Ignatius of Antioch: Drawn up on high by the instrument of Jesus Christ, which is the Cross, making use of the Holy Spirit as a rope Saturday, Oct 17 2015 

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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Ignatius of Antioch: He descended into Hades alone, but He arose accompanied by a multitude Saturday, Apr 4 2015 

Ignatius_of_AntiochStop your ears, therefore, when any one speaks to you at variance with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was descended from David, and was also of Mary; who was truly begotten of God and of the Virgin, but not after the same manner.

For indeed God and man are not the same. He truly assumed a body; for “the Word was made flesh” (John 1:14), and lived upon earth without sin. For says He, “Which of you convicteth me of sin?” (John 8:46).

He did in reality both eat and drink. He was crucified and died under Pontius Pilate. He really, and not merely in appearance, was crucified, and died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth.

By those in heaven I mean such as are possessed of incorporeal natures; by those on earth, the Jews and Romans, and such persons as were present at that time when the Lord was crucified; and by those under the earth, the multitude that arose along with the Lord.

For says the Scripture, “Many bodies of the saints that slept arose” (Matt. 27:52), their graves being opened.

He descended, indeed, into Hades alone, but He arose accompanied by a multitude; and rent asunder that means of separation [literally, “hedge,” or “fence”] which had existed from the beginning of the world, and cast down its partition-wall.

He also rose again in three days, the Father raising Him up; and after spending forty days with the apostles, He was received up to the Father, and “sat down at His right hand, waiting till His enemies are placed under His feet” (Heb. 10:12-13).

On the day of the preparation, then, at the third hour, He received the sentence from Pilate, the Father permitting that to happen; at the sixth hour He was crucified; at the ninth hour He gave up the ghost; and before sunset He was buried.

During the Sabbath He continued under the earth in the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathæa had laid Him.

At the dawning of the Lord’s day He arose from the dead, according to what was spoken by Himself, “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man also be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40).

The day of the preparation, then, comprises the passion; the Sabbath embraces the burial; the Lord’s Day contains the resurrection.

Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35 – c. 107): Letter to the Trallians, 9.

Ignatius of Antioch: The Medicine of Immortality, and the Antidote to Prevent Us from Dying Monday, Jan 20 2014 

Ignatius_of_AntiochLet my spirit be counted as nothing for the sake of the cross, which is a stumbling-block to those that do not believe, but to us salvation and life eternal.

“Where is the wise man? where the disputer?” Where is the boasting of those who are styled prudent?

For our God, Jesus Christ, was, according to the appointment of God, conceived in the womb by Mary, of the seed of David, but by the Holy Ghost.

He was born and baptized, that by His passion He might purify the water.

Now the virginity of Mary was hidden from the prince of this world, as was also her offspring, and the death of the Lord; three mysteries of renown, which were wrought in silence by God.

How, then, was He manifested to the world? A star shone forth in heaven above all the other stars, the light of Which was inexpressible, while its novelty struck men with astonishment.

And all the rest of the stars, with the sun and moon, formed a chorus to this star, and its light was exceedingly great above them all. And there was agitation felt as to whence this new spectacle came, so unlike to everything else in the heavens.

Hence every kind of magic was destroyed, and every bond of wickedness disappeared; ignorance was removed, and the old kingdom abolished, God Himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life.

And now that took a beginning which had been prepared by God. Henceforth all things were in a state of tumult, because He meditated the abolition of death.

If Jesus Christ shall graciously permit me through your prayers, and if it be His will, I shall, in a second little work which I will write to you, make further manifest to you the nature of the dispensation of which I have begun to treat, with respect to the new man, Jesus Christ, in His faith and in His love, in His suffering and in His resurrection.

Especially will I do this if the Lord make known to me that you come together in common, man by man, through grace – individually, in one faith, and in Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David according to the flesh, being both the Son of man and the Son of God;

and if you thus obey the bishop and the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent us from dying, but which causes that we should live for ever in Jesus Christ.

Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35 – c. 107): Letter to the Ephesians, 18-20 @ Crossroads Initiative.

Ignatius of Antioch: Faith and Love towards Christ Jesus are the Beginning and the End of Life Wednesday, Oct 30 2013 

Ignatius_of_AntiochTake heed, then, often to come together to give thanks to God, and show forth His praise.

For when ye assemble frequently in the same place, the powers of Satan are destroyed, and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your faith.

Nothing is more precious than peace, by which all war, both in heaven and earth, is brought to an end.

None of these things is hid from you, if ye perfectly possess that faith and love towards Christ Jesus which are the beginning and the end of life.

For the beginning is faith, and the end is love. Now these two. being inseparably connected together, are of God, while all other things which are requisite for a holy life follow after them.

No man truly making a profession of faith sins; nor does he that possesses love hate any one.

The tree is made manifest by its fruit; so those that profess themselves to be Christians shall be recognised by their conduct. For there is not now a demand for mere profession, but that a man be found continuing in the power of faith to the end.

It is better for a man to be silent and be a Christian, than to talk and not to be one. It is good to teach, if he who speaks also acts. There is then one Teacher, who spake and it was done; while even those things which He did in silence are worthy of the Father.

He who possesses the word of Jesus, is truly able to hear even His very silence, that he may be perfect, and may both act as he speaks, and be recognised by his silence.

There is nothing which is hid from God, but our very secrets are near to Him. Let us therefore do all things as those who have Him dwelling in us, that we may be His temples, and He may be in us as our God, which indeed He is, and will manifest Himself before our faces. Wherefore we justly love Him.

[…] For this end did the Lord suffer the ointment to be poured upon His head, that He might breathe immortality into His Church. Be not ye anointed with the bad odour of the doctrine of the prince of this world; let him not lead you away captive from the life which is set before you.

And why are we not all prudent, since we have received the knowledge of God, which is Jesus Christ? Why do we foolishly perish, not recognising the gift which the Lord has of a truth sent to us?

Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35 – c. 107): Letter to the Ephesians, 13-17 @ Crossroads Initiative.

Ignatius of Antioch: I Desire the Bread of God, the Heavenly Bread, the Bread of Life, which is the Flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God Thursday, Oct 17 2013 

Ignatius_of_Antioch October 17th is the feast of St Ignatius of Antioch

Let no one, of things visible or invisible, envy me that I should attain to Jesus Christ.

Let fire and the cross; let the crowds of wild beasts; let tearings, breakings, and dislocations of bones.

Let cutting off of members; let shatterings of the whole body; and let all the dreadful torments of the devil come upon me: only let me attain to Jesus Christ.

All the pleasures of the world, and all the kingdoms of this earth, shall profit me nothing.

It is better for me to die in behalf of Jesus Christ, than to reign over all the ends of the earth.

“For what shall a man be profited, if he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul?”

Him I seek, who died for us: Him I desire, who rose again for our sake. This is the gain which is laid up for me.

Pardon me, brethren: do not hinder me from living, do not wish to keep me in a state of death; and while I desire to belong to God, do not ye give me over to the world.

Suffer me to obtain pure light: when I have gone thither, I shall indeed be a man of God. Permit me to be an imitator of the passion of my God.

If any one has Him within himself, let him consider what I desire, and let him have sympathy with me, as knowing how I am straitened.

The prince of this world would fain carry me away, and corrupt my disposition towards God. Let none of you, therefore, who are [in Rome] help him; rather be ye on my side, that is, on the side of God.

Do not speak of Jesus Christ, and yet set your desires on the world.

Let not envy find a dwelling-place among you; nor even should I, when present with you, exhort you to it, be ye persuaded to listen to me, but rather give credit to those things which I now write to you.

For though I am alive while I write to you, yet I am eager to die.

My love has been crucified, and there is no fire in me desiring to be fed; but there is within me a water that liveth and speaketh, saying to me inwardly, Come to the Father.

I have no delight in corruptible food, nor in the pleasures of this life.

I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham.

And I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life.

Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35 – c. 107): Letter to the Romans, 5-7 @ Crossroads Initiative.