Lent 2015, Day Five—Irenaeus (2)

Today’s citation is a second one from Irenaeus (approximately AD 135-202), the secondary dedicatee of this blog.  It comes from his work Against Heresies (5.16.3 and 5.17.1).  The entire work may be accessed here.

For doing away with [the effects of] that disobedience of man which had taken place at the beginning by the occasion of a tree, “He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil 2:18), rectifying that disobedience which had occurred by reason of a tree, through that obedience which was [wrought out] upon the tree [of the cross]. . . .  But inasmuch as it was by these things that we disobeyed God, and did not give credit to His word, so was it also by these same that He brought in obedience and consent as respects His Word; by which things He clearly shows forth God Himself, whom indeed we had offended in the first Adam, when he did not perform His commandment. In the second Adam, however, we are reconciled, being made obedient even unto death. For we were debtors to none other but to Him whose commandment we had transgressed at the beginning.  (5.16.3)

Now this being is the Creator, who is, in respect of His love, the Father; but in respect of His power, He is Lord; and in respect of His wisdom, our Maker and Fashioner; by transgressing whose commandment we became His enemies. And therefore in the last times the Lord has restored us into friendship through His incarnation, having become the Mediator between God and men; propitiating indeed for us the Father against whom we had sinned, and cancelling our disobedience by His own obedience; conferring also upon us the gift of communion with, and subjection to, our Maker.  (5.17.1)

Jerry Shepherd
February 23, 2015

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