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The Grace of God: An Account of St. Augustine

“Our Hearts are made, for you O Lord, and are restless until they are at rest in you” (Collins and price, pg. 60). As St. Augustine was elegantly writing this quote, he was indicating that he is a devout follower of Christ who promoted the view that only by the grace of God we are saved. In this biography of St. Augustine, we will be looking at three distinct aspects of Augustine’s life. Primarily, we will understand his young life and education, his spiritual awakening, and how he became a bishop and what his accomplishments were as a bishop.

As demonstrated in his young life and education, Augustine was a bright student that loved to study Rhetoric and started his spiritual awakening soon after his schooling. Interestingly, he was born to a Roman official, named Patricius, and a devout Christian mother, named Monica in 354 BC. Shocking the intelligence of this young brilliant boy, his mother and father brilliantly arranged for him to receive the best schooling Carthage could offer. Attending elementary school, St. Augustine effectively showed the promise that he would be a well-educated young man. When he was about 16, his wealthy, devoted parents sent him to the largest city in the region to attend the University of Carthage. While he was in Carthage studying, he decided to learn rhetoric. In the study rooms at the prestigious University of Carthage, he was stimulated by Latin authors such as Cicero which awakened him to new possibilities. He was awakened. As illustrated in his young life and education, he started his spiritual Journey.

Although he had a good and brilliant time at his school, he needed to be spiritually awakened. He went to a library to find some books on religion because he could not find rest in anything. At the library he discovered books on Manichaeism and Neoplatonism, but they did not give him rest. So he gloomily walked around outside and sat on a bench in a garden to mope about how he couldn’t find rest in anything. While he was sitting in a Milan garden complaining, a young bright boy walked up to him and said in an annoying voice, “Take it and read, and take it and read” (Curtis, Lang, and Petersen, pg. 42). Shocking the young boy, Augustine took the tract and began reading it. Because he was surprised by words found in Romans 13:13-14, St. Augustine shamefully realized that he was a sinner and needed to repent his sins. Immediately after his conversion, he sought the advice of Bishop Ambrose.Since he realized he was a sinner and repented of his sins based on Romans 13:13-14, he decided to pursue godly standards, which started the positions he gained. He was changed.

Since he realized he was sinner, he was led to become a bishop and accomplished the task of rejecting two heresies. As St. Augustine was pursuing lofty goals, he was pressured into becoming a bishop. Undoubtedly, Augustine had to complete a two-step process to become a bishop. The first step he became a priest. After he was ordained as a priest, he decided to keep teaching. Teaching was his main passion. We can assume, Augustine agreed to be ordained because of the people who were still happy with him as a priest. This was how he became a Bishop. Astonishingly, St. Augustine, who was a bishop, realized two heresies existed in the church which were the Donatist’s and Palegius’s view. Surprisingly, the Donatist were suspected of compromise measures during the years of persecution in the Empire by building up a rival church and stating that the bishops could not enter because they were giving the scriptures to nonbelievers to be burned. St. Augustine confined this Heresy by writing that there could be no rival church and that the sacraments of Communion and Baptism were effective by God’s Merciful and Unconditional grace, not by the priest’s own righteousness. The second heresy was almost impossible to contain. Shocking the Bishop Augustine, Pelagius argued that people could earn their way into Heaven. Augustine contained this by saying that it is by grace of God we are saved. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the message that no works can lead you into heaven but only by the grace of God can we get to heaven is conveyed. After He rejected these two heresies, he brilliantly went and wrote a book entitled Confession that contained his Biography. He had two views of the cities. One City is the City of God and another City is the City of Man. For these Reasons, His Rank of bishop and his accomplishment of rejecting two heresies left the Christian Disciples a legacy to follow.

As demonstrated in these three aspects of St. Augustine, we can see how he was passionately serving the Lord in the ministry. First we saw how being raised in a Christian home promoted the conversion of St. Augustine. Since he couldn’t find rest in Manichaeism and Neoplatonism, he took the young boy’s advice and started to read Romans 13:13-14. Due to reading the book, he realized he was a sinner and repents his sin. The astonishing and the most important aspect is his conversion because that was the turning point of his life. After He was converted, He took up the task of rejecting two heresies. St. Augustine attacks those Donatist’s and Pelagius’s views by only using the Bible. [2] In Ephesians 2:8-9 in New International Version, this message was “For by grace you have been saved through faith it is not of yourselves it is a gift of God not by works so that no can boast.” This verse is indicating that it is not of works that we are saved, we are saved by the unmeasurable grace of God. This Truth laid the groundwork to the Separation of the Catholic and Protestant when Martin Luther posted the 99 Thesis and was banished from the Roman Catholic Church. We can make the application that it is not true that we can get to heaven by works but by the unmeasurable grace of God. Amazingly, St. Augustine’s biography conveys the message that he truly won the victory of grace and found rest.

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