07 June 2013

Patristic Quote of the Day

For truly, He has not only delivered from sins, but has also placed among the approved. For, not that He might deliver us from evils only, did He suffer so great things, but that also we might obtain the first rewards; as if one should not only free a condemned criminal from his punishment, but also advance him to honor. And he has ranked you with those who have not sinned, yea rather not with those who have done no sin only, but even with those who have wrought the greatest righteousness; and, what is truly a great thing, has given the holiness which is before Him, and the being unreprovable. Now an advance upon unblamable is unreprovable, when we have done nothing either to be condemned for, or charged with. But, since he ascribed the whole to Him, because through His death He achieved these things; what then, says one, is it to us? We need nothing. Therefore he added,

Ver. 23. If so be that you continue in the faith grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Gospel.

Here he strikes a blow at their listlessness. And he said not simply continue, for it is possible to continue wavering, and vacillating; it is possible to stand, and continue, though turned this way and that. If so be that you continue, he says, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away. Wonderful! What a forcible metaphor he uses; he says not only not tossed to and fro, but not even moved. And observe, he lays down so far nothing burdensome, nor toilsome, but faith and hope; that is, if you continue believing, that the hope of the things to come is true. For this indeed is possible; but, as regards virtuous living, it is not possible to avoid being shaken about, though it be but a little; so (what he enjoins) is not grievous.

—St. John Chrysostom on Colossians 1:22, 23

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