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I started LA’BREA’S Books and Advice Column with the goal of offering readers a glimpse into my thoughts and experiences. What started out as weekly posts has evolved into a dynamic site packed with information about various topics that are near and dear to me. Take some time to explore the blog and see for yourself what makes you curious and eager. Read on and enjoy!
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I am a professional writer and advice giver. I love to write and be creative. If you need spiritual guidance, I can help you in that area of your life, because I am an ordained minister, have been since 2016. I am also a Life Coach, poet, podcaster, blogger, and storyteller. I am very versatile. I am gifted and talented. I enjoy helping others and working hard. I am a content creator as well. I create websites, and blogs; just as I have this one. I look forward to creating more in the near future. I am working on my second book to get it published. If it is advice you may need, I am the one who can give it to you straight forward unsugar coated.
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It is very easy in our day and age to find ourselves fascinated with anything new. It could be a new TV show, a new gadget, a new pet, or a new restaurant. With new things popping up everywhere, it is ever so easy to overlook or forget about the old.
This is also the case in the church. Pastors and elders must fight against the temptation of novelty for novelty’s sake. One of the things that makes the fight easier is by remembering the past. The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture is a resource that makes the old accessible. For those who live under the tyranny of the novel, this is a breath of fresh air.
The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series spans roughly the first thousand years of church history, from Clement of Rome (regn. 92–101?) to Theophylact of Ohrid (c. 1050-c. 1108). This series provides comments on Scripture from a multitude of church fathers from the pre-Reformation era. They ground their exegesis in the Scriptures and inform it through the developing tradition of the church, as well as their own experiences. Here are some of their comments on 1 Peter 1:3–9.
The Living Hope of those Who Have Been Born Again
“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
“6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:3-9
When God is the Giver—Andreas on 1 Peter 1:3
Andreas (c. seventh century) was a monk who collected commentary from earlier writers to form a catena on various biblical books.
“They have received immortality and the hope of eternal life. These good things in heaven are better than human things. For this reason they praise God the Father, who shows his great mercy in doing these things faithfully. When God is the giver, the things given are both better and certain to materialize. The statement also has relevance to the Old Testament, for in it God gave the land of the Canaanites to those who believed in him.”
His Mercy is Great Enough—Hilary of Arles on 1 Peter 1:3
Hilary (c. 401–449) was the Archbishop of Arles and leader of the Semi-Pelagian party. Hilary incurred the wrath of Pope Leo I when he removed a bishop from his see and appointed a new bishop. Leo demoted Arles from a metropolitan see to a bishopric to assert papal power over the church in Gaul.
“Peter means that God has acted to redeem us without any help from us. His mercy is great enough to be able to forgive every sin which has been committed in thought, word and deed, from the beginning to the end of the world.”
The Inheritance God Gives—Oecumenius on 1 Peter 1:3
Oecumenius (sixth century) was called the Rhetor or the Philosopher. Oecumenius wrote the earliest extant Greek commentary on Revelation. Scholia by Oecumenius on some of John Chrysostom’s commentaries on the Pauline Epistles are still extant.
“What exactly are the blessings which God has given us in Christ? First, there is hope, not the kind of hope which he gave to Moses, that the people would inherit a promised land in Canaan, for that hope was temporal and corruptible. Rather God gives us a living hope, which has come from the resurrection of Christ. Because of that, he has given all those who believe in Jesus the same resurrection. This is a living hope and an incorruptible inheritance, not stored up here on earth but in heaven, which is much greater.”
Rising With Him—Bede on 1 Peter 1:4
The Venerable Bede (c. 672/673–735) was born in Northumbria, at the age of seven he was put under the care of the Benedictine monks of Saints Peter and Paul at Jarrow and given a broad classical education in the monastic tradition. Considered one of the most learned men of his age, he is the author of An Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
“Peter offers praise to God the Father in such a way as to make it perfectly clear that our Lord and Savior is both God and man. He calls God the Father of our Lord precisely because he does not doubt that our Lord had always existed with him as his Son. It is right for us to bless God because although on the strength of our own merits we deserve nothing but death, he has regenerated us by his mercy to a new life. He has done this by the resurrection of his Son who loved our life so much that he gave himself up to death for our sake. When he overcame that death by his resurrection, he offered it to us as a model which might give us hope of rising again ourselves.”
An Inheritance Unfading—Didymus the Blind on 1 Peter 1:4
Didymus the Blind (c. 313–398) was an Alexandrian exegete who was much influenced by Origen and admired by Jerome.
“In order to show how the inheritance of the blessed will continue forever, Peter calls it incorruptible and unfading. He demonstrates by this that it is a pure and divine inheritance which will remain uncontaminated in the eyes of those who care nothing for their present wealth. They know that they have something better and eternal waiting for them.”
The Saints Shine Like Refined Gold—Athanasius on 1 Peter 1:7
Athanasius (c. 295–373; fl. 325–373) was Bishop of Alexandria from 328, though often in exile. He wrote his classic polemics against the Arians while most of the eastern bishops were against him.
“Because the saints saw that the divine fire would cleanse them and benefit them, they did not shrink back from or get discouraged by the trials which they faced. What they went through did not hurt them. Instead, they grew refined, shining like gold that has been refined in a fire.”
Not All Suffer Now—Chrysostom on 1 Peter 1:7
John Chrysostom (344/354–407; fl. 386–407) was Bishop of Constantinople who stood out for his orthodoxy, his eloquence and his attacks on Christian laxity in high places.
“The righteous suffer so that they may be crowned with glory, but sinners suffer in order to bring judgment on their sins. But not all sinners pay the price of their sins in this life, but await the resurrection. And not all the righteous suffer now, lest you think to praise evil and you come to hate the good.”
Made Incorruptible by Grace—Clement of Alexandria on 1 Peter 1:9
Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–215) was a highly educated Christian convert from paganism, head of the catechetical school in Alexandria and pioneer of Christian scholarship. His major works, Protrepticus, Paedagogus and the Stromata, bring Christian doctrine face to face with the ideas and achievements of his time.
“It appears from this that the soul is not naturally incorruptible but is made so by the grace of God, through faith, righteousness and understanding.”
The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (29 Vols.) is a great title to learn more about those who have gone before us. Get a copy today by clicking here!
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