Walk the Talk: Ignatius – “Now I begin to be a disciple”


Ignatius of Antioch (35-98AD) reminds Christ-followers of a simple truth that is mostly hard to follow. He Says, “It is better for a man to be silent and be [a Christian], than to talk and not to be one. “The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” Men “believe with the heart, and confess with the mouth,” the one “unto righteousness,” the other “unto salvation.” It is good to teach, if he who speaks also acts. For he who shall both “do and teach, the same shall be great in the kingdom.” Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, first did and then taught, as Luke testifies, “whose praise is in the Gospel through all the Churches.” There is nothing which is hid from the Lord, but our very secrets are near to Him. Let us therefore do all things as those who have Him dwelling in us, that we may be His temples, and He may be in us as God. Let Christ speak in us, even as He did in Paul. Let the Holy Spirit teach us to speak the things of Christ in like manner as He did.”[1]

Ignatius finished well in his journey on earth and heeded his own admonition. On his way to Rome after his arrest, he expressed that, “From Syria even unto Rome I fight with beasts, both by land and sea, both by night and day, being bound to ten leopards, I mean a band of soldiers, who, even when they receive benefits, show themselves all the worse. But I am the more instructed by their injuries [to act as a disciple of Christ]; “yet am I not thereby justified.” May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me; and I pray they may be found eager to rush upon me, which also I will entice to devour me speedily, and not deal with me as with some, whom, out of fear, they have not touched. But if they be unwilling to assail me, I will compel them to do so. Pardon me [in this]: I know what is for my benefit. Now I begin to be a disciple.”[2]

The last sentence intrigues me: “Now I begin to be a disciple.” When all the talk is done and action is required, what will we do?


[1] Ignatius of Antioch, “The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians”, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers With Justin Martyr and Irenaeus ( ed. Alexander Roberts et al.;Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 56.

[2] Ignatius of Antioch, “The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans”, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers With Justin Martyr and Irenaeus ( ed. Alexander Roberts et al.;Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 75-76.


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