ORDERS OVER $100 SHIP FREE ANYWHERE IN THE USA.
ORDERS OVER $100 SHIP FREE ANYWHERE IN THE USA.

Who Was Clement of Rome?

November 16, 2017 2 Comments

Who Was Clement of Rome?

Many people aren’t aware of the days that the Christian church has set aside to remember the heros of the faith. There is a complete calendar of days of remembrance for the great men and women who have persevered in Christ and lived as examples for all of us to remember. On November 23rd, the western church celebrates the life of St. Clement of Rome.

Who Was St. Clement of Rome?

St. Clement, whose name means “merciful,” is a rather mysterious figure in church history. We do not have many details from his life. No one knows the story of his youth or how he came to become a Christian in Rome. These details are lost. Clement is, however, famous for two things: He was the bishop in Rome, and he wrote one of the most important letters in the early church, First Clement.

St. Clement, Bishop of Rome

Legend has it the Clement was a disciple of the Apostle Peter. Irenaeus writes this about him, “This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles.”

Clement knew and spoke with the Apostles before they were killed, and we believe that he was ordained and consecrated a bishop by St. Peter himself. Clement was not the first bishop of Rome after Peter, however. Irenaeus also reports that two others preceded him, Linus and Anacletus. As side note, Irenaeus also says that this Linus is the one mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:21.

Paul may have also mentioned Clement in Philippians 4:3 , describing him as one of Paul’s fellow workers. We believe that Clement was the bishop of Rome in the late first century, early second century. While many people’s dates vary, most assign his time as bishop around 92 - 101 AD.

Death of Clement of Rome

It is always difficult to separate legend from truth with the earliest Christian fathers, but this is the story of Clement’s death that has been passed down from us. Emperor Trajan banished Clement to Crimea, because of his success at evangelism in Rome. In Crimea, he continued to share the gospel, and many people came to faith in Christ.

Angered, Trajan ordered that St. Clement be thrown into the sea with an anchor tied around him. Clement drowned, of course. Legend has it that the tide moved back two miles each year until the place where Clement was drowned had been revealed. There, a divinely built shrine contained his bones.

The Epistle of First Clement

Paul’s letters to the Corinthians made that carnal and fractious city famous for their strange behavior around communion, spiritual gifts, and a general lack of love. St. Clement’s letter was also written to the Corinthians to stop similar behavior. This letter became so famous in the Christian church that it was almost included in the New Testament. Eusebius writes in his history of the Christian church , book three, chapter 16, “We know that this epistle also has been publicly used in a great many churches both in former times and in our own.” When he uses the words, “publicly read,” he means that this letter was read in some churches like the letters of Paul or the gospels.

First Clement was written, in part, to correct the Corinthians’ scandalous behavior. It seems like a band of them deposed the bishop without ceremony and inserted their own. Clement writes, not just to tell them to stop, to encourage harmony, humility, and mutual submission to the order of the church. Here are some select quotations.

Evils of Envy from Ancient Times

Chapter 4: “You see, brethren, how envy and jealousy led to the murder of a brother. Through envy, also, our father Jacob fled from the face of Esau his brother. Envy made Joseph be persecuted unto death, and to come into bondage.

The Peace of Creation Illustrates God’s Will for Peace

Chapter, 20: “The very smallest of living beings meet together in peace and concord. All these the great Creator and Lord of all has appointed to exist in peace and harmony; while He does good to all, but most abundantly to us who have fled for refuge to His compassions through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and majesty for ever and ever.”

To Do Good Works

Chapter 33: “What shall we do, then, brethren? Shall we become slothful in well-doing, and cease from the practice of love? God forbid that any such course should be followed by us! But rather let us hasten with all energy and readiness of mind to perform every good work.”

To Follow Church Order in the Ministry

From Chapter 44:

For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ, in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry.

Clement’s life and work are an example to all Christians and to pastors about faithfulness. His writings demonstrate the need for the church to love each other and live in good order. Most of all, he points each of us to the all-availing sacrifice of Jesus Christ to justify us before God.

Related Posts

Bible Emergency Numbers: Peace and Rest Matthew 11:25-30
Bible Emergency Numbers: Peace and Rest Matthew 11:25-30
Of all our Christian T-shirts, the Bible Emergency Numbers is easily the most popular. You can see why. It lists 25 i...
Read More
The Worship Of Holy Week: Holy Thursday
The Worship Of Holy Week: Holy Thursday
The days between Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and his resurrection are the high point of the Biblical narrative. Large...
Read More
Palm Sunday or The Sunday Of The Passion
Palm Sunday or The Sunday Of The Passion
The days between Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and his resurrection are the high point of the Biblical narrative. Large...
Read More

2 Responses

Susan J.. Hill
Susan J.. Hill

November 19, 2017

I think it’s a convieniant and easily accessible way to have a quick read on such an informative subject. It is so humbling to learn of these heart’s so full for God.

Jane Sherman
Jane Sherman

November 18, 2017

Learned something I didn’t know.

Very enlightening and I LOVED it.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Christian Writings

Mothers In The Bible
Mothers In The Bible

April 26, 2020

Mother's Day is a joyous way to say, “thank you” to the woman who gave you life. But Mother’s Day is a hard day for many women, too. Many mothers struggle with infertility and loss. In this post, we're going to look at the stories of Mothers in the Bible to see them work through joy and struggle. 
Read More
Bible Emergency Numbers: Peace and Rest Matthew 11:25-30
Bible Emergency Numbers: Peace and Rest Matthew 11:25-30

May 03, 2019

Read More
The Worship Of Holy Week: Holy Thursday
The Worship Of Holy Week: Holy Thursday

April 13, 2019 1 Comment

Read More
GET 7% OFF YOUR ORDER TODAY!
Enter Your Primary Email Below And Get An Instant 7% OFF Today!
Contact Us
Send and email to Ryan@OurLordStyle.com and myself or my team will get back to you ASAP. God bless you!
American express Apple pay Diners club Discover Jcb Master Paypal Visa