A Gospel Presentation from the First Century

First Century Gospel Presentation

Clement lived between A.D. 30-100. He is one of what are called the Ante-Nicene [Before Nicene Council] Fathers. He may have known the apostle Paul (cf. Phil 4:3). He probably wrote his first letter to the Corinthians in about A.D. 96. The following is from “chapters 7-9” where he writes about how we are saved by the blood of Christ.

  These things, beloved, we write unto you, not merely to admonish you of your duty, but also to remind ourselves. … Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God, which, having been shed for our salvation has set the grace of repentance before the whole world. Let us turn to every age that has passed, and learn that, from generation to generation, the Lord has granted a place of repentance to all such as would be converted unto Him. Noah preached repentance and as many as listened to him were saved. Jonah proclaimed destruction to the Ninevites; but they, repenting of their sins, propitiated God by prayer, and obtained salvation, although they were aliens [to the covenant] of God. 

The ministers of the grace of God have, by the Holy Spirit, spoken of repentance; and the Lord of all things has himself declared with an oath regarding it, “As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of the sinner, but rather his repentance;” adding, moreover, this gracious declaration, “Repent O house of Israel, of your iniquity. Say to the children of My people” “Though your sins reach from earth to heaven, and though they be redder than scarlet, and blacker than sackcloth, yet if ye turn to Me with your whole heart, and say, ‘Father!’ I will listen to you, as to a holy people.”

And in another place He speaks thus: “Wash you, and become clean; put away the wickedness of your souls from before mine eyes; cease from your evil ways, and learn to do well; seek out judgment, deliver the oppressed, judge the fatherless, and see that justice is done to the widow; and come, and let us reason together. He declares, Though your sins be like crimson, I will make them white as snow; though they be like scarlet, I will whiten them like wool. And if ye be willing and obey Me, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse, and will not hearken unto Me, the sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken these things.”

Desiring, therefore, that all His beloved should be partakers of repentance, He has, by His almighty will, established [these declarations]. Wherefore, let us yield obedience to His excellent and glorious will; and imploring His mercy and loving-kindness, while we forsake all fruitless labors, and strife, and envy, which leads to death, let us turn and have recourse to His compassions. …

Summary:

  1. Jesus shed His blood on our behalf
  2. We repent of our sin and believe in Him.
  3. We implore Him for mercy.
  4. We find Him merciful and forgiving
  5. We live lives infiltrated with Kingdom values and learn to do well.

5 thoughts on “A Gospel Presentation from the First Century

  1. Two things:

    1. I’ve seen very little evidence for a late date of 1 Corinthians. More likely written between 55-60 A.D.

    2. I’d love to see a pre 100 A.D. gospel presentation to an unbelieving audience. Know of any?

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    1. Miguel,
      The date referred to is Clement’s letter to the Corinthians (called 1 Clement) not Paul’s. You are right Paul’s letter was written between A.D. 55-60.

      Haven’t found one yet, but I am still reading the early Fathers.

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  2. The Clement that Paul mentions is a different Clement than the one who is a “church father” (at least, commonly recognized.) The church father dude is Clement of Alexandria, and he lived from c. 150 – c. 215

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