The Church Fathers and Infused Righeousness by Joe Gallegos
"This truth, therefore, [he declares], in order that we may not reject the engrafting of the Spirit while pampering the flesh. 'But thou, being a wild olive-tree,' he says, 'hast been grafted into the good olive-tree, and been made a partaker of the fatness of the olive-tree.' As, therefore, when the wild olive has been engrafted, if it remain in its former condition, viz., a wild olive, it is 'cut off, and cast into the fire;' but if it takes kindly to the graft, and is changed into the good olive-tree, it becomes a fruit-bearing olive, planted, as it were, in a king's park (paradiso): so likewise men, if they do truly progress by faith towards better things, and receive the Spirit of God, and bring forth the fruit thereof, shall be spiritual, as being planted in the paradise of God. But if they cast out the Spirit, and remain in their former condition, desirous of being of the flesh rather than of the Spirit, then it is very justly said with regard to men of this stamp, 'That flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God;' just as if any one were to say that the wild olive is not received into the paradise of God. Admirably therefore does the apostle exhibit our nature, and God's universal appointment, in his discourse about flesh and blood and the wild olive. For as the good olive, if neglected for a certain time, if left to grow wild and to run to i wood, does itself become a wild olive; or again, if the wild olive be carefully tended and grafted, it naturally reverts to its former fruit-bearing condition: so men also, when they become careless, and bring forth for fruit the lusts of the flesh like woody produce, are rendered, by their own fault, unfruitful in righteousness. For when men sleep, the enemy sows the material of tares; and for this cause did the Lord command His disciples to be on the watch. And again, those persons who are not bringing forth the fruits of righteousness, and are, as it were, covered over and lost among brambles, if they use diligence, and receive the word of God as a graft, arrive at the pristine nature of man--that which was created after the image and likeness of God."
Irenaeus,Against Heresies,5:10,1(A.D. 180),in ANF,I:536
"But if they acted as men who had any part in God, and thereby in reason also, they would first weigh well the importance of repentance, and would never apply it in such a way as to make it a ground for convicting themselves of perverse self-amendment. In short, they would regulate the limit of their repentance, because they would reach (a limit) in sinning too--by fearing God, I mean. But where there is no fear, in like manner there is no amendment; where there is no amendment, repentance is of necessity vain, for it lacks the fruit for which God sowed it; that is, man's salvation. For God--after so many and so great sins of human temerity, begun by the first of the race, Adam, after the condemnation of man, together with the dowry of the world? after his ejection from paradise and subjection to death--when He had hasted back to His own mercy, did from that time onward inaugurate repentance in His own self, by rescinding the sentence of His first wrath, engaging to grant pardon to His own work and image. And so He gathered together a people for Himself, and fostered them with many liberal distributions of His bounty, and, after so often finding them most ungrateful, ever exhorted them to repentance and sent out the voices of the universal company of the prophets to prophesy. By and by, promising freely the grace which in the last times He was intending to pour as a flood of light on the universal world through His Spirit, He bade the baptism of repentance lead the way, with the view of first preparing, by means of the sign and seal of repentance, them whom He was calling, through grace, to (inherit) the promise surely made to Abraham. John holds not his peace, saying, 'Enter upon repentance, for now shall salvation approach the nations'--the Lord, that is, bringing salvation according to God's promise. To Him John, as His harbinger, directed the repentance (which he preached), whose province was the purging of men's minds,that whatever defilement inveterate error had imparted, whatever contamination in the heart of man ignorance had engendered, that repentance should sweep and scrape away, and cast out of doors, and thus prepare the home of the heart, by making it clean, for the Holy Spirit, who was about to supervene, that He might with pleasure introduce Himself there-into, together with His celestial blessings. Of these blessings the title is briefly one the salvation of man--the abolition of former sins being the preliminary step. This is the (final) cause of repentance, this her work, in taking in hand the business of divine mercy. What is profitable to man does service to God. The rule of repentance, however, which we learn when we know the Lord, retains a definite form,--viz., that no violent hands so to speak, be ever laid on good deeds or thoughts. For God, never giving His sanction to the reprobation of good deeds, inasmuch as they are His own (of which, being the author, He must necessarily be the defender too), is in like manner the acceptor of them, and if the acceptor, likewise the rewarder. Let, then, the ingratitude of men see to it, if it attaches repentance even to good works; let their gratitude see to it too, if the desire of earning it be the incentive to well-doing: earthly and mortal are they each. For how small is your gain if you do good to a grateful man! or your loss if to an ungrateful! A good deed has God as its debtor, just as an evil has too; for a judge is rewarder of every cause. Well, since, God as Judge presides over the exacting and maintaining of justice, which to Him is most dear; and since it is with an eye to justice that He appoints all the sum of His discipline, is there room for doubting that, just as in all our acts universally, so also in the case of repentance, justice must be rendered to God?--which duty can indeed only be fulfilled on the condition that repentance be brought to bear only on sins. Further, no deed but an evil one deserves to be called sin, nor does any one err by well-doing. But if he does not err, why does he invade (the province of) repentance, the private ground of such as do err ? Why does he impose on his goodness a duty proper to wickedness? Thus it comes to pass that, when a thing is called into play where it ought not, there, where it ought, it is neglected."
Tertullian,On Repentance,2(A.D. 204),in ANF,III:657-658
"And since many saints participate in the Holy Spirit, He cannot therefore be understood to be a body, which being divided into corporeal parts, is partaken of by each one of the saints; but He is manifestly a sanctifying power, in which all are said to have a share who have deserved to be sanctified by His grace."
Origen,First Principles,I:I,3(A.D. 230),in ANF,IV:242-243
"No doubt all they imitate Adam who by disobedience transgress the commandment of God; but he is one thing as an example to those who sin because they choose; and another thing as the progenitor of all who are born with sin. All His saints, also, imitate Christ in the pursuit of righteousness; whence the same apostle, whom we have already quoted, says: 'Be ye imitators of me, as I am also of Christ.' But besides this imitation, His grace works within us our illumination and justification, by that operation concerning which the same preacher of His [name] says: 'Neither is he that planteth anything, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth theincrease.' For by this grace He engrafts into His body even baptized infants, who certainly have not yet become able to imitate any one. As therefore He, in whom all are made alive, besides offering Himself as an example of righteousness to those who imitate Him, gives also to those who believe on Him the hidden grace of His Spirit, which He secretly infuses even into infants..."
Augustine,On the merits and forgiveness of sins,1:9(A.D. 412),in NPNF1,V:19
"You are mistaken, and are deceived, whosoever you are, that think yourself rich in this world. Listen to the voice of your Lord in the Apocalypse, rebuking men of your stamp with righteous reproaches: 'Thou sayest,' says He, 'I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear in thee; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.' You therefore, who are rich and wealthy, buy for yourself of Christ gold tried by fire; that you may be pure gold, with your filth burnt out as if by fire, if you are purged by almsgiving and righteous works. Buy for yourself white raiment, that you who had been naked according to Adam, and were before frightful and unseemly, may be clothed with the white garment of Christ. And you who are a wealthy and rich matron in Christ's Church, anoint your eyes, not with the collyrium of the devil, but with Christ's eye-salve, that you may be able to attain to see God, by deserving well of God, both by good works and character."
Cyprian,On Works and Alms,14(A.D. 254),in ANF,V:479-480
"For He was made man that we might be made God..."
Athanasius,Incarnation,54(A.D. 318),in NPNF2,IV:65
"Therefore it will be much more accurate to denote God from the Son and to call Him Father, than to name Him and call Him Un-originated from His works only; for the latter term refers to the works that have come to be at the will of God through the Word, but the name of Father points out the proper offspring from His essence. And whereas the i Word surpasses things originated, by so much and more also doth calling God Father surpass the calling Him Unoriginated; for the latter is non-scriptural and suspicious, as it has various senses; but the former is simple and scriptural, and more accurate, and alone implies the Son. And 'Unoriginated' is a word of the Greeks who know not the Son: but 'Father' has been acknowledged and vouchsafed by our Lord; for He knowing Himself whose Son He was, said, 'I in the Father and the Father in Me;' and, 'He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father;' and, 'I and the Father are one;' but nowhere is He found to call the Father Unoriginated. Moreover, when He teaches us to pray, He says not, 'When ye pray, say, O God Unoriginated,' but rather, 'When ye pray, say, Our Father, which art in heavens.' And it was His Will, that the Summary of our faith should have the same bearing. For He has bid us be baptized, not in the name of Unoriginate and Originate, not into the name of Uncreate and Creature, but into the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for with such an initiation we too are made sons verily, and using the name of the Father, we acknowledge from that name the Word in the Father. But if He wills that we should call His own Father our Father, we must not on that account measure ourselves with the Son according to nature, for it is because of the Son that the Father is so called by us; for since the Word bore our body and came to be in us, therefore by reason of the Word in us, is God called our Father. For the Spirit of the Word in us names through us His own Father as ours, which is the Apostle's meaning when he says, 'God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.' "
Athanasius,On the Defense of the Nicene Creed,31(A.D. 351),in NPNF2,IV:171-172
" 'To declare His righteousness.' What is declaring of righteousness? Like the declaring of His riches, not only for Him to be rich Himself, but also to make others rich, or of life, not only that He is Himself living, but also that He makes the dead to live; and of His power, not only that He is Himself powerful, but also that He makes the feeble powerful. So also is the declaring of His righteousness not only that He is Himself righteous, but that He doth also make them that are filled with the putrefying sores 'asapentas') of sin suddenly righteous."
Chrysostom John,Romans,Homily VII:24,25(A.D. 391),in NPNF`1,XI:378
"Here, perhaps, it may be said by that presumption of man, which is ignorant of the righteousness of God, and wishes to establish one of its own, that the apostle quite properly said, 'For by the law shall no man be justified,' inasmuch as the law merely shows what one ought to do, and what one ought to guard against, in order that what the law thus points out may be accomplished by the will, and so man be justified, not indeed by the power of the law, but by his free determination. But I ask your attention, O man, to what follows. 'But now the righteousness of God,' says he, 'without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.' Does this then sound a light thing in deaf ears? He says, 'The righteousness of God is manifested.' Now this righteousness they are ignorant of, who wish to establish one of their own; they will not submit themselves to it. His words are, 'The righteousness of God is manifested:' he does not say, the righteousness of man, or the righteousness of his own will, but the 'righteousness of God,'--not that whereby He is Himself righteous, but that with which He endows man when He justifies the ungodly. This is witnessed by the law and the prophets; in other words, the law and the prophets each afford it testimony. The law, indeed, by issuing its commands and threats, and by justifying no man, sufficiently shows that it is by God's gift, through the help of the Spirit, that a man is justified; and the prophets, because it was what they predicted that Christ at His coming accomplished."
Augustine,On the Spirit and the Letter,9:15(A.D. 412),in NPNF1,V:89
"Now he could not mean to contradict himself in saying, 'The doers of the law shall be justified,' as if their justification came through their works, and not through grace; since he declares that a man is justified freely by His grace without the works of the law, intending by the term 'freely' nothing else than that works do not precede justification. For in another passage he expressly says, 'If by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.' But the statement that 'the doers of the law shall be justified' must be so understood, as that we may know that they are not otherwise doers of the law, unless they be justified, so that justification does not subsequently accrue to them as doers of the law, but justification precedes them as doers of the law. For what else does the phrase 'being justified' signify than being made righteous, -- by Him, of course, who justifies the ungodly man, that he may become a godly one instead? For if we were to express a certain fact by saying, 'The men will be liberated,' the phrase would of course be understood as asserting that the liberation would accrue to those who were men already; but if we were to say, The men will be created, we should certainly not be understood as asserting that the creation would happen to those who were already in existence, but that they became men by the creation itself. If in like manner it were said, The doers of the law shall be honoured, we should only interpret the statement correctly if we supposed that the honour was to accrue to those who were already doers of the law: but when the allegation is, 'The doers of the law shall be justified,' what else does it mean than that the just shall be justified? for of course the doers of the law are just persons. And thus it amounts to the same thing as if it were said, The doers of the law shall be created,-- not those who were so already, but that they may become such; in order that the Jews who were hearers of the law might hereby understand that they wanted the grace of the Justifier, in order to be able to become its doers also. Or else the term 'They shall be justified is used in the sense of, They shall be deemed, or reckoned as just, as it is predicated of a certain man in the Gospel, 'But he, willing to justify himself,'-- meaning that he wished to be thought and accounted just. In like manner, we attach one meaning to the statement, 'God sanctifies His saints,' and another to the words, 'Sanctified be Thy name; ' for in the former case we suppose the words to mean that He makes those to be saints who were not saints before, and in the latter, that the prayer would have that which is always holy in itself be also regarded as holy by men, -- in a word, be feared with a hallowed awe."
Augustine,On the Spirit and the Letter,26:45(A.D. 412),in NPNF1,V:89
"For then it is true wisdom; for if it is human, it is vain. Yet not so of God, as is that wherewith God is wise. For He is not wise by partaking of Himself, as the mind is by partaking of God. But as we call it the righteousness of God, not only when we speak of that by which He Himself is righteous, but also of that which He gives to man when He justifies the ungodly, which latter righteousness the apostle commending, says of some, that 'not knowing the righteousness of God and going about to establish their own righteousness,they are not subject to the righteousness of God;' so also it may be said of some, that not knowing the wisdom of God and going about to establish their own wisdom, they are not subject to the wisdom of God."
Augustine,On the Trinity,14:12,5(A.D. 416),in NPNF1,III:191
"Although there are many who appear to do what the law commands, through fear of punishment, not through love of righteousness; and such righteousness as this the apostle calls 'his own which is after the law,'--a thing as it were commanded, not given. When, indeed, it has been given, it is not called our own righteousness, but God's; because it becomes our own only so that we have it from God. These are the apostle's words: 'That I may be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ the righteousness which is of God by faith.' So great, then, is the difference between the law and grace, that although the law is undoubtedly of God, yet the righteousness which is 'of the law' is not 'of God,' but the righteousness which is consummated by grace is 'of God.' The one is designated 'the righteousness of the law,' because it is done through fear of the curse of the law; while the other is called 'the righteousness of God,' because it is bestowed through the beneficence of His grace, so that it is not a terrible but a pleasant commandment, according to the prayer in the psalm: 'Good art Thou, O Lord, therefore in Thy goodness teach me Thy righteousness;' that is, that I may not be compelled like a slave to live under the law with fear of punishment; but rather in the freedom of love may be delighted to live with law as my companion. When the freeman keeps a commandment, he does it readily. And whosoever learns his duty in this spirit, does everything that he has learned ought to be done."
Augustine,On the Grace of Christ,13:14(A.D. 418),in NPNF1,V:223
"But then who are those gods, or where are they, of whom God is the true God? Another Psalm saith, 'God hath stood in the synagogue of gods, but in the midst He judgeth gods.' As yet we know not whether perchance any gods be congregated in heaven, and in their congregation, for this is 'in the synagogue,' God hath stood to judge. See in the same Psalm those to whom he saith, 'I have said, Ye are gods, and children of the Highest all; but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.' It is evident then, that He hath called men gods, that are deified of His Grace, not born of His Substance. For He doth justify, who is just through His own self, and not of another; and He doth deify who is God through Himself, not by the partaking of another. But He that justifieth doth Himself deify, in that by justifying He doth make sons of God. 'For He hath given them power to become the sons of God.' If we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods: but this is the effect of Grace adopting, not of nature generating. For the only Son of God, God, and one God with the Father, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, was in the beginning the Word, and the Word with God, the Word God. The rest that are made gods, are made by His own Grace, are not born of His Substance, that they should be the same as He, but that by favour they should come to Him, and be fellow-heirs with Christ. For so great is the love in Him the Heir, that He hath willed to have fellow-heirs. What covetous man would will this, to have fellow-heirs?"
Augustine,On the Psalms,49/50:2(A.D. 418),in NPNF1,VIII:178
"But in order that he might be taught whose that was, of which he had begun to boast as if it were his own, he was admonished by the gradual desertion of God's grace, and says: 'O Lord, in Thy good pleasure Thou didst add strength to my beauty. Thou didst, however, turn away Thy face, and then I was troubled and distressed.' Thus, it is necessary for a man that he should be not only justified when unrighteous by the grace of God,--that is, be changed from unholiness to righteousness,--when he is requited with good for his evil; but that, even after he has become justified by faith, grace should accompany him on his way, and he should lean upon it, lest he fall. On this account it is written concerning the Church herself in the book of Canticles: 'Who is this that cometh up in white raiment, leaning upon her kinsman?' Made white is she who by herself alone could not be white. And by whom has she been made white except by Him who says by the prophet, 'Though your sins be as purple, I will make them white as snow'? At the time, then, that she was made white, she deserved nothing good; but now that she is made white, she walketh well;--but it is only by her continuing ever to lean upon Him by whom she was made white. Wherefore, Jesus Himself, on whom she leans that was made white, said to His disciples, 'Without me ye can do nothing.' "
Augustine,On Grace and Free Will,6:13(A.D. 427),in NPNF1,V:449
"This then is the righteousness of God. As it is called, 'The Lord's salvation,' not whereby the Lord is saved, but which He giveth to them whom He saveth; so too the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord is called the righteousness of God, not as that whereby the Lord is righteous, but whereby He justifieth those whom of ungodly He maketh righteous. But some, as the Jews in former times, both wish to be called Christians, and still ignorant of God's righteousness, desire to establish their own, even in our own times, in the times of open grace, the times of the full revelation of grace which before was hidden; in the times of grace now manifested in the floor, which once lay hid in the fleece. I see that a few have understood me, that more have not understood, whom I will by no means defraud by keeping silence. Gideon, one of the righteous men of old, asked for a sign from the Lord, and said, 'I pray, Lord, that this fleece which I put in the floor be bedewed, and that the floor be dry.' And it was so; the fleece was bedewed, the whole floor was dry. In the morning he wrung out tim fleece in a basin; forasmuch as to the humble is grace given; and in a basin, ye know what the Lord did to His disciples. Again, he asked for another sign; 'O Lord, I would,' saith he, 'that the fleece be dry, the floor bedewed.' And it was so. Call to mind the time of the Old Testament, grace was hidden in a cloud, as the rain in the fleece. Mark now the time of the New Testament, consider well the nation of the Jews, thou wilt find it as a dry fleece; whereas the whole world, like that floor, is full of grace, not hidden, but manifested. Wherefore we are forced exceedingly to bewail our brethren, who strive not against hidden, but against open and manifested grace. There is allowance for the Jews. What shall we say of Christians? Wherefore are ye enemies to the grace of Christ? Why rely ye on yourselves? Why unthankful? For why did Christ come? Was not nature here before? Was not nature here, which ye only deceive by your excessive praise? Was not the Law here? But the Apostle says, 'If righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain.' What the Apostle says of the Law, that say we of nature to these men. 'If righteousness come by nature, then Christ is dead in vain.' "
Augustine,Sermon 131:9,on John 6:53(ante A.D. 431),in NPNF1,VI:503-504
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