Faith that works by love

Daily Reading for February 1 • The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Call to mind with me the time when Peter was praised and called blessed. Was it because he merely said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”? No, he who pronounced him blessed regarded not merely the sound of his words, but the affections of his heart. Compare that with the words of the demons who said almost the same thing: “We know who you are, the Son of God,” just as Peter had confessed him as “Son of God.” So what is the difference? Peter spoke in love, but the demons in fear. . . . So tell us how faith is to be defined, if even the devils can believe and tremble? Only the faith that works by love is faith.

From Augustine’s Sermons on New Testament Lessons, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament II, Mark, edited by Thomas C. Oden and Christopher A. Hall (Downer’s Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1998).

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