Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Endure with Patience—God Continues to Draw Sinners to Himself

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  (Col 1:11-12)

And after all these things, He still receives His murderers, if they will be converted and come to Him; and with a saving patience, He who is gracious to preserve, closes His Church to none.  Those adversaries, those blasphemers, those who were always enemies to His name, if they repent of their sin, if they acknowledge the crime committed, He receives, not only to the pardon of their sin, but to the reward of the heavenly kingdom.  What can be said more patient, what more merciful?  Even he is made alive by Christ’s blood who has shed Christ’s blood.  Such and so great is the patience of Christ.  And had it not been such and so great, the Church would never have possessed Paul as an apostle.*

But if we also, beloved brethren, are in Christ; if we put Him on, if He is the way of our salvation, who follow Christ in the footsteps of salvation, let us walk by the example of Christ, as the Apostle John instructs us, saying, “The one who says he abides in Christ, ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”†  Peter also, upon whom by the Lord’s condescension the Church was founded,‡ lays it down in his epistle, and says, “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you can example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”§

Cyprian, On the Advantage of Patience 8-9

*  1 Timothy 1:3
†  1 John 2:6
‡  I.e., Peter's confession
§  1 Peter 2:21-23

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