Friday, June 29, 2012

Reformation Solas in the Early Church - Part 3

Sola Fide

Similarly we also, who by His will have been called in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, or our own wisdom or understanding or godliness, nor by such deeds as we have done in holiness of heart, but by that faith through which Almighty God has justified all men since the beginning of time.  Glory be to Him, forever and ever, Amen.
Clement of Rome (Letter to the Corinthians, par. 32)

Human beings can be saved from the ancient serpent in no other way than by believing in him who, when he was raised up from the earth on the tree of martyrdom in the likeness of sinful flesh, drew all things to himself and gave life to the dead.
Irenaeus (Against the Heresies, IV, 2, 7).

Indeed, this is the perfect and complete glorification of God, when one does not exult in his own righteousness, but recognizing oneself as lacking true righteousness to be justified by faith alone in Christ.
Basil the Great (Homily on Humility, PG 31.532; TFoTC vol. 9, p. 479)

They said that he who adhered to faith alone was cursed; but he, Paul, shows that he who adhered to faith alone is blessed.
John Chrysostom (First Corinthians, Homily 20, PG 61.164)

For you believe the faith; why then do you add other things, as if faith were not sufficient to justify?  You make yourselves captive, and you subject yourself to the law.
John Chrysostom (Epistle to Titus, Homily 3, PG 62.651)

"To declare His righteousness."  What is declaring of righteousness?  Like the declaring of His riches, not only for Him to be rich Himself, but also to make others rich, or of life, not only that He is Himself living, but also that He makes the dead to live; and of His power, not only that He is Himself powerful, but also that He makes the feeble powerful.  So also is the declaring of His righteousness not only that He is Himself righteous, but that He also makes them that are filled with the putrefying sores of sin suddenly righteous.  And it is to explain this, viz. what is "declaring," that he has added, "That He might be just, and the justifier of him who believes in Jesus."  Doubt not then: for it is not of works, but of faith: and shun not the righteousness of God, for it is a blessing in two ways; because it is easy, and also open to all men.  And be not abashed and shamefaced.  For if He Himself openly declares Himself to do so, and He, so to say, finds a delight and a pride therein, how do you come to be dejected and to hide your face at what your Master glories in?
John Chrysostom (Homilies on Romans 3)

Part 3 of 4 beginning here.

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