Irenaeus on Revelation, Justification and Jesus


Since, therefore, Abraham was a prophet and saw in the Spirit the day of the Lord’s coming, and the dispensation of His suffering, through whom both he himself and all who, following the example of his faith, trust in God, should be saved, he rejoiced exceedingly. The Lord, therefore, was not unknown to Abraham, whose day he desired to see; nor, again, was the Lord’s Father, for he had learned from the Word of the Lord, and believed Him; wherefore it was accounted to him by the Lord for righteousness. For faith towards God justifies a man. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, iv.v.5)
Irenaeus was a disciple of a disciple of the apostle John. Just three quick Irenaean points here:
  1. It was the Triune God who revealed Himself in a Triune way to Abraham - Abraham saw in the Spirit the Lord's coming and suffering and through the Lord knew the Lord's Father. Jesus is the Revelation of God.
  2. Abraham was justified by faith - and so are we.
  3. Abraham wasn't justified by a vague belief in God, but by faith in Christ our God - Irenaeus tells us that the God in whom Abraham had faith was the Word of the Lord, the Lord who came and suffered for our salvation.

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The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

The virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, ascension, and abiding intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His second coming, and millennial reign upon earth.

Justification and Sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers, with signs following.

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