Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 5

By Augustine; John W. Rettig | Go to book overview
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On 1 Jn 5.1-3

I BELIEVE that you who were here yesterday recall to what point in our progress through this Epistle our exposition has reached, that is, "For he who does not have his brother whom he sees, how can he love God whom he does not see? And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God loves also his brother."1. This is as far as the discussion had gotten. Therefore, let us see what follows in order.

(2) "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God." Who is there who does not believe that Jesus is the Christ? He who does not live just as Christ taught. For many say, "I believe," but faith without works does not save.2. But love itself is a work of faith, as the Apostle Paul says, "And faith which works by love."3. Your past works, in fact, before you believed, either were none or, if they seemed good, were of no significance. If there were none, you were just like a man without feet or unable to walk because of foot problems. But if they seemed good, before you believed, you were running indeed, but by running alongside the way, you were wandering rather than heading for your destination. We therefore must both run and run in the way. He who runs alongside the way runs purposelessly; rather, he runs for the sake of the effort involved. He wanders the more, the more the runs alongside the way. What is the way by which we run? Christ said, "I am the way."4. What is the homeland to which we are running? Christ said, "I am the truth."5. By him you run. To him you run. In him you rest. But that we might run by him, he has extended himself all the way to us, for we were far away and we were traveling far away. It is not enough [to say] that we

Cf. 1 Jn 4.20-21.
See Jas 2.14-26.
Cf. Gal 5.6.
Cf. Jn 14.6.


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Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 5


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