So what did the early church fathers say about faith and good works. Was salvation simply a “gift” that was received via faith alone? Or did Christians need to do good deeds also in order to be “saved”? Once again, we find the church fathers disagreeing with the lying dog of hell, our friend Cerbie. The nightmare begins anew:
- Origen (185-254), “Whoever dies in his sins, even if he profess to believe in Christ, does not truly believe in him; and even if that which exists without works be called faith, such faith is dead in itself, as we read in the epistle bearing the name of James (Commentaries on John 19:6).
- Gregory of Nyssa (330-394), “Paul, joining righteousness to faith and weaving them together, constructs of them the breastplates for the infantryman, armoring the soldier properly and safely on both sides. A soldier cannot be considered safely armored when either shield is disjoined from the other. Faith without works of justice is not sufficient for salvation; neither is righteous living secure in itself of salvation, if it is disjoined from faith (Homilies on Ecclesiastes 8).
- Chrysostom (349-407), “He that believes in the Son has everlasting life.” Is it enough, then, to believe in the Son,’ someone will say, ‘in order to have everlasting life?’ By no means! Listen to Christ declare this himself when he says, ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord! Lord!” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven’, (Homilies on the Gospel of John 31:1).
Some apologists will point out that other church fathers, like Clement of Rome, believed that only faith saves. But actually, Clement believed that both were needed:
“And we, therefore…are not justified of ourselves or by our wisdom or insight or religious devotion or the holy deeds we have done from the heart, but by that faith by which almighty God has justified all men from the very beginning” (1 Clement, ch. 32:4).
“We should clothe ourselves with concord, being humble, self-controlled, far removed from all gossiping and slandering, and justified by our deeds, not by words” (30:3).
So, once again, we see Cerbie’s personal opinions shot to pieces by the early church authorities. This is just getting sad now!