Friday, February 26, 2016

Great Is the Grace of His Promise

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with this Sunday’s Psalm study.

And the Lord, with ceaseless assiduity, exhorts, terrifies, urges, rouses, admonishes.  He awakes from the sleep of darkness, and raises up those who have wandered in error.  “Awake,” He says, “you who sleeps, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light,” [Eph 5:14]—Christ, the Sun of the Resurrection, He “who was born before the morning star,” [Ps 110:3] and with His beams bestows life.  Let no one then despise the Word, lest he unwittingly despise himself.  For the Scripture somewhere says:
Today, if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers proved Me by trial.… And saw my works forty years. Therefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in heart, and have not known My ways.  So I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter into My rest. [Psa 95:8-11]
Look to the threatening!  Look to the exhortation!  Look to the punishment!  Why, then, should we any longer change grace into wrath, and not receive the word with open ears, and entertain God as a guest in pure spirits?  For great is the grace of His promise, “if today we hear His voice.”

Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Heathen, IX

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