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Salvation, Faith and Following

Clement of Rome

And so we, having been called through His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves or through our own wisdom or understanding or piety or works which we wrought in holiness of heart, but through faith, whereby the Almighty God justified all men that have been from the beginning; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. What then must we do, brethren? Must we idly abstain from doing good, and forsake love? May the Master never allow this to befall us at least; but let us hasten with instancy and zeal to accomplish every good work.

Let us therefore contend, that we may be found in the number of those that patiently await Him, to the end that we may be partakers of His promised gifts. But how shall this be, dearly beloved? If our mind be fixed through faith towards God; if we seek out those things which are well pleasing and acceptable unto Him; if we accomplish such things as beseem His faultless will, and follow the way of truth, casting off from ourselves all unrighteousness and iniquity, covetousness, strifes, malignities and deceits, whisperings and backbitings, hatred of God, pride and arrogance, vainglory and inhospitality. – ibid

Ignatius

None of these things is hidden from you, if you be perfect in your faith and love toward Jesus Christ, for these are the beginning and end of life – faith is the beginning and love is the end – and the two being found in unity are God, while all things else follow in their train unto true nobility.
No man professing faith sins, and no man possessing love hates. The tree is manifest from its fruit; so they that profess to be Christ’s shall be seen through their actions. For the Work is not a thing of profession now, but is seen then when one is found in the power of faith unto the end.

Shepherd of Hermas

And the second, that is girded about and looks like a man, is called Self-Control; she is the daughter of Faith. Whosoever then shall follow her, becomes happy in his life, for he shall refrain from all evil deeds, believing that, if he refrain from every evil desire, he shall inherit eternal life.

“For I know that, if I shall add no more to my sins, I shall be saved.” “You shall be saved,” he said, “you and all, as many as shall do these things.” – ibid

“Sir, these commandments are great and beautiful and glorious, and are able to gladden the heart of the man who is able to observe them. But I know not whether these commandments can be kept by a man, for they are very hard.” He answered and said unto me; “If you set it before yourself that they can be kept, you will easily keep them, and they will not be hard; but if it once enter into your heart that they cannot be kept by a man, you will not keep them. But now I say unto you; if you keep them not. but neglect them you shall not have salvation, neither your children nor your household, since you have already pronounced judgment against yourself that these commandments cannot be kept by a man.” – ibid

Go, and tell all men to repent, and they shall live unto God; for the Lord in His compassion sent me to give repentance to all, though some of them, because of their deeds do not deserve to be saved. – ibid

Clement of Alexandria

And now, by the parable of the leaven, the Lord shows concealment; for He says, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” For the tripartite soul is saved by obedience, through the spiritual power hidden in it by faith.

So that when we hear, “Your faith has saved you,” we do not understand Him to say absolutely that those who have believed in any way whatever shall be saved, unless also works follow. But it was to the Jews alone that He spoke this utterance, who kept the law and lived blamelessly, who wanted only faith in the Lord. – ibid

Cyprian

But how can a man say that he believes in Christ, who does not do what Christ commanded him to do? Or whence shall he attain to the reward of faith, who will not keep the faith of the commandment? He must of necessity waver and wander, and, caught away by a spirit of error, like dust which is shaken by the wind, be blown about; and he will make no advance in his walk towards salvation, because he does not keep the truth of the way of salvation.

Clement of Rome

Noah preached repentance, and those who obeyed were saved. Jonah proclaimed destruction to the Ninevites; but they, repenting of their sins, made atonement to God by prayer, and obtained salvation, although they were aliens [to the covenant] of God.

The fear of (God) is good and great and saves all them that walk therein in a pure mind with holiness. – ibid

Let us therefore cleave unto those to whom grace is given from God. Let us clothe ourselves in concord, being lowly-minded and temperate, holding ourselves aloof from all backbiting and evil speaking, being justified by works and not by words. – ibid

Blessed were we, dearly beloved, if we should be doing the commandments of God in concord of love, to the end that our sins may through love be forgiven us. – ibid

Let us therefore be obedient unto His most holy and glorious Name, thereby escaping the threatenings which were spoken of old by the mouth of Wisdom against them which disobey, that we may dwell safely, trusting in the most holy Name of His majesty. – ibid

Second Clement

For, if we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; but if otherwise, then nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment, if we should disobey His commandments.

So then, my brethren, let us contend, knowing that the contest is nigh at hand, and that, while many resort to the corruptible contests, yet not all are crowned, but only they that have toiled hard and contended bravely. And if we cannot all be crowned, let us at least come near to the crown. – ibid

Wherefore, brethren, if we shall have done the will of the Father and kept the flesh pure and guarded the commandments of the Lord, we shall receive life eternal. For the Lord said in the Gospel, If you kept not that which is little, who shall give unto you that which is great? For I say unto you that he which is faithful in the least, is faithful also in much. So then He means this, Keep the flesh pure and the seal unstained, to the end that we may receive life. – ibid

Wherefore, my brethren, let us not be double-minded but endure patiently in hope, that we may also obtain our reward. For faithful is He that promised to pay to each man the recompense of his works. If therefore we shall have wrought righteousness in the sight of God, we shall enter into His kingdom and shall receive the promises which ear has not heard nor eye seen, neither has it entered into the heart of man. – ibid

But if we do not the will of the Lord, we shall be of the scripture that said, My house was made a den of robbers. So therefore let us choose rather to be of the Church of life, that we may be saved. – ibid

Now I do not think that I have given any mean counsel respecting continence, and whosoever performs it shall not repent thereof, but shall save both himself and me his counselor. – ibid

I read to you an exhortation to the end that you may give heed to the things which are written, so that you may save both yourselves and him that reads in the midst of you. For I ask of you as a reward that you repent with your whole heart, and give salvation and life to yourselves. – ibid

Polycarp

Now He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also; if we do His will and walk in His commandments and love the things which He loved, abstaining from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; not rendering evil for evil or railing for railing or blow for blow or cursing for cursing;

Justin Martyr

 

And we have been taught that He in the beginning did of His goodness, for man’s sake, create all things out of unformed matter; and if men by their works show themselves worthy of this His design, they are deemed worthy, and so we have received – of reigning in company with Him, being delivered from corruption and suffering.

Ireaneus

Nor did He stand in need of our service when He ordered us to follow Him; but He thus bestowed salvation upon ourselves. For to follow the Savior is to be a partaker of salvation, and to follow light is to receive light. But those who are in light do not themselves illumine the light, but are illumined and revealed by it: they do certainly contribute nothing to it, but, receiving the benefit, they are illumined by the light. Thus, also, service [rendered] to God does indeed profit God nothing, nor has God need of human obedience; but He grants to those who follow and serve Him life and in-corruption and eternal glory, bestowing benefit upon those who serve [Him], because they do serve Him, and on His followers, because they do follow Him; but does not receive any benefit from them: for He is rich, perfect, and in need of nothing.

Theophilus

For as man, disobeying, drew death upon himself; so, obeying the will of God, he who desires is able to procure for himself life everlasting. For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who keeps these can be saved, and, obtaining the resurrection, can inherit incorruption.

Clement of Alexandria

Forgiveness of past sins, then, God gives; but of future, each one gives to himself. And this is to repent, to condemn the past deeds, and beg oblivion of them from the Father, who only of all is able to undo what is done, by mercy proceeding from Him, and to blot out former sins by the dew of the Spirit. “For by the state in which I find you will I judge,”

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