Day 57- FOUNDATION STONE IN THE A YEAR
Another early Church leader who taught the deity of Christ, is Polycarp.
Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John and he later became the bishop/pastor of Smyrna. He led the churches of God, in the Asia Minor area, for decades in the second century. He was a slave in charge of all the storehouses and management of a wealthy home, the household of the woman, Callisto. Tradition has it that she bought Polycarp when he was still a boy after an angel spoke to her in a dream.
Polycarp was highly respected in the early Church and is mentioned in several letters written by other leaders to early churches. One such letter states: “But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna…always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time...There is also a very powerful Epistle of Polycarp written to the Philippians, from which those who choose to do so, and are anxious about their salvation, can learn the character of his faith, and the preaching of the truth” (Irenaeus. Adversus Haeres. Book III, Chapter 3, Verse 4).
Polycarp was clearly accepted as the purveyor of true apostolic doctrine. What did he believe about the deity of Christ? He always spoke of Jesus as “Our Lord and God Jesus Christ.”
We owe a lot to Polycarp. Around 155 A.D., Polycarp went to Rome to fight against various heresies that were there and he ended up giving his life for the truth we now take for granted. He was martyred in 156 AD.