For they themselves show of us what manner of welcome we had unto you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
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Basil the Great
By what means do we become Christians? Through our faith would be the universal answer. And in what way are we saved? Plainly because we were regenerated through the grace given to us in our baptism. How else could we be? And after recognizing that this salvation is established through the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, shall we fling away “that form of doctrine” which we received? Would it not rather be grounds for great groaning if we are found now further off from our salvation “than when we first believed,” and deny now what we then received? … What if one does not always and everywhere keep to his initial confession and cling to it as a sure protection? … What if one, having been delivered “from the idols,” to the “living God,” now constitutes himself a “stranger” from the “promises” of God? He fights against his own handwriting, which he put on record when he professed the faith. To me my baptism was the beginning of life and that day of regeneration the first of days. I...
What means, What manner of entering in we had unto you? That it was full of dangers, and numberless deaths, but that none of these things troubled you. But as if nothing had happened, so you adhered to us; as if you had suffered no evil, but had enjoyed infinite good, so you received us after these things. For this was the second entering. They went to Berœa, they were persecuted, and when they came after this they so received them, as though they had been honored by these also, so that they even laid down their lives for them. The expression, What manner of entering in we had, is complicated, and contains an encomium both of them and of themselves. But he himself has turned this to their advantage. And how, he says, ye turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God; that is, that you did it readily, that you did it with much eagerness, that it did not require much labor to make you. In order to serve, says he, a living and true God. ...
, quitting the idols which formerly it used slavishly to serve, has been converted to the same God from whom Israel, as we have above related, had departed.
For we read: "How ye turned from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus." ...
of the kind of acceptance we had among you
A similar point is made in Prov. (31:31): “Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” Those who commend you praise my preaching and your conversion.