Let us, therefore, hold steadfastly and unceasingly to our hope and the guarantee of our righteousness, who is Christ Jesus, “who bore our sins in his own body upon the tree,” “who committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth”; instead, for our sakes he endured all things, in order that we might live in him.
Let us, therefore, become imitators of his patient endurance, and if we should suffer for the sake of his name, let us glorify him. For this is the example he set for us in his own person, and this is what we have believed.
I urge all of you, therefore, to obey the teaching about righteousness and to exercise unlimited endurance, like that which you saw with your own eyes not only in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus but also in others from your congregation and in Paul himself and the rest of the apostles; be assured that all these “did not run in vain” but in faith and righteousness, and that they are now in the place due them with the Lord, with whom they also suffered together. For they did not “love the present world,” but him who died on our behalf and was raised by God for our sakes.
Stand fast, therefore, in these things and follow the example of the Lord, firm and immovable in faith, loving the brotherhood, cherishing one another, united in the truth, giving way to one another in the gentleness of the Lord, despising no one.
When you are able to do good, do not put it off, because “charity delivers from death.” All of you be subject to one another, and maintain an irreproachable standard of conduct among the Gentiles, so that you may be praised for your good deeds and the Lord may not be blasphemed because of you. But woe to him through whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed. Therefore teach to all the self-control by which you yourselves live.
Polycarp, [c. 69–c. 155, this letter written c. 120], *Letter to the Philippians,* sourced from, Holmes, Michael,*The Apostolic Fathers: Greek texts and English translations,* (Baker, 1999), 215-217