Thursday, July 18, 2019

Early Christian Quotes on the Holy Spirit

Early Christian Quotes on the Holy Spirit


Barnabas' Epistle 

(1st Century)

Chapter 16:


A temple does exist. Learn, then, how it will be built in the name of the Lord. Before we believed in God, our heart was corrupt and weak, like a temple made with hands. For it was full of idolatry and was a place where demons lived because we did what was opposed to God.


But the temple will be built in the name of the Lord so that the temple of the Lord may be built in glory. How?


Having received the forgiveness of sins and placed our trust in the name of the Lord, we have become new creatures, formed again from the beginning. So, God truly dwells in us. How?


His word of faith; His calling of promise; the wisdom of the statutes; the commands of the doctrine; He Himself prophesying in us; He Himself dwelling in us; opening to us who were enslaved by death the doors of the temple, that is, the mouth; and by giving us repentance, He introduced us into the incorruptible temple.


So, whoever wants to be saved looks not to man but to Him who lives in him and speaks in him, amazed at never having said such things before, nor wanting to hear them before. This is the spiritual temple built for the Lord.



The Shepherd of Hermas

(1st or 2nd Century)

Commandment 5, Chapter 1:


"Be patient," said the angel, "and of good understanding, and you will rule over every wicked work, and you will work all righteousness. For if you are patient, the Holy Spirit that dwells in you will be pure. He will not be darkened by any evil spirit, but, dwelling in an open area, He will rejoice and be glad; and with the vessel in which He dwells, He will serve God in gladness, having great peace within Himself.


"But if any outburst of anger takes place, the Holy Spirit, who is tender, is squeezed in, not having a pure place, and He seeks to depart. For He is choked by the vile spirit and cannot attend on the Lord as He wishes, for anger pollutes Him. For the Lord dwells in long-suffering, but the devil in anger. The two spirits, then, when dwelling in the same place, do not agree with each other and cause trouble for that man in whom they dwell."



The Shepherd of Hermas

(1st or 2nd Century)

Commandment 10, Chapter 2:


Remove grief from you and crush not the Holy Spirit who dwells in you, or He will ask God to act against you, and He will withdraw from you. For the Spirit of God who has been granted to us to dwell in this body does not endure grief or being confined.


So put on cheerfulness, which is always pleasing to God, and rejoice in it. For every cheerful man does what is good and minds what is good and despises grief. But the sorrowful man always acts wickedly. First, he acts wickedly because he grieves the Holy Spirit, who was given to man as a cheerful Spirit. Secondly, grieving the Holy Spirit, he does wrong, neither praying to the Lord nor confessing to Him. For the prayer of the sorrowful man has no power to ascend to the altar of God."


"Why," I asked, "doesn’t the prayer of the grieving man ascend to the altar?”


“Because,” he said, “grief sits in his heart. Grief, then, mingled with his prayer, does not permit the prayer to ascend pure to the altar of God. For as vinegar and wine when mixed in the same cup do not give the same pleasure as pure wine does, so grief mixed with the Holy Spirit does not produce the same kind of pure prayer as would be produced by the Holy Spirit alone.


“Cleanse yourself from this wicked grief, and you will live to God. And all will live to God who drive away grief from them and put on all cheerfulness.”



The Shepherd of Hermas

(1st or 2nd Century)

Commandment 11:


The angel said, “Look at the power that comes from above. Hail is the size of a very small grain, yet when it falls on a man’s head, how much annoyance it gives him! Or, again, take the drop that falls from a pitcher to the ground, and yet it hollows a stone. You see, then, that the smallest things coming from above have great power when they fall upon the earth.


So also is the Divine Spirit, who comes from above, powerful. Trust, then, that Spirit.”



Irenaeus’ Against Heresies Book 5

(Late 2nd Century)

Chapter 8, Paragraph 1:


We do receive a portion of His Spirit, perfecting us and preparing us for incorruption. Little by little, He accustoms us to receive and bear God. The apostle terms this portion of His Spirit a deposit; that is, a part of the honor that has been promised to us by God, where he says in the Epistle to the Ephesians, "You were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession." This deposit living in us makes us spiritual even now, and the mortal is swallowed up by immortality.



Origen’s Against Celsus

(Early to Mid-3rd Century)

Book 6, Chapter 4:


The Jewish prophets, who were enlightened as far as was necessary for their prophetic work by the Spirit of God, were the first to enjoy the benefit of the inspiration; and by the contact-of the Holy Spirit, they became clearer in mind, and their souls were filled with a brighter light. And the body no longer hindered them from living a virtuous life, for their bodies were deadened to "the lust of the flesh." For we are persuaded that the Divine Spirit "mortifies the deeds of the body" and destroys our enmity against God, which the carnal passions only make worse.



Origen’s Against Celsus

(Early to Mid-3rd Century)

Book 6, Chapter 8:


The Holy Spirit gave signs of His presence at the beginning of Christ's ministry, and after His ascension, He gave still more. But since that time, these signs have diminished, although there are still traces of His presence in a few who have had their souls purified by the Gospel and their actions regulated by its influence.



Cyprian’s Letter to Pompey

(Mid-3rd Century)

Paragraph 5:


For he who has been sanctified, his sins being put away in baptism, and been spiritually reformed into a new man, has become fitted for receiving the Holy Spirit.


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Find more of what the early Christians thought on my Christian History page!

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