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Monday, May 21, 2012

The Shepherd of Hermas: Fourth Mandate

...guard purity, and let no thought enter your heart about another man's wife or about fornication or about some such similar evil thing, for in doing this you commit a major sin. But always keep your mind on your own wife and you will never go wrong. For if this desire enters your heart, you will go wrong, and if other things as evil as this enter, you commit sin. For this desire in a servant of GOD is a major sin, and if anyone does this evil deed, he brings death to himself. So beware, have nothing to do with this desire, for where holiness lives, there lawlessness ought not to enter the heart of a righteous man...

...if a man has a wife who believes in the LORD, and he finds her in some adulterous situation, does the man sin if he continue to live with her?
...As long as he is unaware of it...he does not sin. But if the husband knows about her sin and the wife does not repent, but persists in her immorality, and the husband continues to live with her, he becomes responsible for her sin and an accomplice in her adultery. ...

...Not only...is it adultery if a man pollutes his flesh, but whoever does anything like what the heathen do commits adultery. So, if anyone persists in actions such as these and does not repent, have nothing to do with him and do not live with him. Otherwise you too are a partner in his sin. ... (4:1)

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...Or don't you think...that this very act of repentance is itself understanding? To repent...is great understanding. For the man who has sinned understands that he has done evil in the LORD's Presence, and the act which he committed enters his heart, and he repents and no longer does evil, but does good lavishly, and he humbles his own soul and torments it, because he sinned. You see, therefore, that repentence is great understanding. ... (4:2)

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...For the one who has received forgiveness of sins ought never to sin again, but to live in purity. ... (4:3)

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...if a wife...or for that matter a husband, dies, and the survivor marries, does the one who marries sin? ...
That one does not sin...but if the survivor remains single, one gains for oneself greater honor and great glory with the LORD, but even if one does remarry, one does not sin. Preserve, therefore, purity and holiness. ... (4:4) --The Shepherd of Hermas, Mandate 4 (mid second century AD)

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