“Christ performed all those miracles which He wrought without any aid from external things, without the observance of any ceremonial, without any definite mode of procedure, but solely by the inherent might of His authority; and as was the proper duty of the true God, as was consistent with His nature, as was worthy of Him, in the generosity of His bounteous power He bestowed nothing hurtful or injurious, but only that which is helpful, beneficial, and full of blessings good for men.”
Arnobius of Sicca (located in modern day Tunisia, North Africa) was an early church apologist (died c. 330). During some of the last and bloodiest persecutions that Christians endured under Roman Emperor Diocletian (284-305), he who wrote The Seven Books of Arnobius Against the Heathen and this excerpt comes from Book I, Chapter XLIV (written c. 297-303). Why cite Arnobius today as I walk through early church history?
In brutal times, when sinful man performs horrible atrocities such as persecution, many people today (as well as during the days of the early church) are quick to blame God for what’s happening. We must follow the example of Arnobius and announce that while these acts are horrific, God is not the one to blame, for “in the generosity of His bounteous power He bestowed nothing hurtful or injurious, but only that which is helpful, beneficial, and full of blessings.”
Jesus, the Son of God, went around doing good (cf. Acts 10:38). As His children so must we empowered by the Holy Spirit! Should God allow our generation to suffer, we must follow Jesus’ exhortation to love our enemies (cf. Matthew 5:43-48). Likewise, Paul calls us to take a loving posture. Listen to his words to the Christians who suffered greatly in Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
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