============================== >>>For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.. I Corinthians 2: 2<<<=============================
Published On: Wed, Oct 2nd, 2013

Peter – The man with purpose (Part XIX)

Peter – The man with purpose (Part XIX)

[su_heading style=”1″][su_button link=”#” color=”#4B0082″ size=”5″ style=”5″ dark=”0″ radius=”10″ icon=” target=”blank”]Peter – The man with purpose (Part XIX)[/su_button][/su_heading]

Uses of Evils:

[su_pullquote align=”left”]For God has given a nature to men, by which they may be taught concerning what is good, and to resist evil; that is, they may learn arts, and to resist pleasures, and to set the law of God before them in all things.[/su_pullquote]

“But perhaps you will say, that in those things indeed in which the necessity of nature demands the service of arts and works, any one may have it in his power to maintain justice, and to put what restraint he pleases either upon his desires or his actions; but what shall we say of the sicknesses and infirmities which befall men, and of some being harassed with demons, and fevers, and cold fits, and some being attacked with madness, or losing their reason, and all those things which overwhelm the race of man with innumerable misfortunes?  To this we say, that if any one consider the reason of the whole mystery, he will pronounce these things to be more just than those that we have already explained.  For God has given a nature to men, by which they may be taught concerning what is good, and to resist evil; that is, they may learn arts, and to resist pleasures, and to set the law of God before them in all things.  And for this end He has permitted certain contrary powers to wander up and down in the world, and to strive against us, for the reasons which have been stated before, that by striving with them the palm of victory and the merit of rewards may accrue to the righteous.

 “Conceived in Sin.”

[su_pullquote align=”right”]And therefore parents are responsible for their children’s defects of this sort, because they have not observed the law of intercourse.[/su_pullquote]

“From this, therefore, it sometimes happens, that if any persons have acted incontinently, and have been willing not so much to resist as to yield, and to give harbour to these demons in themselves, by their noxious breath an intemperate, ill-conditioned, and diseased progeny is begotten.  For while lust is wholly gratified, and no care is taken in the copulation, undoubtedly a weak generation is affected with the defects and frailties of those demons by whose instigation these things are done.  And therefore parents are responsible for their children’s defects of this sort, because they have not observed the law of intercourse.  Though there are also more secret causes, by which souls are made subject to these evils, which it is not to our present purpose to state, yet it behoves everyone to acknowledge the law of God, that he may learn from it the observance of generation, and avoid causes of impurity, that that which is begotten may be pure.  For it is not right, while in the planting of shrubs and the sowing of crops a suitable season is sought for, and the land is cleaned, and all things are suitably prepared, lest haply the seed which is sown be injured and perish, that in the case of man only, who is over all these things, there should be no attention or caution in sowing his seed.

Tow Smeared with Pitch:

[su_pullquote align=”left”]Thinking of the future judgment, he be checked by fear, and reclaim himself, so that he do not accomplish in action what he has conceived in his evil thought, he shall not only escape present destruction, but also future punishments.[/su_pullquote]

“But what, it is said, of the fact that some who in their childhood are free from any bodily defect, yet in process of time fall into those evils, so that some are even violently hurried on to death?  Concerning these also the account is at hand, and is almost the same:  for those powers which we have said to be contrary to the human race, are in some way invited into the heart of everyone by many and diverse lusts, and find a way of entrance; and they have in them such influence and power as can only encourage and incite, but cannot compel or accomplish.  If, therefore, any one consents to them, so as to do those things which he wickedly desires, his consent and deed shall find the reward of destruction and the worst kind of death.  But if, thinking of the future judgment, he be checked by fear, and reclaim himself, so that he do not accomplish in action what he has conceived in his evil thought, he shall not only escape present destruction, but also future punishments. 

[su_pullquote align=”right”]Every cause of sin seems to be like tow smeared over with pitch, which immediately breaks into flame as soon as it receives the heat of fire; and the kindling of this fire is understood to be the work of demons.[/su_pullquote]

For every cause of sin seems to be like tow smeared over with pitch, which immediately breaks into flame as soon as it receives the heat of fire; and the kindling of this fire is understood to be the work of demons.  If, therefore, any one be found smeared with sins and lusts as with pitch, the fire easily gets the mastery of him.  But if the tow be not steeped in the pitch of sin, but in the water of purification and regeneration, the fire of the demons shall not be able to be kindled in it.

Fear:

[su_pullquote align=”left”]The fuel of the fire may be cleansed out of you by the invocation of the holy name, and that for the future you may bridle your lusts by fear of the judgment to come, and with all constancy beat back the hostile powers whenever they approach your senses.[/su_pullquote]

“But someone will say, And what shall we do now, whom it has already happened to us to be smeared with sins as with pitch?  I answer:  Nothing; but hasten to be washed, that the fuel of the fire may be cleansed out of you by the invocation of the holy name, and that for the future you may bridle your lusts by fear of the judgment to come, and with all constancy beat back the hostile powers whenever they approach your senses.  But you say, If any one fall into love, how shall he be able to contain himself, though he see before his eyes even that river of fire which they call Pyriphlegethon?  This is the excuse of those who will not be converted to repentance.  But now I would not have you talk of Pyriphlegethon.  Place before you human punishments, and see what influence fear has. 

[su_pullquote align=”right”]If those who believe in God, and who confess the judgment to come, and the penalty of eternal fire,—if they do not refrain from sin, it is certain that they do not believe with full faith:  for if faith is certain, fear also becomes certain.[/su_pullquote]

When any one is brought to punishment for the crime of love, and is bound to the stake to be burned, can he at that time conceive any desire of her whom he loved, or place her image before his eyes?  By no means, you will say.  You see, then, that present fear cuts off unrighteous desires.  But if those who believe in God, and who confess the judgment to come, and the penalty of eternal fire,—if they do not refrain from sin, it is certain that they do not believe with full faith:  for if faith is certain, fear also becomes certain; but if there be any detect in faith, fear also is weakened, and then the contrary powers find opportunity of entering.  And when they have consented to their persuasions, they necessarily become subject also to their power, and by their instigation are driven to the precipices of sin.

Astrologers:

[su_pullquote align=”left”]If men be quickly turned to repentance, and remember and fear the future judgment, the punishment of death is remitted to those who are converted to God by the grace of baptism.[/su_pullquote]

“Therefore the astrologers, being ignorant of such mysteries, think that these things happen by the courses of the heavenly bodies:  hence also, in their answers to those who go to them to consult them as to future things, they are deceived in very many instances.  Nor is it to be wondered at, for they are not prophets; but, by long practice, the authors of errors find a sort of refuge in those things by which they were deceived, and introduce certain Climacteric Periods, that they may pretend a knowledge of uncertain things.  For they represent these Climacterics as times of danger, in which one sometimes is destroyed, sometimes is not destroyed, not knowing that it is not the course of the stars, but the operation of demons, that regulates these things; and those demons, being anxious to confirm the error of astrology, deceive men to sin by mathematical calculations, so that when they suffer the punishment of sin, either by the permission of God or by legal sentence, the astrologer may seem to have spoken truth.  And yet they are deceived even in this; for if men be quickly turned to repentance, and remember and fear the future judgment, the punishment of death is remitted to those who are converted to God by the grace of baptism.

 Abad of Jesus Christ,

  Stulo Robinson.S.

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====================================>>>Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31 <<<====================================