Thoughts on Tuesday’s Scripture Readings

 

"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ" (2 Cor 2:14-17).

The Apostle considers his preaching successful, by God’s grace, because He has made the Gospel known everywhere, even though some heard this Gospel to their own condemnation because they did not wish to receive it and live by it. "To the one we are the savor of death unto death, and to the other the savor of life unto life." But "who is sufficient for these things?" In other words this is not of us but of God (St. John Chrysostom). "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). The preaching of the Gospel is the proclamation of light and truth. Some people accept the light with joy, while others reject it, preferring to abide in darkness "because their works are evil." Our Lord also explains this at length in his early parables (Matthew Ch. 13). We should, then, struggle to obey the commands of the gospel, that we may receive the light unto salvation. "Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock" (Matthew 7:24-25).

St. John Chrysostom:

"Whether, saith he, one be saved or be lost, the Gospel continues to have its proper virtue: and as the light, although it blindeth the weakly, is still light, though causing blindness; and as honey, though it be bitter to those who are diseased, is in its nature sweet; so also is the Gospel of sweet savor, even though some should be lost who believe it not. For not It, but their own perverseness, worketh the perdition."

"For this sweet savor some so receive that they are saved, others so that they perish. So that should any one be lost, the fault is from himself: for both ointment is said to suffocate swine, and light (as I before observed,) to blind the weak. And such is the nature of good things; they not only correct what is akin to them, but also destroy the opposite: and in this way is their power most displayed. For so both fire, not only when it giveth light and when it purifieth gold, but even when it consumeth thorns, doth very greatly display its proper power, and so show itself to be fire: and Christ too herein also doth discover His own majesty when He "shall consume" Antichrist "with the breath of His mouth, and bring him to nought with the manifestation of His coming." (2 Thess. ii. 8.)" (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf112.v.v.html)

 

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