1 Clement 33-42

(33.1) What, then, should we do, brethren? Become idle in doing good, and abandon love? May the Master never permit this to happen with us. Rather let us hurry with earnestness and eagerness to accomplish every good work.

(33.2) For the Creator and Master of everything rejoices in His works.

(33.3) For in His infinitely great power he established the heavens, and in His incomprehensible understanding He set them in order. He separated the earth from the water surrounding it, and fixed the firm foundation upon His own will. And by His command He ordered the animals wandering in it to be. Having previously created the sea and the animals in it, he enclosed them by His power.

(33.4) Above all, by His holy and blameless hands He formed, certainly by far the greatest of His plan, man, the exact representation of His image.

(33.5) For thus says God, “Let us make man in Our image, and according to Our likeness. And God made man. Male and female He made them.”

(33.6) Having finished all these things, He praised and blessed them, and said, “Increase and multiply.”

(33.7) Let us notice that all the righteous were adorned with good works, and even the Lord, adorning Himself in good works, rejoiced.

(33.8) Therefore, having such a model, let us without hesitation agree with His will; let us work at the work of righteousness with all our strength.

(34.1) The good worker receives the bread of his work with confidence. The lazy and neglectful one cannot look his employer in the eye.

(34.2) Therefore, it is necessary for us to be eager in doing good, for from Him are all things.

(34.3) He tells us already, “Behold the Lord, and His reward is before His face, to give to each one according to his work.”

(34.4) Therefore, He encourages us, believing in Him with all our heart, not to be lazy or neglectful in any good work.

(34.5) Let our boasting and confidence be in Him, subjecting ourselves to His will. Let us contemplate the whole multitude of His angels, how they have stood by, ministering to His will.

(34.6) For the Scripture says, “Ten-thousands of ten-thousands stood by Him, and thousands of thousands ministered to Him, and they cried out, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts, all creation is full of His glory!’”

(34.7) And so let us gather together in harmony, in conscience, calling out fervently to Him as from one mouth, so that we might become partakers in His great and glorious promises.

(34.8) For it says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered the heart of a person, what the Lord has prepared for those awaiting Him.”

(35.1) Beloved, how blessed and wonderful are the gifts of God!

(35.2) Life in immortality, shining in righteousness, truth in confidence, faith in trust, self-control in holiness, and all these fall within our understanding.

(35.3) What then, therefore, are being prepared for those waiting? The Creator and Father of Ages, the All-Holy, alone knows their number and their beauty.

(35.4) So let us contend to be found among the number of those waiting, in order to receive the promised gifts.

(35.5) How will this be done, beloved? If our understanding is faithfully established toward God, if we seek out things pleasing and acceptable to Him, if we accomplish what is appropriate to His blameless will, and we follow the way of truth, throwing overboard from ourselves every unrighteousness and wickedness, greediness, strife, malice, and also deceit, gossipings, and also slander, hatred of God, arrogance, and also pretension, empty glory, and also inhospitality.

(35.6) Those who do these things are despicable to God; not only those who do them, but also those who approve of them.

(35.7) For the Scripture says, “But to the sinner God said, ‘Why do you describe my commandments, and take up my covenant in your mouth?

(35.8) “For you hated discipline and have thrown my words behind you. If you saw a thief, you ran with him, and placed your portion with the adulterers. You mouth has increased in evil, and your tongue has curled around deceit. Sitting, you slandered your brother. You placed a stumbling-block before your mother’s son.

(35.9) “You have done these things, and I was silent. Lawless one, you thought I might be like you.

(35.10) “I will expose you, and stand you before your own face.

(35.11) “So understand these things, you who neglect God, lest He drag you off like a lion, and there be no rescuer.

(35.12) “The sacrifice of praise glorifies Me, and a way is there that I will show to him the salvation of God.”

(36.1) This is the way, beloved, in which we find our Savior Jesus Christ, the High Priest of our offerings, the Defender and Helper of our weakness.

(36.2) Through Him we look intently to the heights of the heavens. Through Him we see mirrored His blameless and supreme visage. Through Him are opened the eyes of our hearts. Through Him our foolish and darkened understanding grows again into the light. Through Him the Master wills that we should partake of the immortal knowledge, Who, being the radiance of His majesty, is so much greater than the angels that He has inherited a greater name.

(36.3) For it is written thus, “Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire”

(36.4) But about His Son the Master spoke thus, “You are My Son. Today have I begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give to You the nations for Your inheritance, and for Your possessions the ends of the earth.”

(36.5) And again He says to Him, “Sit by My right hand, until I place Your enemies as a footstool for Your feet.”

(36.6) But who are the enemies? Those who are bad and oppose His will.

(37.1) So, men, brethren, let us with all earnestness do battle by His blameless commandments.

(37.2) Let us think about those doing battle under our Leaders, how orderly, how obediently, how submissively they accomplish their orders.

(37.3) Not all are commanding officers (eparchs), or commanders of a thousand (chiliarchs), or commanders of a hundred (centurions), or commanders of fifty, and so on, but each one accomplishes in his own rank the orders of the king and the leaders.

(37.4) The great cannot exist without the small, nor the small without the great. There is a certain mixing together in all things, and usefulness in such.

(37.5) Let us take our body. The head without the feet is not anything, neither are the feet without the head. For the most insignificant parts of our body are necessary and useful to the whole of the body. But all work together and employ a single state of submission in order to keep the whole body safe.

(38.1) So, let our whole body be safe in Christ Jesus, and let each one subject himself to his neighbor, according to the gift given to him.

(38.2) Let the strong take care of the weak, and the weak have respect for the strong. Let the rich man provide for the poor, and the poor give thanks to God, since He gave to him someone through whom his need might be filled. Let the wise demonstrate his wisdom not in words, but in good works. Let the humble-minded not bear witness of himself, but rather allow himself to be borne witness of by another. Let him who is pure in the flesh not boast, knowing that it was Another who granted to him self-control.

(38.3) So, let us consider, brethren, of what kind of stuff we were made, what and who we came into the world as, from what kind of tomb and darkness. He Who formed and created us led us into His world, having already prepared His benefactions before we were born.

(38.4) Therefore, since we have all these things from Him, we must give thanks for all things to Him, to Whom be glory to the ages of ages, Amen.

(39.1) The foolish and senseless and stupid and uneducated mock and deride us, wanting to lift themselves up in their understanding.

(39.2) For what can a mortal do? Or of what strength is the earthborn?

(39.3) For it is written, “There was no form before my eyes, but I heard a breeze and a voice.

(39.4) “What then? Shall a mortal be clean before the Lord, or a man faultless in his works, if he does not trust His servants, and attributes something crooked to His angels?

(39.5) “For heaven is not clean before Him, much less those inhabiting houses of clay, from which same clay we are made. He struck them like a moth. And from morning until evening they still are not. Because they could not help themselves, they perished.

(39.6) “He breathed upon them and they died, because they have no wisdom.

(39.7) “But call out, if anyone will hear you, or if you will look to the holy angels. For wrath also destroys the foolish, and jealousy puts the deceived to death.

(39.8) “For I have seen the foolish taking root, but immediately their dwelling-place was consumed.

(39.9) “Let their sons be far from salvation. May they be despised at the gates of inferiors, and may there be no rescuer. For what was prepared for them, the righteous will eat, and they will not be rescued from evils.”

(40.1) Therefore, these things being evident to us, looking closely into the depths of divine knowledge, we ought to do all things in order, as the Master has commanded us to complete at appointed times.

(40.2) He has commanded offerings and ministries to be completed, and not rashly or disorderly, but at designated times and hours.

(40.3) Where and by whom He wants these things completed, He Himself has designated in His supreme will, so that all things, being done in a holy manner, might be acceptable in approval to His will.

(40.4) Therefore, those who at the appointed times make their offerings are acceptable and even blessed. For those following the laws of the Master are not great sinners.

(40.5) For particular ministries are given to the High Priest, and a particular place is prescribed for the priests, and particular services are imposed upon the Levites. The lay person is bound by the commandments for laypeople.

(41.1) Brethren, be pleasing to God, each of us in his particular class, being in good conscience, in reverence not transgressing the boundaries of His ministries.

(41.2) Brethren, not everywhere are perpetual sacrifices offered, or for vows, or for sins and offenses, but only in Jerusalem. And even there it is not offered in every place, but at the altar in front of the Temple. The offerings are examined by the High Priest and the previously mentioned ministers.

(41.3) Therefore, those who do anything beyond what is according to His will incur the death penalty.

(41.4) See, brethren, that as much as we are considered worthy of more knowledge, so much more are we exposed to danger.

(42.1) The apostles were proclaiming the good news to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent out by God.

(42.2) So, Christ was from God and the apostles from Christ. Therefore both were in good order by the will of God.

(42.3) So, having received orders and having been fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and having believed in the Word of God, with the full assurance of the Holy Spirit, they went out proclaiming the good news that the Kingdom of God was about to appear.

(42.4) Preaching through countries and cities, they appointed their firstfruits, having proved them in the Spirit, as bishops and deacons of future believers.

(42.5) And this was not new. For, indeed, over a period of many years it was written about bishops and deacons. For the Scripture says thus somewhere, “I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *