Florus on Freedom in Christ

The “dark ages” were the era of Viking invasions, illiteracy, and disease. Did vibrant Christianity exist in Europe during this early medieval period? Yes. Despite rising Romanism and pagan superstition there was more biblical Christianity than we tend to think. Here is one Christ exalting sermon clip:

“God created all humans with free will. But because through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, so that it passed to all human beings, in whom all have sinned (Rom. 5:12), free will was vitiated and corrupted in the whole human race by merit of his fall, that is, to the downfall of iniquity and so that it is free for this alone. But for acting well, that is, for the exercise of virtue and good work, it is not sufficient in any way for one to rise up or become strong unless it is restored, illuminated, and healed through the faith of the one mediator of God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5) and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, just as the Savior himself promises in the Gospel, when he says: If the Son will set you free, you will be truly free (John 8:36). And the apostle says: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor. 3:17).

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Clairvaux on Love

“You want me to tell you why God is to be loved and how much. I answer, the reason for loving God is God himself; and the measure of love due to him is immeasurable love… Could any reason be greater than this, that He gave Himself for us unworthy wretches? …It is hard, no rather impossible, for a man by his own strength or in the power of free will to render all things to God from whom they came, without turning them to sinful ends… ‘For all seek their own’ (Phil. 2.21) and ‘the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.’ (Gen. 8.21) The faithful know how much they need Jesus and Him crucified… they wonder and rejoice at the inexpressible love shown in Him… they love all the more, because they know they are loved so exceedingly… One who loves God truly asks no other recompense than God himself.”

“[Those apart from God in Christ] wander in a circle, longing after something to gratify their yearnings, yet madly rejecting the only thing that can bring satisfaction… they wear themselves out in vain effort, never attaining… because they delight in creatures, not in the Creator.”

“Perfect love will be reached when the good and faithful servant enters into the joy of His Lord (Matt. 25.21), and is there fully satisfied in the abundance of God’s house… In that day those who are in Christ can say fully of themselves, as St. Paul testified, ‘Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.’ (2 Cor.5.16)”

Bernard of Clairvaux, On Loving God. [c.1130]