March 13, 2013
God created mankind as sexual beings – both man and women. It is through our sexuality that we are able to fulfill part of the creation mandate to “be fruitful and multiply.” If we look at human sexuality within our world today we quickly realize that our sexuality is broken and marred. It is not as it should be. Sin has marred our sexuality and we carry it wherever we go. As sexual beings we rightly long for sex but we also realize that something is wrong, very wrong. In short, because of sin we are sexually insane.
There is no adult, teenager, and these days, almost no child, who has not been effected in a negative way in regards to their sexuality. From sexual abuse, unsolicited exposure to porn, to prostitution and porn addiction, every person’s sexuality has been affected by sin. We are all in some way touched by sexual sin and we are all in need of healing. One cannot get past the first book of the Bible without seeing the sexual sins of Gods people. Even king Solomon, in all his wisdom, was no match for sexual sins.
New Growth Press has recently published two resources for helping people deal with their sexual brokenness. Sexual Sanity of Men: Re-Creating Your Mind In A Crazy Culture by David White and Sexual Sanity for Women: Healing From Sexual & Relational Brokenness Ed. by Ellen Dykas are two workbook/devotional style books to help walk people through their sexual issues and bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to bear on their lives.
As White points out, “Sexual sin is an equal opportunity pathogen of the soul.” (SSM, p. 2) While the focus on sexual sins is more often focused on men, women struggle with it as well. Dykas writes, “Women are sexual beings just as much as men are. However, they often experience an even ‘louder silence’ regarding their sexual sin and temptation.” (SSW, p. 1) Both men and women need the gospel applied to their sexuality.
These books are written more so as workbooks. Both books follow a daily pattern with a few pages of content followed by reflection questions. SSM is broken into 4 sections over fourteen weeks with devotionals for five days each week. SSW has twenty weeks of material. While a person can go through the books alone, they are really designed to be worked through in small groups. SSW is especially designed for this as each weeks session is formatted like a Bible study lesson guide.
These books pull no punches in terms of their brutal honesty about the damaging effects of sexual sins, done to us and by us, on our sexuality. In the beginning of SSM White opens up with a jarring description of how sexual sin can destroy us,
Sexual sin brings desolation. It promises excitement and pleasure, but delivers discontent and insatiable craving, often bringing ruin to God’s blessings: family, friendships, vocation, and health. It leads to an insane life. (p. 8)
As both books point out, sexual sins, like all sin, offer to the seeker things that it cannot deliver. There are many reasons why men and women run to sexual sins to fulfill but in the end find that they are right back where they started – wanting. But we would be remiss to think that these are just books telling us about the broken state our sexuality is in. No, these books walk the reader through the reality of their sexual insanity right into the sanity the gospel brings. SSW describes for us the hope the gospel brings to our broken sexuality,
The Christian life is compared to a marathon – it is a race finished by someone who keeps a steady pace toward the finish line. Our journey of growth as women desiring to be like Jesus in our relationships and sexuality is a lot like running a marathon. We must persevere and beware of temptations to quit or get sidetracked. We will be encouraged as we run alongside others heading toward the same finish line. We will be enabled to endure as we set our hope in Christ, fixing our desires upon him. He is with us in the journey, and he will welcome us home when the race is done! (p. 161)
Slowly and steadily the gospel will do its work in our lives in all areas including our sexuality.
Sexual Sanity for Men and Sexual Sanity for Women are just the kind of books the church needs to offer to God’s people. Though not to be replaced with professional counseling for those who may need it, these books present God’s good news of the gospel to the bad news of our sexual brokenness.
There is no one who these books are not for. These books are useful for anyone from the most sexually promiscuous to the prudish among God’s people. There is hope and there is healing for our sexual brokenness and these books show us the way.
NOTE: I received these books for free from New Growth Press in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review and the words and thoughts expressed are my own.
If you found these reviews helpful can you take a minute to give them a positive vote on Amazon? SSW & SSM.
March 11, 2013
With the understanding that the term messiah simply means “anointed one” it can be rightly stated that there are many religions which have a messiah or messiahs. This being said, the messiah that has dominated the topic has been that of the Christian faith – Jesus Christ. Since the Jesus Seminar the discussion of Jesus as messiah has largely dominated the discipline of Christology with various understandings of the messiahship of Jesus.
Amidst the many approaches (both liberal and conservative) Herbert Bateman IV, Darrell Bock and Gordon Johnston have teamed up to add to the discussion with their newly published book Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King with Kregel Publishers. While on the conservative side of the discussion and having approached the messiahship of Jesus from a unique angel, this book is not wedging itself against other conservative contributions.
The approach of the authors is to offer a “contextual-canonical, messianic, and Christological developments of God’s promise of ‘messiah’ within the larger framework and unfolding of Jewish history in canonical and extra-biblical literature.” (p. 20) This threefold focus encapsulates the unique angle the authors wish to address the topic of messiah. The underlying theme that unifies the three sections together is to view, interpret and present the biblical discussion of messiah progressively throughout biblical and human history.
First, with the “contextual-canonical” focus Gordon Johnston addresses the Old Testament (or first testament as the authors term it) texts that deal directly with the promise of the Messiah. These chapters cover the relevant texts beginning in Genesis and ending in the prophets. Contextually the key passages are exegeted for their meaning and canonically they are placed with the overall trajectory of the OT concerning the nature of the Messiah. Since the progress of revelation underlies each section of the book, Johnston is careful not to import NT fulfillment understanding into the OT text.
Second, with the “messianic” focus Herbert Bateman addresses the expectations the Jews had during the Second Temple period concerning the nature of the Messiah. In setting the stage for evaluating second temple Judaism, Bateman first discusses three issues in dealing with the relevant material: (1) limited resources to deal with, (2) blurred vision in that we are overly familiar with second temple teaching and the early church had a desire to distance itself from Judaism and (3) a lack of historical and social sensitivities to the second temple period and the mindset of the Jews themselves.
Finally, with the “Christological” focus Darrell Bock looks at how the Second Testament and the early church understood Jesus to fulfill the First Testament expectations of the coming Messiah. Bock takes the unique approach of working backwards from Revelation to the Gospels teaching of the Messiah. The primary reason for doing so is that the overwhelming majority of NT uses of christos are in the non-narrative portions, over 72% being in the Pauline Epistles (p. 333-334).
Jesus the Messiah is a clear, thoughtful, exegetical, and intentionally nuanced defense of the biblical teaching both of the messiah figure and the fulfillment of it by Jesus Christ. Exegetically based and progressively driven are the two primary words that describe this book. All three contributors do the exegetical work to faithfully present each texts contribution to the biblical whole concerning the messiah. Accompanying this exegetical work is the historical-progressive nature of Scripture itself. Johnston and Bock especially are careful not to import later biblical messianic teaching into earlier texts (see esp. Johnston’s appendix on Gen. 3:15). While the book is mixed with some Christological considerations I would have liked to see more systematic/biblical theology discussion.
That being said, Jesus the Messiah is a great book for delving into the biblical discussion of Jesus as messiah. This is probably more suited for college level or higher and pastors, students, teachers and educated laymen will certainly benefit from the book.
NOTE: I received this book for free from Kregel in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and words are my own and I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.
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March 8, 2013
Tatian the Assyrian – Address to the Greeks, Chap. V: The Doctrine of the Christians as to the Creation of the World –
God was in the beginning; but the beginning, we have been taught, is the power of the Logos. For the Lord of the universe, who is Himself the necessary ground (ὑπόστασις) of all being, inasmuch as no creature was yet in existence, was alone; but inasmuch as He was all power, Himself the necessary ground of things visible and invisible, with Him were all things; with Him, by Logos-power (διὰ λογικῆς δυνάμεως), the Logos Himself also, who was in Him, subsists. And by His simple will the Logos springs forth; and the Logos, not coming forth in vain, becomes the first-begotten work of the Father. Him (the Logos) we know to be the beginning of the world. But He came into being by participation, not by abscission; for what is cut off is separated from the original substance, but that which comes by participation, making its choice of function, does not render him deficient from whom it is taken. For just as from one torch many fires are lighted, but the light of the first torch is not lessened by the kindling of many torches, so the Logos, coming forth from the Logos-power of the Father, has not divested of the Logos-power Him who begat Him. I myself, for instance, talk, and you hear; yet, certainly, I who converse do not become destitute of speech (λόγος) by the transmission of speech, but by the utterance of my voice I endeavour to reduce to order the unarranged matter in your minds. And as the Logos, begotten in the beginning, begat in turn our world, having first created for Himself the necessary matter, so also I, in imitation of the Logos, being begotten again, and having become possessed of the truth, am trying to reduce to order the confused matter which is kindred with myself. For matter is not, like God, without beginning, nor, as having no beginning, is of equal power with God; it is begotten, and not produced by any other being, but brought into existence by the Framer of all things alone.
Tatian the Assyrian – Address to the Greeks, Chap. 11 –
If you speak of the origin of the gods, you also declare them to be mortal.
Tatian the Assyrian – Address to the Greeks, Chap. 25 – Boastings and Quarrels of the Philosophers –
What great and wonderful things have your philosophers effected? They leave uncovered one of their shoulders; they let their hair grow long; they cultivate their beards; their nails are like the claws of wild beasts. Though they say that they want nothing, yet, like Proteus, they need a currier for their wallet, and a weaver for their mantle, and a wood-cutter for their staff, and the rich, and a cook also for their gluttony. O man competing with the dog, you know not God, and so have turned to the imitation of an irrational animal. You cry out in public with an assumption of authority, and take upon you to avenge your own self; and if you receive nothing, you indulge in abuse, and philosophy is with you the art of getting money. You follow the doctrines of Plato, and a disciple of Epicurus lifts up his voice to oppose you. Again, you wish to be a disciple of Aristotle, and a follower of Democritus rails at you. Pythagoras says that he was Euphorbus, and he is the heir of the doctrine of Pherecydes; but Aristotle impugns the immortality of the soul. You who receive from your predecessors doctrines which clash with one another, you the inharmonious, are fighting against the harmonious. One of you asserts that God is body, but I assert that He is without body; that the world is indestructible, but I say that it is to be destroyed; that a conflagration will take place at various times, but I say that it will come to pass once for all; that Minos and Rhadamanthus are judges, but I say that God Himself is Judge; that the soul alone is endowed with immortality, but I say that the flesh also is endowed with it. What injury do we inflict upon you, O Greeks? Why do you hate those who follow the word of God, as if they were the vilest of mankind? It is not we who eat human flesh—they among you who assert such a thing have been suborned as false witnesses; it is among you that Pelops is made a supper for the gods, although beloved by Poseidon, and Kronos devours his children, and Zeus swallows Metis.
Theophilus of Antoich – To Autolycus, Chap. 1 – Here Theolphilus makes an astute comment about examining the content of ones speech and not merely being taken captive by the rhetorical power of ones speech –
A fluent tongue and an elegant style afford pleasure and such praise as vainglory delights in, to wretched men who have been corrupted in mind; the lover of truth does not give heed to ornamented speeches, but examines the real matter of the speech, what it is, and what kind it is. Since, then, my friend, you have assailed me with empty words, boasting of your gods of wood and stone, hammered and cast, carved and graven, which neither see nor hear, for they are idols, and the works of men’s hands.
Theophilus of Antioch – To Autolycus, Chap. 7 – We shall see God when we put on immortality –
This is my God, the Lord of all, who alone stretched out the heaven, and established the breadth of the earth under it; who stirs the deep recesses of the sea, and makes its waves roar; who rules its power, and stills the tumult of its waves; who founded the earth upon the waters, and gave a spirit to nourish it; whose breath giveth light to the whole, who, if He withdraw His breath, the whole will utterly fail. By Him you speak, O man; His breath you breathe yet Him you know not. And this is your condition, because of the blindness of your soul, and the hardness of your heart. But, if you will, you may be healed. Entrust yourself to the Physician, and He will couch the eyes of your soul and of your heart. Who is the Physician? God, who heals and makes alive through His word and wisdom. God by His own word and wisdom made all things; for “by His word were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” Most excellent is His wisdom. By His wisdom God founded the earth; and by knowledge He prepared the heavens; and by understanding were the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the clouds poured out their dews. If thou perceivest these things, O man, living chastely, and holily, and righteously, thou canst see God. But before all let faith and the fear of God have rule in thy heart, and then shalt thou understand these things. When thou shalt have put off the mortal, and put on incorruption, then shall thou see God worthily. For God will raise thy flesh immortal with thy soul; and then, having become immortal, thou shalt see the Immortal, if now you believe on Him; and then you shall know that you have spoken unjustly against Him.
Athenagrous the Athenian – A Plea for the Christians: Chap. 1 – Here is another testimony to the unfair treatment Christians received for their belief in Christ –
But for us who are called Christians you have not in like manner cared; but although we commit no wrong—nay, as will appear in the sequel of this discourse, are of all men most piously and righteously disposed towards the Deity and towards your government—you allow us to be harassed, plundered, and persecuted, the multitude making war upon us for our name alone. We venture, therefore, to lay a statement of our case before you—and you will team from this discourse that we suffer unjustly, and contrary to all law and reason—and we beseech you to bestow some consideration upon us also, that we may cease at length to be slaughtered at the instigation of false accusers. For the fine imposed by our persecutors does not aim merely at our property, nor their insults at our reputation, nor the damage they do us at any other of our greater interests. These we hold in contempt, though to the generality they appear matters of great importance; for we have learned, not only not to return blow for blow, nor to go to law with those who plunder and rob us, but to those who smite us on one side of the face to offer the other side also, and to those who take away our coat to give likewise our cloak. But, when we have surrendered our property, they plot against our very bodies and souls, pouring upon us wholesale charges of crimes of which we are guiltless even in thought, but which belong to these idle praters themselves, and to the whole tribe of those who are like them.
Athenagrous of Athenian – On the Resurrection of the Dead: Chap. 1 – How men corrupt the truth –
By the side of every opinion and doctrine which agrees with the truth of things, there springs up some falsehood; and it does so, not because it takes its rise naturally from some fundamental principle, or from some cause peculiar to the matter in hand, but because it is invented on purpose by men who set a value on the spurious seed, for its tendency to corrupt the truth. This is apparent, in the first place, from those who in former times addicted themselves to such inquiries, and their want of agreement with their predecessors and contemporaries, and then, not least, from the very confusion which marks the discussions that are now going on. For such men have left no truth free from their calumnious attacks—not the being of God, not His knowledge, not His operations, not those books which follow by a regular and strict sequence from these, and delineate for us the doctrines of piety. On the contrary, some of them utterly, and once for all, give up in despair the truth concerning these things, and some distort it to suit their own views, and some of set purpose doubt even of things which are palpably evident.
Athenagrous the Athenian – On the resurrection of the Dead: Chap. 3 – How God’s ability to bring men into existence is the basis for his ability to bring them back to life from the dead –
Moreover also, that His power is sufficient for the raising of dead bodies, is shown by the creation of these same bodies. For if, when they did not exist, He made at their first formation the bodies of men, and their original elements, He will, when they are dissolved, in whatever manner that may take place, raise them again with equal ease: for this, too, is equally possible to Him.
Athenagrous the Athenian – On the Resurrection of the Dead: Chap. 13 Cont. – On the nature of mans resurrected body and the power of God to do so –
Confident of these things, no less than of those which have already come to pass, and reflecting on our own nature, we are content with a life associated with neediness and corruption, as suited to our present state of existence, and we stedfastly hope for a continuance of being in immortality; and this we do not take without foundation from the inventions of men, feeding ourselves on false hopes, but our belief rests on a most infallible guarantee—the purpose of Him who fashioned us, according to which He made man of an immortal soul and a body, and furnished him with understanding and an innate law for the preservation and safeguard of the things given by Him as suitable to an intelligent existence and a rational life: for we know well that He would not have fashioned such a being, and furnished him with everything belonging to perpetuity, had He not intended that what was so created should continue in perpetuity. If, therefore, the Maker of this universe made man with a view to his partaking of an intelligent life, and that, having become a spectator of His grandeur, and of the wisdom which is manifest in all things, he might continue always in the contemplation of these; then, according to the purpose of his Author, and the nature which he has received, the cause of his creation is a pledge of his continuance for ever, and this continuance is a pledge of the resurrection, without which man could not continue. So that, from what has been said, it is quite clear that the resurrection is plainly proved by the cause of man’s creation, and the purpose of Him who made him. Such being the nature of the cause for which man has been brought into this world, the next thing will be to consider that which immediately follows, naturally or in the order proposed; and in our investigation the cause of their creation is followed by the nature of the men so created, and the nature of those created by the just judgment of their Maker upon them, and all these by the end of their existence. Having investigated therefore the point placed first in order, we must now go on to consider the nature of men.
March 2, 2013
Last week we introduced the layout of Schaeffer’s He Is There and He Is Not Silent. This week we want to explore the first two areas of metaphysics and morals. As noted last week, Schaeffer is operating on the belief that God exists and that He has spoken – thus, He is there and He is not silent.
Metaphysics deals with the idea of existence. That which is. In fact, metaphysics can even be discussed at all because something exists rather than nothing and a part of that something, namely, humans, are capable of reflecting on the something that exists of which they are a part of. There are two primary answers to the question of existence, why is there something rather than nothing? There is the impersonal and the personal answer.
The impersonal answer suggests that everything that exists had an impersonal beginning. Off the bat Schaeffer notes that with an impersonal beginning for everything leaves mankind without and answer for or meaning to give to the particulars. Thus, an impersonal beginning of everything is not a universal that can give meaning to the particulars. If the impersonal is the explanation for everything then we cannot make sense of many things, including, most fundamentally, the very personality we find in ourselves.
To the contrary, the personal answer, as presented by the Christian worldview, states that the only answer to the question of existence as we know it is to have a personal beginning, or beginner. Schaeffer states the problem like this,
The dilemma of modern man is simple: he does not know why man has any meaning. He is lost. Man remains a zero. This is the damnation of our generation, the heart of modern man’s problem. But if we begin with a personal and this is the origin of all else, then the personal does have meaning, and man and his aspirations are not meaningless. (p. 285)
But it is not enough to have a personal beginner. This personal beginner must possess certain traits, characteristics or properties that adequately explain the personality of man and everything else that exists. “To have an adequate answer of a personal beginning, we need two things. We need a personal-infinite God (or an infinite-personal God), and we need a personal unity and diversity in God.” (p. 286) Schaeffer points out two major ideas here: (1) God must be infinitely personal and (2) he must be both unified in some way as to be one and diversified in another way as to ground and explain the diversity we see in life. Thus, we need an infinitely personal triune God. We need the God as revealed in Scripture. An infinitely personal triune God is the only being than can adequately explain (1) why something exists rather than nothing and (2) why what exists exists the way it does. Schaeffer boldly states, “Without the high order of personal unity and diversity as given in the Trinity, there are no answers.” (p. 288) With that statement Schaeffer has the following words to say on the close of metaphysics,
Man is made in the image of God; therefore, on the side of the fact that God is a personal God the chasm stands not between God and man, but between man and all else. But on the side of God’s infinity, man is as separated from God as the atom or any other finite of the universe. So we have the answer to man’s being finite and yet personal.
It is not that this is the best answer to existence; it is the only answer.
The only answer to the metaphysical problem of existence is that the infinite-personal God is there; and the only answer to the metaphysical problem of existence is that the Trinity is there. (p. 288-90)
He is there and He is not silent in relation to the question of metaphysics. God has told us who He is and who we are and how we relate to one another; both God to man and man to man.
Not only is God necessary for the answer to existence but also for the answer of morals. For Schaeffer this naturally flows from the observation that man has “estranged himself from himself and other men.” (p. 293-94) We can discuss morals because while man is wonderful he is also cruel.
Like with metaphysics, the first answer to the question of morals is from an impersonal beginning. While there may be a problem of man’s finiteness and cruelty, which can be separated, an impersonal beginning melds these together. This discussion can be hard to follow so let’s let Schaeffer explain it in his own words:
With an impersonal beginning, morals really do not exist as morals. If one starts with an impersonal beginning, the answer to morals eventually turns out to be the assertion that there are no morals. This is true whether one begins with the Eastern pantheism or the new theology’s pantheism, or with the energy particle. With an impersonal beginning, everything is finally equal in the area of morals. With an impersonal beginning, eventually morals is just another form of metaphysics, of being. Morals disappear, and there is only one philosophic area rather than two. (p. 294)
As Schaeffer notes, Marquis de Sade put it best when he stated that, “What is, is right.” (p. 297) There is no eternal ground for morality. The ground of morality in a world with an impersonal beginning is the ever changing ground of the present spirit of the age. This is a shifting ground which is really no ground at all.
The second answer is that there is a personal beginning, or beginner. Schaeffer notes that this can cut two ways. First, one could look at the world as it is presently and conclude that if there is a personal God as the Christians believe then how is this God any different than man himself? That is, if man is finite and cruel, why is God any different? This is problematic for two reasons. First, it makes man the reference point for understanding God and His personality and morality. Second, it gives man no hope of escape in the future from his present condition of cruelty. ” If we say that man in his present cruelty is what man has always been, and what man intrinsically is, how can there be any hope of a qualitative change in man?” (p. 299) The second answer to morals as grounded in a personal beginning is that man as how he is now is not how man always was. This is the answer and this is the answer the Bible gives. Schaeffer put it as follows:
There was a space-time, historic change in man. There is a discontinuity and not a continuity in man. Man, made in the image of God and not programmed, turned by choice from his proper integration point at a certain time in history. When he did this, he became something that he previously was not, and the dilemma of man becomes a true moral problem rather than merely a metaphysical one. Man, at a certain point of history, changed himself, and hence stands, in his cruelty in discontinuity with what he was, and we have a true moral situation: morals do exist. Everything hangs upon the fact that man is abnormal now, in contrast to what he originally was. (p. 300)
What separates existence and morals is the fact that man was not always what he is now. If this were not so then existence and morals would be the same. What is, as Sade said, would be what is right. Since these two areas are separate man has true moral guilt before the infinite personal triune God. The answer to this guilt is the substitutionary and propitiatory death of Christ. Without either there is no meaning to Christ’s death on the cross (p. 303).
So, in answer to the problems of existence and morals, we need an infinitely-personal God who is unified and diverse (triune) and the way to keep these problems separate is to recognize the Fall that separates man from how he was, how he is now and how he can become because of Christ’s work on the cross.
Next week we will tackle the third area of epistemology by looking at the problem and the answer(s).
March 1, 2013
Irenaeus – Against Heresies: Book 5, Chap. 36 – On the renewal of creation at the resurrection and not its annihilation –
For since there are real men, so must there also be a real establishment (plantationem), that they vanish not away among non-existent things, but progress among those which have an actual existence. For neither is the substance nor the essence of the creation annihilated (for faithful and true is He who has established it), but “the fashion of the world passeth away;” that is, those things among which transgression has occurred, since man has grown old in them. And therefore this [present] fashion has been formed temporary, God foreknowing all things; as I have pointed out in the preceding book, and have also shown, as far as was possible, the cause of the creation of this world of temporal things. But when this [present] fashion [of things] passes away, and man has been renewed, and flourishes in an incorruptible state, so as to preclude the possibility of becoming old, [then] there shall be the new heaven and the new earth, in which the new man shall remain [continually], always holding fresh converse with God. And since (or, that) these things shall ever continue without end, Isaiah declares, “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I do make, continue in my sight, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.” And as the presbyters say, Then those who are deemed worthy of an abode in heaven shall go there, others shall enjoy the delights of paradise, and others shall possess the splendour of the city; for everywhere the Saviour shall be seen according as they who see Him shall be worthy.
Ireaneus – Fragments: Chap. 11 –
The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death.
Irenaeus – Fragments: Chap. 52 – Irenaeus shows the reader how Scripture presents Jesus Christ as both God and man –
The sacred books acknowledge with regard to Christ, that as He is the Son of man, so is the same Being not a [mere] man; and as He is flesh, so is He also spirit, and the Word of God, and God. And as He was born of Mary in the last times, so did He also proceed from God as the First-begotten of every creature; and as He hungered, so did He satisfy [others]; and as He thirsted, so did He of old cause the Jews to drink, for the “Rock was Christ” Himself: thus does Jesus now give to His believing people power to drink spiritual waters, which spring up to life eternal. And as He was the son of David, so was He also the Lord of David. And as He was from Abraham, so did He also exist before Abraham. And as He was the servant of God, so is He the Son of God, and Lord of the universe. And as He was spit upon ignominiously, so also did He breathe the Holy Spirit into His disciples. And as He was saddened, so also did He give joy to His people. And as He was capable of being handled and touched, so again did He, in a non-apprehensible form, pass through the midst of those who sought to injure Him, and entered without impediment through closed doors. And as He slept, so did He also rule the sea, the winds, and the storms. And as He suffered, so also is He alive, and life-giving, and healing all our infirmity. And as He died, so is He also the Resurrection of the dead. He suffered shame on earth, while He is higher than all glory and praise in heaven; who, “though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by divine power;” who “descended into the lower parts of the earth,” and who “ascended up above the heavens;” for whom a manger sufficed, yet who filled all things; who was dead, yet who liveth for ever and ever. Amen
Shepherd of Hermas – Book Two, Commandment Second: On Avoiding Evil Speaking –
First, then, speak evil of no one, nor listen with pleasure to any one who speaks evil of another. But if you listen, you will partake of the sin of him who speaks evil, if you believe the slander which you hear; for believing it, you will also have something to say against your brother. Thus, then, will you be guilty of the sin of him who slanders. For slander is evil and an unsteady demon. It never abides in peace, but always remains in discord. Keep yourself from it, and you will always be at peace with all. Put on a holiness in which there is no wicked cause of offence, but all deeds that are equable and joyful.
Shepherd of Herman – Book Two, Commandment Seventh: On Fearing God, And Not Fearing the Devil –
“Fear,” said he, “the Lord, and keep His commandments. For if you keep the commandments of God, you will be powerful in every action, and every one of your actions will be incomparable. For, fearing the Lord, you will do all things well. This is the fear which you ought to have, that you may be saved. But fear not the devil; for, fearing the Lord, you will have dominion over the devil, for there is no power in him. But he in whom there is no power ought on no account to be an object of fear; but He in whom there is glorious power is truly to be feared. For every one that has power ought to be feared; but he who has not power is despised by all. Fear, therefore, the deeds of the devil, since they are wicked. For, fearing the Lord, you will not do these deeds, but will refrain from them. For fears are of two kinds: for if you do not wish to do that which is evil, fear the Lord, and you will not do it; but, again, if you wish to do that which is good, fear the Lord, and you will do it. Wherefore the fear of the Lord is strong, and great, and glorious. Fear, then, the Lord, and you will live to Him, and as many as fear Him and keep His commandments will live to God.” “Why,” said I, “sir, did you say in regard to those that keep His commandments, that they will live to God?” “Because,” says he, “all creation fears the Lord, but all creation does not keep His commandments. They only who fear the Lord and keep His commandments have life with God; but as to those who keep not His commandments, there is no life in them.”