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THE LETTER OF 2 CLEMENT

3 This then is our reward, if we ac­ knowledge the one through whom we were saved. 4 But how do we acknowledge him? By doing the things he says, not disobey­ ing his commandments, and not honoring him only with our lips but from our whole heart and our whole understanding.6 5 For he also says in Isaiah, “This peo­ ple honors me with their lips, but their heart is far removed from me.”7

4

For this reason we should not merely call him Lord; for this will not save us. 2 For he says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will be saved, but only the one who does righteousness.”8 3 So then, brothers, we should ac­ knowledge him by what we do, by loving one another, by not committing adultery or slandering one another or showing envy. We should be restrained, charitable, and good. We should be sympathetic with one another and not be attached to money. By doing such deeds we ac­ knowledge him, not by doing their opposites. 4 And we must not fear people, but God. 5 For this reason, when you do these things, the Lord has said, “Even if you were cuddled up with me next to my breast but did not do what I have com­ manded, I would cast you away and say to you, ‘Leave me! I do not know where you are from, you who do what is lawless.’ ”9

5

Therefore, brothers, having aban­ doned our temporary residence in this world, we should do the will of the one who called us and not fear departing from this world. 2 For the Lord said, “You will be like sheep in the midst of wolves.”10

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3 But Peter replied to him, “What if the wolves rip apart the sheep?” 4 Jesus said to Peter, “After they are dead, the sheep should fear the wolves no longer. So too you: do not fear those who kill you and then can do nothing more to you; but fear the one who, after you die, has the power to cast your body and soul into the hell of fire.”11 5 You should realize, brothers, that our visit in this realm of the flesh is brief and short-lived, but the promise of Christ is great and astounding—namely, a rest in the coming kingdom and eternal life. 6 What then must we do to obtain these things, except conduct ourselves in a holy and upright way and consider these worldly affairs foreign to us, and not yearn after them? 7 For when we yearn to obtain these things we fall away from the right path.

6

But the Lord says, “No household servant can serve as the slave of two masters.”12 If we wish to serve as slaves of both God and wealth, it is of no use to us. 2 “For what is the advantage of ac­ quiring the whole world while forfeiting your life?”13 3 But this age and the age to come are two enemies. 4 This one preaches adultery, deprav­ ity, avarice, and deceit, but that one re­ nounces these things. 5 We cannot, therefore, be friends of both. We must renounce this world to obtain that one. 6 We think it better to despise the things that are here, since they are brief,

6

Mark 12:30. 7Isa 29:13; cf. Matt 15:8; Mark 7:6; 1 Clem 15:2. 8Matt 7:21. 9Source unknown. 10Cf. Matt 10:16; Luke 10:3. 11Source unknown. Cf. Matt 10:28; Luke 12:4–5. 12Luke 16:13; Matt 6:24. 13 Matt 16:26; Mark 8:36; Luke 9:25.

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