The significance of Clement of Rome was to guide through the messages detailing the what was right and pointing out what was wrong with the church. The purpose of these communications was to bring forth God’s requirements for mankind and to bridge the gap and separation that existed prior to the advent of Christ Jesus. The letters contained messages of complementary nature as well as highlighting undesirable traits. These first epistles listed a range of edifying characteristics according to the gospel of Christ Jesus which are faith, love, trust, kindness, humility, and peace.
The most important characteristic is obedience. Having the obedience to follow with trust and faith in God’s instructions leads to positive outcomes. In contrast, having doubt, lack of faith, and mistrust yields severe consequences. The theme of what is expected for those who seek the kingdom of heaven is outlined in these first letters to the church of Corinthians. The communication is clear and simple and leaves no room for mistake in the message. God’s plan for humanity is crystal clear, but the unbelieving and unrepentant hearts of men bring much confusion, treachery, and suffering. Above all this, the worst scenario for the unrepentant is eternal damnation.
The first few chapters of the epistles deals with salutations and praise. The text was written beautifully. The eloquent depictions of the righteous standing of its members by upholding God’s commands is demonstrated. The pursue of godliness through the Lord Jesus Christ is the motivating force for the Corinthians. Later, the following letters describe the turn of events that led to the persecution and death of the righteous ones. Examples are given with Paul’s patience throughout long periods of much torture, humiliation, and ridicule.
There are countless other martyrs who spent a life in practice of holiness and whose rewards are eternal life. In the meantime, their lives on earth shows the dedication to the Almighty God. These men were the example of what is acceptable to God.
There is mention of the foolish man who is deaf to instructions and therefore is condemned to death. The foreshadow of his destruction begins with envy. The subtleties of pride escalate to jealousy and it is envying that acts against the precepts of God’s directions. Deviating from the path that God outlines for man results in pain and suffering. The outcome of behaviors that does not follow life is darkness and condemned to eternal death. Due to man’s free will, it is obvious that there is always an inclination to go downhill because it is human nature to dwell in conflict and inflict harm to others. In order to escape from the dark nature of man, it is a daily and constant practice to seek God’s kingdom via following his directives.
Otherwise, there is continuous thread of deceit, envy, and persecution of the innocent. The evildoers perpetuate sin against God’s people. In the history of humanity, there are countless examples of martyrs who became victims of a system that caters to evildoers. The message of peace, love, harmony, and joy is the continuous thread that brings together God’s people into salvation and eternal life. The salvation through Christ Jesus spares man from the eternal death.
There must be repentance and a sincere change of heart in order for restoration to take place in Christ Jesus. Along the various indication of what is expected of God’s people, the outstanding virtue of obedience and faithful trust in the Lord is the on-going characteristics that stands out above all others. The reward for the obedient of God’s commands is assured with the triumph of the mission fulfilled by Jesus.
The Apostolic Father of the Church, Clement of Rome remains a monumental figure in the early church and is credited for the explicit description of God’s will for man. The valuable contribution of this prominent figure provides the framework of what the modern church of today should resemble. Toward the end of these letters, a message of peace, harmony, and joy is conveyed and established. The message here is to return to the practice of brotherly love.
Following with faith, obedience to God’s instructions is obtainable and through this process, the greatest love is discovered. The ultimate state for members of the church should be under the umbrella of true love found in the Lord Christ Jesus. The road has been paved for humanity that leads to salvation and eternal life. It only takes obedience to God with faith and trust in him and his perfect love for all. One day in the future, the Son of Man will come in glory with all the holy angels. (Matt. 24:30-31).
Barry, John et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).
ESV: study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2007.
Tuckett, Christopher. 2 Clement: Introduction, Text, and Commentary. Oxford Apostolic
Fathers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.