OLD TESTAMENTNEW TESTAMENT

Psalms 53:4

Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.
Read Chapter 53

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
4. "The Lord from Heaven hath looked forth upon the sons of men, that He might see if there is one understanding and seeking after God" (ver. 3). What is this? "Corrupted they are," all these that say, "There is no God"? And what? Did it escape God, that they were become such? Or indeed to us would their inward thought be opened, except by Him it were told? If then He understood, if then He knew, what is this which hath been said, "that He might see"? For the words are of one inquiring, of one not knowing. "God from Heaven hath looked forth," etc. And as though He had found what He sought by looking upon, and by looking down from Heaven, He giveth sentence: "All men have gone aside, together useless they have become: there is not one that doeth good, not so much as one" (ver. 4). Two questions arise somewhat difficult: for if God looketh out from Heaven, in order that He may see if there is one understanding or seeking after God; there stealeth upon an unwise man the thought, that God knoweth not all things. This is one question: what is the other? If there is not one that doeth good, is not so much as one; who is he that travaileth amid bad men? The former question then is solved as followeth: ofttimes the Scripture speaketh in such manner, that what by the gift of God a creature doth, God is said to do. ...For hence has been said the following also, "For the Spirit searcheth all things, even the depth of God;" not because He that knoweth all things searcheth, but because to thee hath been given the Spirit, which maketh thee also to search: and that which by His own gift thou doest, He is said to do; because without Him thou wouldest not do it: therefore God is said to do, when thou doest. ...And because this by the gift of God thou doest, God from heaven is "looking forth upon the sons of men." The former question then, according to our measure, thus hath been solved. 5. What is that which looking forth we acknowledge? What is that which looking forth God acknowledgeth? What (because here He giveth it) doth He acknowledge? Hear what it is; that "All have gone aside, together useless they have become: there is not one that doeth good, there is not so much as one." What then is that other question, but the same whereof a little before I have made mention? If, "There is not one that doeth good, is not so much as one," no one remaineth to groan amid evil men. Stay, saith the Lord, do not hastily give judgment. I have given to men to do well; but of Me, He saith, not of themselves: for of themselves evil they are: sons of men they are, when they do evil; when well, My sons. For this thing God doth, out of sons of men He maketh sons of God: because out of Son of God He hath made Son of Man. See what this participation is: there hath been promised to us a participation of Divinity: He lieth that hath promised, if He is not first made partaker of mortality. For the Son of God hath been made partaker of mortality, in order that mortal man may be made partaker of divinity. He that hath promised that His good is to be shared with thee, first with thee hath shared thy evil: He that to thee hath promised divinity, showeth in thee love. Therefore take away that men are sons of God, there remaineth that they are sons of men: "There is none that doeth good, is not so much as one."

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

App Store LogoPlay Store Logo