Clement Of Alexandria: Baptism and DiscernmentClement of Alexandria: We who are baptized, having wiped off the sins which obscure the light of the Divine Spirit. Clement then shows that the "gift of the Spirit" is the ability to discern the Word once we have turned to Christ.
More Spiritual Discernment. Discernment comes AFTER one "turns to the Lord" and after one is baptized. It is called A holy spirit or A clear conscience or consiousness meaning "spiritual perception."
See that A holy spirit is needed to be a DISCIPLE. A disciple is made by baptism and ongoing teaching of what Christ brought us. A disciple or student is a Christian. Since Jesus promised an ekklesia or synagogue or school of he Bible, discipleship replaces threskia worship which is sexual and charismatic and musical.
"Alexandria becomes the brain of Christendom: its heart was yet beating at Antioch, but the West was still receptive only, its hands and arms stretched forth-towards the sunrise for further enlightenment.
Of the Church in Rome:
"From the East it had obtained the Scriptures and their authentication, and from the same source was deriving the canons, the liturgies, and the creed of Christendom. The universal language of Christians is Greek.
"To a pagan emperor who had outgrown the ideas of Nero's time, it was no longer Judaism; but it was not less an Oriental superstition, essentially Greek in its features and its dress. "All the churches of the West," says the historian of Latin Christianity, "were Greek religious colonies. Their language was Greek, their organization Greek, their writers Greek, their Scriptures and their ritual were Greek. Through Greek, the communications of the churches of the West were constantly kept up with the East."Thus the Church at Rome was but one of a confederation of Greek religious republics rounded by Christianity."
"Now this confederation was the Holy Catholic Church. Introduction of Clement of Alexandria
Therefore, the catholic or "universal" church was not Roman. Out of places closer to the origin of Christianity, the very earliest writers identified that universal or catholic church as the church of Christ.
There was no "trinity" of persons but fidelity to the One God honoring the roles of Father, Son and Spirit or mental disposition.
Baptism "for" or "in order" to the forgiveness of sins was simply taking Jesus, Peter and the bible to mean what they said.
There was no effort to paganize the church with practices such as music which Rome confesses to having taken from all pagan cults.
Our Commentary in RED or or enclosed in table form. Other quotations are in BLUE.
Clement of Alexandria, Pedagogue, Book I
- b. AD 150, Athens
- d. between 211 and 215Chapter VIa.-The Name Children Does Not Imply Instruction in Elementary Principles.
We have ample means of encountering those who are given to carping.
For we are not termed children and infants with reference to the childish and contemptible character of our education, as those who are inflated on account of knowledge have calumniously alleged.
Straightway, on our regeneration, we attained that perfection after which we aspired. For we were illuminated, which is to know God. He is not then imperfect who knows what is perfect.
Paul speaks of the children or "milk fed" to whom He was forced to know only Christ and Him crucified. However, he speaks of the "perfected" to whom the doctrines of Christ and apostles or "meat" could be fed. Therefore, to Paul, the perfected are those who have been baptized, received the gift of the Holy Spirit (Mind of God) and, according to Peter, have been made "co-perceivers" or sanctified and able to treat the Word of God with maturity. A clear conscience is a clear consciousness. That is, as far as the eye can see, there are no obstacles which keep one from seeing clearly.
Unforgiven sin can be like a veil or fog over the eyes. Only in connection with baptism does the New Testament promise something like "tearing down the veil" to the Most Holy Place in the temple so that we can "truly see God and the kingdom."
Formality-fulfilling baptism among children deprives them of this awareness and Jesus would say "takes away the key to knowledge."
Paul told the Corinthians who never matured:
- AND I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1
- For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2: 2
What does this mean? In Philippians, Paul defined the "gospel" attitude:
- Your attitude (mind) should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, Phil 2:5LIV
- who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, Phil 2:6
- but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men Phil 2:7
- And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal's death on a cross. Phil 2:8
- Yet it was because of this that God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name which is above every other name, Phil 2:9
- that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, Phil 2:10
- For God to lower Himself so that humanity could understand Him, He took off the "clothing" of God and put on the garments of the lowest menial servant.
In order to be clothed with Christ it is vital that the believer take of their old clothing, be cleansed by Christ and put Him on in baptism. This does not make us apostles or prophets but it "installs" the Mind of Christ so that His Spirit can speak to our spirit. Otherwise, we just hear the letter but not the spirit of His revealed Words.
How did Paul demonstrate "Christ and Him crucified?"
- And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 1 Corinthians 2: 3
- And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of mans wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 1 Corinthians 2: 4
- That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2: 5
The Corinthians would continue to be carnal and therefore never spiritual and therefore never capable of understanding spiritual truth. Even though some had been baptized, Paul was happy that it wasn't often by his hands. Why? Because they had not grasped "Christ and Him crucified."
However, there were some capable of understanding Divine Language which Jesus hid in parables to keep it safe from the hands of the Jewish clergy (Isaiah 48/ Matthew 13).
- Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect (mental and moral character):
- yet not the wisdom of this world,nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 1 Corinthians 2:6
- [The Judas Bag was the device of the Greek flute player who was often a thief. The bag was for "holding the mouthpieces of wind instruments. This word is made up of the meanings: "speaking in tongues" and "of the world."]
Jesus said that the Word had been spoken in parables "from the foundation of the world." Now, Paul says of the few:
- But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 1 Corinthians 2:7
- Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:8
Why didn't someone tell the clergy princes? In Matthew 13 Jesus said that they had taken the fatal step and disqualified themselves to ever be spiritual. Therefore, God blinded their eyes and closed their eart. Jesus refused to teach them the truth because If they repented God would be obligated to save them.
> Peter said 2:38 that baptized believers would be saved (sins remitted) and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
- > In his first epistle, Peter confirmed the meaning:
- The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer (request for) of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 1 Peter 3:21KJV
- A clear conscience means that "the veil" has been removed allowing us "to see completely; to understand or become aware, and to be conscious or clandestinely informed of.
The "perfect" are not inspired but they are given the gift of A Holy Spirit where "spirit" means the mental disposition of Christ revealed through His words but not discernable to the majority.
As man created in the image of God has a spirit, so God is said to also have Mind or Spirit. The Apostles were "breathed on" by Christ and taught by the Spirit indwelling Him. Others, by contacting Christ in baptism, have a holy spirit and are able to comprehend what the Apostles revealed
- But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10
By a very crude analogy, Paul explains how God's Spirit is like our spirit:
- For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?
- even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11
- Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God;
- that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Corinthians 2:12
Jesus said that the Word had been revealed in parables from the foundation of the world. The mysteries are hidden in the written Word but cannot be fully discerned until God renews our own spirit and makes it able to be a co-perceiver.
Like Jesus, Paul did not speak in human thought patterns:
- Which things also we speak,
- not in the words which mans wisdom teacheth,but (words)
- which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 1 Corinthians 2:13
Those still carnal in Corinth who would just have to hear the gospel over and over until they got it were not "perfected" and therefore not even of the same "spiritual species" as baptized believers:
- But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:
<>neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
The "gift of the Spirit" allows one to go beyond "Christ and Him Crucified" and take on His Mind and become able to participate with Him in the mysteries.
The "bare bones" of the gospel are the hardest part of making contact with the Divine Mind. When we grasp that God choose to reveal Himself as a servant human who taught but did not ritualize, then the "seed" of the Word has germinated and the life process begins.
However, only those who have gladly "accepted the counsel of God for their lives" without debating with God are true believers. Faith authorizes them to be baptized which, in contrast to the untrue pagan initiations, actually gives one the Mind or Spirit or "gift of the Spirit." This gift to the "perfected" makes one a co-perceiver, enlightened, illuminated and able to grasp the "meat" or doctrines of the Bible.
- But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12
- Which were born (conceived), not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:13
When Christ was baptized it was to fulfill all righteousness which means to "fully preach baptism." While He was not an evil person, He was murdered like an evil man. Therefore, while He was already perfected it was part of the orgained plan that He be baptized like a sinner.
If Jesus had refused to be baptized then He would not have demonstrated the way all believers are to accept God's counsel. In the same way, if He had refused to be crucified He would not have fulfilled His plan while still "clothed" with majesty and glory as fully God.
There is only ONE God. However, He makes Himself known as Father, Son and Spirit:
Father God Son
As "Father," God commands, as "son" God obeys through baptism and literal death, as Spirit God gives the Mind of Christ to the "perfected." This means spiritual maturity which comes from "feeding on meat."
Clement notes that Christ was baptized because His task was to model the way all are to become free of Sin. He actually took on the sin of the whole world. His own death paid the price but Baptism was His "form of doctrine" which we repeat to identify with Him.
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. Matt 3:13
But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? Matt 3:14
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. Matt 3:15
Fulfill includes to fully preach baptism:
Pleroo (g4137) play-ro'-o; from 4134; to make replete i.e. (lit.) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (fig.) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: - accomplish, * after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfill, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.
And do not reprehend me when I profess to know God; for so it was deemed right to speak to the Word, and He is free. John viii. 35,36
For at the moment of the Lord's baptism there sounded a voice from heaven, as a testimony to the Beloved, "Thou art My beloved Son, to-day have I begotten Thee."Let us then ask the wise, Is Christ, begotten to-day, already perfect, or-what were most monstrous-imperfect?
If the latter, there is some addition He requires yet to make. But for Him to make any addition to His knowledge is absurd, since He is God.
For none can be superior to the Word, or the teacher of the only Teacher.
Will they not then own, though reluctant, that the perfect Word born of the perfect Father was begotten in perfection, according to oeconomic fore-ordination?
And if He was perfect, why was He, the perfect one, baptized?
It was necessary, they say, to fulfil the profession that pertained to humanity. Most excellent.
Well, I assert, simultaneously with His baptism by John, He becomes perfect?
Manifestly. He did not then learn anything more from him? Certainly not.
But He is perfected by the washing-of baptism-alone, and
is sanctified by the descent of the Spirit?
Such is the case.
Paul was happy that he had not baptized many of the Corinthians because they could not die to self and conform to the image of Christ in that baptism. To those he never went beyond chastizement and feeding them with MILK. However, there were some who had been baptized and became THE PERFECTED:
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 1 Cor 2:6
The same also takes place in our case, whose exemplar Christ became. Being baptized, we are illuminated; illuminated, we become sons;
The test of Jesus' Sonship was that He spoke only what He heard from the Father. He identified the sons of the Devil as "one who speaks on his own." Therefore, it becomes easy to sort out the holy from the unholy SEED living and teaching in the world.
being made sons, we are made perfect; being made perfect, we are made immortal. "I," says He, "have said that ye are gods, and all sons of the Highest." Ps. lxxxii. 6."
The false teachers in Judaism built tombs or temples to the prophets but deliberately ignored the prophets so that they could teach their own false doctrine. Another test was that they stood in public and made long prayers which would have been sermons and their purpose was to "eat up the houses of widows." They rode on the backs of the afflicted and their burden was "spiritual anxiety created by religious rituals."
GOD standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. Psa 82:1<>How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Psa 82:2
Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Psa 82: 3
Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. Psa 82:4
They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. Psa 82: 5<>I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. Psa 82: 6
But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Psa 82: 7
Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations. Psa 82: 8
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. Matt 13:13
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: Matt 13:14
For this peoples heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Matt 13:15
All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: Matt 13:34
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. Mt.13:35
The Jews refused to "accept the counsel of God for their lives" in being baptized by John. This refusal of baptism meant that they repudiated both God and His Word. Therefore, there was no way that Jesus would speak to those who did not love the truth. However, to those who accepted Him, Jesus gave them the power to become sons of God in baptism.
Peter said that this would give the baptized believers "the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38) or a "clear consciousness or co-perception" (1 Peter 3:21).
And Paul said that if we are enlightened and then turn our back upon that enlightenment power in the Word of God we have committed the unforgivable sin:
For it is impossible for those who were
once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, Heb.6:4
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, Heb 6:5
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Heb 6:6
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Heb 10:31
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Hebrews 10:32
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: Ep.3:9
See 1 Corinthians Gift of the Spirit Suneidesis. The gift of the Spirit in Acts 2:38 is defined further by Peter so that we cannot misunderstand:
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer (request for) of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 1 Peter 3:21
Vine notes that a clear conscience means a clear consciousness. This is confirmed by the word Peter used:
Suneidesis (g4893) soon-i'-day-sis; from a prol. form of 4894; co- perception, i.e. moral consciousness; - conscience.
Suneido (g4894) soon-i'-do; from 4862 and 1492; to see completely; used (like its prim.) only in two past tenses, respectively mean. to understand or become aware, and to be conscious or (clandestinely) informed of: - consider, know, be privy, be ware of.
Mandaeands Sabians Iraq Christians
"Sabian" is a word derived from the Aramaic-Mandic verb "Saba" which means "baptised" or "dyed", "immersed in water". "dMandaeans" is derived from "menda" which means in the mandiac language "knowledge".
Thus, "Mandaean Sabians" means those who are baptised and who know the religion of God.
This work is variously called grace, and illumination, and perfection, and washing:
> washing, by which we cleanse away our sins;
> grace, by which the penalties accruing to transgressions are remitted; and
> illumination, by which that holy light of salvation is beheld, that is,
by which we see God clearly.
[This is the gift of A holy spirit. See 1 Peter 3:21 for the gift of A clear conscience]
Now we call that perfect which wants nothing. For what is yet wanting to him who knows God? For it were truly monstrous that that which is not complete should be called a gift (or act) of God's grace.
Being perfect, He consequently bestows perfect gifts.
As at His command all things were made,
so on His bare wishing to bestow grace,
ensues the perfecting of His grace. For the future of time is anticipated by the power of His volition.
Further release from evils is the beginning of salvation.We then alone, who first have touched the confines of life, are already perfect; and we already live who are separated from death.
Salvation, accordingly, is the following of Christ:"For that which is in Him is life. John i. 4.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My words, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into condemnation, but hath passed from death to life."John v. 24.
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63
Thus believing alone, and regeneration, is perfection in life; for God is never weak. For as His will is work, and this (the result of his will) is named the world; so also
His counsel is the salvation of men, and this has been called the church.
So that we don't grasp this as BELIEF ALONE but encompases regeneration and perfection:
We repeat: This work is variously called grace, and illumination, and perfection, and washing: washing, by which we cleanse away our sins; grace, by which the penalties accruing to transgressions are remitted; and illumination, by which that holy light of salvation is beheld, that is, by which we see God clearly.
> Regeneration to Clement is not something mystical. For instance, when one is aroused from sleep they are awake.
In the same way, one who does not believe does not have the capacity to obey God because they are not awake.
They as far away from spiritual power as they can be. However, when one hears the gospel, the Word or Seed of life or Spirit (John 6:63) suddenly germinates and the seed is said to be alive.
> However, once faith is alive through the "good news" it now gives the capacity to put on Christ in maturity and burst through the ground or grave in a form of new birth.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Jn.1:12
> Only when a seed germinates and is born into the air does the plant have the power or perfection to produce fruit and enjoy its life.
But there is another analogy: that of dying to self and being resurrected with Christ in the form of baptism. There is no life in the full sense until one is resurrected from death.
He knows, therefore, whom He has called, and whom He has saved; and at one and the same time He called and saved them. "For ye are," says the apostle, "taught of God." 1 Thess. iv. 9.
It is not then allowable to think of what is taught by Him as imperfect; and what is learned from Him is the eternal salvation of the eternal Saviour, to whom be thanks for ever and ever. Amen.
And he who is only regenerated-as the name necessarily indicates-and is enlightened, is delivered forthwith from darkness, and on the instant receives the light.
As, then, those who have shaken off sleep forthwith become all awake within; or rather,
as those who try to remove a film that is over the eyes,
do not supply to them from without the light which they do not possess,
but removing the obstacle from the eyes, leave the pupil free;
thus also we who are baptized,
having wiped off the sins which obscure the light of the Divine Spirit,
have the eye of the spirit free, unimpeded, and full of light,
by which alone we contemplate the Divine, the Holy Spirit flowing down to us from above.
This is the eternal adjustment of the vision, which is able to see the eternal light, since like loves like; and that which is holy, loves that from which holiness proceeds, which has appropriately been termed light. "Once ye were darkness, now are ye light in the Lord." Eph. v. 8.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Eph 5:8
Jesus said that the Jews "rejected God's counsel for their lives" in refusing to be baptized. After Pentecost they continued to reject that counsel by refusing Christian baptism which Christ ordained as the time and place to ask for spiritual discernment of His Word spoken in parables "from the foundation of the world." Paul took note of WHEN they were blinded: it was when they repudiated Gods BOOK OF THE COVENANT and turned back to Egyptian musical idolatry. Therefore, Paul agrees with Stephen that the Jewish dispensation was that of discipline or a curse and not a "pattern for Christian worship."
And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 2 Cor. 3:13
But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 2 Cor. 3:14But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 2 Cor. 3:15
Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. 2 Cor. 3:16
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor. 3:17
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18
Rather than Jewish rituals restored to Christianity, Peter agreed that the way to worship God is to give heed to that which is written:
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Pe.1:19
Taking heed to the Word is the unique meaning of "worship" in the Christian church.
Hence I am of opinion man was called by the ancients phos. But he has not yet received, say they, the perfect gift. I also assent to this; but he is in the light, and the darkness comprehendeth him not.
There is nothing intermediate between light and darkness.
When Satan transformed himself into a "serpent" we understand from the definition of the word and ancient history that he did not become a "snake." Rather, he is defined as an enchanter, soothsayer or magician who used music to transform himself from an ugly beast into a SUPER STAR.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 2 Cor 11:13
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 2 Cor 11:14
STARS have always been symbolic of those who can make a lie sound like the truth.
Phos (g5457) foce; from an obsol. phao, (to shine or make manifest, espec. by rays; comp. 5316, 5346); luminousness (in the widest application, nat. or artificial, abstr. or concr., lit. or fig.): - fire, light.
Phaino (g5316) fah'ee-no; prol. for the base of 5457; to lighten (shine), i.e. show (trans. or intrans., lit. or fig.): - appear, seem, be seen, shine, * think.
And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. Re.8:12
But the end is reserved till the resurrection of those who believe; and it is not the reception of some other thing, but the obtaining of the promise previously made. For we do not say that both take place together at the same time-both the arrival at the end, and the anticipation of that arrival.
For eternity and time are not the same, neither is the attempt and the final result; but both have reference to the same thing, and one and the same person is concerned in both.
- Faith, so to speak, is the attempt generated in time;
- the final result is the attainment of the promise, secured for eternity.
Now the Lord Himself has most clearly revealed the equality of salvation, when He said:
"For this is the will of my Father, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, should have everlasting life; and I will raise him up in the last day." John vi. 40.
As far as possible in this world, which is what he means by the last day, and which is preserved till the time that it shall end, we believe that we are made perfect. Wherefore He says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." John iii. 36.
If, then, those who have believed have life, what remains beyond the possession of eternal life?
Nothing is wanting to faith, as it is perfect and complete in itself.
If aught is wanting to it, it is not wholly perfect. But faith is not lame in any respect; nor after our departure from this world does it make us who have believed, and received without distinction the earnest of future good, wait;
but having in anticipation grasped by faith that which is future, after the resurrection we receive it as present, in order that that may be fulfilled which was spoken, "Be it according to thy faith." Matt. ix. 29. And where faith is, there is the promise; and the consummation of the promise is rest.
The "spirit" which would rest upon Messiah was not "a little person of the Godhead." Rather, since spirit means "mental disposition" the Spirit which rested on Jesus had to do will all things related to the MIND and not some mystical power:
AND there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: Isaiah 11:1
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; Isaiah 11: 2
And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: Isaiah 11: 3
But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. Isaiah 11: 4
So that in illumination what we receive is knowledge, and the end of knowledge is rest-the last thing conceived as the object of aspiration.As, then, inexperience comes to an end by experience, and perplexity by finding a clear outlet,
so by illumination must darkness disappear. The darkness is ignorance, through which we fall into sins, purblind as to the truth.Knowledge, then, is the illumination we receive, which makes ignorance disappear, and endows us with clear vision.
Further, the abandonment of what is bad is the adopting of what is better.
We repeat: Peter said that it is at baptism as the time and place where we ASK Gof for this CLEAR VISION. It seems logical that if we do not ask for it then we will not receive it:
Suneidesis (g4893) soon-i'-day-sis; from a prol. form of 4894; co- perception, i.e. moral consciousness; - conscience.
Suneido (g4894) soon-i'-do; from 4862 and 1492; to see completely; used (like its prim.) only in two past tenses, respectively mean. to understand or become aware, and to be conscious or (clandestinely) informed of: - consider, know, be privy, be ware of.
Baptism of the Spirit (Word of Christ, John 6:63; Eph 5:18; Col 3:16)
In the usual sense, baptism of the Spirit is relegated to performing supernatural signs. However, we should remember that signs were signs of the Apostle's commission and not of the baptized person's power. Furthermore:No man ever spoke in tongues outside of the arm's reach of an apostle. And as far as we know, they never did it again.
No woman ever spoke in tongues anywhere not even in the presence of an apostle.
However, baptism speaks of being totally overwhelmed with water. And "spirit" does not speak of a person separated from "Father and Son." Rather, Spirit speaks of the Mind of Christ or the mental disposition of spirit. Therefore, being overwhelmed or baptized with the "spirit" is actually defined outside of the Apostle's realm as "the gift of the Spirit" or becoming co-perceivers as a result of Baptism (1 Pet. 1:11)
Consistent with this, Clement continues:
For what ignorance has bound ill, is by knowledge loosed well; those bonds are with all speed slackened by human faith and divine grace, our transgressions being taken away by one Poeonian [Iliad, v. 401.] medicine, the baptism of the Word.
We are washed from all our sins, and are no longer entangled in evil. This is the one grace of illumination, that our characters are not the same as before our washing.
And since knowledge springs up with illumination, shedding its beams around the mind,
the moment we hear, we who were untaught become disciples.
Does this, I ask, take place on the advent of this instruction? You cannot tell the time.
For instruction leads to faith, and faith with baptism is trained by the Holy Spirit.
Clement does not teach the later Catholic "baptismal regeneration." Baptism is not a work. Rather, faith is what begins the seed germinating and baptism and the Spirit develops that embryo faith:
For that faith is the one universal salvation of humanity, and that there is the same equality before the righteous and loving God,
and the same fellowship between Him and all, the apostle most clearly showed, speaking to the following effect: "Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed, so that the law became our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith; but after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."
Gal. iii. 23-25. [Here the schoolmaster should be the child-guide; for the law leads us to the Master, says Clement, and we are no longer under the disciplinary guide, but "under the Word, the master of our free choice." The schoolmaster then is the Word, and the law merely led us to his school.]
"The Faith" is contrasted to "the Law" and not faith contrasted with unbelief. Therefore, Clement goes on to place the Law and the Word in contrast.
In Chapter XIII.-Virtue Rational, Sin Irrational, Clement notes:
Obedience is founded on commands.
For the life of Christians, in which we are now trained, is a system of reasonable actions-that is, of those things taught by the Word-an unfailing energy which we have called faith.
The system is the commandments of the Lord,
which, being divine statues and spiritual counsels, have been written for ourselves, being adapted for ourselves and our neighbours.
Moreover, they turn back on us, as the ball rebounds on him that throws it by the repercussion.
Whence also duties are essential for divine discipline, as being enjoined by God, and furnished for our salvation.
And since, of those things which are necessary, some relate only to life here, and others, which relate to the blessed life yonder, wing us for flight hence; so, in an analogous manner, of duties, some are ordained with reference to life, others for the blessed life.
The commandments issued with respect to natural life are published to the multitude;
but those that are suited for living well, and from which eternal life springs, we have to consider, as in a sketch, as we read them out of the Scriptures.
Do you not hear that we are no longer under that law which was accompanied with fear, but under the Word, the master of free choice? Then he subjoined the utterance, clear of all partiality:
- For ye are all the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
- For as many as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal. iii. 26-28. There are not, then, in the same Word some "illuminated (gnostics); and some animal (or natural) men;
"but all who have abandoned the desires of the flesh are equal and spiritual before the Lord.
And again he writes in another place: "For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free, and we have all drunk of one cup." 1 Cor. xii. 13.
Nor were it absurd to employ the expressions of those who call the reminiscence of better things the filtration of the spirit, understanding by filtration the separation of what is baser, that results from the reminiscence of what is better.
There follows of necessity, in him who has come to the recollection of what is better, repentance for what is worse.Accordingly, they confess that the spirit in repentance retraces its steps.
In the same way, therefore, we also, repenting of our sins, renouncing our iniquities, purified by baptism, speed back to the eternal light, children to the Father.
Jesus therefore, rejoicing in the spirit, said:
"I thank Thee, O Father, God of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes; " Luke x. 21.
the Master and Teacher applying the name babes to us, who are readier to embrace salvation than the wise in the world, who, thinking themselves wise, are inflated with pride. And He exclaims in exultation and exceeding joy, as if lisping with the children,
Explaining why he preached just Christ and Him crucified to the Corinthians, Paul explained that carnal people cannot grasp what Christ wants revealed to the spiritual babes. They needed "milk" and not "meat" because while being ignorant they considered themselves wise. He then explains that he can teach deeper truth to those who have been "perfected" and been overwhelmed with the truth of God's Word.
"Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight." Luke x. 21. Wherefore those things which have been concealed from the wise and prudent of this present world have been revealed to babes.
Truly, then, are we the children of God, who have put aside the old man, and stripped off the garment of wickedness, and put on the immortality of Christ; that we may become a new, holy people by regeneration, and may keep the man undefiled. And a babe, as God's little one, is cleansed from fornication and wickedness.
With the greatest clearness the blessed Paul has solved for us this question in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, writing thus:
"Brethren, be not children in understanding; howbeit in malice be children, but in understanding be men." 1 Cor. xiv. 20.
And the expression, "When I was a child, I thought as a child, I spoke as a child," 1 Cor. xiii. 11. [A text much misused by the heretical gnostics whom Clement confutes.] points out his mode of life according to the law, according to which, thinking childish things, he persecuted, and speaking childish things he blasphemed the Word,
not as having yet attained to the simplicity of childhood, but as being in its folly; for the word nepios has two meanings.
"When I became a man," again Paul says, "I put away childish things." 1 Cor. xiii. 11.
It is not incomplete size of stature, nor a definite measure of time, nor additional secret teachings in things that are manly and more perfect,
that the apostle, who himself professes to be a preacher of childishness, alludes to when he sends it, as it were, into banishment;> but he applies the name "children" to those who are under the law, who are terrified by fear as children are by bugbears;
> and "men" to us who are obedient to the Word and masters of ourselves, who have believed, and are saved by voluntary choice, and are rationally, not irrationally, frightened by terror.
Of this the apostle himself shall testify, calling as he does the Jews heirs according to the first covenant, and us heirs according to promise:
Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors, till the time appointed by the father. So also we, when we were children, were in bondage under the rudiments of the world: but when the fulness of the time was came, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons " Gal. iv. 1-5. by Him.
See how He has admitted those to be children who are under fear and sins; but has conferred manhood on those who are under faith, by calling them sons, in contradistinction from the children that are under the law:
"For thou art no more a servant," he says, "but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God." Gal. iv. 7. What, then, is lacking to the son after inheritance? Wherefore the expression, "When I was a child," may be elegantly expounded thus: that is, when I was a Jew (for he was a Hebrew by extraction) I thought as a child, when I followed the law; but after becoming a man, I no longer entertain the sentiments of a child, that is, of the law, but of a man, that is, of Christ, whom alone the Scripture calls man, as we have said before. "I put away childish things."
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