For of these very men saith the Lord, They all live unto Him, for God is not the God of the dead but of the living.
And the Apostle saith of himself, For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain; I could wish to depart and be with Christ.
And again, Whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight.
This is what, we believe, dearly beloved. But if in this life only we have hope, then are we of all men the most miserable.
The life of this world, cattle, and wild beasts, and birds, as yourselves see, have in common with us, or even longer.
That is peculiar to man, which Christ hath given through His Spirit, that is, life, eternal; yet only if we now sin no more.
For as death is gained by wickedness, is avoided by goodness; so life is lost by wickedness, is retained by goodness.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Before all other things, my little ones, remember, that once (as we said above) all nations were given over to the princes and powers of darkness, now are set free through the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He it is, He it is Who redeemed us, forgiving us all sins, as saith the Apostle, blotting out the hand-writing of disobedience that was against us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross, putting off the flesh, He made a shew of the powers openly, triumphing over them in Himself.
He set them free, who were bound, and burst our chains in sunder, as David had said; The Lord raiseth them that are cast down. The Lord looseth the prisoners, the Lord giveth sight to the blind. And again, Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder. I will offer to Thee the Sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Freed therefore from our bonds, when through the Sacrament of Baptism we come unto the Sign of the Lord, we renounce the Devil and all his angels, whom before we served, that we should now serve them no longer, being delivered by the Blood and Name of Christ.
[…] Therefore, dearly beloved, we are washed once, once are set free, are once admitted into the kingdom of heaven; once is that, blessed is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven, and whose sin is covered. Hold mightily what ye have received; keep it. blessedly, sin no more.
Pacian of Barcelona (c.310-391): Discourse on Baptism, 7.