23 October, 2009

Justification

Human beings can be saved from the ancient wound of the serpent in no other way than by believing in him who, when he was raised up from the earth on the tree of martyrdom in the likeness of sinful flesh, drew all things to himself and gave life to the dead.
Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4.2.7

And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Clement of Rome, exact reference needed

"Far be it from me to glory, except in the cross of Christ." You see that Paul does not glory on account of his own righteousness, purity, and wisdom, nor because of his other virtues and deeds. But when was this? At the time when he was writing to the Galatians.
Origen, on Romans 3, cited in Chemnitz ECT I.506

But what is the ‘law of faith?’ It is, being saved by grace. Here he shows God’s power, in that He has not only saved, but has even justified, and led them to boasting, and this too without needing works, but looking for faith only.
John Chrysostom Homily Number 7 on Romans

They said that he who adhered to faith alone was cursed; but he, Paul, shows that he who adhered to faith alone is blessed.
John Chrysostom, Homily Number 20 on 1st Corinthians, PG 61.164

Let us see, however, whether the brigand gave evidence of effort and upright deeds and a good yield. Far from his being able to claim even this, he made his way into paradise before the apostles with a mere word, on the basis of faith alone, the intention being for you to learn that it was not so much a case of his sound values prevailing as the Lord's lovingkindness being completely responsible.

What, in fact, did the brigand say? What did he do? Did he fast? Did he weep? Did he tear his garments? Did he display repentance in good time? Not at all: on the cross itself after his utterance he won salvation. Note the rapidity: from cross to heaven, from condemnation to salvation. What were those wonderful words, then? What great power did they have that they brought him such marvelous good things? "Remember me in your kingdom." What sort of word is that? He asked to receive good things, he showed no concern for them in action; but the one who knew his heart paid attention not to the words but to the attitude of mind.

John Chrysostom, Sermon 7 on Genesis, in St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, pp. 123-24 (2004), Robert C. Hill translator.


Indeed, this is the perfect and complete glorification of God, when one does not exult in his own righteousness, but recognizing oneself to be lacking in true righteousness, is instead justified by faith alone in Christ.
Basil the Great, Homily on Humility, PG 31.532

Let him who boasts boast in the Lord, that Christ has been made by God for us righteousness, wisdom, justification, redemption. This is perfect and pure boasting in God, when one is not proud on account of his own righteousness but knows that he is indeed unworthy of the true righteousness and is (or has been) justified solely by faith in Christ.
Basil the Great, exact reference needed

I will glory not because I am righteous but because I am redemmed; I will glory not because I am free from sins but because my sins are forgiven me. I will not glory because I have done good nor because someone has done good to me but because Christ is my advocate with the Father and because the blood of Christ has been shed for me.
Ambrose, De Jacob et vita beata, ch. 6

Therefore we are righteous when we confess ourselves sinners and when our righteousness consists not in our own merit but in the mercy of God.
Jerome, Dialogus contra Pelagianos, Book 1

You may proclaim that ancient righteous men possessed ever such great virtue, yet nothing saved them except faith in the Mediator, who shed his blood ofr the remission of sins.
Augustine, Ad Bonifacium, 1.21

The Pelagians believe they are singing the praises of the saints if they do not dare to say that they were men of imperfect virtue...And who was holier among the New Testament people than the Apostles? And yet the Lord commanded them to pray: Forgive us our sins. Therefore, there is for all the godly who cry out under the burden of their corrupted flesh and the infirmity of this life the one hope that 'we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, and He is the expiation for our sins'
Augustine, Ad Bonifacium, 3.5

For a good name among men a great number fo witnesses who know me suffices, but in the presence of God I do not dare to justify myself under the gaze of the Almighty by my conscience alone, although I bear it without trepidation against your accusations. I look for an abundance of mercy flowing out from him rather than for an extreme examination of judgment, considering that it is written, 'When the righteous King will sit upon his throne, who will boast that he has a pure heart, or that he is clean from sins?
Augustine, Contra Cresconium, 5.80
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