Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/Concerning Man's Perfection in Righteousness/Chapter 36
(35.) The Church Will Be Without Spot and Wrinkle After the Resurrection.
Then shall the Church realize, fully and perfectly, the condition of “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing,” because then also will it in a real sense be glorious. For inasmuch as he added the epithet “glorious,” when he said, “That He might present the Church to Himself, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing,” he signified sufficiently when the Church will be without spot, or wrinkle, or anything of this kind,—then of course when it shall be glorious. Because it is not so much when the Church is involved in so many evils, or amidst such offences, and in so great a mixture of very evil men, and amidst the heavy reproaches of the ungodly, that we ought to say that it is glorious, because kings serve it,—a fact which only produces a more perilous and a sorer temptation;—but then shall it rather be glorious, when that event shall come to pass of which the apostle also speaks in the words, “When Christ, who is your life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” For since the Lord Himself, in that form of a servant by which He united Himself as Mediator to the Church, was not glorified except by the glory of His resurrection (whence it is said, “The Spirit was not yet given, because Christ was not yet glorified”), how shall His Church be described as glorious, before its resurrection? He cleanses it, therefore, now “by the laver of the water in the word,” washing away its past sins, and driving off from it the dominion of wicked angels; but then by bringing all its healthy powers to perfection, He makes it meet for that glorious state, where it shall shine without a spot or wrinkle. For “whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” It was under this mystery, as I suppose, that that was spoken, “Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be consummated,” or perfected. For He said this in the person of His body, which is His Church, putting days for distinct and appointed periods, which He also signified in “the third day” in His resurrection.
- Eph. v. 27.
- Col. iii. 4.
- John vii. 39.
- Eph. v. 26.
- Rom. viii. 30.
- Luke xiii. 32.