Friday, August 11, 2017

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Ro 10:9–10)

There is need of both, of faith true and firm, and of confession made with confidence so that the heart may be adorned with the certitude of faith, and the tongue made resplendent by fearless proclamation of the truth.

Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on Romans

Paul in Berea
 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
    Who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Ro 10:14–15)
It is necessary first to believe, then to call. But it is impossible to believe if one does not have the benefit of the teaching, and this could not happen with no preachers, and ordination in turn is responsible for them. After citing these points in this manner by way of Jews’ defense, he uses them to add to the accusation against them; the last one, that relating to the sending of the preachers, he put first to show that it was forecast from the beginning. It was, in fact, logical to give it pride of place ahead of the others: the first need is for the preachers to be ordained,then the preaching, then the listening to the preachers, and at that point the coming of faith. Accordingly, he adduces the prophecy of Isaiah…; the Lord, remember, bade the apostles say on entering a house, “Peace be to this house” [Lk 10:5]: they indicated the divine reconciliation, and brought the good news of the enjoyment of good things.

Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on Romans

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