On Mondays, I’ll be sharing a quote from Christian history to help us learn and grow by engaging with those Christians who come before us as we sit at a soul table. From his second century A.D. writing Against Heresies, Iraneaus argues, “The powerful Word, and true man, redeeming [ransoming] us by his own blood in a reasonable way, gave himself as a ransom for those who have been led into captivity. And since the Apostasy [i.e. the rebellious spirit, Satan] unjustly held sway over us, and though we were by nature [the possession] of Almighty God, estranged us against nature, making us his own disciples; therefore the Word of God, mighty in all things and not lacking in his own justice, acted justly even in the encounter with the Apostasy itself, ransoming from it that which was his own, not by force, in the way in which it secured the sway over us at the beginning, snatching insatiably what was not its own; but by persuasion, as it became God to receive what he wished; by persuasion, not by the use of force, that the principles of justice might not be infringed, and, at the same time, that God’s original creation might not perish.
“By his own blood then the Lord redeemed us, and gave his life for our life, his flesh for our flesh; and he poured out the Spirit of the Father to bring about the union and communion of God and man, bringing down God to men through the Spirit while raising man to God through his incarnation, and in his advent [or by his presence] surely and truly giving us incorruption through the communion which we have with God….”
Image Credit: “St. Iraneaus of Lyons.”