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True Faith Produces Works

Clement of Rome

Let us therefore cleave unto those to whom grace is given from God…being justified by works and not by words. For He said; He that said much shall hear also again. Does the ready talker think that he is righteous?

For thus says the all virtuous Wisdom: “…Because I called and you obeyed not, and I held out words and you heeded not, but made My counsels of none effect, and were disobedient unto My reproofs; therefore I also will laugh at your destruction, and will rejoice over you when ruin comes upon you, and when confusion overtakes you suddenly, and your overthrow is at hand like a whirlwind, or when anguish come upon you. For it shall be, when you call upon Me, yet will I not hear you”. – ibid

Second Clement

Yea, He Himself said, Whoso confess Me, Him will I confess before the Father. This then is our reward, if verily we shall confess Him through whom we were saved. But wherein do we confess Him? When we do that which He said and are not disobedient unto His commandments, and not only honor Him with our lips, but with our whole heart and with our whole mind. Now He said also in Isaiah, This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.

Let us therefore not only call Him Lord, for this will not save us: for He said, Not every one that said unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall be saved, but he that does righteousness. So then, brethren, let us confess Him in our works, by loving one another, by not committing adultery nor speaking evil one against another nor envying, but being temperate, merciful, kindly. And we ought to have fellow-feeling one with another and not to be covetous. By these works let us confess Him, and not by the contrary. – ibid


For some are wont of malicious guile to hawk about the Name, while they do certain other things unworthy of God. These men you ought to shun, as wild beasts; for they are mad dogs, biting by stealth; against whom you ought to be on your guard, for they are hard to heal.

Shepherd of Hermas

Some of it dried up by the sun, they that believed are such as these; the double-minded, and they that have the Lord on their lips, but have Him not in their heart. Therefore their foundations are dry and without power, and their words only live, but their works are dead. Such men are neither alive nor dead.

Justin Martyr

And when you hear that we look for a kingdom, you suppose, without making any inquiry, that we speak of a human kingdom; whereas we speak of that which is with God, as appears also from the confession of their faith made by those who are charged with being Christians, though they know that death is the punishment awarded to him who so confesses.

And let those who are not found living as He taught, be understood to be no Christians, even though they profess with the lip the precepts of Christ; for not those who make profession, but those who do the works, shall be saved, according to His word: “Not every one who said to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. – ibid

Clement of Alexandria

“Why call you me Lord, Lord,” He says, “and do not the things which I say?” For “the people that loves with their lips, but have their heart far away from the Lord,” is another people, and trust in another, and have willingly sold themselves to another; but those who perform the commandments of the Lord, in every action “testify,” by doing what He wishes, and consistently naming the Lord’s name; and “testifying” by deed to Him in whom they trust, that they are those “who have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts.” “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”


Confession is the beginning of glory, not the full desert of the crown; nor does it perfect our praise, but it initiates our dignity; and since it is written, “He that endures to the end, the same shall be saved,” whatever has been before the end is a step by which we ascend to the summit of salvation, not a terminus wherein the full result of the ascent is already gained. He is a confessor; but after confession his peril is greater, because the adversary is more provoked.

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