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kunoichi9280

Early church fathers and sola fide

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I've been reading a lot of apologetics websites and some books on the errors of the teachings of the Catholic church.  For what ever reason, I haven't been able to find any information on early Church fathers' views that support the Protestant view on sola fide.  If anyone has some, or can tell me where to look, I'd appreciate it.    

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12 hours ago, kunoichi9280 said:

After I posted this question, I slightly reworded my search criteria and had a little more luck.  In case anyone else is interested: 

 

The Early Church and justification

Justification in the early church

Justification

Since the 5 Solas are Reformed in theology it helps to add "Reformed" to the beginning of your search query. Otherwise, you'll end up having to sift through a lot of Catholic apologetics and other non denominational narratives which ultimately are pointing back to Rome.

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On 12/19/2018 at 8:13 AM, kunoichi9280 said:

I've been reading a lot of apologetics websites and some books on the errors of the teachings of the Catholic church.  For what ever reason, I haven't been able to find any information on early Church fathers' views that support the Protestant view on sola fide.  If anyone has some, or can tell me where to look, I'd appreciate it.    

@Faber gave you a very good source.

 

All ECFs believed in Faith alone....

but only in the sense that FAITH ALONE SAVES.

We are Justified by faith alone.

 

It ends there.  Then they do speak of works and this would be sanctification.

They go so far as to say that if we do not do good works/deeds we will become lost...our very salvation is in danger.

 

James does say that faith without works is dead.

James 2:17, 20

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1 hour ago, GodsGrace said:

They go so far as to say that if we do not do good works/deeds we will become lost...our very salvation is in danger.

Could you cite a specific example?

I question your wording compared to certain scripture verses and would like to read the ECF words you are referencing for myself.

 

In SCRIPTURE, a faith without works “IS DEAD”, not “has died”.  James never appears to claim that it was once a genuine faith. (James 2:26

 

Jesus tells those in (Matthew 7:22-23) that He “NEVER KNEW” them, not that He “forgot” them.

 

In (1 John 2:19) the claim is made that they “WERE NOT (really) OF US”, not that they “were once of us, but are no longer of us”.

 

So I really wish to see the ECF words for myself.

This is not to say that “good works” are irrelevant ... Paul wrote: [Ephesians 2:10 NASBFor we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

 

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44 minutes ago, atpollard said:

Could you cite a specific example?

I question your wording compared to certain scripture verses and would like to read the ECF words you are referencing for myself.

 

In SCRIPTURE, a faith without works “IS DEAD”, not “has died”.  James never appears to claim that it was once a genuine faith. (James 2:26

 

Jesus tells those in (Matthew 7:22-23) that He “NEVER KNEW” them, not that He “forgot” them.

 

In (1 John 2:19) the claim is made that they “WERE NOT (really) OF US”, not that they “were once of us, but are no longer of us”.

 

So I really wish to see the ECF words for myself.

This is not to say that “good works” are irrelevant ... Paul wrote: [Ephesians 2:10 NASBFor we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

 

You probably won't want to discuss the scripture with me since you said you know me from another site and I doubt I treated you badly, but I'm sorry you feel this way anyhow.

 

I'm going to post a little bit because it's 12:43 a.m. here.

I always put the source with links, so you could look it up yourself...

Just google....Early church fathers beliefs about works...

 

I understand the ECFs to be pre-Nicene creed.... pre 325 AD.

The Didache was probably written in about 90 AD.

It's very interesting to read if you haven't ever done so.

Just google didache.  (the teachings of the Apostles)

 

Here are some writings on works:

 

1st Letter to the Corinthians 34:1-2

The good laborer receives the bread of his labor with confidence; the lazy and careless one does not look his employer in the face. We must, therefore, be zealous in doing good; for all things are from Him (God).

Ignatius of Antioch (? - 102? A.D.)

 

[Ignatius of antioch learned from John]

 

 

Letter to Polycarp, 6

Toil and train together, run and suffer together, rest and rise at the same time, as God�s stewards, assistants and servants.

 

 

Didache (before 120 A.D.) (authorship unknown)

Didache 12:3-5

But, if he wishes to settle among you and is a craftsman, let him work and eat. But if he has no trade, provide according to your conscience, so that no Christian shall live among you idle. But if he does not agree to do this, he is trading on the name of Christ; beware of such men.

 

 

Epistle of Barnabas (100-120 A.D)

Epistle of Barnabas LIX, 10

Remember the day of Judgment day and night, and seek each day the company of the saints, either laboring by speech, and going out to exhort, and striving to save souls by the word or working with you hands for the ransom for your sins.

 

Clement of Alexandria (c.125 A.D.)

(A. Roberts and J. Donaldson, ed., The Ante Nicene Fathers: Translation of the Writings of the Fathers Down to 325Grand Rapids:Erdmans, 1977) The Instructor (Paedagogus)3:10 It is respectable for a man to draw water himself, and to cut billets of wood which hi is to use himself.

The Salvation of the Rich Man or Who is the Rich Man that Shall be Saved, 16

(The Pure soul -- or truly rich man) is ever laboring at some good work and divine work; even though he be necessarily sometime or other deprived of them (possessions) is able with cheerful mind to bear their removal equally with their abundance.

 

source:  https://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~zablocki/earlfath.html

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1 hour ago, GodsGrace said:

1st Letter to the Corinthians 34:1-2

The good laborer receives the bread of his labor with confidence; the lazy and careless one does not look his employer in the face. We must, therefore, be zealous in doing good; for all things are from Him (God).

Ignatius of Antioch (? - 102? A.D.)

That's not Ignatius but Clement.  Also the epistle is known as 1st Clement not the 1st Letter to the Corinthians.  Clement wrote one letter to Corinth.

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On 3/15/2019 at 7:51 PM, GodsGrace said:

You probably won't want to discuss the scripture with me since you said you know me from another site and I doubt I treated you badly, but I'm sorry you feel this way anyhow.

Just a quick correction of some misunderstanding.

I have no idea who you are and, to the best of my knowledge, have never debated you on another site.  I am “atpollard” on all sites I visit since my name is A. T. Pollard.  It serves as a personal reminder not to type anything that I would not say in person.

 

I probably stated, and meant, that I have already debated certain Arminian proof texts on other sites and I find life too short to retread the same ground over and over.  I was baptized and first taught scripture at the Church of God, which is as strong in their beliefs that people cooperate with God in salvation as any church is.  I simply came to reject that view for the very simple reason that MY PERSONAL salvation was nothing like that.  I was saved far more like Saul on the road to Damascus.  So Calvinism aligns with my experience better than Arminianism.  

 

So I am not unwilling to discuss scripture, I just have little time to invest in scripture hopping.

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On 3/15/2019 at 4:53 PM, GodsGrace said:

They go so far as to say that if we do not do good works/deeds we will become lost...our very salvation is in danger.

 

Your claim was that the ECF said we could loose our salvation if we do not do good works ...

 

On 3/15/2019 at 7:51 PM, GodsGrace said:

You probably won't want to discuss the scripture with me since you said you know me from another site and I doubt I treated you badly, but I'm sorry you feel this way anyhow.

 

I'm going to post a little bit because it's 12:43 a.m. here.

I always put the source with links, so you could look it up yourself...

Just google....Early church fathers beliefs about works...

 

I understand the ECFs to be pre-Nicene creed.... pre 325 AD.

The Didache was probably written in about 90 AD.

It's very interesting to read if you haven't ever done so.

Just google didache.  (the teachings of the Apostles)

 

Here are some writings on works:

 

1st Letter to the Corinthians 34:1-2

The good laborer receives the bread of his labor with confidence; the lazy and careless one does not look his employer in the face. We must, therefore, be zealous in doing good; for all things are from Him (God).

Ignatius of Antioch (? - 102? A.D.)

 

[Ignatius of antioch learned from John]

 

 

Letter to Polycarp, 6

Toil and train together, run and suffer together, rest and rise at the same time, as God�s stewards, assistants and servants.

 

 

Didache (before 120 A.D.) (authorship unknown)

Didache 12:3-5

But, if he wishes to settle among you and is a craftsman, let him work and eat. But if he has no trade, provide according to your conscience, so that no Christian shall live among you idle. But if he does not agree to do this, he is trading on the name of Christ; beware of such men.

 

 

Epistle of Barnabas (100-120 A.D)

Epistle of Barnabas LIX, 10

Remember the day of Judgment day and night, and seek each day the company of the saints, either laboring by speech, and going out to exhort, and striving to save souls by the word or working with you hands for the ransom for your sins.

 

Clement of Alexandria (c.125 A.D.)

(A. Roberts and J. Donaldson, ed., The Ante Nicene Fathers: Translation of the Writings of the Fathers Down to 325Grand Rapids:Erdmans, 1977) The Instructor (Paedagogus)3:10 It is respectable for a man to draw water himself, and to cut billets of wood which hi is to use himself.

The Salvation of the Rich Man or Who is the Rich Man that Shall be Saved, 16

(The Pure soul -- or truly rich man) is ever laboring at some good work and divine work; even though he be necessarily sometime or other deprived of them (possessions) is able with cheerful mind to bear their removal equally with their abundance.

 

source:  https://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~zablocki/earlfath.html

 

None of these seem to mention anything about loosing salvation.

They generally say that the “saved” will and do “work” and to “beware” those who do not work.

James said as much ... someone claiming to have faith, but having no works has only a dead, ineffectual faith that cannot save.  CLAIMING to be a Christian, does not make one a Christian.  Being changed from the inside by Christ, makes one a Christian.

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10 hours ago, atpollard said:

 

Your claim was that the ECF said we could loose our salvation if we do not do good works ...

 

 

None of these seem to mention anything about loosing salvation.

They generally say that the “saved” will and do “work” and to “beware” those who do not work.

James said as much ... someone claiming to have faith, but having no works has only a dead, ineffectual faith that cannot save.  CLAIMING to be a Christian, does not make one a Christian.  Being changed from the inside by Christ, makes one a Christian.

I was thinking exactly the same thing.  Not one of those citations have anything to do with the topic.

 

Take for example Didache 12:1-5:

Quote

Everyone who comes in the name of the Lord is to be welcomed. But then examine him, and you will find out—for you will have insight—what is true and what is false.  If the one who comes is merely passing through, assist him as much as you can. But he must not stay with you for more than two or, if necessary, three days.  However, if he wishes to settle among you and is a craftsman, let him work for his living.  But if he is not a craftsman, decide according to your own judgment how he shall live among you as a Christian, yet without being idle.  But if he does not wish to cooperate in this way, then he is trading on Christ. Beware of such people.  (I am using Michael W. Holmes' up to date translation of the The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations 3rd Edition, 2007)

As anyone can see this passage has absolutely nothing to do with "works," "works righteous," or "works sanctification."  The context concerns the reception and testing of a new arrival (i.e. people they don't know) and their responsibilities within the church community.

 

In fact none of the quotes cited really address the issue at all.  It appears as if someone just did a word search for "work, works, working" without regard to meaning or context.

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On 3/17/2019 at 3:16 AM, atpollard said:

Just a quick correction of some misunderstanding.

I have no idea who you are and, to the best of my knowledge, have never debated you on another site.  I am “atpollard” on all sites I visit since my name is A. T. Pollard.  It serves as a personal reminder not to type anything that I would not say in person.

 

I probably stated, and meant, that I have already debated certain Arminian proof texts on other sites and I find life too short to retread the same ground over and over.  I was baptized and first taught scripture at the Church of God, which is as strong in their beliefs that people cooperate with God in salvation as any church is.  I simply came to reject that view for the very simple reason that MY PERSONAL salvation was nothing like that.  I was saved far more like Saul on the road to Damascus.  So Calvinism aligns with my experience better than Arminianism.  

 

So I am not unwilling to discuss scripture, I just have little time to invest in scripture hopping.

I'm not sure what scripture hopping is.

If it's that you post a scripture and then I post a scripture back...well, I don't like that either.

 

If you post a verse I intend to exegete it and then you could do the same.

We won't be changing any minds here....but conversation is interesting.

 

I'm not sure what Aminianism believes...that would be Arminius....I just have been reading the bible for a really long time and have attended two different churches and have learned a lot from them,,,and even on these forums.

 

I do hope that we have a fresh start....

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On 3/17/2019 at 3:28 AM, atpollard said:

 

Your claim was that the ECF said we could loose our salvation if we do not do good works ...

 

 

None of these seem to mention anything about loosing salvation.

They generally say that the “saved” will and do “work” and to “beware” those who do not work.

James said as much ... someone claiming to have faith, but having no works has only a dead, ineffectual faith that cannot save.  CLAIMING to be a Christian, does not make one a Christian.  Being changed from the inside by Christ, makes one a Christian.

Sorry.  I thought we were discussing being saved by faith only.

I must have misunderstood you.  Without going back to check,,,I'll just post some ECFs that say we can become lost by NOT doing good works.

 

The way of light, then, is as follows. If anyone desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. . . . He who keeps them will be glorified in the kingdom of God. However, he who chooses other things will be destroyed with his works. Barnabas (c. 70-130), 1.148, 149.

 

Therefore, brethren, by doing the will of the Father, and keeping the flesh holy, and observing the commandments of the Lord, we will obtain eternal life. Second Clement (c. 150), 7.519.

 

 

We . . . hasten to confess our faith, persuaded and convinced as we are that those who have proved to God by their works that they followed Him, and loved to abide with Him where there is no sin to cause disturbance, can obtain these things. . . . Each man goes to everlasting punishment or salvation according to the value of his actions. Justin Martyr (c. 160), 1.165, 166.

 

We will give account to God not only of deeds (as slaves), but even of words and thoughts (as being those who have truly received the power of liberty). For under liberty, a man is more severely tested as to whether he will reverence, fear, and love the Lord. . . . God desires obedience, which renders [His worshippers] secure—rather than sacrifices and burnt-offerings, which avail men nothing toward righteousness. Irenaeus (c. 180), 1.482.

 

 

When we hear, "Your faith has saved you," we do not understand Him to say absolutely that those who have believed in any way whatsoever will be saved. For works must also follow. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195), 2.505.

 

 

“Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ye ready, for ye know not the hour in which our Lord cometh. But often shall ye come together, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if ye be not made perfect in the last time.” (Didache, A.D.140)

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