Irenaeus of Lyons: Calling men anew to communion with God, that by communion with Him we may partake of incorruption Tuesday, Aug 23 2016 

st-irenaeus-of-lyonContinued from here….

If He was not born, neither did He die. And, if He died not, neither did He rise from the dead.

And, if He rose not from the dead, neither did He vanquish death and bring its reign to nought.

And if death be not vanquished, how can we ascend to life, who from the beginning have fallen under death?

So then those who take away redemption from man, and believe not in God that He will raise them from the dead, these also despise the birth of our Lord.

This He underwent on our behalf, that the Word of God should be made flesh in order that He might manifest the resurrection of the flesh, and might have pre-eminence over all things in the heavens, as the first-born and eldest offspring of the thought of the Father, the Word, fulfilling all things, and Himself guiding and ruling upon earth.

For He was the Virgin’s first-born, a just and holy man, godfearing, good, well-pleasing to God, perfect in all ways, and delivering from hell all who follow after Him. For He Himself was the first-begotten of the dead, the Prince and Author of life unto God.

Thus then the Word of God in all things hath the pre-eminence; for that He is true man and Wonderful Counsellor and Mighty God, calling men anew to communion with God, that by communion with Him we may partake of incorruption.

He was proclaimed by the law through Moses, and by the prophets of the Most High and Almighty God, as Son of the Father of all – He from whom all things are, He who spake with Moses.

He came into Judaea, generated from God by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, even of her who was of the seed of David and of Abraham, Jesus the Anointed of God, showing Himself to be the One who was proclaimed beforehand by the prophets.

And His forerunner was John the Baptist who prepared and made ready the people beforehand for the reception of the Word of life; declaring that He was the Christ, on whom the Spirit of God rested, mingling with His flesh.

His disciples…, after receiving the power of the Holy Spirit, were sent forth by Him into all the world, and wrought the calling of the Gentiles, showing to mankind the way of life, to turn them from idols and fornication and covetousness, cleansing their souls and bodies by the baptism of water and of the Holy Spirit.

This Holy Spirit they had received of the Lord, and they distributed and imparted It to them that believed; and thus they ordered and established the Churches.

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 39-41 [slightly adapted].

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Irenaeus of Lyons: The Word of God was made flesh by the dispensation of the Virgin, to abolish death and make man live Saturday, Jul 9 2016 

st-irenaeus-of-lyonHe fulfilled the promise made to Abraham, which God had promised him, to make his seed as the stars of heaven.

For this Christ did, who was born of the Virgin who was of Abraham’s seed, and constituted those who have faith in Him lights in the world, and by the same faith with Abraham justified the Gentiles.

[…] And He fulfilled the promise to David; for to him God had promised that of the fruit of his body He would raise up an eternal King, whose kingdom should have no end.

[…] Thus then He gloriously achieved our redemption, and fulfilled the promise of the fathers, and abolished the old disobedience.

The Son of God became Son of David and Son of Abraham; perfecting and summing up this in Himself, that He might make us to possess life.

The Word of God was made flesh by the dispensation of the Virgin, to abolish death and make man live. For we were imprisoned by sin, being born in sinfulness and living under death.

But God the Father was very merciful: He sent His creative Word, who in coming to deliver us came to the very place and spot in which we had lost life, and brake the bonds of our fetters.

And His light appeared and made the darkness of the prison disappear, and hallowed our birth and destroyed death, loosing those same fetters in which we were enchained.

And He manifested |the resurrection Himself becoming the first-begotten of the dead (Rev. 1:5), and in Himself raising up man that was fallen, lifting him up far above the heaven to the right hand of the glory of the Father: even as God promised by the prophet, saying: And I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen (Amos 9:2); that is, the flesh that was from David.

And this our Lord Jesus Christ truly fulfilled, when He gloriously achieved our redemption, that He might truly raise us up, setting us free unto the Father.

And if any man will not receive His birth from a virgin, how shall he receive His resurrection from the dead? For it is nothing wonderful and astonishing and extraordinary, if one who was not born rose from the dead: nay indeed we cannot speak of a resurrection of him who came unto being without birth.

For one who is unborn and immortal, and has not undergone birth, will also not undergo death. For he who took not the beginning of man, how could he receive his end?

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 35-38.

Irenaeus of Lyons: “He was obedient even unto death” Saturday, Apr 9 2016 

st-irenaeus-of-lyonContinued from here….

He obeyed even unto death, hanging on the tree, He put away the old disobedience which was wrought in the tree.

He is the Word of God Almighty, who in unseen manner in our midst is universally extended in all the world, and encompasses its length and breadth and height and depth.

For by the Word of God the whole universe is ordered and disposed.

In it the Son of God is crucified, inscribed crosswise upon it all.

For it is right that He being made visible, should set upon all things visible the sharing of His cross, that He might show His operation on visible things through a visible form.

For He it is who illuminates the height, that is the heavens; and encompasses the deep which is beneath the earth and stretches and spreads out the length from east to west.

He it is who steers across the breadth of north and south summoning all that are scattered in every quarter to the knowledge of the Father.

Moreover He fulfilled the promise made to Abraham, which God had promised him, to make his seed as the stars of heaven.

For this Christ did, who was born of the Virgin who was of Abraham’s seed, and constituted those who have faith in Him lights in the world, and by the same faith with Abraham justified the Gentiles.

For Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. In like manner we also are justified by faith in God: for the just shall live by faith. 

Now not by the law is the promise to Abraham, but by faith: for Abraham was justified by faith: and for a righteous man the law is not made.

In like manner we also are justified not by the law, but by faith, which is witnessed to in the law and in the prophets, whom the Word of God presents to us.

And He fulfilled the promise to David; for to him God had promised that of the fruit of his body He would raise up an eternal King, whose kingdom should have no end.

And this King is Christ, the Son of God, who became the Son of man; that is, who became the fruit of that Virgin who had her descent from David.

And for this cause the promise was, Of the fruit of thy body – that He might declare the peculiar uniqueness of Him, who was the fruit of the virgin body that was of David, even of Him who was King over the house of David, and of whose kingdom there shall be no end.

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 34-36 (slightly adapted).

Irenaeus of Lyons: He called them by temporal things to eternal things, by the carnal to the spiritual, by the earthly to the heavenly Sunday, Mar 13 2016 

st-irenaeus-of-lyonFrom the beginning God formed man in view of his gifts.

He chose the Patriarchs in order to save them. He began to prepare a people, teaching it, obstinate as it was, to follow him.

He provided Prophets, to make men accustomed to having God’s Spirit within them and to having communion with God.

God indeed needed no one’s company, but he ­shared his company with those who needed him.

For those who pleased him he set down, like an architect, his plan of salvation. In his own person he gave guidance to his people in Egypt, though they did not see him.

To those in the desert, who were restless, he gave an appropriate Law. To those who entered the good land he gave a fitting inheritance.

For those who returned to the Father ­he killed the fatted calf, and put on them the best robe in these many ways he blended the human race to a harmony of salvation.

For this reason John said in the Apocalypse, His voice was like the sound of many waters. The Spirit of God is indeed like many waters, because the Father is both rich and great.

And the Word passing through all those men, without grudging gave help to all who were obedient by drawing up in writing a Law adapted and applicable to every class among them.

By this Law he prescribed how they were to make the Tabernacle, build the Temple, choose Levites, offer sacri­fices and oblations, carry out rites of purification, and fulfil all the rest of their service. He himself has no need of these things.

[…] The people were quick to turn back to idols, but God instructed them. Many times he freed them, urging them to persevere in his service.

He called them to things of supreme importance by means of things of less importance, that is, he called them by shadows to those things which are real; he called them by temporal things to eternal things, by the carnal to the spiritual, by the earthly to the heavenly.

God told Moses, See that you make them all after the pattern which you have seen on the mountain.

For forty days Moses was learning to remember God’s words, the heavenly patterns, the spiritual images, the foreshadowing of things to come.

[…] Paul, again, listed the things which were in the Law, and concluded, All these things happened to them but they were written down as a warning to us upon whom the end of the ages has come.

By means of shadows they began to learn the fear of God and perseverance in his service. So the Law was both instruction for them and the foretelling of things to come.

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Adversus Haereses 4.14.2-3; 15, 1; from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year 2.

Irenaeus of Lyons: These blessings made man glorious, giving him what he lacked – friendship with God Friday, Feb 26 2016 

st-irenaeus-of-lyonIn Deuteronomy Moses says to the people, The Lord Your God made a covenant with you in Horeb, not with your fathers did the Lord make this covenant but with you.

Why did the Lord not make the covenant with your fathers? Because The Law is not laid down for the just.

Your fathers lived just lives because they had the meaning of the decalogue implanted in their hearts and minds – ­that is, they loved God, who made them, and they did their neighbour no injury.

So they did not need to be warned by written prohibitions; for they had the righteous­ness of the Law in their hearts.

When, however, in Egypt this righteousness and this love towards God were forgotten and became extinct, God was compelled by his deep love towards men to reveal himself by a voice.

With power he led his people out of Egypt, so that man again might become the disciple of God and follow him. So that they might not despise their creator, he punished those who were disobedient. He fed them with manna so that they might have spiritual food.

[…] He taught them to love God, and instilled in them that righteousness which is towards their neighbour. By the Decalogue he instructed men to be friends with himself and in harmony with their neighbour.

Man is greatly helped by these things. God, however, stands in need of nothing from man.These blessings made man glorious, giving him what he lacked: friendship with God. They bestowed nothing on God, for God did not stand in need of man’s love.

Man did not have the glory of God. The only way that man could receive this glory was by obeying God. There­fore Moses said, Choose life that you and your descend­ants may live, loving the Lord your God and obeying his voice and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of days.

To prepare man for this life, God himself spoke the words of the Decalogue, to all men alike. And so these words remain with us too.

[…] By the new covenant of liberty God cancelled those provisions which he had given to his people to enslave them and serve the purpose of a sign. At the same time the laws, which are natural and appropriate to free men and are applicable to all without distinction, were amplified and widened.

Out of the abundance of his love, without grudging, God adopted men as his sons, and granted that they might know God as Father and love him with all their heart, and follow his Word without turning aside.

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Adversus Haereses 4.16.2-5); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Year 1.

Irenaeus of Lyons: It was necessary that Adam should be summed up in Christ, that mortality might be swallowed up and overwhelmed by immortality Saturday, Jan 23 2016 

st-irenaeus-of-lyonContinued from here….

Our Lord took that same original formation as (His) entry into flesh, so that He might draw near and contend on behalf of the fathers, and conquer by Adam that which by Adam had stricken us down.

Whence then is the substance of the first-formed (man)? From the Will and the Wisdom of God, and from the virgin earth.

For God had not sent rain, the Scripture says, upon the earth, before man was made; and there was no man to till the earth (Gen. 2:5).

From this, then, whilst it was still virgin, God took dust of the earth and formed the man, the beginning of mankind.

So then the Lord, summing up afresh this man, took the same dispensation of entry into flesh, being born from the Virgin by the Will and the Wisdom of God; that He also should show forth the likeness of Adam’s entry into flesh, and there should be that which was written in the beginning, man after the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26).

And just as through a disobedient virgin man was stricken down and fell into death, so through the Virgin who was obedient to the Word of God man was reanimated and received life. 

For the Lord came to seek again the sheep that was lost; and man it was that was lost: and for this cause there was not made some other formation, but in that same which had its descent from Adam He preserved the likeness of the (first) formation.

For it was necessary that Adam should be summed up in Christ, that mortality might be swallowed up and overwhelmed by immortality; and Eve summed up in Mary, that a virgin should be a virgin’s intercessor, and by a virgin’s obedience undo and put away the disobedience of a virgin (1 Cor. 15:53).

And the trespass which came by the tree was undone by the tree of obedience, when, hearkening unto God, the Son of man was nailed to the tree; thereby putting away the knowledge of evil and bringing in and establishing the knowledge of good: now evil it is to disobey God, even as hearkening unto God is good.

And for this cause the Word spake by Isaiah the prophet, announcing beforehand that which was to come…. By him then spake the Word thus:  I refuse not, nor gainsay: I gave my back to scourging, and my cheeks to smiting; and my face I turned not away from the shame of spitting (Isaiah 50:5).

So then by the obedience wherewith He obeyed even unto death, (Phil. 2;8) hanging on the tree, He put away the old disobedience which was wrought in the tree.

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 31-34.

Irenaeus of Lyons: It was right that through the obedience of Him who was made man for us we should be released from death Friday, Dec 11 2015 

st-irenaeus-of-lyonWhen Moses had finished his course…he died according to the word of the Lord (Deut. 34:3); and Jesus the son of Nun succeeded him.

He divided the Jordan and made the people to pass over into the land;

and, when he had overthrown and destroyed the seven races that dwelt therein, he assigned to the people the temporal Jerusalem, wherein David was king, and Solomon his son, who built the temple to the name of God, according to the likeness of the tabernacle which had been made by Moses after the pattern of the heavenly and spiritual things.

Hither were the prophets sent by God through the Holy Spirit; and they instructed the people and turned them to the God of their fathers, the Almighty;

and they became heralds of the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, declaring that from the posterity of David His flesh should blossom forth;

that after the flesh He might be the son of David, who was the son of Abraham by a long succession; but according to the spirit Son of God, pre-existing with the Father, begotten before all the creation of the world, and at the end of the times appearing to all the world as man, the Word of God gathering up in Himself all things that are in heaven and that are on earth (Eph. 1:10).

So then He united man with God, and established a community of union between God and man; since we could not in any other way participate in incorruption, save by His coming among us. For so long as incorruption was invisible and unrevealed, it helped us not at all: therefore it became visible (cf 2 Tim. 1:10), that in all respects we might participate in the reception of incorruption.

And, because in the original formation of Adam all of us were tied and bound up with death through his disobedience, it was right that through the obedience of Him who was made man for us we should be released from death: and because death reigned over the flesh, it was right that through the flesh it should lose its force and let man go free from its oppression.

So the Word was made flesh (John 1:14), that, through that very flesh which sin had ruled and dominated, it should lose its force and be no longer in us. And therefore our Lord took that same original formation as (His) entry into flesh, so that He might draw near and contend on behalf of the fathers, and conquer by Adam that which by Adam had stricken us down.

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 29-31.

Irenaeus of Lyons: So fair and good was this Paradise that the Word of God continually resorted thither Friday, Nov 13 2015 

st-irenaeus-of-lyonGod formed Man with His own hands, taking from the earth that which was purest and finest, and mingling in measure His own power with the earth.

For He traced His own form on the formation, that that which should be seen should be of divine form.

For as the image of God was man formed and set on the earth.

And that he might become living, He breathed on his face the breath of life; that both for the breath and for the formation man should be like unto God.

Moreover he was free and self-controlled, being made by God for this end, that he might rule all those things that were upon the earth.

And this great created world, prepared by God before the formation of man, was given to man as his place, containing all things within itself.

And there were in this place also with their tasks the servants of that God who formed all things; and the steward, who was set over all his fellow-servants received this place.

Now the servants were angels, and the steward was the archangel.

Now, having made man lord of the earth and all things in it, He secretly appointed him lord also of those who were servants in it.

They however were in their perfection; but the lord, that is, man, was but small; for he was a child; and it was necessary that he should grow, and so come to his perfection.

And, that he might have his nourishment and growth with festive and dainty meats, He prepared him a place better than this world, excelling in air, beauty, light, food, plants, fruit, water, and all other necessaries of life: and its name is Paradise.

And so fair and good was this Paradise, that the Word of God continually resorted thither, and walked and talked with the man, figuring beforehand the things that should be in the future, namely that He should dwell with him and talk with him, and should be with men, teaching them righteousness.

But man was a child, not yet having his understanding perfected; wherefore also he was easily led astray by the deceiver.

[…] And Adam and Eve – for that is the name of the woman – were naked, and were not ashamed; for there was in them an innocent and childlike mind, and it was not possible for them to conceive and understand anything of that which by wickedness through lusts and shameful desires is born in the soul.

For they were at that time entire, preserving their own nature; since they had the breath of life which was breathed on their creation. And, while this breath remains in its place and power, it has no comprehension and understanding of things that are base.

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 11, 12, 14.

Irenaeus of Lyons: “Gladly therefore shall I rather glory in infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me” Tuesday, Oct 13 2015 

st-irenaeus-of-lyonWe learn by experience that we possess eternal duration from the excelling power of this Being, not from our own nature.

This is so that we may neither undervalue that glory which surrounds God as He is, nor be ignorant of our own nature, but that we may know what God can effect, and what benefits man receives.

Thus we should never wander from the true comprehension of things as they are, that is, both with regard to God and with regard to man.

[…] The Apostle Paul has…in the most lucid manner, pointed out that man has been delivered over to his own infirmity, lest, being uplifted, he might fall away from the truth.

Thus he says in the second Epistle to the Corinthians: And lest I should be lifted up by the sublimity of the revelations, there was given unto me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me.

And upon this I besought the Lord three times, that it might depart from me. But he said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee; for strength is made perfect in weakness”.

Gladly therefore shall I rather glory in infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me (2 Cor. 12:7–9).

[…] Did the Lord wish, in that case, that His apostles should thus undergo buffeting, and that he should endure such infirmity?

Even so it was; the word says it. For strength is made perfect in weakness, rendering him a better man who by means of his infirmity becomes acquainted with the power of God.

For how could a man have learned that he is himself an infirm being, and mortal by nature, but that God is immortal and powerful, unless he had learned by experience what is in both?

For there is nothing evil in learning one’s infirmities by endurance; yea, rather, it has even the beneficial effect of preventing him from forming an undue opinion of his own nature.

But [man’s] being lifted up against God, and taking His glory to one’s self, rendering man ungrateful, has brought much evil upon him.

And thus, I say, man must learn both things by experience, that he may not be destitute of truth and love either towards himself or his Creator.

But the experience of both confers upon him the true knowledge as to God and man, and increases his love towards God. Now, where there exists an increase of love, there a greater glory is wrought out by the power of God for those who love Him.

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Adversus Haereses 5,2,3 & 5,3,1 [slightly adapted].

Irenaeus of Lyons: What other visible fruit is there of the invisible Spirit than the rendering of the flesh mature and capable of incorruption? Saturday, Sep 12 2015 

st-irenaeus-of-lyonContinued from here….

There had been a necessity that, in the first place, a human being should be fashioned, and that what was fashioned should receive the soul; afterwards that it should thus receive the communion of the Spirit.

Wherefore also “the first Adam was made” by the Lord “a living soul, the second Adam a quickening spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45).

As, then, he who was made a living soul forfeited life when he turned aside to what was evil, so, on the other hand, the same individual, when he reverts to what is good, and receives the quickening Spirit, shall find life.

For it is not one thing which dies and another which is quickened, as neither is it one thing which is lost and another which is found, but the Lord came seeking for that same sheep which had been lost.

What was it, then, which was dead? Undoubtedly it was the substance of the flesh; the same, too, which had lost the breath of life, and had become breathless and dead.

This same, therefore, was what the Lord came to quicken, that as in Adam we do all die, as being of an animal nature, in Christ we may all live, as being spiritual, not laying aside God’s handiwork, but laying aside the lusts of the flesh, and receiving the Holy Spirit.

As the apostle says in the Epistle to the Colossians: “Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth.”

And what these are he himself explains: “Fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence; and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5).

The laying aside of these is what the apostle preaches; and he declares that those who do such things, as being merely flesh and blood, cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven.

For their soul, tending towards what is worse, and descending to earthly lusts, has become a partaker in the same designation [i.e. “earthly”].

[…] Now the final result of the work of the Spirit is the salvation of the flesh. For what other visible fruit is there of the invisible Spirit, than the rendering of the flesh mature and capable of incorruption?

[…] He goes on to say, “And put ye on the new man, that which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him who created him.”

In this, therefore, that he says, “which is renewed in knowledge,” he demonstrates that he, the selfsame man who was in ignorance in times past, that is, in ignorance of God, is renewed by that knowledge which has respect to Him.

For the knowledge of God renews man.

And when he says, “after the image of the Creator,” he sets forth the recapitulation of the same man, who was at the beginning made after the likeness of God.

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Adversus Haereses 5,12,2-4.

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