Tuesday, June 5, 2012

An old letter...

My Dad was reading from "A Godward Life" by John Piper the other day to us as a family. The chapter that we where on had this is part of a letter by Aristeides, teacher of philosophy, presented as a defense of Christianity to Emperor Hadrian in the approximate year A.D. 133 . I highly recommend the book, by the way.

Christ died and was buried; and they say after tree days He rose and ascended to heaven; and then these twelve disciples went forth into all the kingdoms of the world, telling of His greatness with all humility and sobriety; whence they who serve the righteousness of His preaching are called Christians, who are well known….
            Now the Christians, O King…have the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ engraven in their hearts, and they observe, looking for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. They commit neither adultery nor fornication; nor do they bear false witness. They do not deny a deposit, nor covet other man’s goods. They honor father and mother, and love their neighbors; they give right judgment; and they do not worship idols in the form of man. They do not unto others as they would not have done unto themselves. They comfort such as wrong them, and make friends of them. They labor to do good to their enemies (they are meek and gentle)…. As for their servants or handmaids, or their children if any of them has any, they persuade them to become Christians for the love that they have towards them; and when they have become so, they call them without distinction “brethren.”
            They despise not the widow, and grieve not the orphan. He that hath distributeth liberally to him that hath not. If they see a stranger, they bring him under their roof and rejoice over him, as if it were their own brother; for they call themselves brethren, not after the flesh, but after the spirit and in God…. And if they hear that any of their number is imprisoned or oppressed for the name of their Messiah, all of them provide for his needs, and if it is possible that he may be delivered, they deliver him.
            And if there is a man among them that it poor and needy, and they have not an abundance of necessities, they fast two or three days that they may supply the needy with their necessary food. For Christ’s sake they are ready to lay down their lives.

This is what a true Christian should look like!


  1. That is definitely what a Christian should look like. It's a very convicting description. I should constantly be asking myself, "Am I living a life that consistently emulates and points to Christ?"

  2. Yes, that is a great letter and very convicting. I want to be a Christian like that.

  3. Oh my goodness, that is such an awesome report of true Christianity. That's so cool that there is an eye witness account of the early Christians and their actions.


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