all things, being especially careful to preserve purity, and keeping themselves in, as with a bridle, from every kind of evil. For it is well that they should be cut off from(12) the lusts that are in the world, since "every  lust warreth against the spirit; "(13) and "neither fornicators, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, shall inherit the kingdom of God,"(14) nor those who do things inconsistent and unbecoming. Wherefore, it is needful to abstain from all these things, being subject to the presbyters and deacons, as unto God and Christ. The virgins also must walk in a blameless and pure conscience.

 

 

Barnabas –

THE EPISTLE OF BARNABAS(1)

 

CHAP. I. Considering this, therefore, that if I should take the trouble to communicate to you some portion of what I have myself received, it will prove to me a sufficient reward that I minister to such spirits, I have hastened briefly to write unto you, in order that, along with your faith, ye might have perfect knowledge.

 

CHAP.(11) Since, therefore, the days are evil, and Satan(13) possesses the power of this world, we ought to give heed to ourselves, and diligently inquire into the ordinances of the Lord. Fear and patience, then, are helpers of our faith; and long-suffering and continence are things which fight on our side.

 

CHAP. III. He says then to them again concerning these things, "Why do ye fast to Me as on this day, saith the Lord, that your voice should be heard with a cry? I have not chosen this fast, saith the Lord, that a man should humble his soul. Nor, though ye bend your neck like a ring, and put upon you sackcloth and ashes, will ye call it an acceptable fast."(7) To us He saith, "Behold, this is the fast that I have chosen, saith the Lord, not that a man should humble his soul, but that he should loose every band of iniquity, untie the fastenings of harsh agreements, restore to liberty them that are bruised, tear in pieces every unjust engagement, feed the hungry with thy bread, clothe the naked when thou seest him, bring the homeless into thy house, not despise the humble if thou behold him, and not [turn away] from the members of thine own family. Then shall thy dawn break forth, and thy healing shall quickly spring up, and righteousness shall go forth before thee, and the glory of God shall encompass thee; and then thou shalt call, and God shall hear thee; whilst thou art yet speaking, He shall say, Behold, I am with thee; if thou take away from thee the chain [binding others], and the stretching forth of the hands(8) [to sweat falsely], and words of murmuring, and give cheerfully thy bread to the hungry, and show compassion to the soul that has been humbled."(9) To this end, therefore, brethren, He is long-suffering, foreseeing how the people whom He has prepared shall with guilelessness believe in His Beloved. For He revealed all these things to us beforehand, that we should not rush forward as rash acceptors of their laws.(10)

 

CHAP.IV. It therefore behoves us, who inquire much concerning events at hand,(11) to search diligently into those things which are able to save us. Let us then utterly flee from all the works of iniquity, lest these should take hold of us; and let us hate the error of the present time, that we may set our love on the world to come: let us not give loose reins to our soul, that it should have power to run with sinners and the wicked, lest we become like them.

 

CHAP. XVI. Wherefore in our habitation God truly dwells in us. How? His word of faith; His calling(16) of promise; the wisdom of the statutes; the commands of the doctrine; He himself prophesying in us; He himself dwelling in us; opening to us who were enslaved by death the doors of the temple, that is, the mouth; and by giving us repentance introduced us into the incorruptible temple.(17)

 

CHAP. XIX. The way of light, then, is as follows. If any one desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the following. Thou shalt love Him that created thee:(3) thou shalt glorify Him that redeemed thee from death. Thou shalt be simple in heart, and rich in spirit. Thou shalt not join thyself to those who walk in the way of death…Thou shalt not commit fornication: thou shalt not commit adultery: thou shalt not be a corrupter of youth. Thou shalt not let the word of God issue from thy lips with any kind of impurity.(6) Thou shalt not accept persons when thou reprovest any one for transgression. Thou shalt be meek: thou shalt be peaceable. Thou shalt tremble at the words which thou hearest.(7) Thou shalt not be mindful of evil against thy brother. Thou shalt not be of doubtful mind(8) as to whether a thing shall be or not. Thou shalt not take the name(9) of the Lord in vain. Thou shalt love thy neighbour more than thine own soul.(10) Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born. Thou shalt not withdraw thy hand from thy son, or from thy daughter, but from their infancy thou shalt teach them the fear of the Lord.(11) Thou shalt not covet what is thy neighbour's, nor shalt thou be avaricious. Thou shalt not be joined in soul with the haughty, but thou shalt be reckoned With the righteous and lowly. Receive thou as good things the trials(12) which come upon thee.(13)…Thou shalt preserve what thou hast received [in charge], neither adding to it nor taking from it. To the last thou shalt hate the wicked(26) [one].(27) Thou shalt judge righteously. Thou shalt not make a schism, but thou shalt pacify those that contend by bringing them together. Thou shalt confess thy sins. Thou shalt not go to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of light.(1)

 

CHAP. XXI. It is well, therefore,(6) that he who has learned the judgments of the Lord, as many as have been written, should walk in them. For he who keepeth these shall be glorified in the kingdom of God; but he who chooseth other things(7) shall be destroyed with his works. On this account there will be a resurrection,(8) on this account a retribution.

 

 

Clement –

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF CLEMENT TO THE CORINTHIANS

 

CHAP. I. For who ever dwelt even for a short time among you, and did not find your faith to be as fruitful of virtue as it was firmly established?(4) Who did not admire the sobriety and moderation of your godliness in Christ? Who did not proclaim the magnificence of your habitual hospitality? And who did not rejoice over your perfect and well-grounded knowledge? For ye did all things without respect of persons, and walked in the command-merits of God, being obedient to those who had the rule over you, and giving all fitting honour to the presbyters among you.

 

CHAP. II. Adorned by a thoroughly virtuous and religious life, ye did all things in the fear of God. The commandments and ordinances of the Lord were written upon the tablets of your hearts.(11)

 

CHAP. III. Every kind of honour and happiness(12) was bestowed upon you, and then was fulfilled that which is written, "My beloved did eat and drink, and was enlarged and became fat, and kicked."(13) Hence flowed emulation and envy, strife and sedition, persecution and disorder, war and captivity. So the worthless rose up against the honoured, those of no reputation against such as were renowned, the foolish against the wise, the young against those advanced in years. For this reason righteousness and peace are now far departed from you, inasmuch as every one abandons the fear of God, and is become blind in His faith,(1) neither walks in the ordinances of His appointment, nor acts a part becoming a Christian,(2) but walks after his own wicked lusts, resuming the practice of an unrighteous and ungodly envy, by which death itself entered into the world.(3)

 

CHAP. XXX. Seeing, therefore, that we are the portion of the Holy One, let us do all those things which pertain to holiness, avoiding all evil-speaking, all abominable and impure embraces, together with all drunkenness, seeking after change,(3) all abominable lusts, detestable adultery, and execrable pride. "For God," saith [the Scripture], "resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble."(4) Let us cleave, then, to those to whom grace has been given by God. Let us clothe ourselves with concord and humility, ever exercising self-control, standing far off from all whispering and evil-speaking, being justified by our works, and not our words…CHAP. XXXI. Let us cleave then to His blessing, and consider what are the means(6) of possessing it. Let us think(7) over the things which have taken place from the beginning. For what reason was our father Abraham blessed? was it not because he wrought righteousness and truth through faith?(8) Isaac, with perfect confidence, as if knowing what was to happen,(9) cheerfully yielded himself as a sacrifice.(10) Jacob, through reason(11) of his brother, went forth with humility from his own land, and came to Laban and served him; and there was given to him the sceptre of the twelve tribes of Israel. CHAP. XXXII. Whosoever will candidly consider each particular, will recognise the greatness of the gifts which were given by him.(12) For from him(13) have sprung the priests and all the Levites who minister at the altar of God. From him also [was descended] our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.(14) From him [arose] kings, princes, and rulers of the race of Judah. Nor are his other tribes in small glory, inasmuch as God  had promised, "Thy seed shall be as the stars of  heaven."(15) All these, therefore, were highly  honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

NOTE 1: The quote above highlights that men are not righteous enough by works to be saved or deemed righteous if measured by our works. Consequently, it concludes that we are counted worthy of salvation on the conditional basis of having faith. Yet it also stresses that works must follow our faith and that proper works are necessary in order to accomplish our justification by faith.

 

NOTE 2:

Near the end, there is a sentence which reads, “All these, therefore, were highly honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will.” The phrase “through the operation of His will” is not meant to indicate a Calvinistic causation behind the belief of men (or behind their righteous works either).

 

Instead, the context begins by referring to such “gifts” of God as the “priests and all the Levites who minister at the altar of God” and also the “kings, princes, and rulers of the race of Judah.” The priests and Levites performed the sacrifices for the Israelites forgiveness and fellowship with God. The kings and rulers were the instruments through whom God brought the Israelites deliverance and salvation from their enemies.

 

The author’s point is that it was not perfect works or perfect understanding that merited God’s forgiveness or deliverance. Instead, these things were granted for the sake of those who had faith, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who are mentioned two chapters earlier concerning this same theme.

 

Consequently, in this context, the phrase “through the operation of His will” does not refer to some act of God operating as causational inside of men’s hearts, but instead refers to these outward acts of God’s will. It is not the faith of men that this quote portrays as the gift of God. Rather, it is God’s choice to provide a sacrifice and a deliver that this quote portrays as the gift of God. It is not the faith of men that this quote portrays as resulting from the operation of God’s will. Rather, it is God’s choice to provide a sacrifice and a deliver that this quote portrays as resulting from the operation of God’s will. And, of course, these Old Testament examples find ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ, who is both the final sacrifice for sin and the deliverer who will save us from our enemies.

 

CHAP. XXXV. Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those that wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised gifts. But how, beloved, shall this be done? If our understanding be fixed by faith rewards God; if we earnestly seek the things which are pleasing and acceptable to Him; if we do the things which are in harmony with His blameless will; and if we follow the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, along with all covetousness, strife, evil practices, deceit, whispering, and evil-speaking, all hatred of God, pride and haughtiness, vainglory and ambition.(12) For they that do such things are hateful to God; and not only they that do them, but also those that take pleasure in them that do them.(13)

 

CHAP. XXXVII. Let us then, men and brethren, with all energy act the part of soldiers, in accordance with His holy commandments.

 

CHAP. XLIX. Let him who has love in Christ keep the commandments of Christ.

 

 

Ignatius –

THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE PHILADELPHIANS

 

CHAP. II. Wherefore, as children of light and truth, flee from division and wicked doctrines; but where the shepherd is, there do ye as sheep follow. For there are many wolves that appear worthy of credit, who, by means of a pernicious pleasure, carry captives those that are running towards God; but in your unity they shall have no place. CHAP. III. Keep yourselves from those evil plants which Jesus Christ does not tend, because they are not the planting of the Father. Not that I have found any division among you, but exceeding purity. For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of repentance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren. If any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If any one walks according to a strange(5) opinion, he agrees not with the passion [of Christ.].

 

CHAP. XII. And more than all other men are we your helpers and allies in promoting peace, seeing that we hold this view, that it is alike impossible for the wicked, the covetous, the conspirator, and for the virtuous, to escape the notice of God, and that each man goes to everlasting punishment or salvation according to the value of his actions. For if all men knew this, no one would choose wickedness even for a little, knowing that he goes to the everlasting punishment of fire; but would by all means restrain himself, and adorn himself with virtue, that he might obtain the good gifts of God, and escape the punishments. For those who, on account of the laws and punishments you impose, endeavour to escape detection when they offend (and they offend, too, under the impression that it is quite possible to escape your detection, since you are but men), those persons, if they learned and were convinced that nothing, whether actually done or only intended, can escape the knowledge of God, would by all means live decently on account of the penalties threatened, as even you yourselves will admit…For as all shrink from succeeding to the poverty or sufferings or obscurity of their fathers, so whatever the Word forbids us to choose, the sensible man will not choose. CHAP. XIV. For we forewarn you to be on your guard, lest those demons whom we have been accusing should deceive you, and quite diver you from reading and understanding what we say. For they strive to hold you their slaves and servants; and sometimes by appearances in dreams, and sometimes by magical impositions, they subdue all who make no strong opposing effort for their own salvation. And thus do we also, since our persuasion by the Word, stand aloof from them (i.e., the demons), and follow the only unbegotten God through His Son...But lest we should seem to be reasoning sophistically, we consider it right, before giving you the promised(2) explanation, to cite a few precepts given by Christ Himself. And be it yours, as powerful rulers, to inquire whether we have been taught and do teach these things truly. Brief and concise utterances fell from Him, for He was no sophist, but His word was the power of God. CHAP. XV. Concerning chastity, He uttered such sentiments as these:(3) "Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart before God." And, "If thy right eye offend thee, cut it out; for it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of heaven with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into everlasting fire." For what shall I say, too, of the countless multitude of those who have reformed intemperate habits, and learned these things? For Christ called not the just nor the chaste to repentance, but the ungodly, and the licentious, and the unjust; His words being, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."(7) For the heavenly Father desires rather the repentance than the punishment of the sinner… CHAP. XVI. …For we ought not to strive; neither has He desired us to be imitators of wicked men, but He has exhorted us to lead all men, by patience and gentleness, from shame and the love of evil. And this indeed is proved in the case of many who once were of your way of thinking, but have changed their violent and tyrannical disposition, being overcome either by the constancy which they have witnessed in their neighbours' lives,(4) or by the extraordinary forbearance they have observed in their fellow-travellers when defrauded, or by the honesty of those with whom they have transacted business. And with regard to our not swearing at all, and always speaking the truth, He enjoined as follows: "Swear not at all; but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."(5) And that we ought to worship God alone, He thus persuaded us: "The greatest commandment is, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shall thou serve, with all thy heart, and with all thy strength, the Lord God that made thee."(6)

 

 

Dialogue of Justin –

PHILOSOPHER AND MARTYR, WITH TRYPHO, A JEW

 

CHAP. XVIII. "For since you have read, O Trypho, as you yourself admitted, the doctrines taught by our Saviour, I do not think that I have done foolishly in adding some short utterances of His to the prophetic statements. Wash therefore, and be now clean, and put away iniquity from your souls, as God bids you be washed in this laver, and be circumcised with the true circumcision. For we too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short all the feasts, if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined you,--namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your hearts. For if we patiently endure all things contrived against us by wicked men and demons, so that even amid cruelties unutterable, death and torments, we pray for mercy to those who inflict such things upon us, and do not wish to give the least retort to any one, even as the new Lawgiver commanded us: how is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm us,--I speak of fleshly circumcision, and Sabbaths, and feasts?

 

CHAP. XXIV. But lest I appear now to diverge to other subjects, understand what I say: the blood of that circumcision is obsolete, and we trust in the blood of salvation; there is now another covenant, and another law has gone forth from Zion. Jesus Christ circumcises all who will--as was declared above--with knives of stone;(4) that they may be a righteous nation, a people keeping faith, holding to the truth, and maintaining peace.

 

CHAP. XXXV. And Trypho said, "I believe, however, that many of those who say that they confess Jesus, and are called Christians, eat meats offered to idols, and declare that they are by no means injured in consequence." And I replied, "The fact that there are such men confessing themselves to be Christians, and admitting the crucified Jesus to be both Lord and Christ, yet not teaching His doctrines, but those of the spirits of error, causes us who are disciples of the true and pure doctrine of Jesus Christ, to be more faithful and stedfast in the hope announced by Him. For what things He predicted would take place in His name, these we do see being actually accomplished in our sight. For he said, 'Many shall come in My name, clothed outwardly in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."(1) And, 'There shall be schisms and heresies.'(2) And, 'Beware of false prophets, who shall come to you clothed outwardly in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.'(1) And, 'Many false Christs and false apostles shall arise, and shall deceive many of the faithful.'(3)

 

CHAP. XLIII. "As, then, circumcision began with Abraham, and the Sabbath and sacrifices and offerings and feasts with Moses, and it has been proved they were enjoined on account of the hardness of your people's heart, so it was necessary, in accordance with the Father's will, that they should have an end in Him who was born of a virgin, of the family of Abraham and tribe of Judah,  and of David; in Christ the Son of God, who was proclaimed as about to come to all the world, to be the everlasting law and the everlasting covenant, even as the forementioned prophecies show.

 

 

Irenaeus

AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK III

 

CHAP.XX. 2.for He, too, "was made in the likeness of sinful flesh,"(8) to condemn sin, and to cast it, as now a condemned thing, away beyond the flesh, but that He might call man forth into His own likeness, assigning him as [His own] imitator to God, and imposing on him His Father's law, in order that he may see God, and granting him power to receive the Father; [being](9) the Word of God who dwelt in man, and became the Son of man, that He might accustom man to receive God, and God to dwell in man, according to the good pleasure of the Father.

 

CHAP. XXV. 2. Again, that they might remove the rebuking and judicial power from the Father, reckoning that as unworthy of God, and thinking that they had found out a God both without anger and [merely]  good, they have alleged that one [God] judges, but that another saves, unconsciously taking away the intelligence and justice of both deities. For if the judicial one is not also good, to bestow favours upon the deserving, and to direct reproofs against those requiring them, he will appear neither a just nor a wise judge. On the other hand, the good God, if he is merely good, and not one who tests those upon whom he shall send his goodness, will be out of the range of justice and goodness; and his goodness will seem imperfect, as not saving all; [for it should do so,] if it be not accompanied with judgment… 3. For He is good, and merciful, and patient, and saves whom He ought: nor does goodness desert Him in the exercise of justice,(3) nor is His wisdom lessened; for He saves those whom He should save, and judges those worthy of judgment. Neither does He show Himself unmercifully just; for His goodness, no doubt, goes on before, and takes precedency.

 

 

Irenaeus

AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK IV

 

CHAP. XII. 2. But that this is the first and greatest commandment, and that the next [has respect to love] towards our neighbour, the Lord has taught, when He says that the entire law and the prophets hang upon these two commandments. Moreover, He did not Himself bring down [from heaven] any other commandment greater than this one, but renewed this very same one to His disciples, when He enjoined them to love God with all their heart, and others as themselves… 3. As in the law, therefore, and in the Gospel [likewise], the first and greatest commandment is, to love the Lord God with the whole heart, and then there follows a commandment like to it, to love one's neighbour as one's self; the author of the law and the Gospel is shown to be one and the same. For the precepts of an absolutely perfect life, since they are the same in each Testament, have pointed out [to us] the same God, who certainly has promulgated particular laws adapted for each; but the more prominent and the greatest [commandments], without which salvation cannot [be attained], He has exhorted [us to observe] the same in both.

 

CHAP. XIII. 1. And that the Lord did not abrogate the natural [precepts] of the law, by which man(2) is justified, which also those who were justified by faith, and who pleased God, did observe previous to the giving of the law, but that He extended and fulfilled them, is shown from His words. "For," He remarks, "it has been said to them of old time, Do not commit adultery. But I say unto you, That every one who hath looked upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."(3) And again: "It has been said, Thou shalt not kill. But I say unto you, Every one who is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment."(4) And, "It hath been said, Thou shalt not forswear thyself. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; but let your conversation be, Yea, yea, and Nay, nay."(5) And other statements of a like nature. For all these do not contain or imply an opposition to and an overturning of the [precepts] of the past, as Marcion's followers do strenuously maintain; but [they exhibit] a fulfilling and an extension of them, as He does Himself declare: "Unless your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."(6) For what meant the excess referred to? In the first place, [we must] believe not only in the Father, but also in His Son now revealed; for He it is who leads man into fellowship and unity with God. In the next place, [we must] not only say, but we must do; for they said, but did not. And [we must] not only abstain from evil deeds, but even from the desires after them. Now He did not teach us these things as being opposed to the law, but as fulfilling the law, and implanting in us the varied righteousness of the law. That would have been contrary to the law, if He had commanded His disciples to do anything which the law had prohibited. But this which He did command--namely, not only to abstain from things forbidden by the law, but even from longing after them--is not contrary to [the law], as I have remarked, neither is it the utterance of one destroying the law, but of one fulfilling, extending, and affording greater scope to it. …3. And for this reason did the Lord, instead of that [commandment], "Thou shalt not commit adultery," forbid even concupiscence; and instead of that which runs thus, "Thou shalt not kill," He prohibited anger; and instead of the law enjoining the giving of tithes, [He told us] to share(7) all our possessions with the poor; and not to love our neighbours only, but even our enemies; and not merely to be liberal givers and bestowers, but even that we should present a gratuitous gift to those who take away our goods…Now all these [precepts], as I have already observed, were not the injunctions] of one doing away with the law, but of one fulfilling, extending, and widening it among us; just as if one should say, that the more extensive operation of liberty implies that a more complete subjection and affection towards our Liberator had been implanted within us.

 

CHAP. XXX. 3. And therefore has the Lord said: "Judge not, that ye be not judged: for with what judgment ye shall judge, ye shall be judged."(1) [The meaning is] not certainly that we should not find fault with sinners, nor that we should consent to those who act wickedly; but that we should not pronounce an unfair judgment on the dispensations of God, inasmuch as He has Himself made provision that all things shall turn out for good, in a way consistent with justice.

 

CHAP. XI. 1. [The apostle], foreseeing the wicked speeches of unbelievers, has particularized the works which he terms carnal; and he explains himself, lest any room for doubt be left to those who do dishonestly pervert his meaning, thus saying in the Epistle to the Galatians: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are adulteries, fornications, uncleanness, luxuriousness, idolatries, witchcrafts,(1) hatreds, contentions jealousies, wraths, emulations, animosities, irritable speeches, dissensions, heresies, envyings, drunkenness, carousings, and such like; of which I warn you, as also I have warned you, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."(2) Thus does he point out to his hearers in a more explicit manner what it is [he means when he declares], "Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God." For they who do these things, since they do indeed walk after the flesh, have not the power of living unto God. And then, again, he proceeds to tell us the spiritual actions which vivify a man, that is, the engrafting of the Spirit; thus saying, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, goodness, benignity, faith, meekness, continence, chastity: against these there is no law."(3) As, therefore, he who has gone forward to the better things, and has brought forth the fruit of the Spirit, is saved altogether because of the communion of the Spirit; so also he who has continued in the aforesaid works of the flesh, being truly reckoned as carnal, because he did not receive the Spirit of God, shall not have power to inherit the kingdom of heaven. As, again, the same apostle testifies, saying to the Corinthians, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not err," he says: "neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor revilers, nor rapacious persons, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And these ye indeed have been; but ye have been washed, but ye have been sanctified, but ye have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God."(4) He shows in the clearest manner through what things it is that man goes to destruction, if he has continued to live after the flesh; and then, on the other hand, [he points out] through what things he is saved. Now he says that the things which save are the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God.

 

 

8) View of Repentance

Required the acknowledgement of what was sinful in your life, the commitment to turn from those sins, and the real effort to stop sinning as well as asking forgiveness through the atoning work of Jesus Christ.

 

Ignatius –

THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE PHILADELPHIANS

 

CHAP. II. Wherefore, as children of light and truth, flee from division and wicked doctrines; but where the shepherd is, there do ye as sheep follow. For there are many wolves that appear worthy of credit, who, by means of a pernicious pleasure, carry captives those that are running towards God; but in your unity they shall have no place. CHAP. III. Keep yourselves from those evil plants which Jesus Christ does not tend, because they are not the planting of the Father. Not that I have found any division among you, but exceeding purity. For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of repentance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren. If any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If any one walks according to a strange(5) opinion, he agrees not with the passion [of Christ.].

 

Dialogue of Justin –

PHILOSOPHER AND MARTYR, WITH TRYPHO, A JEW

 

CHAP. XII. The new law requires you to keep perpetual sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are pious, not discerning why this has been commanded you: and if you eat unleavened bread, you say the will of God has been fulfilled. The Lord our God does not take pleasure in such observances: if there is any perjured person or a thief among you, let him cease to be so; if any adulterer, let him repent; then he has kept the sweet and true sabbaths of God. If any one has impure hands, let him wash and be pure.

 

CHAP. CXL. But if the word of God foretells that some angels and men shall be certainly punished, it did so because it foreknew that they would be unchangeably [wicked], but not because God had created them so. So that if they repent, all who wish for it can obtain mercy from God: and the Scripture foretells that they shall be blessed, saying, 'Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not sin;'(1) that is, having repented of his sins, that he may receive remission of them from God; and not as you deceive yourselves, and some others who resemble you in this, who say, that even though they be sinners, but know God, the Lord will not impute sin to them. We have as proof of this the one fall of David, which happened through his boasting, which was forgiven then when he so mourned and wept, as it is written. But if even to such a man no remission was granted before repentance, and only when this great king, and anointed one, and prophet, mourned and conducted himself so, how can the impure and utterly abandoned, if they weep not, and mourn not, and repent not, entertain the hope that the Lord will not impute to them sin?

 

 

Dialogue of Justin –

PHILOSOPHER AND MARTYR, WITH TRYPHO, A JEW

 

CHAP. XXVI. And Trypho remarked, "What is this you say? that none of us shall inherit anything on the holy mountain of God?" CHAP. XXVI. And I replied, "I do not say so; but those who have persecuted and do persecute Christ, if they do not repent, shall not inherit anything on the holy mountain. But the Gentiles, who have believed on Him, and have repented of the sins which they have committed, they shall receive the inheritance along with the patriarchs and the prophets, and the just men who are descended from Jacob, even although they neither keep the Sabbath, nor are circumcised, nor observe the feasts. Assuredly they shall receive the holy inheritance of God.

 

CHAP. XLIV. So that it becomes you to eradicate this hope from your souls, and hasten to know in what way forgiveness of sins, and a hope of inheriting the promised good things, shall be yours. But there is no other [way] than this,--to become acquainted with this Christ, to be washed in the fountain(6) spoken of by Isaiah for the remission of sins; and for the rest, to live sinless lives."

 

CHAP. CXI. For the sign of the scarlet thread, which the spies, sent to Jericho by Joshua, son of Nave (Nun), gave to Rahab the harlot, telling her to bind it to the window through which she let them down to escape from their enemies, also manifested the symbol of the blood of Christ, by which those who were at one time harlots and unrighteous persons out of all nations are saved, receiving remission of sins, and continuing no longer in sin.