The Judgment by Works: The Most Important Doctrine to Learn from the Early Church Fathers

I wrote the following in a comment on Patristics for Protestants about what is the most important thing to learn from the early church fathers. There are several quotes from the earliest fathers in my comment, but I give you Tit. 2:11-15; Rom. 2:6-7; and Gal. 6:7-9, which says not to be deceived about this, as backing from the Scripture:

We will be judged by our works, and Jesus came so that we would be ready to face that judgment. To me this gets right down to the brass tacks of what will matter on the last day.

Since then all things are seen and heard [by God], let us fear Him, and forsake those wicked works which proceed from evil desires; so that, through His mercy, we may be protected from the judgments to come. For whither can any of us flee from His mighty hand? Or what world will receive any of those who run away from Him? (1 Clement 28)

The Lord will judge the world without partiality. Each will receive as he has done. If he is righteous, his righteousness will precede him; if he is wicked, the reward of wickedness is before him. Take heed, lest resting in our ease, as those who are called, we should fall asleep in our sins, and the wicked prince should acquire power over us and thrust us away from the kingdom of the Lord. (Letter of Barnabas 4)

I exhort you, therefore, that you abstain from covetousness, and that you be chaste and truthful. “Abstain from every form of evil” [1 Thess. 5:22]. For if a man cannot govern himself in such matters, how shall he enjoin them on others? If a man does not keep himself from covetousness, he shall be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as one of the heathen. But who of us are ignorant of the judgment of the Lord? (Polycarp to the Philippians 11)

For more such quotes, see Quotes about the Judgment from the Early Church Fathers.

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
This entry was posted in Early Christianity, Gospel, Modern Doctrines, Rebuilding the Foundations and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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