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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol IX:
The Epistles of Clement.: Chapter XIV

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIV.—The Church Spiritual.

So, then, brethren, if we do the will of our Father God, we shall be members of the first church, the spiritual,—that which was created before sun and moon; but if we shall not do the will of the Lord, we shall come under the Scripture which saith, “My house became a den of robbers.” 4394   So, then, let us p. 255 elect to belong to the church of life, 4395 that we may be saved.  I think not that ye are ignorant that the living church is the body of Christ (for the Scripture, saith, “God created man male and female;” 4396 the male is Christ, the female the church,) and that the Books 4397 and the Apostles teach that the church is not of the present, but from the beginning.  For it was spiritual, as was also our Jesus, and was made manifest at the end of the days in order to save you. 4398   The church being spiritual, was made manifest in the flesh of Christ, signifying to us that if any one of us shall preserve it in the flesh and corrupt it not, he shall receive it in the Holy Spirit.  For this flesh is the type of the spirit; no one, therefore, having corrupted the type, will receive afterwards the antitype.  Therefore is it, then, that He saith, brethren, “Preserve ye the flesh, that ye may become partakers of the spirit.”  If we say that the flesh is the church and the spirit Christ, then it follows that he who shall offer outrage to the flesh is guilty of outrage on the church.  Such an one, therefore, will not partake of the spirit, which is Christ.  Such is the life and immortality, which this flesh may afterwards receive, the Holy Spirit cleaving to it; and no one can either express or utter what things the Lord hath prepared for His elect. 4399



Jer. vii. 11.


Comp. 1 Pet. ii., iv. sqq.


Gen. i. 27; comp. Eph. v. 22-23.


i.e., The Old Testament.


1 Pet. i. 20.


1 Cor. ii. 9.

Next: Chapter XV