Part 4
Chapter 4—Of Efficacious  Grace

Section 14—Gregorius Nazianzenus. A.D. 370.

Gregory of Nazianzum was an advocate for the grace of God. “If any one” say he,[1] “is a child of light, or a man of God, or is near to God, or a man of good desires, or is worthy to be called by any such names, with which the scripture honors men divine and exalted, and that have a right to that portion which is above; touto men ede doron Theou, kai phaneros uper ten axian ten emeteran, this is verily the gift of God, and manifestly beyond our desert.” He acknowledges,[2] that “it is of God that we are, kai to eidenai Theou, ‘and that we know God,' and that we have what we offer to him;” and calls upon others to make the same confession: “Acknowledge,” says he,[3] “from whence thou hast that thou art, that thou breathest, that thou hast an understanding mind; and what is the greatest of all, to ginoskein Theou, ‘that thou knowest God;' hopest for the kingdom of heaven, equal honor with angels, and a sight of glory.” He makes God to be the author and finisher of all that is good,[4] par ou kalon apan kai arcetai kai eiV teloV ercetai, “by him, that is God, every good thing both begins and comes to an end.” Regeneration is ascribed by him to the Spirit of God, para men tou PneumatoV emin h anagenhsiV, from the spirit we have regeneration,” says he,[5] “from regeneration reformation, from reformation knowledge of the worthiness of him that forms us again;” and this, with the Scripture, he makes necessary to a man's enjoyment of the heavenly glory. “Assure yourselves,” says he,[6] “that no man can either see or receive the kingdom, unless he is born from above by the Spirit, and is cleansed from the first birth.” It is easy to observe, that Gregory does in these passages frequently represent the work of grace as a creation, and by a being formed again. “The Spirit,” he says,[7] to poihsan to anaktizon, ‘is he that forms, that creates again by baptism,' by the resurrection; the Spirit knows all things is he that teacheth, and breathes where and as much as he pleases,” And in another place,[8] speaking of his Father he has these words: “He came to that regeneration which is by water and the Spirit, by which we confess to God morfwsin te kai teleiwsin, “the conformation and perfection of the man, according to Christ, kai metaqesin kai anaplasin, and the change and reformation of that which is earthly to the Spirit.” And elsewhere,[9] mentioning those words, and it was winter, that is, adds he, “of unbelief, and Jesus was present, God and the temple, the eternal God, the new temple, today dissolved, and in three days raised again, and abiding for ever; that I might be saved, and be called again from the old fall (meaning the fall of Adam), and being anaplattomenoV, “formed again,' through such philanthropy, might be made a new creature.”


[1] Greg. Nazianz. orat. 6, p. 137, tom. 1.

[2] Ibid. 9, p. 153.

[3] Ibid. 16, p. 253.

[4] Ibid. 12, p. 198.

[5] Ibid. 37, p. 609.

[6] Ibid. 44, p. 714.

[7] Ibid. 37, p. 610.

[8] Ibid. 19, p. 294.

[9] Ibid. 43, p. 698.