Clement of Rome was an Apostolic father. “Apostolic” means that he was a Christian leader who knew the apostles (such as Peter and Paul). He may be the Clement mentioned in by Paul in Philippians 4:3. He is believed to have died around AD 100. He wrote a letter to the Corinthians in the latter part of the first century – about the time that John wrote the book of Revelation. While not considered the level of scripture, Clement’s letter is well respected. It was read in the early church, particularly in areas near Corinth.
Some notes of interest from the letter:
- Clement’s motivation for writing is dissension in the Corinthian church. He addresses concerns similar to those that Paul had.
- He mentions the martyrdom of Peter and Paul in chapter 5.
- He held to universal atonement. “Let us fix our eyes on the blood of Christ, and see how precious it is to the Father, because being shed for our salvation, it also brought the grace of repentance before the whole world.” (chapter 7)
- He quotes extensively from the Old Testament to make his points.
- He may have been Jewish (see 4:8), and is familiar with Jewish culture.
- He takes the legend of the phoenix literally, and uses it as an analogy to Christ’s resurrection (chapter 25).
- The letter is divided into 65 short chapters. It’s slightly longer than the book of Mark.
The Letter of Saint Clement, to the Corinthians
From God’s Church in Rome to God’s Church in Corinth. To you who are called and made holy by the will of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. May you have grace and peace in abundance from God Almighty through Jesus Christ.
1Brothers and dear friends, because of the unexpected disasters and setbacks that we have had, we realize that we are delayed in addressing the concerns that have caused conflict in your body. A few stubborn and selfish individuals have been doing rebellious things in your church. This is inappropriate for those who are the chosen of God. These selfish individuals are getting the others all upset. Your reputation was once respected and valued by others, but now it has been ruined. 2It used to be that those who had spent time with you spoke highly of your steady and righteous faith. Did they not admire your sensible and patient devotion in Christ? Did they not speak highly of your wonderful hospitality? Did they not compliment you about your wisdom and knowledge? 3Because you did all things without favoritism. You followed God’s law. You submitted yourselves to your leaders. You showed respect to the elder brothers in your body, as you should. You emphasized to the young that they be modest and have a good attitude. And you made sure that the women followed through on their responsibilities – that they had a good attitude, a clear conscience, and loved their husbands as they ought. And you taught everyone to be obedient, to take care of their family, and to manage their household.
1You were all humble and free of arrogance. You were submissive rather than demanding. You would rather give than receive. You were content with how God supplied for your needs. You listened and followed God’s word, and made sure to store His word in your hearts. What grieved God also grieved you. 2As a result, you were all richly blessed with peace, and you were anxious to do good. A generous pouring of the Holy Spirit was on you all. 3Being full of God’s wisdom, with motivation and with a pure confidence, you reached your hands out to God Almighty, humbly asking Him to be gracious if you had unwillingly committed any sin. 4Day and night you anxiously thought of your fellow humanity, that the chosen of God might be saved with fear and a good conscience. 5You were genuine, lived simple lives, and were not angry with each other. 6Rebellion and division were unthinkable to you. You grieved over the sins of your neighbors, and considered their faults to be yours. 7You didn’t neglect doing what is right, but were always ready to do good works. 8Clothing your life in truth and honor, you did everything for the Lord. His commandments were written on your hearts.
1Every kind of honor and happiness was given to you, and so what is written became true, “He who I love ate and drank, grew and became fat and kicked.”a 2As a result there was jealousy and envy, strife and rebellion, persecution and disorder, war and captivity. 3So men were upset, the worthless against the honored, the disrespected against the respected, the foolish against the wise, the young against the old. 4Because of this, righteousness and peace are now far from you. Each man has forgotten the fear of the Lord, and has become blind in the faith of God. He does not follow God’s commandments or act like a Christian, but instead follows his own wicked lust, going back to unrighteousness and jealousy. This is the way that death itself came into the world.
a. Deut 32:15
1For it is written, “In the course of time Cain brought some of his crops as a sacrifice to God, and Abel brought some of his fat sheep – the firstborn of the flock. 2God approved of Abel and his sacrifice, but He was not pleased with Cain and his offering. 3This upset Cain, and he was dejected. 4God said to Cain, Why are you upset and dejected? If you made your offering with good intent, but didn’t understand my instructions, did you sin? Settle down. 5You can have your offering back and own it again. 6But Cain said to his brother Abel, Lets go to the field over there. And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother and killed him.”a 7You see brothers, jealousy and envy brought about a brother’s murder. 8Because of jealousy, our father Jacob ran away from his brother Esau. 9Jealousy caused Joseph to be persecuted to death, and to become a slave. 10Jealousy caused Moses to run away from Pharaoh King of Egypt, when he heard his own conutryman say, “Who made you judge and ruler over us? Will you kill me, like you killed the Egyptian yesterday?”b 11Because of jealousy Aaron and Miriam had to live outside the camp. 12Jealousy took Dathan and Abiram down to hell alive,c because they were rebellious against God’s servant Moses. 13Because of jealousy, David was hated by not just the Philistines, but also by king Saul of Israel.
a. (Gen 4:3-8)
b. (Exodus 2:14)
c. A reference to Korah’s rebellion (Numbers 16)
1Let us set aside the examples from long ago, and look at some of the recent heroes of the faith – some great examples from our own generation. 2Because of jealousy and envy, the greatest and most righteous disciples of the Church have been persecuted and put to death. 3For example, look at the Apostles. 4Peter endured much suffering because of the unrighteous jealousy of others. When he was finally put to death, he received the glory that was due him. 5Because of jealousy, Paul also received the reward of enduring patiently. He was in prison seven times. He also had to flee and endure stoning. After preaching in the East and the West, he received the deserved acclamation which was the reward of his faith. 6He taught righteousness to the whole world, and went as far west as he could. After giving his testimony to the rulers, he was put to death and removed from the world. He went to heaven, proving himself to be a great example of patience.
1To these holy living men there was harvested a great number of the chosen of God. They were abused and tortured as victims of jealousy. They are a courageous example to us. 2Because of jealousy women were persecuted. As Danaids and Dircaea, they suffered cruel and unspeakable torments. These women were strong in their faith, and finished the race. Though weak in body, they received a noble reward. 3Jealousy has separated wives from their husbands, and has changed what our father Adam said, “She is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”b 4Jealousy and conflict have destroyed great cities, and uprooted strong nations.
a. In Greek mythology, Dircae and the daughters of Danaus were tortured to death. Romans used Christians to reenact these torture scenes.
b. Gen 2:23
1Dear friends, we write these things not only to caution you, but also to remind ourselves. We struggle just as you do. The same trials await both of us. 2So then let us set aside trivial and silly concerns, and instead shape our character to the glorious and respected example that we have been called to. 3Let us pay attention to what is good, pleasing, and acceptable in the sight of Him who made us. 4Let us fix our eyes on the blood of Christ, and see how precious it is to the Father, because being shed for our salvation, it also brought the grace of repentance before the whole world. 5Let us look to the generations before us, and see how from age to age the Lord has made it possible to repent, for those who desire to follow Him. 6Noah preached repentance, and those who listened were saved. 7Jonah preached of the impending destruction of Nineveh. But the Ninevites repented of their sins, prayed to God for pardon, and received salvation – even though they were aliens to God’s covenant.
1The preachers of God’s grace have by the Holy Spirit spoken of repentance. 2The Sovereign Lord himself has spoken of repentance, promising that: 3“As I live says the Lord, I do not desire the death of the sinner. I would rather he repents.”a 4And He also with mercy declared: “Repent O house of Israel of your evil deeds.b Say to the children of my people, your sins go from heaven to earth. They are redder than scarlet and blacker than sackcloth. But if you turn to me with your whole heart, and say ‘Father!’, I will listen to you as I would to a holy people.”c 5And in another place he says: “Wash and be clean. Put away the evil deeds of your soul. Get them out of my sight. Stop your wicked ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Protect the fatherless. Help the widow. Come let us reason together says the Lord. Though your sins are like crimson, I will make them white like snow. And though they be like scarlet, I will make them white like wool. And if you are willing and listen to me, you will eat from the good of the land. But if you refuse and do not listen to me, the sword will destroy you. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken these things.”d
a. Ezekiel 33:11
b. Ezekiel 18:30
c. Isaiah 1:18
d. Isaiah 1:16-20
1Therefore let us obey His good and glorious will, humbly asking Him for mercy and kindness. Let us fall down before Him, and leave ourselves at His mercy. Let us set aside pride, conflict and jealousy. These lead to death. 2Let us consider those whose flawless ministry give examples of His excellent glory. 3Let us look at the example of Enoch. He was found to be righteous, was taken to heaven, and did not suffer death. 4Or look at Noah, who was found to be faithful. Through his ministry he preached new spiritual birth to the world. Through Noah the Lord saved the animals. The animals went willingly into the ark.
1Abraham was called “God’s Friend”. He was found to be faithful because he obeyed God’s word. 2Through obedience he left his home country, his relatives, and his father’s house. By leaving a poor land, a weak family, and a low regarded house, he inherited the promises of God. 3God said to him, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house. and go to the and that I will show you. I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be blessed. I will bless those you bless you, and curse those who curse you. In you all of the families of the earth will be blessed.”a 4Later on after Abraham separated from Lot, God said to him, “Lift up your eyes, and look from where you are now. Look to the north, the south, the east, and the west. I will give you all the land that you see, to you and to your children forever. 5I will make your descendants as numerous as the dust of the earth. If anyone could count the dust of the earth, they could count your children as well.”b 6And again scripture says that, “God brought Abraham out and said to him, Look up to heaven and count the stars. See if you are able to number them. Your descendants will be numerous like that. Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”c 7Because of Abraham’s faith and hospitality, a son was given to him in his old age. In obedience, he offered his son as a sacrifice to God on one of the mountains that He showed him.
a. Genesis 12:1-13
b. Genesis 13:16
c. Genesis 15:5-6
1Lot was saved from Sodom because of his hospitality and goodness, this when all the area surrounding Sodom was destroyed by fire. The Lord made it clear that He does not abandon those who place their hope in Him. But those who abandon Him will be punished and tormented. 2Lot’s wife came with him, but she came with reluctance and disagreement. As a result, she became a pillar of salt which she is to this day. This is so all will know that those who are double minded and doubt the power of God bring God’s judgment upon themselves. They are a warning to all generations.
1Because of her faith and hospitality, Rahab the prostitute was saved. 2Joshua the son of Nun sent spies to Jericho. The king of that land knew that the men had come to spy on his country. He sent out men to catch them, so when they were caught they could be put to death. 3Rahab was hospitable and welcomed the spies. She hid them on the roof of her house under the flax stalks. 4When the men sent by the king arrived, they said to Rahab, “The people spying on our land went inside your house. Bring them out, this is the order of the king.”a Rahab replied, “The men who you are looking for came here, but left right after. They are now on their way.”b And she pointed them in the opposite direction. 5And she said to the spies, “I certainly know that the Lord your God has given you this city, because the fear and terror of you has come upon all who live here. So when you have taken the city, save me and the house of my father.”c 6And they said to her, “It will be like you have asked. As soon as you know that we are coming, gather all of your family under your roof. They will be saved. But anyone who is outside of your house will be destroyed.”d 7They also gave her a sign that she should hang outside of her house, a scarlet rope. So they showed that through the blood of the Lord there will be redemption for all who believe and place their hope in God. 8My dear friends, notice that Rahab had not only faith, but also prophecy.
a. Joshua 2:3
b. Joshua 2:4-7
c. Joshua 2:9,12
d. Joshua 2:17-19
1Therefore brothers, let us be humble. We should set aside all arrogance, pride, foolishness, and anger. Let us do what is written. For the Holy Spirit says, “The wise man should not boast in his wisdom, nor the strong in his strength, nor the rich in his wealth. But let him that boasts boast in the Lord, seeking him and practicing judgment and righteousness.”a We should especially remember the words of Jesus. 1He said, “Have mercy, so that you may receive mercy. Forgive, so that you may be forgiven. As you do, so will it be done to you. As you give, so will it be given to you. As you judge, so will you be judged. As you show kindness, so will you be shown kindness. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”b 3With this commandment and these principles, let us align ourselves so that we humbly walk in obedience to His holy words. 4For the holy word says, “On who shall I look? Is it not the one who is meek, mild, and trembles at my words?”c
a. Jeremiah 9:23-24
b. Luke 6:36-37
c. Isaiah 66:2
1Therefore brothers, it is good and correct that we should obey God. We should not follow those who are arrogant, rebellious, and have fashioned themselves as leaders because of their jealousy. 2This is not just a small risk, but a dangerous one. We should not we give ourselves over to the purposes of men who intend to cause argument and rebellion. They want to separate us from what is good. 3We should be kind to one another, following the same pattern of compassion and mercy of Him who made us. For it is written, 4“The kind-hearted will inherit the land. The innocent will be left to live there. But the guilty will be completely destroyed from it.”a 5And scripture also says, “I saw the ungodly man exalted and shooting up like the cedars of Lebanon. But when I went by again, he was not there. I looked for him and could not find him. Stay innocent and value righteousness, for the peaceful man will be remembered.”b
a. Proverbs 2:21-22
b. Psalm 37:35-37
1Therefore, let us follow those who demonstrate peace with godliness, and not those who merely pretend to desire it. 2For scripture states, “These people honor me with their words, but their heart is far from me.”a 3It also states, “With their mouths they bless, but with their hearts they curse.b 4It also states, “They flattered God with their words, but lied to Him with their tongues. Their hearts were not right with Him, and they were not faithful to His covenant.c 5For this reason, let the lying lips be silenced, because they speak sinfully against the righteous.d Again, may the Lord destroy all lying lips, the boasting tongues of those who say, Let us praise ourselves; we control our tongues. Who is lord over us?e 6Because the weak are oppressed, and the poor groan, “I will now rise up says the Lord. I will keep him safe. I will confidently protect him.”f
a. Isaiah 29:13, Matthew 15:8
b. Psalm 62:4
c. Psalm 78:36-37
d. Psalm 31:18
e. Psalm 12:3-4
f. Psalm 12:5
1For Christ is with those who are humble, and not with those who elevate themselves over his flock. 2Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Scepter of God’s majesty, did not come with a display of pride or arrogance, although he might have done so, but instead came in a humble manner, just as the Holy Spirit said he would. 3For He says, “Lord, who has believed our message? And to whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? We declared our message in his presence. He was as a child, like a root in thirsty ground. There was no beauty or majesty that would attract us to him. Rather, his appearance was plain, compared to the appearance of other men. He was a man of sorrow and suffering, and familiar with grief: a person who people didn’t want to look at. He was despised and not considered valuable. 4He carried our sins and suffered for our sakes, but we assumed that his toil, suffering and affliction were his own fault. 5But he was wounded for our sins, and was bruised for our wickedness. We received peace because he took our punishment, and by his wounds we were healed. 6We all like sheep have gone astray, each person has gone his own way. 7 And the Lord gave Him the punishment that we deserve. In the middle of his suffering he did not complain. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, like a sheep before her shearer is quiet, he did not open his mouth. He was humiliated and deprived of justice. 8He has no descendants to speak of, because his earthly life was taken away. 9He was put to death for the sins of my people. 10He was buried like the wicked, but with a rich man’s grave at death, though he had done nothing violent, nor had he been deceitful. And the Lord was pleased to wound him and make him an offering. 11If the Lord makes his life and offering for sin, he shall see a long lived offspring. 12And the Lord desires to take away the suffering of his soul, to show him light, and to form him with understanding, to justify the Just One who is a good servant to many. And he will carry their sins. 13Because of this, he will inherit many, and will divide the wealth of the strong; because his soul was given over to death, and he was counted with the transgressors. 14And he bore the sins of many, and for their sins he was given over.a 15And again he says, “I am a worm and not a man, I am scorned and despised by the people. 16All who saw me mocked me; they spoke with their lips, they shook their heads, saying, “didn’t he rely on the Lord? Then let the Lord save him. If the Lord wants him, let him have him!”b 17You see, dear friends, this is the example that has been given to us. If the Lord humbled himself, what should we do, we who through him have been brought under the yoke of his grace?
a. Isaiah 53
b. Psalm 22
1We should also imitate those who wore the skins of sheep and goats, and preached that Christ was coming. Elijah, Elisha and Ezekiel are examples, as are other prophets whose testimony is recorded in scripture. 2Abraham’s testimony is an example, and he was called God’s friend. He was humbled by looking at the glory of God, and said, “I am only dust and ashes.”a 3In addition, scripture records that Job was “righteous, blameless, truthful, one who honored God and avoided evil.”b 4But Job still blamed himself, saying that “No man is clean before God, even if he lives for only one day.”c 5Moses was called faithful by everyone in his family. Through him God punished the Egyptians with plagues and torments. Yet even though Moses was honored by God, he did not speak proudly about it. When he saw the burning bush he said, “Who am I, that you send me?”d 6And he said, “I’m not a good speaker. I stutter when I speak.”e and “I’m only like smoke coming out of a pot.”f
a Genesis 18:27
b Job 1:1
c Job 25:4?
d Exodus 3:11
e Exodus 4:11
f Unknown reference
Chapter 18 – David’s Example
1And what about David and his testimony? God said, “David, the son of Jesse is a man after my own heart. With everlasting mercy I have appointed him.”a 2But David also said to God, “Have mercy on me oh God, according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion, blot out my transgression. 3Wash away my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. I acknowledge my iniquity, and my sin is always before me. Against you only did I sin, and I did evil in your sight. You are justified in what you say, and you are right when you judge. 4I was conceived in sin, and I was sinful when I was born. But you have loved truth. And you have shown me secret and hidden wisdom. 5You will sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be made clean. You will wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 6You make me to hear joy and gladness. My bones, which have been humbled, will rejoice. 7Turn your face away from my sins, and blot out my iniquities. 8Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 9Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and renew a right spirit in me. 10I will teach your way to sinners, and the ungodly will turn to you. 11Forgive me for my shedding of blood, oh God of my salvation. My words will rejoice in your righteousness. 12Oh Lord, open my mouth, and my lips will declare your praise. 13For if you wanted sacrifice, I would have given it to you. But you do not delight in burn offerings. 14The sacrifice that you desire is a a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and contrite heart.”b
a 1 Samuel 13:14
b Psalm 51:1-17
1The meekness and humility of these many great men are an example to us, and also to the generations before us, especially those that received his prophecy in fear and truth. 2Since we have the benefit of many awesome examples, we should renew our focus on being peaceful, just like those before us have demonstrated. We should set our eyes on our Father, he who made everything. We should hold fast to his good and excellent gifts, his good peace. 3We should reflect on God’s example, and see how he is continually patient. We can see how God is free from anger towards all of his creation.
1The heavens move by the direction of God, and they peacefully obey him. 2Day and night they follow the course assigned to them, without ever conflicting. 3The sun and moon and dancing stars move in harmony by God’s command. They stay within the limits given to them, without deviation. 4The earth bears fruit in season and fulfills God’s will. The earth provides abundant food for mankind, and for all the creatures that live on it. It doesn’t waiver or change any of the plans that God has set in place for it. 5Even the depths of the abyss and the unexplainable regions of the underworld are constrained by God’s laws. 6The waters of the oceans are gathered together by God’s workmanship. They never move beyond the limits that God has placed upon them. They do as he commands. 7For God said, “You can only come this far, here is where your waves will stop.”a 8Man is unable to cross the ocean, or reach the worlds beyond it. The ocean is regulated by the same commands of the Lord. 9The seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter, all peacefully follow each other in order. 10The winds come from the different directions, at the proper time. They fulfill their role without difficulty. The ever flowing streams were created for health and enjoyment. They sustain life for all men, just as a breast gives nourishment. Even the smallest of all living creatures come together in peace and agreement. 11The Creator and Lord of all has arraigned for everything to be in peace and harmony. He plans good for all things, especially for those of us who have found refuge in his mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12To he whom all glory and majesty belongs, for ever and ever, Amen.
a Job 38:11
1Pay attention, brothers, or God’s great kindness could turn into condemnation for all of us. We should live in a manner which is worthy before God, and we should want to act in ways which are pleasing to him. 2For scripture says that “The Spirit of the Lord is a light that searches our inner being.”a 3Notice how near he is. Nothing that we think of or plan for is hidden from him. 4Therefore, it is right that we should not abandon his will for us. 5Instead of offending God, we should offend foolish and inconsiderate men who brag about themselves and speak in arrogant ways. 6Let us fear the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave his blood for us. Let us respect our rulers. Let us honor our elders. Let us train our young men to fear God. Let us direct our women to that which is good. 7Let them show their graceful habits of purity. Let them show their humble disposition. Let them practice a gentle manner of speaking. Let them show their love, not by showing favoritism, but by being impartial towards all who have a holy fear of God. Let our children experience true Christian instruction. 8Let them learn how to be humble, as God desires. For pure love is effective before him. The fear of God is good and great. It saves all those who live in purity and holiness. 9 For God searches out the intents and desires of our heart. His breath fills us, and when he desires, he can take it away.
a Proverbs 20:27 (variation – “spirit of man”)
1Faith from Christ confirms all these things. For he himself through the Holy Spirit calls to us, “Come, children, listen to me. I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 2Do you want to enjoy your life, and live to see good days? 3Keep your tounge from saying evil, and your lips from speaking dishonest things. 4Turn from evil and do good. 5Seek peace and pursue it. 6The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and he listens to their prayers. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. He will take the memory of them from the earth. 7The righteous person cries out. The Lord hears him and delivers him from all of his troubles.”a 8 And, “Many are the punishments for the sinner, but mercy will surround those who put their hope in the Lord.”
a Psalm 34:11-17
b Psalm 32:10
1The Father is merciful in all things, and ready to do good. He has compassion on those who fear him. He kindly and lovingly gives grace to those who come to him with a single minded focus. 2We shouldn’t be double-minded, or mistrust God’s character. Because his gifts and generous and glorious. 3We should not be like those described in scripture where it says, “The double-minded are miserable. They doubt and say, ‘We’ve heard these stories since our childhood. Now we’re old, and look, none of these bad things have happened to us.’ You foolish people! Compare yourselves to a tree and its vine. First the vine sheds its leaves, then buds, then puts out leaves, the flowers, then it has a sour grape, then finally a ripe grape. You see, it only takes a little time until a tree’s fruit is ripe.”a 5God’s will is true like that, it will be accomplished. Scripture is witness to this. It says, “God will come quickly and will not wait.b” And, “The Lord will come to his temple suddenly, he the Holy One, who you are looking for.”c
a Unknown reference
b Habakkuk 2:3
c Malachi 3:1
1Dear friends, consider how God continually shows us examples of the Resurrection that is going to come. He made the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruit by raising him from the dead. 2Dear friends, notice the examples of the resurrection that are taking place all the time. 3Each day and night is an example of the resurrection. The night goes to sleep, and the day arises. Then the day leaves, and the night comes back. 4Notice the example of crops, and how the planting of seeds happen. 5The planter goes out and puts each seen into the soil. When the seeds are planted, they are dry and bare, and start to decay. but after their decay, the Master’s mighty power and care raises the seed up. And from one seed comes a great amount of fruit.
1Consider the wonderful sign of the resurrection that takes place in the eastern lands, in the areas in and about Arabia. 2There is a bird called the phoenix. It is one of a kind, and lives for 500 years. When it gets old and starts to die, it builds a nest out of frankincense and myrrh and other spices. When the appropriate time comes, it climbs into the nest and dies. 3But as its flesh decays, a sort of worm is born. It is nourished by the juices of the dead animal until it grows wings. When it grows strong, it makes its home in the nest where the bones of its parents are. Then it carries the bones all the way from Arabia to Egypt, to the place called the City of the Sun. 4And then during the daytime, in the sight of everyone, it flies to the altar of the son and places the bones there. After doing this, it flies back to its former home. 5Then the priest check the calendars, and they always find that it has returned exactly after five hundred years have completed.
1We shouldn’t be surprised or amazed then, than the Creator of all good things will raise up those who have served in holiness and with the assurance of good faith. Even with a bird, he shows us an example of his mighty power, and his ability to keep his promises. 2For scripture says that, “You will raise me up, and I will praise you.”a And also “I laid down to sleep, and I slept. I woke up, for you are with me.”b 3And also, Job says, “You will raise up this body of mine, which has endured all this suffering.”c
a Psalm 28:7?
b Psalm 3:5
c Job 19:26?
1Supported by the hope of the resurrection, let our souls hold fast to him. He is faithful, He keeps his promises, and His judgements are just. 2He commanded us not to lie, so of course He won’t lie himself. Nothing is impossible for God, except to be untrue to Himself. 3So we should let our faith in God be stirred up fresh again. Remember that all things are close within His reach. 4By a word of command he created the universe. And by a command He can destroy it.a 5Who can say to Him, What have you done? Or who can resist His mighty strength? When He pleases and as He pleases he can do all things. Nothing that he has decided will ever pass away. 6All things are in His focus, and nothing can be hidden from his plan of action. 7The heavens proclaim the glory of God, and the skies show His handiwork. Day after day they speak. Night after night they make Him known. And there is no word or speech where their voices are not heard.b
a Daniel 4:35, also see Wisdom 12:12
b Psalm 19:1-13
1Since God sees and hears everything, we should be in awe of him. We should abandon our wicked lusts and evil desires, so that we can be protected by his mercy from the coming judgement. 2Where can we flee from his mighty hand? What kind of world will accept anyone who runs away from him? 3Scripture says, “Where can I go, and where can I be hidden from your presence? If I go up to heaven, you are there. If I go to the remote places of the earth, your right hand is there. If I make my bed in the depths, your Spirit is there.”a. 4God understands everything about the universe. Where can anyone go to hide from him?
a Psalm 139:7-10
Chapter 29 – Draw Near to God
1So then, we should draw near to God with a holiness of spirit, lifting up pure and clean hands to Him, giving love to our merciful and compassionate Father. He has chosen us to be participants in His blessings. 2For scripture says, “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he scattered Adam’s race, He established the boundaries of the nations according to the number of His angels. His people Jacob became chosen of the Lord, and Israel was the recipient of His inheritance.”a 3And scripture also says, “Look, the Lord a taken to Himself a nation from the nations, just like a man takes the first-fruits from the threshing floor. And the Holy of Holies will come from that nation.”b
a Deut 32:8-9
b Deut 4:34?
Chapter 30 – Be Holy and Humble
1Since we have been set apart by the Holy God, we should be characterized by holiness. We should run away from slander, addictions, drunkenness, riots, lusts, adultery, and pride. 2Scripture says that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.a 3Therefore, let us hold onto those to whom God has given grace. We should be humble and practice living in harmony with others, staying away from gossip and slander. Let us be justified by our actions and not our words. 4Scripture says that he who talks too much, will also hear a lot of nonsense in return.b Does the person who talks too much imagine that he is also righteous? 5Blessed is the person who is born and only lives a short time. Don’t talk all the time. 6We should praise God instead of ourselves, because God hates those that brag about themselves. 7May the testimony of our goodness come from others, just as was the case with our righteous fathers. 7Cockyness, arrogance and recklessness are the traits of those who are cursed by God. But mildness, humility and gentleness are the traits of those who are blessed by God.
a Proverbs 3:34
b Job 11:2-3?
Chapter 31 – Examples of People Who Received God’s Blessing
1So let us hold on to God’s blessing and think about how to be blessed by him. We should take note about how God has blessed people since the beginning. 2Why did God bless our father Abraham? It was because he did what was right and true through faith. 3 And Issac had confidence of the future and cheerfully allowed himself to be a sacrifice. 4And Jacob humbly left his land because of his brother, and went to work for Laban. And then God made him the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Chapter 32 – We are Justified by Faith
1If anyone looks at the details without bias, he will appreciate the greatness of the gifts that were given to Jacob. 2 From him came all of the priests and Levites who served at the altar of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ was also physically descended from Jacob. Kings, rulers and leaders also came from Jacob’s line. And the rest of Jacob’s descendants are also highly regarded, because God promised that, “your descendants will be like the stars of heaven”.a 3Every descendant of Jacob was honored and made great, not because of themselves or their works or their good lives, but because the working of God’s will. 4And we too, who have been called by his will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves, or through wisdom or understanding or good works, or from a holy heart. We are justified through faith. Since the beginning, it is always by faith that God has justified all men. To God is the glory for ever and ever, amen.
a. Genesis 26:4
Chapter 33 – We Should Continue to do Good Works
1What should we do then brothers? Should we be lazy and give up loving others? May God never allow that to happen. Let’s be eager and ready to do every good work. 2The Creator and Lord of everything rejoices in His works. 3By his unlimited power he created the heavens, and in his great wisdom he gave them order. He separated the earth from the water that surrounds it, and he built it on the sure foundation of his own will. By his command he created the animals that walk on the earth. He created the ocean and the creatures in it, and he set the boundaries of the ocean by his own power. 4Above everything else, with his own good hands, he created mankind. He created man in his own image. 5And this is what God said, “Let’s make man in our own images and likeness. And so God made humanity. Both male and female he made them.a 6After he finished making everything, he praised them and blessed them and said, “be fruitful and multiply.”b 7So we can see then that genuinly holy men are honored by their good works, and that God himself rejoices because of his good works. 8With this example let’s conform ourselves to his will. Let’s continue to act in righteous ways with all of our strength.
a. Genesis 1:27
b. Genesis 1:28
Chapter 34 – The Importance of Good Works
1The good worker receives with confidence the reward of his work, but the careless and lazy worker can’t even look his employer in the face. 2So it’s our responsibility to be motivated by what we do, for everything depends on God. 3And he has warned us saying, “Look, I am coming, and my reward is with me. I will pay each person according to what he has done.”a 4So God urges us to believe him with all of our heart, and not to be careless and lazy in any of our good works. 5Our boasting and confidence should be in God. Let’s submit to his will. Let’s think about all of his angels. They are always ready to bring about his will. 6scripture says, “Ten thousand times ten thousand angels stand ready before him.”b They cry out, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, all of creation is full of his glory.”c 7So we should gather together in agreement and cry out to him in one voice, so that we can participate in his great and wonderful promises. 8Scripture says that, “No eye has seen and no ear has heard and no person has even thought of the great things that God has prepared for those who patiently wait for him.”d
a. Revelation 22:12
b. Daniel 7:10
c. Isaiah 6:3
d. Isaiah 64:4
Chapter 35 – God’s goodness to those who follow him
1Dear brothers, the gifts of God are wonderful blessings! 2 God gives us eternal life, and beautiful righteousness. He gives us confidence of the truth, an assurance of faith, and the self control to live holy lives. And now we recognize and understand these things. 3So then, anticipate the things that God is preparing for those who patiently wait for him! The Creator and Father of everything, the Holy God, he is the only one who can understand their beauty and scope. 4So then, let’s work hard to be counted among those who do patiently wait for him. That way we can share in the gifts that he has promised. 5But dear brothers, how can we bring about this reality? We focus on having faith in God. We pursue the things that are pleasing and accetable to him. We life in harmony with his will, and we follow the way of truth. We throw away unrighteousness, sinfulness, lust for possessions, pointless conflicts, wickedness, lying, gossiping, hatred of God, pride, arrogance, boasting, and selfish ambition. 6For God hates people who do those things, and he also hates people who encourage those behaviors. 7Scripture states: “God says to the sinner: Why do you bother to quote my law and pretend to obey my covenant? 8You refuse my instruction and throw away my words. When you see a thief, you plan crimes with him. When you meet adulterers, you live with them. You mouth speaks wickedness, and your tongue tells lies. You sit and speak against your brother, you slander your own mother’s son. 9You did all these things and I stayed quiet. You thought that meant I was like you. 10But now I rebuke you and make obvious to you all the evil you have done. 11Realize what you have done, that you have forgotten me. Realize that I’m like a lion, and can seize you at any time. Then no one will help you. 12 But if you give a sacrifice of praise to honor me, then I will show you the way of the salvation of God.a
a. Psalm 50:16-23
Last updated July 24, 2013