So, faith procures this for us, as the elders, the disciples of the apostles, have handed down to us: firstly it exhorts us to remember that we have received baptism for the remission of sins, in the name of God the Father, and in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, [who was] incarnate, and died, and was raised, and in the Holy Spirit of God; and that this baptism is the seal of eternal life and rebirth unto God, that we may no longer be sons of mortal men, but of the eternal and everlasting God; and that the eternal and everlasting God is above everything that has come into being and everything is subjected to Him, and that which is subject to Him is all made by Him, so that God does not rule nor is Lord over what is another’s, but over His own, and all things are God’s: and therefore God is the almighty and everything is from God. [3]

Saint Irenaeus’ On the Apostolic Preaching

We see here Saint Irenaeus insisting both on the link to the apostles and that God is the Creator of all, which establishes a relationship between God and His creatures. He proceeds by insisting that God was not made by anyone else, but that everything was made by him, and that there can be no other God or creator. Moreover, God creates by His Word and His Spirit:

…since the Word ‘establishes’, that is, works bodily and confers existence, while the Spirit arranges and forms the various ‘powers’, so rightly is the Son called Word and the Spirit the Wisdom of God. Hence, His apostle Paul also well says, “One God, the Father, who is above all, and through all and in us all” – because ‘above all’ is the Father, and ‘through all’ is the Word – since through Him everything was made by the Father – while ‘in us all’ is the Spirit, who cries “Abba, Father,” and forms man to the likeness of God. Thus the Spirit demonstrates the Word, and, because of this the prophets announced the Son of God, while the Word articulates the Spirit, and therefore it is He Himself who interprets the prophets and brings man to the Father. [4]

Very quick notes: The link to the apostles is clearly crucial for Irenaeus. His insistence on God as Creator and Father is in contrast to Gnosticism. Somewhere in his book on the Trinity, Fr Boris Bobrinskoy discusses Irenaeus’ thought more fully – if I had the book here and the time, I would look it up, maybe again! Finally, it is illuminating to see how the both the doctrines of the Church and of the Trinity were clearly by the end of the second century.

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