[Gary Petty] In the third century, we havea number of Christian theologians that wrote volumes of work that we have.
actually havecopies up today.
Many of their works have been translated intoEnglish.
And it gives us an insight to the diversityand ideas of what was Christianity in the third century.
There were a lot of different things thatmany Christians believe today.
There were doctors that now.
things thatwere taught to be considered heresies.
There was Paganism mixing and there's justa lot of things going on in that third century.
One of the Christian writers from that timeperiod that I find interesting is Origen.
Sometimes you'll hear his name pronouncedas Origen.
Origen, from a very early age, as a teenager, decided that he wanted to live a life that in sacrifice to God and sacrifice to JesusChrist.
So as a teenager, he decided the best wayto do that was to become a martyr, to literally be sacrificed, to die for Christ.
So he would go out in the streets, and ifhe saw Roman soldiers arresting a Christian, because they were persecuted at the time, he would run up and throw his arms around the Christian and give them a hug.
I mean, he wanted everybody to know he's aChristian.
He would actually go visit Christians in prison, which was a pretty dangerous thing to do.
His mother actually would hide his clothesso that he couldn't sneak out and go do these things.
So there were times he had to stay home becausehis mom hid his clothes.
But if he got clothed, off he went, tryingto sacrifice, become a sacrifice for Christ.
He was so brilliant, at age 17, he actuallybecame the principal of a school.
Now, what's interesting here is this principal.
He also continued his studies into the Bible.
And he decided that if he couldn't sacrificehis life to dying, he would sacrifice his life by the way he lived.
And so he would sleep on a bare floor, hewould eat very little food, not take care of himself.
He almost destroyed his health.
He was sickly much of his life because ofwhat he did as he tried to, you know, live this ascetic life where he would stay up allnight praying and studying, and he just wouldn't, you know, bathe, I mean, he just did all thesethings to try to sacrifice himself because he wanted to sacrifice himself for God.
He wanted to be a sacrifice.
According to Eusebius, years later, he actually.
or Jesus said that there are eunuchs for the kingdom of God.
And so Origen actually made himself a eunuch, physically made himself a eunuch so that he could do the sacrifice of having no sexualrelationships.
This would make him a better sacrifice toGod.
Dedicated man, but he really misunderstoodwhat God wanted from him.
In Romans, the Apostle Paul writes, “I beseechyou therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a livingsacrifice.
” Now that's interesting.
You killed a sacrifice, right? You brought a lamb into the temple of Jerusalemand during the time of ancient Israel, and you killed it, you're a living sacrifice, you're a living dying thing.
So part of you is being renewed and livingand part of you is dying.
And Origen believed that this was done throughphysically beating his body down and subjecting his mind to extreme stress and strain.
But here's what Paul says, “That you presentyour body as a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, butbe transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptableand perfect will of God.
” Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
When you go through the “Sermon on the Mount”, you see where Jesus in the first part of the “Sermon on the Mount”, described the Beatitudes.
Those are the Beatitudes that we're supposedto have.
You see that we have the fruits of the Spiritin Galatians 5, we see the description of agape, the love of God in 1 Corinthians 13.
When you go through those passages, and youlook at the life of Jesus, what you see is someone who interacted with people at alllevels.
I mean, Jesus, yes, spent time of poverty, you know, traveling by foot throughout Judea, you know, and had some hard times doing that.
You also see him in banquets at the housesof wealthy people and Pharisees.
So he's accused of a lot of things in hislife, including being a wine bibber and being a glutton, because he was enjoying himself.
He lived a balanced life.
And in that, we see the perfect example ofsomebody who lived by the Beatitudes that he taught.
We see someone who lived by and had the fruitsof God's Spirit in Galatians 5, and we see someone who exhibited agape that we read in1 Corinthians 13.
We don't have to become ascetics or try todie to be what God wants us to be.
It's the opposite.
We have to live with love and joy and peaceand long-suffering and mercy and gentleness and faith.
These are the qualities He wants in us.
If we could ever have the dedication thatOrigen had and really dedicated to what God wants, we would become amazing Christians.
That's BT Daily.
Join us next time.