“Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.” St. Augustine
Augustine of Hippo is known as one of the main influences of “Western Christianity” today. He grew up with a father that was a pagan and a mother that was Catholic. In his early years he pursued ill doctrine until he was radically “converted”!
Augustine found himself broken and crying out to the Lord; his heart was restless and he was looking for answers. While he was in this state of brokenness he heard what must have been a child near by saying, “Take up and read; Take up and read.” Augustine explained what took place after in his book of “Confessions” as, “Instantly, my countenance altered, I began to think most intently whether children were wont in any kind of play to sing such words: nor could I remember ever to have heard the like. So checking the torrent of my tears, I arose; interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book, and read the first chapter I should find.”
What chapter was this you might ask? Romans 13:13-14
“Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
Continued in his “Confessions”, “No further would I read; nor needed I: for instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away.”
Have you ever had a scripture impact you in this way? Look at the transformation that it brought to Augustine; it launched him into his new beginnings in Christ. As believers in Jesus, shouldn’t we always come to His word this way….DAILY?
Augustine once said, “If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.”
Not long after this conversion, Augustine was baptized and within 10 years he was the head bishop in Hippo. His teachings and theology heavily influenced Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin. His theological ideas and writings were not perfect, but he brought forth truth in many areas. His thoughts on the trinity were, “Since on account of their ineffable union these three are together one God, why not also one person.” Which I believe as a mysterious truth that will be revealed in all it’s GLORY soon!!! I believe Augustine also shed some new light on the topic of Grace by saying, “It is also gratuitous and unmerited in that it is unconditionally given only on the ground of God’s infinite mercy and undeserved favor.” We can not earn His Grace!!!
Again, his teachings and theologies were not perfect…but he definitely brought the course of church HISTORY into a new arena! Where is the church going today? Are you going to be apart of it? I would encourage you to continue to root yourself in the WORD while asking the Holy Spirit to reveal what He is truly saying to His Church!
Remember, “There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.” Augustine of Hippo
The “New Mystics” – John Crowder)