Quotes by Irenaeus of Lyons

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For I have shown from the Scriptures, that no one of the sons of Adam is as to everything, and absolutely, called God, or named Lord. But that He is Himself in His own right, beyond all men who ever lived, God, and Lord, and King Eternal, and the Incarnate Word, proclaimed by all the prophets, the apostles, and by the Spirit Himself, may be seen by all who have attained to even a small portion of the truth. Now the Scriptures would not have testified these things of Him, if, like others, He had been a mere man. more...

Prior to Valentinus, those who follow Valentinus had no existence. Nor did those from Marcion exist before Marcion. Nor, in short, did any of those malignant-minded people, whom I have listed above, have any existence previous to the initiators and inventors of their perversity. more...

Others of them employ outward marks ... They style themselves Gnostics. They also possess images, some of them painted and others formed from different kinds of material. They maintain that a likeness of Christ was made by Pilate at that time when Jesus lived among them. They crown these images, and set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world, such as Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, and the rest. They have also other modes of honoring these images just like the Gentiles. more...

The Virgin Mary, being obedient to his word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God. more...

We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith more...

No man can know God unless God has taught him; that is to say, that without God, God cannot be known. more...

For where the church is, there is the Spirit of God, and where the Spirit of God, there is the church and all grace. more...

Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself. more...

The glory of God is the human person fully alive. more...

Error, indeed is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced more true than truth itself. more...

Error never shows itself in its naked reality, in order not to be discovered. On the contrary, it dresses elegantly, so that the unwary may be led to believe that it is more truthful than truth itself. more...

Since it is impossible, without God, to come to knowledge of God, he teaches men through his Word to know God. more...

Through a tree we were made debtors to God; so through a tree we have our debt canceled. more...

Jesus Christ, in His infinite love, has become what we are, in order that He may make us entirely what He is. more...

The church has been planted as a paradise in this world. more...

But following the only true and stedfast Teacher, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through His transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself. more...

Because of his boundless love, Jesus became what we are that he might make us to be what he is. more...

He [Jesus] fought and conquered. On the one hand, he was man who struggled for his fathers and through his obedience cancelled their disobedience. On the other hand, he bound the strong one and freed the weak and bestowed salvation on his handiwork by abolishing sin. For he is our compassionate and merciful Lord who loves mankind ... Had not man conquered man's adversary, the enemy would not have been conquered justly. Again, had it not been God who bestowed salvation we would not possess it securely. more...

The glory of God is a human being fully alive; and to be alive consists in beholding God. more...

The business of the Christian is nothing else but to be ever preparing for death. more...

But we do now receive a certain portion of His Spirit, tending towards perfection, and preparing us for incorruption, being little by little accustomed to receive and bear God more...

A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. more...

The initial step for us all to come to knowledge of God is contemplation of nature. more...

He who retains unchangeable in his heart the rule of the truth which he received by means of baptism will doubtless recognise the names, the expressions, and the parables taken from the Scriptures [by the gnostics], but will by no means acknowledge the blasphemous use which these men make of them. more...

And when we come to refute them, we shall show in its fitting place that this class of men [i.e., the gnostics] has been instigated by satan to a denial of that baptism which is regeneration to God, and thus to a denial of the whole faith [by denying all physical aspects of spirituality, including the incarnatian and bodily resurrection of Jesus]. more...

[Peter] testified to [the Jews in Acts 2] that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, the Judge of the living and dead, into whom he did also command them to be baptized for the remission of sins. more...

[Naaman] dipped himself," it says, "seven times in Jordan." It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: "Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. more...

He [Jesus] came to save all through himself; all, I say, who through him are reborn in God: infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . . . [so that] he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age more...

It is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth. more...

As long as any one has the means of doing good to his neighbours, and does not do so, he shall be reckoned a stranger to the love of the Lord. more...

Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, in that case, to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches? more...

When we stand in the light it is not we who illumine the light and cause it to shine but we are illuminated and made shining by the light... God grants his blessings on those who serve him because they are serving him and on those who follow him because they are following him, but he receives no blessing from them because he is perfect and without need more...

The preaching of the Church truly continues without change and is everywhere the same. It has the testimony of the Prophets and Apostles and all their disciples. more...

He who was the Son of God became the Son of man, that man ... might become the son of God. more...

God became man, that we might be gods. more...

One should not seek among others the truth that can be easily gotten from the Church. For in her, as in a rich treasury, the apostles have placed all that pertains to truth, so that everyone can drink this beverage of life. She is the door of life. more...


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