In which Clement of Alexandria writes inspiring but not INSPIRED words

by Craig on August 19, 2012

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And now some of my favorite Clement of Alexandria quotes…
echoes from the second century…from the ancient church.

This is part 4 of the series on the best quotes from the Apostolic Fathers which began here.

♥✞ღ As a friend is not made by a single gift, the one who endures to the end will be saved.

♥✞ღ For we are saved by grace, but not without good works…and having been disposed toward the good we must acquire the desire for it and not cease in the pursuit of it…what assurance do we have of entering the Kingdom of God if we are not found to have holy and righteous works?

♥✞ღ For the one who lived badly, but repents, it is possible to overcome all sins committed….
one who does the greatest good but in the end wrecks his life, all the former are profitless.

♥✞ღ It is impossible to end bad habits at once, but with God and focus they are changed.

♥✞ღ Hasten toward our goal of peace. Hold fast to it, and look with spiritual eyes upon His patient will.

♥✞ღ Let us realize how near he is, and that nothing escapes him, not our thoughts, or the plans we make.

♥✞ღ We should think about the Messiah as God … for when we diminish him, we diminish our hope.

♥✞ღ We should not be deserters from God’s will. Seek peace. Pursue peace.

♥✞ღ If God rewarded the righteous immediately, we would soon be engaged in business, not godliness…we would be pursuing not piety, but profit.

Oh, and remember last post when I said that Clement didn’t always stay within the bounds of Scripture?

As inspired as his words were
on the subject of the Divine nature of Jesus
I think he colored just a bit outside the lines

I love this graphic – except I don’t like the distinction “Deity” for the Father and “Divine” for the Son and Spirit. Trinity in a nutshell? There are Three who are God – but only ONE GOD – and we will never BECOME God.

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♥✞ღ In regard to the Savior…He ate, not for the sake of the body, which was sustained by holy power, but for those around Him who might think otherwise of Him, just as afterwards some thought he was a ghost.

♥✞ღ He was by nature dispassionate; and no movement of feeling penetrated Him, whether pleasure or pain.

So what of the temptation in the desert?
Why did Satan offer him bread?

And what of being tempted in every way as we are, but not sinning?

And he wrote this…

♥✞ღ The Word of God, became human so that  you might learn, from a human, how it is possible for a human to become a god.

That’s why Scripture is Scripture…
and everything else…
no matter how ancient…
no matter how inspiring…

is. not.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando August 20, 2012 at 10:47 am

Good ol’ Clement . . . yes, he did get some things wrong, didn’t he? But, he had some inspiring words for us, too. Thanks, as always, for sharing these with us, Craig!
Blessings to you!

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Craig August 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm

We all get some things wrong. It was so important to defend from heresy back then. Old heresies find a way to come back again and again. One degree off at the beginning spells disaster. Beginnings are important. Clement was a thinker – and thinkers sometimes think too much – I know – I am one. :) God Bless you Martha.

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Katie August 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Yes I see your other quotes and how they don’t line up with scripture, but I know I mess up sometimes also. That is why scripture is scripture like you said.

“Let us realize how near he is, and that nothing escapes him, not our thoughts, or the plans we make.”

OH what a true statement. I am grateful that I can’t hide. Hiding is what I do when I stuff. I am the BEST at stuffing my feelings and thoughts and problems and ignoring them. I so grateful that he does know me and all my stuff doesn’t escape him. Psalm 139 is where God showed me that I couldn’t run from God because he was there. I really love this quote. Thank you Craig for sharing the faith of forefathers in Christ. I am learning a lot here.

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Craig August 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Katie, first of all I’m with you on not being able to run away from God – I know – I’ve tried – it doesn’t work. If we’ve really given our life to him he really won’t let us run away – because that’s what we want in our heart – and he knows our heart better than we do. And technically ツ these guys are called Church Fathers – particularly the early ones are called Apostolic Church Fathers – if we don’t call them by the right names I think they might get a little pissy ツ just sayin’ ツ God bless and keep you my friend – and thank you!!

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Andrew March 17, 2015 at 8:31 pm

Regarding what you said on St Clement of Alexandria messing up the trinity. I do not see any quote supporting that claim. In my studies it seems yes it is true that a very strong emphasis was made in that in God All originates from the Father. This is true, but if I asked St. Clement if he believed that Christ was imparting the Holy Spirit to his apostles when he breathed on them in John 20:22 saying ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ or that the Father sends the Spirit in the Name of His son as stated by Christ in John 14:26; I have no doubt that St. Clement would most certainly agree. Omissions of quotes are not explicit statements in themselves but it is easy to think otherwise I know. God bless you and thank you for your site.

John 14:26 “But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.”

John 20:22 “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost”

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Craig March 18, 2015 at 10:12 am

Andrew, good points, respectfully stated, I’m going to look back to this post and what you wrote and answer it as soon as I can. I might have to change the wording. And a good conversation between two Christian brothers, done in love, is iron sharpening iron, I’ll be back to you soon. God. Bless.

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Craig March 26, 2015 at 10:59 am

So, for the sake of iron sharpening iron, and Christian brothers edifying each other. Maybe I should change “the Trinity” into something like, “the nature of God” or “the nature of Jesus AS God”. He was like us in every way except for sin (Heb 2:17) so the “eating thing” – it seems to go counter to Scripture. He was certainly not dispassionate, and being God incarnate, being the exact representation of God (Heb 1:3), a dispassionate Jesus leaves me with a dispassionate God and I don’t see a dispassionate God in Scripture, or by my experience. And about us “becoming gods” – I don’t see that in Scripture either. I can see us becoming more than just human as we are now, and maybe “god’s” in the sense of elevated beings, more than human, less than God – resurrected humans – but I am very careful with throwing around the word God, whether with the capital or lower case g. In dealing with Mormon theology, that’s where I came up with my phrase, which sums up my view of Trinity, “there are three who are God, but only one God, and we will never become God”. So what do you think about me changing “Trinity” to something like, “the nature of God” or “the nature of Jesus as God”. Because I see your point that he isn’t specifically speaking of Trinity, but he is specifically speaking of the nature of Jesus, and Jesus being God, therefore the nature OF God. Thank you. You have already sharpened this piece of iron. Agree or disagree, I appreciate honest open God centered theological discussion that helps both people grow into a better and closer relationship with God and his people. Thank you. God bless. Get back to me if you’d like Andrew.

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Craig April 30, 2015 at 11:27 am

Andrew, based on your comment I’ve edited the post. Thank you for your thoughts. God Bless and Keep.

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A. April 14, 2015 at 10:17 am

Craig, I don’t know how I missed this post back then, but it is very interesting and raises several issues. I am glad you resurrected it. I like the use of ‘Nature of God’ or ‘the nature of Jesus as God’ in place of Trinity. Trinity, interestingly, was not a term from the scriptures though terms don’t have to originate there to be useful. Yet, it may be time for ‘Trinity’ as a term to get a ‘do-over’ so it will be less confusing and more accurate.

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