Ignatius of Antioch: Insensible to God’s kindness

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And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6-7

“Let us not, therefore, be insensible to His kindness. For were He to reward us according to our works, we should cease to be. Therefore, having become His disciples, let us learn to live according to the principles of Christianity. For whosoever is called by any other name besides this, is not of God. Lay aside, therefore, the evil, the old, the sour leaven, and be ye changed into the new leaven, which is Jesus Christ. Be ye salted in Him, lest any one among you should be corrupted, since by your savor ye shall be convicted.”

Ignatius of Antioch (c. AD 35-108) in To The Magnesians, Chapter X (Roberts-Donaldson Translation).

Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, visited Christians in Magnesia, about 12 miles up river from Ephesus during the reign of Trajan (98-117) when he was en route to Rome for his martyrdom. Shortly thereafter, while on house arrest visiting Polycarp in Smyrna, he wrote this letter To The Magnesians, and this excerpt is from Chapter X.

Understanding this background adds weight to this message. Imagine you are on your way to your martyrdom. What would you say if you wrote such a letter?

He urges the Magnesians not be insensible to God’s kindness. What does it mean to be insensible? It means “unconscious” or “indifferent” to His kindness. The opposite of this is to stay alert and attuned to the reality of God’s kindness to us in Christ. So, what does this have to do with generosity?

When we live indifferent to the incomparable riches that we have in Christ, we will not be hilariously generous. How do we avoid such indifference? It takes conscious effort. That’s the best part of his “last words” to them. “Let us learn to live according to the principles of Christianity.”

How are you doing in living out the principles of Christianity? Regarding generosity, what you keep you lose, and what you give you gain. Our generosity will be reflected in our sensibility or insensibility. Or as Ignatius put it, since “by your savor ye shall be convicted” be sure to “be ye salted in Him.”

Today, I am tying flies with my son, Sammy, representing Sammy’s Fly Shop, at the West Denver Trout Unlimited Fly Tying Clinic from 10am to 1:30pm. Then Jenni and I fly to Sydney, Australia, via San Francisco where we will be speaking in various settings for the next two weeks. Pray for safe travel and sleep on the long journey.