Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Our Church Fathers Part 2

Submitted by Sam Nobles - Ignatius
Ignatius, bishop of the church in Antioch, is known for seven highly regarded letters that he wrote during a trip to Rome, where he was a prisoner condemned to be executed for his beliefs. Even though Ignatius was an influential church leader, he is known almost entirely from his own writings. There is no record of his life prior to his arrest, but his letters reveal his personality and his impact on the Christianity of his time. 

In his letters Ignatius was eager to confront the teachings of two groups—the Judaizers, who gave no authority to the New Testament Scriptures, and the Docetists, who held that Christ’s sufferings and death was only in appearance and not real.

Ignatius doggedly affirmed that the New Testament was the fulfillment of the Old Testament and insisted upon the reality of Christ’s human nature. For him, Christ’s Passion, death, and Resurrection were a vital guarantee of “life everlasting” in the risen Christ. Ignatius believed that, had Christ died only in appearance, his own suffering and his readiness to sacrifice his life for Christ would have no meaning.

In order to become a human being and take on human flesh, Jesus had to first divest Himself of all power and glory. To become a man, Jesus made himself of no reputation. He had to empty himself, and pour out all consciousness, wisdom, and knowledge of who He was.

Jesus entered this world into a hostile environment as a baby. Jesus had to learn, grow, and be taught (Luke 2:52). By the time Jesus is 12 years old, He knows exactly who He is and by 30 years of age, He knows exactly what His mission is to be.

God is just and because He is just He could not just make sin vanish without anyone paying the price. God loved the people He created so much that He gave us Jesus in the flesh, to take on the punishment of sin for the entire world, and pay the price that we couldn’t pay so we could be forgiven for our sins.

Scripture to Claim:

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

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