Ignatius_of_AntiochThere is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit;

both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God;

first passible and then impassible, even Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let not then any one deceive you, as indeed ye are not deceived, inasmuch as ye are wholly devoted to God.

For since there is no strife raging among you which might distress you, ye are certainly living in accordance with God’s will.

[…] They that are carnal cannot do those things which are spiritual, nor they that are spiritual the things which are carnal; even as faith cannot do the works of unbelief, nor unbelief the works of faith.

But even those things which ye do according to the flesh are spiritual; for ye do all things in Jesus Christ….

I have heard of some who have passed on from this to you, having false doctrine, whom ye did not suffer to sow among you. But you stopped your ears, that ye might not receive those things which were sown by them.

For you are stones of the temple of the Father, prepared for the building of God the Father, and drawn up on high by the instrument of Jesus Christ, which is the Cross, making use of the Holy Spirit as a rope, while your faith was the means by which you ascended, and your love the way which led up to God.

Ye, therefore, as well as all your fellow-travellers, are God-bearers, temple-bearers, Christ-bearers, bearers of holiness, adorned in all respects with the commandments of Jesus Christ….

I exult that I have been thought worthy, by means of this Epistle, to converse and rejoice with you, because with respect to your Christian life ye love nothing but God only. And pray ye without ceasing in behalf of other men.

For there is in them hope of repentance that they may attain to God. See, then, that they be instructed by your works, if in no other way.

Be ye meek in response to their wrath, humble in opposition to their boasting: to their blasphemies return your prayers; in contrast to their error, be ye stedfast in the faith; and for their cruelty, manifest your gentleness.

While we take care not to imitate their conduct, let us be found their brethren in all true kindness; and let us seek to be followers of the Lord (was anyone ever more unjustly treated, more destitute, more condemned than He?), that so no plant of the devil may be found in you, but ye may remain in all holiness and sobriety in Jesus Christ, both with respect to the flesh and spirit.

Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35 – c. 107): Letter to the Ephesians, 7-10 @ Crossroads Initiative [slightly adapted].

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