POLYCARB

LETTER TO THE PHILIPPIANS

Introduction. 

Polycarb was bishop as Smyrna through which Ignatius passed as he was led to Rome for his victory.  Polycarb, the victor of the Christian faith went to his Lord as he was burned on what is called "the stake", a pile of wood with a post on which the offering is fastened. 

The proconsul thought to scare him saying that he would throw him to the wild beast if he did not repent, to which Polycarb answered; "Let them come, it is not our custom to turn ourselves from what is good to what is worse."

Since that therefore did not work for the proconsul, he thought that fire would be worse and said; "If then you do not fear the wild beasts we will let you be burned with fire."  At which Polycarb answered; "You threaten me with fire that burns for but an hour after which it is quenched, but you do not know that there is a fire that burns forever which is saved for the ungodly, and so why do you delay, do whatever pleases you". 

And having placed him on the stake with a whole multitude eager to behold the sight, the executioners wished to tie him to the post so he would not walk off of himself as soon as the fire touched him.  But he said "Leave it be, for He who gives me strength to endure the fire will also give me the strength to remain unmoved without those nails to fasten me."

 

   

      Chapter 1               TO INDEX

1.  Polycarb and the presbyters that are with me to the church of God at Philippi, mercy to you and peace from God Almighty and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

2.  I rejoice greatly with you in our Lord Jesus Christ that you received the images of a true love, and that you held those with them who were in bonds as it also becomes saints, for such are the crowns of those truly chosen by God and our Lord.

3.  And also that the root of faith which was preached from old remains firm in you and to bring forth fruit to our Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sins suffered himself to be brought to death.

4.  Whom God also raised up spoiling the pains of death in Him, in whom you rejoice with unspeakable joy and glory, into which many desire to enter.

5.  You know that you are saved by grace and not by works by the will of God through Jesus Christ, gird therefore up the loins of your mind and serve the Lord with fear and in truth.

6.  Lay all vain and empty speech aside, for this is the error of many, but believe in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus from the dead, and gave Him glory and a throne at His right hand.

7.  To Him He also made subject both what is in heaven and on the earth, who will judge the living and the dead, and whom every living creature shall worship.

8.  And He that raised Christ from the dead shall also raise us in like manner if we perform His will and walk according to His commandments, and love those things, which He loves.

9.  Abstain from all unrighteousness, from improper affections, from love of money, from evil speaking, false witness, nor rendering evil for evil, nor reviling for reviling.  Nor striking for striking or cursing for cursing.

10.  But remember what the Lord taught us saying; "Judge not and you shall not be judged, forgive and you shall be forgiven.  Be merciful and you shall obtain mercy, for with the same measure that you measure, you will be measured."

11.  And again; "that the poor are blessed, and they who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God."

 

     Chapter 2 

1.  It is not of myself O my brothers that I took this liberty to write to you concerning righteousness, but you yourselves encouraged me thereto.

2.  For neither myself, nor anyone such as I can measure up to the wisdom of the blessed and renowned Paul who did all things with exactness when he was with you in person with those who lived then, and who with soundness taught the word of truth.

3.  And having departed from you he wrote you a letter, by which, if you will look into it, you will be able to improve yourselves in the faith, which is the mother of us all, that was delivered to you.

4.  For if any man has these things he has fulfilled the law of righteousness, for he that has love is far from all sin.

5.  But the love of money is the root of all evil, knowing therefore that as we brought nothing into this world so neither will we carry anything out of it.

6.  Let us arm ourselves with the armor of righteousness, and first teach ourselves to walk according to the commandments of the Lord, and our wives also to walk likewise according to the faith that is given them in love and in purity.

7.  Loving their husbands with all sincerity and all others alike with temperance, and to bring their children up in the instructions and fear of the Lord.

8.  Teach the widows likewise to be sober in what concerns the faith of the Lord, and to pray for all men, keeping far from distractions, backbiting, false witness, covetness, and from all evil.

9.  Knowing that they are the altars of God who sees all blemish, from whom nothing is hid, who searches out the very reasoning, thoughts, and secrets of our hearts.

10.  Knowing therefore that God is not to be mocked we ought to walk worthy both of His command and of His glory.

11.  The deacons also must be blameless before Him as ministers of God in Christ and not of men, not false accusers, nor double tongued, nor lovers of money, but moderate in all things, compassionate, careful, walking according to the truth of the Lord who was the servant of all.

12.  Whom, if we please Him in this world, we shall also be partakers of that which is to come as He promised us that He would raise us from the dead that if we shall walk worthy of Him we shall also reign together with Him, if we believe.

13.  In like manner the young men must be blameless in all things, above all taking care of their purity, and restrain themselves from all evil.

14.  For it is good to abstain from the lust of the world since they war against the spirit, for neither fornicators, nor carelessness, nor abusers of himself or herself shall inherit the kingdom of god, nor such as do foolish and unreasonable things.

15.  You must therefore abstain from these things, and be subject to the priests and deacons as unto God and Christ.

16.  Admonish the virgins to walk in a spotless and pure conscience.  And let the elders be compassionate and merciful towards all seeking out those that are weak and turning them from their errors.  Nor forget the widows the poor and the fatherless, but always provide what is good both in the sight of God and man.

17.  Abstain from all wrath and of respect of persons, and of unrighteous judgment, and be especially free of covetness.

18.  Be not so quick to believe anything against any, nor be severe in judgment knowing that we are all debtors in the point of sin.

19.  If we pray to the Lord to forgive us - we ought also to forgive others, for we are all in the sight of our Lord and God, and we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ where everyone shall account of himself.

20.  Let us serve Him in fear therefore, and with all reverence as He has commanded, and as also the apostles preached the gospel to us, and as the prophets taught foretelling us His coming.

21.  Be zealous for what is good, and abstain from offenses and from false brothers, and from those who bear the name of Christ in hypocrisy, who deceive vain men.

 

     Chapter 3 

1.  For whosoever does not confess Jesus Christ come in the flesh, he is an antichrist, and whosoever does not confess His suffering on the cross - is from evil.

2.  And whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own desire and says that there shall neither be any resurrection nor judgment - he is the firstborn of Satan.

3.  Leave therefore the vanity of these many and their false doctrines, but let us return to the word that was delivered to us since the beginning watching to prayer and enduring fasting (single-mindedness).

4.  In prayer entreat the all seeing God not to lead us into temptation - as the Lord said; "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak".

5.  Let us hold steadfastly to Him who is our hope and the earnest of our righteousness.  He Jesus Christ who in His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, who did no sin, neither was any guile found in His mouth.  But He suffered all for us that we might live in Him.

6.  Let us thus imitate His patience, and if we suffer for His name - let us glorify Him, for this example He gave us in Himself, and thus we have believed.

7.  I exhort all of you that you obey the word of righteousness and exercise patience which you have seen displayed before you not only in the blessed Ignatius and Zozimus, and Rufus, but in others among yourselves, and in Paul himself and in the rest of the apostles.

8.  Be confident of this that these all did not run in vain but in faith, and righteousness, and have departed to the place that was theirs from the Lord with whom they also suffered.

9.  For they loved not this present world but Him who died and was raised again by God for us.

10.  Stand in these things and follow the example of the Lord being firm and unmoved in the faith, lovers of the brotherhood, lovers of one another, together companions in the truth, being kind and gentle toward each other despising none.

11.  When it is in your power to do good defer it not, for love delivers from death, be each one subject to one another.

12.  Have your conversation honest among Gentiles that by your good works both you may receive praise, and the Lord may not be blasphemed because of you.

13.  But woe be to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed, teach therefore sobriety to all men and exercise yourself therein also.

 

      Chapter 4

1.  I am greatly afflicted for Valens who was once a presbyter among you that he understood so little of the place that was given him in the church.

2.  I admonish you therefore that you abstain from covetness and that you be chaste and true of speech.

3.  Keep yourselves from all evil, for he who cannot govern himself in these things how will he be able to prescribe them to another?

4. If a man does not keep himself from covetness he shall be polluted with idolatry and be judged as were he a Gentile.

5.  And which of us shall be ignorant of the judgment of God?  For do we not know that the saints shall judge the world, even as Paul taught?

6.  But I have not heard nor perceived this of any person among you where the blessed Paul labored and who are named in the beginning of his letter.

7.  For he glories of you in all churches, who at that time knew only God, for at that time we did not know Him Jesus, for which reason my brothers I am greatly sorry both for him, and for his wife, may God grant them a true repentance.

8.  And you also, be moderate in this not looking upon such as enemies, but call them back as suffering and erring members that you may save your whole body, for by so doing you will edify your own selves.

9.  For I trust that you are well exercised in the holy scriptures, and that nothing is hid from you, but at present it is not granted me to practice what is written; "Be angry and sin not."  And again "Let not the sun go down on your wrath".

10.  Blessed is he who remembers and believes these things which I also trust you do.

11.  God the Father of our Lord Jesus, who is the everlasting High Priest, the Son of God, built you in faith and in truth, and in all meekness, and lenience, in patience and long suffering, in forbearance and love.

12.  And may He grant you a lot and portion among His saints, and us with you, and to all that are under heaven who shall believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and in His Father who raised Him from the dead.

13.  Pray for all the saints, pray also for the kings, and all that are in authority, and for those who persecute you and hate you, the enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifested in all, and that you may be perfect in Christ.

14.  Both you and Ignatius wrote to me that if any went from here to Syria he should bring your letters with him, and this I will care for as soon as I shall have the opportunity either by myself or by him whom I shall sent to your account.

15.  The letter of Ignatius which he wrote to you`, together with others of him that have come to our hand we have sent to you according to your order which are attached with this letter.

16.  By these you will greatly profit for they treat faith and patience, and all things that pertain to building in the Lord Jesus.

17.  What you must know of a certainty of Ignatius and of those that are with him - signify that to us.

18.  These things then have I written you by Crescent who by this letter I recommend to you.

19.  For he had his conversation among us without blame, and I trust also with you, and have also regard for his sister when he shall have come to you.

20.  Be safe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in favor with all yours.  Amen.