Sunday, July 31, 2005

Through Faith They Still Speak (7/31/05)

"So the faith of the church must be sought first and foremost. If Christ is to dwell in a house, it undoubtedly must be chosen. But lest an unbelieving people or a heretical teacher deface its home, the church is commanded that the fellowship of heretics be avoided and the synagogue shunned. The dust is to be shaken off your feet lest when the dryness of barren unbelief crumbles the sole of your mind it is stained as if by a dry and sandy soil. A preacher of the gospel must take on himself the bodily weaknesses of a faithful people, so to speak. He must lift up and remove from his own soles worthless actions as if they were dust. For it is written: 'Who is weak, and I am not weak?' Any church which rejects faith and does not possess the foundations of apostolic preaching is to be abandoned lest it be able to stain others with unbelief. The apostle also clearly affirmed this by saying 'Reject a man that is a heretic after the first admonition.'" (Ambrose, cited in Arthur A. Just Jr., editor, Anicent Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament III: Luke [Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2003], p. 149)