Ignatius of Antioch writes to the Ephesians

Posted: November 17, 2009 by Scott Kistler in Christ & Culture
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I thought that these were some beautiful words from Ignatius to the Ephesians, describing their union to God in Christ and urging them to both pray for those outside the faith and model Christ for them:

But I have learned that certain people from elsewhere have passed your way with evil doctrine, but you did not allow them to sow it among you.  You covered up your ears in order to avoid receiving the things being sown by them, because you are stones of a temple, prepared beforehand for the building of God the Father, hoisted up to the heights by the crane of Jesus Christ, which is the cross, using as a rope the Holy Spirit; your faith is what lifts you up, and love is the way that leads up to God.  So you are all participants together in a shared worship, God-bearers and temple-bearers, Christ-bearers, bearers of holy things, adorned in every respect with the commandments of Jesus Christ.  I too celebrate with you, since I have been judged worthy to speak with you through this letter, and to rejoice with you because you love nothing in human life, only God.

Pray continually for the rest of humankind as well, that they may find God, for there is in them hope for repentance.  Therefore allow them to be instructed by you, at least by your deeds.  In response to their anger, be gentle; in response to their boasts, be humble; in response to their slander, offer prayers; in response to their errors, be steadfast in the faith; in response to their cruelty, be civilized; do not be eager to imitate them.  Let use show by our forbearance that we are their brothers and sisters, and let us be eager to be imitators of the Lord, to see who can be the more wronged, who the more cheated, who the more rejected, in order that no weed of the devil may be found among you., but that with complete purity and self-control you may abide in Christ Jesus physically and spiritually. (Chapters 9 and 10)

Source: Michael Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers in English

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