Monday, August 10, 2009

John Chrysostom: Confession is by Faith and Works

Now, confession is not only through faith but also through works, with the result that should the latter be missing, we run the risk of being punished along with those who deny him. There is not one way of denying, after all, but many and varied, as Paul described them to us in writing in these terms, "They confess they know God, but deny him in practice," and again, "Anyone who does not provide for relatives, especially of their own household, has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever," and again, "Shun avarice, which is idolatry." Since the forms of denial are as numerous, therefore, so too are the forms of confession and much more so. Let us all be zealous in adopting these forms of confessing so that we ourselves may enjoy honor in heaven, thanks to the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, now and forever, for ages of ages. Amen.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Homilies on Hannah, Homily 3, in St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume 1, p. 107 (2003), Robert C. Hill translator.