He has set fire and water before you: stretch forth your hand to whether you will.
Read Chapter 15
Gaudentius of Brescia
The Lord, who is truly a just judge, wants that everyone be the cause of what he merits. He wants the just to suffer for justice alone, and the wicked person, if he persists in evil, to be judged as liable to death based on his free will. As Scripture attests, God formed human beings, making them in his image and likeness, and left the faculty of decision in their hands. "He put before them fire and water, saying, "Reach out your hand to what you will." " God "put before the man," it said, "water and fire," that is, rest and punishment, forgiveness and torment, life and death. Who, I ask, would not flee torment, punishment and death and not choose rest, forgiveness and life? One flees death, however, who walks in the ways of the precepts that give life. One attains the gift of life who, through the effort of his commitment to spiritual things, avoids actions that bring death. This is why it was said, "Here is water and fire. Reach out your hand" (that is, your actions) "to what you will." By the hand are meant actions, since we cannot be subjected to sufferings without offenses or merit the prize without a fight, since the apostle says, "Is God unjust in inflicting his wrath?" And also, "Because no one who takes part in a contest is crowned unless he competes according to the rules." - "Sermons 13.16–18"