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  #1  
Old Nov 21, '13, 3:38 pm
philv philv is offline
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Default Faith vs works (via "The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians")

I was studying Clement from "The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians". He was the forth bishop in Rome during that time. His view on faith/works is kind of interesting. My view is the Church's that both are together as one (The Good Samaritan parable, James, etc.). But Clement has some confusing lines.

He seems to be for works here:
a. “Ye never grudged any act of kindness, being “ready to every good work.”
b. "On account of her faith and hospitality, Rahab the harlot was saved…" (CHAP. XII)
c. “Let us clothe ourselves with concord and humility, ever exercising self-control, standing far off from all whispering and evil-speaking, being justified by our works, and not our words.” (CHAP. XXX)
d. “Let testimony to our good deeds be borne by others, as it was in the case of our righteous fore-fathers.” (CHAP. XXX)

Then on CHAP. XXXII, either he's doing a contradiction right afterwards, or I'm misunderstanding him, and I believe it's the latter.

CH 32: WE ARE JUSTIFIED NOT BY OUR OWN WORKS, BUT BY FAITH
Whosoever will candidly consider each particular, will recognize the greatness of the gifts which were given by him. For from him have sprung the priests and all the Levites who minister at the altar of God. From him also [was descended] our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. From him [arose] kings, princes, and rulers of the race of Judah. Nor are his other tribes in small glory, inasmuch as God had promised, “Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven.” All these, therefore, were highly honored, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
—1 Clement

I'm curious if he meant avoid works to gain salvation, rather than the later Christian definition of doing good works for people because of our faith. For instance, James said his faith is a measure of his works. So I'm curious if he means to go for the latter, not backwards.

Please unconfuse. Thanks.

Last edited by philv; Nov 21, '13 at 3:56 pm.
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  #2  
Old Nov 21, '13, 4:53 pm
philv philv is offline
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Default Re: Faith vs works (via "The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians")

So I read the next chapter CHAP. XXXIII titled "But let us not give up the practice of good works and love. God himself is an example to us of good works."It does appear he's referring to this kind of works like The Good Samaritan, rather than the old works tried to achieve salvation. Kinda funny I didn't spot that chapter right under it, but I ended there for the day.

CHAP. XXXIII
What shall we do, then, brethren? Shall we become slothful in well-doing, and cease from the practice of love? God forbid that any such course should be followed by us! But rather let us hasten with all energy and readiness of mind to perform every good work. For the Creator and Lord of all Himself rejoices in His works. For by His infinitely great power He established the heavens, and by His incomprehensible wisdom He adorned them. He also divided the earth from the water which surrounds it, and fixed it upon the immoveable foundation of His own will. The animals also which are upon it He commanded by His own word 134 into existence. So likewise, when He had formed the sea, and the living creatures which are in it, He enclosed them [within their proper bounds] by His own power. Above all, 135 with His holy and undefiled hands He formed man, the most excellent [of His creatures], and truly great through the understanding given him— the express likeness of His own image. For p. 14 thus says God: “Let us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness. So God made man; male and female He created them.” 136 Having thus finished all these things, He approved them, and blessed them, and said, “Increase and multiply.” 137 We see, 138 then, how all righteous men have been adorned with good works, and how the Lord Himself, adorning Himself with His works, rejoiced. Having therefore such an example, let us without delay accede to His will, and let us work the work of righteousness with our whole strength.

I assume I understand this right, but any thoughts?
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  #3  
Old Nov 21, '13, 5:44 pm
angell1 angell1 is offline
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Default Re: Faith vs works (via "The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians")

seems like he is speaking against doing good works for the sake of your own glory or to gain something. like, if i serve x amount of days in the soup kitchen, i will go do heaven. whereas we should be doing work simply out of love for the other people and our desire to help them. i agree with you though, it seems like a really fine line
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  #4  
Old Nov 21, '13, 6:13 pm
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billcu1 billcu1 is offline
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Default Re: Faith vs works (via "The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians")

I believe Athens in the book of Acts was when Paul ordained the first Bishop of Athens. That was for the Corinthian church. Are you sure Clement was the 4th bishop of Corinth or Athens? I don't know for sure I would like to hear anyone's answer.
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Old Nov 21, '13, 7:08 pm
powerofk powerofk is offline
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Default Re: Faith vs works (via "The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians")

It almost sounds like to me that he's arguing against two future heretical Christian teachings - "faith alone" (taught by Luther) and "works alone" (Pelagianism). We, of course, are saved by God's grace, and faith is the acceptance of such grace (we are free to accept or decline God's grace). The acceptance of God's grace fills us with charity/agape/sacrificial love. Such love compels us to do works done in such charity in order to build the kingdom of God. If we try to do these acts of charity without accepting the grace of God (such as by committing a mortal sin), the acts will gain us nothing. Our works SHOW our faith (faith without works is truly not faith at all), but it is our faith, that is, our acceptance of God's grace, that saves us.
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Old Nov 22, '13, 6:53 am
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TRH1292 TRH1292 is offline
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Default Re: Faith vs works (via "The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians")

Quote:
Originally Posted by billcu1 View Post
I believe Athens in the book of Acts was when Paul ordained the first Bishop of Athens. That was for the Corinthian church. Are you sure Clement was the 4th bishop of Corinth or Athens? I don't know for sure I would like to hear anyone's answer.
Pope St. Clement was the 4th Pope or Bishop of Rome.
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Old Nov 22, '13, 11:29 am
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billcu1 billcu1 is offline
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Default Re: Faith vs works (via "The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians")

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRH1292 View Post
Pope St. Clement was the 4th Pope or Bishop of Rome.
Oh I see. Sorry
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  #8  
Old Nov 22, '13, 1:52 pm
QNDNNDQDCE QNDNNDQDCE is offline
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Default Re: Faith vs works (via "The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians")

He is teaching nothing other than the doctrine of the Council of Trent.
CHAPTER VIII. In what manner it is to be understood, that the impious is justified by faith, and gratuitously.

And whereas the Apostle saith, that man is justified by faith and freely, those words are to be understood in that sense which the perpetual consent of the Catholic Church hath held and expressed; to wit, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation, and the root of all Justification; without which it is impossible to please God, and to come unto the fellowship of His sons: but we are therefore said to be justified freely, because that none of those things which precede justification-whether faith or works-merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace.
St. Clement clearly repudiates the heretical notion that salvation is independent of works. Read chapters 34 and 35.
The good servant receives the bread of his labour with confidence; the lazy and slothful cannot look his employer in the face. It is requisite, therefore, that we be prompt in the practice of well-doing; for of Him are all things. And thus He forewarns us: Behold, the Lord [comes], and His reward is before His face, to render to every man according to his work. He exhorts us, therefore, with our whole heart to attend to this, that we be not lazy or slothful in any good work. Let our boasting and our confidence be in Him. Let us submit ourselves to His will. Let us consider the whole multitude of His angels, how they stand ever ready to minister to His will. For the Scripture says, Ten thousand times ten thousand stood around Him, and thousands of thousands ministered unto Him, Daniel 7:10 and cried, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the Lord of Sabaoth; the whole creation is full of His glory. Isaiah 6:3 And let us therefore, conscientiously gathering together in harmony, cry to Him earnestly, as with one mouth, that we may be made partakers of His great and glorious promises. For [the Scripture] says, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which He has prepared for them that wait for Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

How blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God! Life in immortality, splendour in righteousness, truth in perfect confidence, faith in assurance, self-control in holiness! And all these fall under the cognizance of our understandings [now]; what then shall those things be which are prepared for such as wait for Him? The Creator and Father of all worlds, the Most Holy, alone knows their amount and their beauty. Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those that wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised gifts. But how, beloved, shall this be done? If our understanding be fixed by faith towards God; if we earnestly seek the things which are pleasing and acceptable to Him; if we do the things which are in harmony with His blameless will; and if we follow the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, along with all covetousness, strife, evil practices, deceit, whispering, and evil-speaking, all hatred of God, pride and haughtiness, vain glory and ambition. For they that do such things are hateful to God; and not only they that do them, but also those that take pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:32 For the Scripture says, But to the sinner God said, Wherefore do you declare my statutes, and take my covenant into your mouth, seeing you hate instruction, and castest my words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and made your portion with adulterers. Your mouth has abounded with wickedness, and your tongue contrived deceit. You sit, and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother's son. These things you have done, and I kept silence; you thought, wicked one, that I should be like to yourself. But I will reprove you, and set yourself before you. Consider now these things, you that forget God, lest He tear you in pieces, like a lion, and there be none to deliver. The sacrifice of praise will glorify me, and a way is there by which I will show him the salvation of God.
I don't see anything here about the forensic imputation of the alien righteousness of Christ.
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