This article analyzes the widely misunderstood concept of ‘payback’ or ‘repayment’ (ἀντιμισθία) that, according to the so-called Second Letter of Clement, believers owe to Christ. Much of the secondary literature is laden with theological polemics (e.g. the author perverts Paul's gospel of grace), rather than an attempt to understand this concept relative to social relationships in antiquity. I argue that Second Clement presents Christ as salvific benefactor and patron. Christ offers salvation to those who accept the terms of his patronage, terms that include the obligation to render ‘payback’—for example, in the form of praise, witness, loyalty, and almsgiving. A failure to accept these terms would jeopardize the relationship between Christ and his earthly clients and thus call their salvation into question. As a corollary, I propose that a likely purpose for Second Clement was to convince a Christian audience that the benefits of salvation come with recurring obligations to Christ, their salvific patron.