For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15.4
1 Clement 5, 6
Clement of Rome (fl. ca. 90-100 AD)
“But not to dwell on these ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and blind jealousy the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death…Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours; and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance…Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience…To these men who spent their lives in the practice of holiness, there is to be added a great multitude of the elect, who, having through envy endured many indignities and tortures, furnished us with a most excellent example.”
Church history is a rich source of instruction for building the Church – as, indeed, we trust you will find in this Pastor to Pastor daily offering. Scripture teaches us how to read Church history so that we might gain the patience and comfort God intends for us. Clement didn’t have much Church history to draw on, but it’s clear he was quite familiar with what there was. Pastors who are students of Church history put at their disposal a wealth of example, instruction, and counsel to help in building the Church and nurturing the Body of Christ in our day. We neglect this great heritage of faith to our own peril, as well as to that of our churches.
Have you found Church history to be a source of guidance and counsel? Do you think you would benefit from becoming even more immersed in the long history of God’s people? Does the study of Church history in any way factor into your ministry, or that of your leaders, as you work to build your church in unity and maturity in Christ (Eph. 4.11-16)?
Introduction to Christian Worldview
We’re pleased to offer our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, at The Ailbe Seminary. There’s no charge, and all the course materials are free. In 12 diagrams you will gain a perspective and overall grasp of the 1 worldview that can change the world. Click here to register.
Personal Discipleship Inventory
You can have a look at the state of your own Christian worldview by watching this brief video and working through the free download, Personal Discipleship Inventory (click here).
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.