In the year 115 Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, was on a journey to Rome. He was traveling as a prisoner under Roman guard having been condemned to death for the Christian faith that he confessed. He would eventually make his way to the amphitheatre in Rome where he would be torn apart by wild beasts.
During his journey, Ignatius sent letters to six churches plus one letter to his friend, bishop Polycarp of Smyrna. In a letter to the Ephesian church [whose bishop was Onesimus of biblical fame] he began this way; “…that being perfectly joined in one submission, submitting yourselves to your bishop and presbytery, you may be sanctified in all things. I do not command you, as though I were somewhat. For even though I am in bonds for the Name’s sake, I am not yet perfected in Jesus Christ. For now am I beginning to be a disciple; and I speak to you as to my school-fellows. For I ought to be trained by you for the contest in faith, in admonition, in endurance, in long-suffering. But, since love doth not suffer me to be silent concerning you, therefore was I forward to exhort you, that ye run in harmony with the mind of God:…” Read more