“Ye are fond of contention, brethren, and full of zeal about things which do not pertain to salvation.”
Those are the words of Bishop Clement to the church in Corinth (45:1). Some things never change. The church in Corinth struggled to such an extent that the Apostle Paul wrote several lengthy letters to them and–several years later–the senior pastor of the church in Rome felt the need to write as well.
Earle E. Cairns wrote, “About the year 95 a serious disturbance occurred in the church at Corinth. A little later Clement, the leading elder in the church at Rome, wrote his first epistle to the Corinithian church to urge the Christians who were in revolt against the elders to end their disturbance and to be in subjection to these elders…” (Christianity Through the Centuries, p.73).
I trust you have read the New Testament books 1 & 2 Corinthians. Each is filled with personal information about Paul and material specific to the situation in the troubled congregation. Each epistle also contains great truths, encouragements and exhortations. The same is true of 1 Clement. I doubt you have read this particular epistle. Unless you have been assigned the read 1 Clement by a history teacher or seminary professor, you will most likely never read the fifty-nine brief chapters. However, I recently did so and thought I would share some of which stood out to me.
I hope you are encouraged by these words by a man of God.
“Content with the provision which God had made for you, and carefully attending to His words, you were inwardly filled with His doctrine…” (2:2).
“So let us give up vain and fruitless cares, and approach to the glorious and venerable rule of our holy calling. Let us attend to what is good, pleasing, and acceptable in the sight of Him who formed us. Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God, which, having been shed of our savlavation, ahs set the greace of repentance before the whole world” (7:3-5).
“So let us yield obedience to His excellent and glorious will; and imploring His mercy and loving-kindness, while we forsake all fruitless labours, and strife, and envy, which leads to death, let us turn and have recourse to His compassions” (9:1).
“He does good to all, but most abundantly to us who have fled for refuge to His complassions through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and majesty ofr ever and ever. Amen” (20:
“The all-merciful and beneficent Father has bowels [of compassions] towards those who fear Him, and kindly and lovingly bestows His favours upon those who come to Him with a simple mind” (23:1).
“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” (33:1-3).
“Let him who has love in Christ keep the commandments of Christ” (49:1).
“May God, who sees all things, and who is the Ruler of all spirits and the Lord of all flesh–who chose our Lord Jesus Christ and us through Him to be a peculiar people–grant to every soul that calls upon His glorious and holy Name, faith, fear, peace, patience, long-suffering, self-control, purity, and sobriety, to the well-pleasing of His Name, through our High Priest and Protector, Jesus Christ, by whom be to Him glory, and majesty, and power, and honour, both now and for evermore. Amen (58).