Sunday reflection: John 6:51-58

posted at 10:01 am on June 22, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

“Sunday Reflection” is a regular feature, looking at the specific readings used in today’s Mass in Catholic parishes around the world. The reflection represents only my own point of view, intended to help prepare myself for the Lord’s day and perhaps spark a meaningful discussionPrevious Sunday Reflections from the main page can be found here For previous Green Room entries, click here.

This morning’s Gospel reading is John 6:51-58:

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

Today the Catholic Church and other ecclesial communities celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, the commemoration of the Eucharist. This puts the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in stark relief for us, as well as our commitment to faith in it to form and save us. And that was true from the moment Jesus made this statement in Capernaum, where He went from the center of adoring crowds to all but abandoned in this core “hard saying” in the Gospel.

The change occurs with dramatic swiftness in the Gospel of John. John 6 starts off with Jesus moving to the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias for one of the Passovers noted during His ministry. By this time, word of Jesus’ preaching, healings, and prophecies had prompted “a multitude” to follow him to Tiberias, waiting for Him to speak even though Jesus had gone up into the hills to sit with His disciples. The crowd grew to five thousand who came without provisions, so desperate were they to hear Jesus speak. The disciples fretted about whether to send them home, but Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes to feed them all. Jesus left before they could proclaim his as an earthly king to Capernaum, on another shore in Galilee, and did so in the dark — not the easiest journey to make.

As soon as the crowd realized what had happened, though, they followed Jesus to Capernaum, and demanded to know why He had left. Jesus explained that they still didn’t grasp that His ministry wasn’t about filling stomachs and seizing power, but in performing works that would instill faith and opening their hearts to the Word of God (John 6:26-7):

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you…” 

Still uncomprehending, the crowds then demanded that Jesus explain further and explain His works. They argued that Moses had given Israel manna as an example of his authority, but Jesus rebukes them, saying that the Father gave them manna, and that Jesus Himself was the “bread of life” given by the Father so that they might have eternal life. At this, the locals began to object, as they had known Jesus as the son of the carpenter, not the Son of God. After quieting their murmurs, Jesus has to explain even further, and spells it out explicitly. “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died,” Jesus says just before today’s Gospel. “This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.” Rather than resort to the usual parables, Jesus goes even further into explicit detail about the need to eat and drink his flesh and blood to share in the life of the Father and Son in today’s Gospel reading.

At this, the once-adoring crowd that wanted to proclaim Jesus king suddenly loses their enthusiasm for his teaching altogether. It wasn’t just the casual crowds either, but “many of his disciples drew back and no longer walked with him” (John 6:66), after asking again whether Jesus meant what He said (John 6:60), which he affirms yet again. The exodus is so dramatic that Jesus asks his twelve core disciples whether they’d like to head for the exits, too. Peter responds, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life.”

What does this Gospel passage show? In one sense, it shows the futility of focusing on Jesus’ teaching only for one’s own purposes, and for strictly material ambitions. Jesus fed the multitude in Tiberias because they needed to be fed and they needed to see His works so that they would listen to His Word. Instead, the crowd was happy enough to have their belly filled, and balked when called to take ownership for the sacrifice of Jesus in literal terms, offered repeatedly and explicitly by Jesus.

The crowd in this case was focused on what Jesus would do for their own desires, and not in formation to the will of the Father through total surrender and obedience. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same problem Moses confronted when Israel received manna from heaven. In the first reading today (Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a), Moses reminds the Israelites that God has sent them manna for the past 40 years not just to fill their bellies, but to test them and see whether they would learn that “not by bread alone does one live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the Lord.” God sent the “stiff-necked people” on a 40-year journey in the wilderness to form them into a nation that would “keep His commandments.”

Jesus does the same here in Capernaum. Like the Israelites under Moses, the Israelites of Jesus’ time wanted deliverance on their own terms, someone who would bring the Kingdom of God to Jerusalem as a birthright. The institution of the Eucharist by Jesus in this passage makes it clear that it won’t be that easy. God’s people will be called to formation on a much more profound level by participation in the sacrifice that will save them, taking it into their bodies so that they are transformed into a saved people through Jesus that enter into the Kingdom of God. Merely being the descendants of those who ate the first bread from heaven in the wilderness won’t cut it.

This is also our challenge, even apart from the Eucharist itself. The Gospel challenges us to formation in the faith, not adaptation of the Word to suit our own wills, desires, and ambitions. It takes us outside our own comfort zone, and does so purposefully. The multitude on the slopes of Tiberias were happy to follow Jesus when it meant getting fed, and that was enough for some of them to proclaim Jesus their temporal lord and master. When Jesus explained what they’d really need to eat in order to follow Him into salvation, and by consequence the nature of that salvation, they chose their own wills, desires, and ambitions — and began looking for someone else who would pander to them.

This is one reason why I love the Eucharist, precisely because it is a “hard saying” and cuts against our grain in our worldly approach to life. It parallels faith itself in its uncompromising nature. Either one is all in or all out, and being all in means giving up one’s own agenda to the Lord’s. By embracing the real presence in Corpus Christi, I surrender my own agenda and ask the Father to knit me more closely to His will, and to form myself ever more to open my heart to the Holy Spirit. It’s my way of committing myself to being all in.

In doing so, as Paul writes in today’s second reading from 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, “we, though many, are one body,” in Christ. With the “participation in the blood … [and] the body of Christ,” the new multitudes strengthen ourselves in formation to Him, His Word, and His Church. In other words, we can’t just be in it for the food.

Today’s picture is of a boat on Galilee pointing toward Capernaum, from my own collection taken during our pilgrimage last year.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Aww, unc .. He knows, sees you…and smiles.
So much awesome fun-ness he has in store for you !!
It’s there for you.
Can you feel the pull ???

pambi on June 23, 2014 at 4:22 AM

Pardon? I know what He sees. I have hope that, in spite of what He sees, I may be saved. I do not presume to know that I have been saved, or have not been saved; I hope. And hope is not mere.

unclesmrgol on June 23, 2014 at 12:45 AM

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

I understand why the Catholic clergy wants you tightly lashed to the wheel, and why they are willing to tell you that your salvation is an ephemeral thing. But your quoted statement above betrays your defiance of the plain wording of the scripture.

I believe that your heart is in the right place, but your insistence that you can earn your way into heaven through your own righteousness belies God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice. There is but one Church, and the leader of that Church is Christ. All others are debased in the corruption of their flesh, and their works are as filthy rags.

Immolate on June 23, 2014 at 8:42 AM

S.P. Link on June 23, 2014 at 7:04 AM
Immolate on June 23, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Well said.

pambi on June 23, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Today the Catholic Church and other ecclesial communities celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi,

Hi Ed,

“…other ecclesial communities” is an awkward phrase, why not just say other churches?

Akzed on June 23, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Jesus atoned for our sins. He paid the penalty, so we don’t have to pay:

He Himself bore our sins
in His body on the tree,
so that, having died to sins,
we might live for righteousness;
you have been healed by His wounds.

1 Peter 2:24

To attempt to add our works to His negates His work.

8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2

Jesus atoned for all sins ever committed and shall be committed. He bore the pain of death and separation from the Father so we don’t have to.

The bible says that all our righteousness is like filthy rags. To suggest that we can, by our putrid acts, somehow atone for our sins is at best arrogance of the highest order or, at worst, heresy.

I want to add that “saving faith” is not something you do; it is something you have. And as soon as you have saving faith you are saved. That saving faith will be manifested by believing in God, water baptism, turning away from sin, and doing things such as listed by James; IOW, living under the Lordship of Jesus.

Some people pray a prayer of contrition, some cry, some feel a great sense of relief, some feel nothing at all. But all are saved, not by what they do, but by faith.

Our acts count for nothing toward our salvation. Jesus paid it all.

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

“…other ecclesial communities” is an awkward phrase, why not just say other churches?

Akzed on June 23, 2014 at 9:44 AM

You know why, don’t you?

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Which I find interesting in light of the pope saying that Jews need not be evangelized.

So, there is only one church, and Presbyterians and Anglicans and Baptists etc need to join to be saved but Jews don’t.

Also odd because the RCC doesn’t require converts from Protestantism to be rebaptized.

Akzed on June 23, 2014 at 10:41 AM

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Matthew 16:18

Peter = Petros, a stone.

Rock = petra, large rock; bed-rock

Jesus is not declaring that He will build His church upon a stone, but upon a rock, THE Rock.

3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

I Corinthians 10

It is all about Jesus. He is the center of all.

Anytime you introduce a man you take away from Jesus Christ.

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Matthew 16:18

“church”

In Matthew 16:18, the word Jesus used for “church” is ekklesia (Strong’s #1577), and it is so translated in the King James Version 115 times. This Greek word means “an assembly” or “a group of people called together for a purpose.” It contains no implication at all of sacredness or holiness.

In practical usage, it commonly identified people called by a magistrate for a public service of some sort. This is how it is used in Acts 19:32, 39, and 41:

Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together. . . . But if you have any other inquiry to make, it shall be determined in the lawful assembly. . . . And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly. (Emphasis ours.)

Each time, ekklesia is translated as “assembly” and names what could easily be described as a mob of excited and confused people. However, the writers of the New Testament clearly agreed this was the word that best fit the groups of Christians called of God for service to Him. How did it come to be translated as “church” when the word “assembly” fits more accurately?

This change apparently has its beginning in another, far different Greek word, kuriakos (Strong’s #2960). Kurios, the Greek word for “Lord,” is easily recognizable as the root of kuriakos, which means “belonging to the Lord.” Curiously, according to Joseph T. Shipley, author of

The Origins of English Words

, pp. 183-184, the root of kurios and

kuriakos

literally means “to bend or curve.”

In the course of time, kuriakos was picked up by the Scots as kirk. Shipley shows that

kirk

and kuriakos share the same root. In the Scottish language, kirk indicates a place or a location, as in a building belonging to the Lord. The kirk became the place where the assembly bent before God in reverence, as in prayer, appealing to Him; or bent looking upward in praise of God; or where God bent in extending mercy.

As more time passed, the English pronunciation of

kirk

changed to “church.” Thus “church,” which indicates a building, a place where God is worshipped, gradually evolved to include, not just the place, but also the people who worshipped there and the worship services too. The modern English Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary reflects this in its definitions for church: “1. A building for Christian worship. 2. Regular religious services. 3. A local congregation of Christians.” We regularly use all three in our everyday speech and writing, allowing the context to indicate which is intended.

However, in the Bible the word “church” never refers to a building or to worship services held within the building. It always refers to the assembly, group, or congregation of called-out ones who belong to the Lord, worship Him, and fellowship with others of the same mind.

http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/15809/Assembly.htm

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Matthew 16:18

“church”

In Matthew 16:18, the word Jesus used for “church” is ekklesia (Strong’s #1577), and it is so translated in the King James Version 115 times. This Greek word means “an assembly” or “a group of people called together for a purpose.” It contains no implication at all of sacredness or holiness.

In practical usage, it commonly identified people called by a magistrate for a public service of some sort. This is how it is used in Acts 19:32, 39, and 41:

Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together. . . . But if you have any other inquiry to make, it shall be determined in the lawful assembly. . . . And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly. (Emphasis ours.)

Each time, ekklesia is translated as “assembly” and names what could easily be described as a mob of excited and confused people. However, the writers of the New Testament clearly agreed this was the word that best fit the groups of Christians called of God for service to Him. How did it come to be translated as “church” when the word “assembly” fits more accurately?

This change apparently has its beginning in another, far different Greek word, kuriakos (Strong’s #2960). Kurios, the Greek word for “Lord,” is easily recognizable as the root of kuriakos, which means “belonging to the Lord.” Curiously, according to Joseph T. Shipley, author of The Origins of English Words, pp. 183-184, the root of kurios and kuriakos literally means “to bend or curve.”

In the course of time, kuriakos was picked up by the Scots as kirk. Shipley shows that kirk and kuriakos share the same root. In the Scottish language, kirk indicates a place or a location, as in a building belonging to the Lord. The kirk became the place where the assembly bent before God in reverence, as in prayer, appealing to Him; or bent looking upward in praise of God; or where God bent in extending mercy.

As more time passed, the English pronunciation of kirk changed to “church.” Thus “church,” which indicates a building, a place where God is worshipped, gradually evolved to include, not just the place, but also the people who worshipped there and the worship services too. The modern English Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary reflects this in its definitions for church: “1. A building for Christian worship. 2. Regular religious services. 3. A local congregation of Christians.” We regularly use all three in our everyday speech and writing, allowing the context to indicate which is intended.

However, in the Bible the word “church” never refers to a building or to worship services held within the building. It always refers to the assembly, group, or congregation of called-out ones who belong to the Lord, worship Him, and fellowship with others of the same mind.

http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/15809/Assembly.htm

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 11:26 AM

How did jesus “pay the price” or “sacrifice”?

He is almighty immortal eternal god. How is taking on a human body and human pain for 33yrs of eternity a meaningful sacrifice?

Millions of humans have suffered worse than jesus did, and they didn’t have the security of being omnipotent and omniscient while it happened.

everdiso on June 23, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Sounds like a pretty easy thing for him to do. Not much of a sacrifice, really.

everdiso on June 23, 2014 at 12:01 PM

I think mine is an honest question.

I think your answer is a copout.

everdiso on June 23, 2014 at 1:01 PM

I mean, if you want godly sacrifice to help humanity, take Prometheus.

He gave humans fire and the ability to keep the best parts of the cow from sacrifices to zeus, and in return he spends the rest of eternity chained to a rock, getting his liver eaten every day and regrown every night.

Now that’s selfless sacrifice.

everdiso on June 23, 2014 at 1:09 PM

http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/15809/Assembly.htm

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 11:26 AM

While rummaging around the website “bibletools.org,” I have discovered that the group presenting the website, the Church of the Great God, Inc., is heretical. Read their site with caution.

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 1:11 PM

everdiso on June 23, 2014 at 1:09 PM

ἐμπαίκτης

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Here we have a thief who believes, and performs outward acts of faith, acknowledging both his sins and his belief in Jesus, and Jesus rewards him for it. Jesus tells him he is Saved.

But all of this is right before the thief dies. And the thief is not baptized.

Hmm.

unclesmrgol on June 23, 2014 at 1:52 AM

If we were to go by what you’ve previously said about salvation, the thief potentially could have been able to change his mind about trusting Jesus at the very last moment before he died. And thus never achieve salvation.

But, contradicting this, you agree that Jesus told the thief he’s already saved, before he died. The thief didn’t have to wait until death to find out his state of salvation. You don’t believe this was an isolated case about how salvation works which doesn’t apply to anyone else, do you?

non-nonpartisan on June 23, 2014 at 2:53 PM

I would say you’re misinterpreting the letter (epistle) of James, but what other scriptures am I missing?

listens2glenn on June 22, 2014 at 11:24 PM

What error do you think I have? I assume by James you are speaking of passages like this in James 2:(verses 12-24)

Talk and behave like people who are going to be judged by the law of freedom. Whoever acts without mercy will be judged without mercy but mercy can afford to laugh at judgement. How does it help, my brothers, when someone who has never done a single good act claims to have faith? Will that faith bring salvation? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,’ without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that?
In the same way faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead.
But someone may say: So you have faith and I have good deeds? Show me this faith of yours without deeds, then! It is by my deeds that I will show you my faith.
You believe in the one God — that is creditable enough, but even the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear.
Fool! Would you not like to know that faith without deeds is useless?
Was not Abraham our father justified by his deed, because he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
So you can see that his faith was working together with his deeds; his faith became perfect by what he did.
In this way the scripture was fulfilled: Abraham put his faith in God, and this was considered as making him upright; and he received the name ‘friend of God’.
You see now that it is by deeds, and not only by believing, that someone is justified.

Lots of words — faith, mercy, belief, deeds, justification, judgement, salvation. And, not least, something which takes three words to render: “law of freedom”.

What do they all mean, juxtaposed as they are?
.
Perhaps Philipians 2 (verses 12-16) holds some portion of the answer:

So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work. Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life, so that my boast for the day of Christ may be that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

unclesmrgol on June 23, 2014 at 12:21 AM

.
Both passages are in reference to born again children of God gaining or losing ‘reward/status’ in heaven, when all those who have believed in their heart, and confessed with their mouth that Jesus has died for them personally, stand before God during the judging of the “quick” (those made alive in Christ).

That is the first ‘ressurection and judgement’. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD, you will be included in the first judgement, and you will NOT lose your relationship with God over any of your ‘failings’.
.
The term “reward/status” as I used it is NOT in reference as to whether you enter into heaven when you die physically, or not.
.
The second resurrection is of the “dead” (those not made alive in Christ). If you’re in that line, you’re beyond the point of no return.
.

or this, from Sirach 15 (verses 11-20)

Do not say: “It was God’s doing that I fell away,” for what he hates he does not do. Do not say: “He himself has led me astray,” for he has no need of the wicked. Abominable wickedness the LORD hates and he does not let it happen to those who fear him. God in the beginning created human beings and made them subject to their own free choice. If you choose, you can keep the commandments; loyalty is doing the will of God.

Set before you are fire and water; to whatever you choose, stretch out your hand. Before everyone are life and death, whichever they choose will be given them. Immense is the wisdom of the LORD; mighty in power, he sees all things. The eyes of God behold his works, and he understands every human deed.

He never commands anyone to sin, nor shows leniency toward deceivers.

Please show me my misinterpretation of Scripture, such that I am in error when I state that we have free will all of our days and that we are responsible for our own action or inaction at every point in our lives.

unclesmrgol on June 23, 2014 at 12:21 AM

.
Wow, as an “evil Protestant” I haven’t seriously studied the book of Sirach, but I totally agree with every portion of it, that you posted above.
I can’t show you your “misinterpretation of Scripture, such that I am you are in error when I you state that we have free will all of our days and that we are responsible for our own action or inaction at every point in our lives”, because I’m unaware of any such scripture, and in fact I agree with you on that.
How’d that happen?
.

Show me the place where the Bible says we attain Salvation by one single act of our own prior to death, or that our belief in God can utterly substitute for acts in our Salvation.

I don’t see it. Enlighten me.

unclesmrgol on June 23, 2014 at 12:21 AM

.
S.P.Link posted some scripture references. above.

S.P. Link on June 23, 2014 at 7:04 AM

listens2glenn on June 23, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I know you’re just having some bored troll fun but I warn you, you will be called to account for every word you’ve said.
S.P. Link on June 23, 2014 at 12:11 PM

I dunno, he sounds like a serious theological intellect.

I’ve forgotten more of the bible than you’ll ever know.
everdiso on June 20, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Akzed on June 23, 2014 at 3:45 PM

“A man that is an heretick, after the first and second admonition, reject.” -St. Paul, Titus 3:10

Akzed on June 23, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Sounds like a pretty easy thing for him to do. Not much of a sacrifice, really.

everdiso on June 23, 2014 at 12:01 PM

I know you’re just defecating on Christianity for giggles, but others may benefit from a straight answer. Christ was beaten, the hide flayed from his back. His scalp was pierced by a crown of cruel thorns. He was forced to carry a heavy cross, then was pierced through the hands and feet and hoisted into a standing position, supported by his injured limbs, until he died from slow suffocation.

Christ’s body was not different from our own. He suffered as we do. Nobody suggests that there were never any before or since who have suffered a more agonizing death, but that doesn’t detract from Christ’s sacrifice. Sinless, he died to pay the debt for our sins. Nobody before or since was sinless. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23.

Someday when you’re older, you may experience a day in your life when you are powerless and realize the value of God’s grace. I hope so.

Immolate on June 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM

How did jesus “pay the price” or “sacrifice”?

He is almighty immortal eternal god. How is taking on a human body and human pain for 33yrs of eternity a meaningful sacrifice?

Millions of humans have suffered worse than jesus did, and they didn’t have the security of being omnipotent and omniscient while it happened.

everdiso on June 23, 2014 at 11:32 AM

.
He was the sinless Lamb of God, with no sin of His own but sent to identify with our sin. Because He did so, all can be identified with His sinlessness before God by simple faith in Him.

Some have referred to this as the Great Exchange: He takes our sin and gives us His righteousness before the Father. That does sum it up accurately enough.

S.P. Link on June 23, 2014 at 11:55 AM
.

Sounds like a pretty easy thing for him to do. Not much of a sacrifice, really.

everdiso on June 23, 2014 at 12:01 PM

.
Tell Him yourself, when you meet him.
.

I mean, if you want godly sacrifice to help humanity, take Prometheus.

He gave humans fire and the ability to keep the best parts of the cow from sacrifices to zeus, and in return he spends the rest of eternity chained to a rock, getting his liver eaten every day and regrown every night.

Now that’s selfless sacrifice.

everdiso on June 23, 2014 at 1:09 PM

.
That won’t retake from Satan, what the first Adam gave him.

That won’t re-establish our personal relationship with the living God, that the first Adam lost.

listens2glenn on June 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Jesus atoned for our sins. He paid the penalty, so we don’t have to pay:
.
Jesus atoned for all sins ever committed and shall be committed. He bore the pain of death and separation from the Father so we don’t have to.
.
davidk on June 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

.
david’, the following is from my nit-pickin’ OCD, and is not a major criticism.
.
“Atoned” and ‘redeemed’ don’t mean the same thing.

The blood of Old Testament animal-sacrifices provided temporary “atonement” for the person(s) who by faith conduct the sacrifice, according to God’s instructions to Moses.

Satan is still left with the evidence of sin, against us.
.
The blood of Jesus Christ gives absolute complete, and permanent redemption, to those who by faith willfully receive it.
.
Satan is left with NO EVIDENCE of any sin, against us who receive Jesus Christ.

listens2glenn on June 23, 2014 at 7:01 PM

S.P. Link on June 23, 2014 at 9:57 PM

.
But we won’t know for sure until everdiso “weighs in” on the matter.
.
I heard tell that he’s forgotten more of the Bible than we’ll ever know.

listens2glenn on June 23, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Nope, and have a good night. I promise I’ll come back but my wife is going in for an operation and I’ve got to be bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6AM Pacific time.

unclesmrgol on June 23, 2014 at 1:54 AM

Just got home from being away all day and read your post.

Hope all went well today with your wife’s operation.

God bless you both.

Elisa on June 23, 2014 at 11:55 PM

I believe that your heart is in the right place, but your insistence that you can earn your way into heaven through your own righteousness belies God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice. There is but one Church, and the leader of that Church is Christ. All others are debased in the corruption of their flesh, and their works are as filthy rags.

Immolate on June 23, 2014 at 8:42 AM

The bible says that all our righteousness is like filthy rags. To suggest that we can, by our putrid acts, somehow atone for our sins is at best arrogance of the highest order or, at worst, heresy. . . .

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

I’m a little tired tonight and won’t get a chance to get back here till tomorrow night the earliest.

But I did want to comment on the “filthy rags” because it is often used incorrectly.

It is incorrect to pull one line out of context and say it means that God doesn’t value our good works towards salvation, that He considers them “filthy rags.”

This passage is NOT talking about good works and faith. It is talking about “SIN” and how “SIN” TURNS OUR GOOD WORKS INTO FILTHY RAGS. Even if you want to continue to believe the tradition of faith alone, upon reading the whole passage, you can see that this is talking about the effects of sin, not works in and of themselves being useless.

Isaiah 64:4-8:

“You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to SIN against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our SINS. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Ezekiel 18:21-22 says, “But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live.”

Good deeds are accepted by God when a man is righteous.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 12:29 AM

I believe that your heart is in the right place, but your insistence that you can earn your way into heaven through your own righteousness belies God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice. There is but one Church, and the leader of that Church is Christ. All others are debased in the corruption of their flesh, and their works are as filthy rags.

Immolate on June 23, 2014 at 8:42 AM

The bible says that all our righteousness is like filthy rags. To suggest that we can, by our putrid acts, somehow atone for our sins is at best arrogance of the highest order or, at worst, heresy. . . .

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Unfortunately those 2 quotes have other errors in understanding of Catholic theology, so I need to comment on them, since I used the quotes.

We have said about a million times by now that Catholics do NOT believe anyone can “can earn your way into heaven through your own righteousness belies God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice.”

We have said countless times that it is not faith alone or works alone. We are saved by God’s grace alone, our faith manifested in our works. (Works of God, out of love of God, not works of man or works of the law.) We can NEVER earn or merit salvation on our own. We must however accept His grace and participate in it, faith and works together, never one apart from the other.

That is what the Bible in its entirety, in context says.

And we do not believe we can ever “atone for our sins.” Only Jesus did that. We may suffer because of our sins or do penance for our sins and we must repent of our sins, but we cannot atone for our sins by our own acts. That word means something specific to Christ’s sacrifice. We can do nothing apart from the cross of Christ.

We can join our sufferings with those of Christ out of love of Him. The following passage does NOT mean that Christ’s suffering lacked anything redemptive or was incomplete. But it shows we can unite our suffering with His and it often will add power to our prayers. Love, especially a love that suffers, can transcend all things.

Colossians 1:24:
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church,”

As Christians we are to share in His suffering. Romans 8:17:
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

And we are told by Jesus, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 12:35 AM

I’m a little tired tonight and won’t get a chance to get back here till tomorrow night the earliest.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 12:29 AM

.
We can always save the link to this thread in our Favorites/Bookmarks. We’ve done it before.

listens2glenn on June 24, 2014 at 1:01 AM

@Immolate on June 23, 2014 at 8:42 AM

@davidk on June 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM
.
It is incorrect to pull one line out of context and say it means that God doesn’t value our good works towards salvation, that He considers them “filthy rags.”

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 12:29 AM

.
I don’t believe that is what davidk and/or Immolate were trying to say, or implicate.

But I’m going to have to request clarity on the “…good works towards salvation…” portion of your quote, above.

There’s just too many ways to interpret that, as I see it.

listens2glenn on June 24, 2014 at 10:15 AM

I said this before but Elisa could not hear it.

If even one sin remains that the believer must have “cleansed” or “purged” after death, then that sin was not dealt with at the Cross. But Christ’s blood covers ALL the believer’s sins (Col 2:13). There is nothing to “purge” for those who are truly His.

For purgatory to be true, the Bible must be false, for they irreconcilably contradict. Purgatory is part of a false gospel.

S.P. Link on June 24, 2014 at 7:17 AM

Had a few minutes to pop in here. Later I will come back to address the various things posted here, including the 4 New Testament quotes posted here, to show that Catholic theology does not contradict the Scriptures or anethemize St. Paul.

But I would like you to answer one question for me at the end of this story. It might help to illustrate the difference between eternal punishment and temporal punishment.

A father tells his son not to play ball so close to the neighbors house. That if he breaks another window the father will send him to boarding school. The boy doesn’t care what he said and willingly disobeys him and breaks the neighbor’s window.

The son it truly repentant and asks forgiveness of the father. The father sees his sincerity and forgives him from his heart. Nothing else required from the boy to receive his father’s forgiveness and stay in his father’s house.

But the father tells the boy that the next day he can’t go out with his friends to play because he needs to help the father fix the neighbor’s window. This is not a requirement for the father’s forgiveness, nor will the boy need to go to boarding school if he does not help fix the window. But the father wants him to fix it because it needs to be fixed and the father’s sense of justice demands that the boy help him.

The boy suffers because of this, because it was going to be a big special day of fun he is going to miss. Plus the day will be very hot working in the sun.

Did the father not really forgive the son since he is making the boy help fix the window?

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 2:43 PM

There are 2 separate discussions going on here.

It should be noted that the discussion of the Catholic/Orthodox beliefs in Purgatory, penance and the difference between eternal punishment and temporal punishment is a separate discussion from the Catholic/Orthodox belief in being saved by grace alone, with both faith and works being necessary for eternal salvation.

Also note that God doesn’t need our works to grant us salvation, but he expects them and requires them, along with faith, both of which come from His grace alone, not from us.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Also note that God doesn’t need our works to grant us salvation, but he expects them and requires them, along with faith, both of which come from His grace alone, not from us.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 2:45 PM

.
I’m beginning to believe this whole thing could be a simple disagreement over the definition of “works”.
.
Otherwise, your sentence above seems to be an almost-but-not-quite contradiction.

“God doesn’t need our works to grant us salvation, but he expects them and requires them” … ?
.
God is not ‘wasteful’ or ‘spiteful’, and requiring us to do what He does not need, is both.

[Rom 10:5-13] :

For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which does those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

listens2glenn on June 24, 2014 at 4:22 PM

cannot merely forgive the breaking of His Law. His holiness demands blood:

S.P. Link on June 24, 2014 at 3:40 PM

LOL! I really had to laugh when I read your post. I’m thinking of the poor little boy being killed for breaking the window.

OK, I will add something else to my story and then ask you the same question. Maybe this will make you feel better. I keep thinking you are missing my whole point here.

A father tells his son not to play ball so close to the neighbors house. That if he breaks another window the father will send him to boarding school. The boy doesn’t care what he said and willingly disobeys him and breaks the neighbor’s window.

The son it truly repentant and asks forgiveness of the father. The father sees his sincerity and forgives him from his heart. Nothing else required from the boy to receive his father’s forgiveness and stay in his father’s house.

The father goes next door and apologizes to the neighbor who punches the father in the face and gives him a bloody nose. The bloody nose was intended for the person who broke the man’s window, but the father took the punch for his son.

But the father tells the boy that the next day he can’t go out with his friends to play because he needs to help the father fix the neighbor’s window. This is not a requirement for the father’s forgiveness, nor will the boy need to go to boarding school if he does not help fix the window. But the father wants him to fix it because it needs to be fixed and the father’s sense of justice demands that the boy help him.

The boy suffers because of this, because it was going to be a big special day of fun he is going to miss. Plus the day will be very hot working in the sun.

Did the father not really forgive the son since he is making the boy help fix the window?

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 10:00 PM

God, being the perfectly just and righteous Judge, cannot merely forgive the breaking of His Law. His holiness demands blood: . . .

S.P. Link on June 24, 2014 at 3:40 PM

I want it on record that while God did set up salvation and in His sense of justice wanted a perfect sacrifice and followed the blood sacrifice system He set up for His chosen people, I would never use the the word “CANNOT” when talking about God.

God can do anything any way He wants and would still find a way to make it perfect and just. He could have set up salvation history differently, in a way we cannot imagine.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Sorry for messing up the quoting format in my last post.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Also note that God doesn’t need our works to grant us salvation

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 2:45 PM

The Council of Trent would anathematize you for saying that because it (your church’s law) said the opposite, as I posted above.

S.P. Link on June 24, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Maybe so, since you only half quoted me. What I said was:

Also note that God doesn’t need our works to grant us salvation, but he expects them and requires them, along with faith, both of which come from His grace alone, not from us.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 10:07 PM

God is not ‘wasteful’ or ‘spiteful’, and requiring us to do what He does not need, is both.

listens2glenn on June 24, 2014 at 4:22 PM

God does everything out of love and for our benefit. Requiring us to assent to faith in Him and requiring us do good works (both for our eternal salvation and both with His grace, never apart from grace or on our own) is not done out of spite or waste. Even though He is God and can just wave His hand to save anyone He wishes, if that was what He set up.

He requires faith and good works out of love and for our benefit. Not for His benefit. Never out of spite or waste.

Same with any penance we do for temporal punishment. God doesn’t need it for Himself. But He doesn’t require it out of spite or waste. He sets these things up out of love and for our benefit.

Always out of love. Just like our good works must be out of love of God alone. Not for ourselves or out of fear. Just like any penance we do towards temporal punishment we should do out of love of God alone, because we want to please Him.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 10:14 PM

I note that no one has disputed my post here about the “filthy rags” quote that is often used incorrectly, as it was on this thread.

So we all agree then that these statements posted here are incorrect?:

“The bible says that all our righteousness is like filthy rags.”

and

“their works are as filthy rags” when talking about good works in general.

Because the Scripture is talking about SIN, not good works in general.

Just to refresh my point:

But I did want to comment on the “filthy rags” because it is often used incorrectly.

It is incorrect to pull one line out of context and say it means that God doesn’t value our good works towards salvation, that He considers them “filthy rags.”

This passage is NOT talking about good works and faith. It is talking about “SIN” and how “SIN” TURNS OUR GOOD WORKS INTO FILTHY RAGS. Even if you want to continue to believe the tradition of faith alone, upon reading the whole passage, you can see that this is talking about the effects of sin, not works in and of themselves being useless.

Isaiah 64:4-8:

“You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to SIN against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our SINS. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Ezekiel 18:21-22 says, “But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live.”

Good deeds are accepted by God when a man is righteous.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 12:29 AM

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 10:28 PM

But I’m going to have to request clarity on the “…good works towards salvation…” portion of your quote, above.

There’s just too many ways to interpret that, as I see it.

listens2glenn on June 24, 2014 at 10:15 AM

I mean that they used “filthy rags” to mean that our good works are completely useless to God in His salvation plan for us.

That is NOT what Isaiah was saying.

The Scripture is saying our “sin” can take away any good in our good works, if we live in sin instead of living in Him.

The rest of the Bible specifically tells us that God requires assent to faith from us and that God requires good works from us. Both from His grace, never apart from that. Never on our own so that we “do not boast.”

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 10:35 PM

There are 2 separate discussions going on here.
It should be noted that the discussion of the Catholic/Orthodox beliefs in Purgatory, penance and the difference between eternal punishment and temporal punishment is a separate discussion from the Catholic/Orthodox belief in being saved by grace alone, with both faith and works being necessary for eternal salvation.
Also note that God doesn’t need our works to grant us salvation, but he expects them and requires them,along with faith, both of which come from His grace alone, not from us.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 2:45 PM

I hope this post was understood because 2 distinct discussions are being mixed up and confused here as one.

Topic #1:

Eternal reward (salvation) and eternal punishment (damnation) Good works and faith both necessary for salvation.

Mankind was born into sin and we are all sinners. Just punishment for rejecting God by sinning is damnation, eternal punishment.

By His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus Christ removed completely that eternal punishment from God’s elect. By His grace we are given the gift of faith to which we assent, through our own free will motivated by His grace and we manifest this faith in our good works, which we do out of our own free will, but always motivated by the Holy Spirit and His grace. While both faith and works are necessary for salvation, we can never have either of them on our own (“so that we do not boast.”) We can only have them both by His grace, freely given, never deserved or merited or earned by us on our own.

Note: good works on their own apart from faith are useless towards our salvation.

Also note: there are different kinds of works. We are talking about the works of God, works done out of love of God. Those are saving works done in faith. But even tied to faith, self-righteous works are completely useless. And works of man, works of the law (like are spoken of in the New Testament, especially by St. Paul) are also completely useless, even when tied to faith. 90% of the time Paul is specifically talking about circumcision when discussing this type of work.

Topic #2:

Penance, temporal punishment and Purgatory (cleansing state or cleansing period, can be both joyful and suffering)

Temporal punishment has nothing to do with salvation and is distinct from eternal punishment. Remember that Purgatory is not a state in between salvation and damnation. The cleansing is only of some the elect, some of those who are already saved. (not all of the elect go through this cleansing in Purgatory; a few die in the perfect state of grace and holiness, never having sinned after receiving His initial grace. And some of the elect who did not remain in a perfect state of grace and holiness, undergo the cleansing here on earth.)

Christ’s saving work on the cross, His sacrifice, His Holy Blood, opened up eternal salvation for believers and removed our just punishment for sin, removed eternal punishment for our sins.

While Christ’s sacrifice address sin, temporal punishment addresses the effects of sin. (Not talking about the “wages of sin.” I am talking about the material effects of sin.)

Eternal salvation is taken care of completely by Christ’s suffering and we can do nothing to help in that, besides accepting His grace, assenting to faith and doing good works tied to this faith. Our guilt is removed.

We become a new creation in faith and baptism and are in a perfect state of grace and holiness. Later unrepented serious mortal sins can cause us to fall from grace and can later separate us permanently from God, as we once were, and we would again be subject to eternal punishment, because we reject His grace and reject His faith.

The new creations who do not sin mortally or who later repent again of later serious sin, they are in friendship with God, granted eternal salvation, renewed in faith in Christ.

But we often stain that spotless condition later. (Few die immediately upon receiving the gift of faith and baptism.)

These stains, these smaller sins, attachments to sin and unholiness do not separate us from God. Certainly not permanently. But even daily, we remain in His friendship. Sometimes living in the spirit and close to Him, sometimes drawn a little away from Him. But never apart from His grace and still living in faith.

Out of love of Him, we strive for complete holiness. Jesus tells us to “be perfect as my Heavenly Father is perfect.” We grow in holiness and sanctification.

We can continue to repent of our later smaller sins and can still be in a perfect state of grace here on earth. But often we are not in that condition.

Our souls carry the effects of sin.

While these effects do not separate us permanently form God, but they must be removed from us before we enter into our eternal reward. For Revelation says of Heaven that “nothing unclean may enter into it.”

That purging and cleansing of the effects of sin can be done here on earth. Suffering, penance can be now or it may be later in Purgatory.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 11:57 PM

I apologize for the length of my posts, but you can see that often our words are misunderstood. So I am trying to be as clear and thorough as possible.

Elisa on June 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins” (Col. 2:13)

If this verse is true, there is no need for a post-death purging and the very concept of purgatory blasphemes the blood of Christ.

S.P. Link on June 24, 2014 at 7:25 AM

. . . Thus does Trent deny Eph 2:8-9 and Titus 3:5 and anathematizes the apostle Paul for believing it.

. . .This denies Romans 8:1 and Colossians 2:13 and once again anathematizes Paul for believing it.

. . . This, again, flatly contradicts Eph 2:8-9.

S.P. Link on June 24, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Catholic and Orthodox beliefs do NOT contradict the following 4 Scripture passages you quoted, nor does our faith anathematize St. Paul.

Also do not ignore the fact that St. Paul preached faith and preached works. Both.

Galatians 6:7-9:
“Make no mistake: GOD IS NOT MOCKED, for a person will REAP ONLY WHAT HE SOWS, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap ETERNAL LIFE from the spirit. Let us not grow tired of DOING GOOD, for in due time we REAP OUR HARVEST, IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP.”

We “reap eternal life” (salvation) by “DOING good.”

Ephesians 2:8-9:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.

We are saved through faith. Yes. This statement does not say “faith alone.” And we see St. Paul say that works save us in Galatians. That did not mean “works alone.”

This faith is not from us. It is a gift from God – grace. So of course we can never “boast.” We can do nothing apart from God’s grace. But we do assent to this faith from our free will and we manifest our faith in our works, also from our free will and also by His grace.

After accepting His grace and assenting to faith, good works done together with these 2, from our own free will and out of love, do merit us further graces and we participate in His grace and we participate in our own salvation that He has given us. The good works we do, after He puts them in our hearts, are as much a part of our salvation as the faith we assent to, after He puts in our hearts, being a part of our salvation. Both come from His grace and His choosing. Not ours.

So Catholic/Orthodox beliefs do NOT contradict Ephesians 2:8-9.

Titus 3:4-5, 7:
But when the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared,
not because of any righteous deeds we had done

but because of his mercy,
he saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the holy Spirit, . . . so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

The full sentence is talking about when God sends us His love, His grace. His grace, freely given, is never earned or merited by our deeds. Grace is what saves us. We are never saved because of our deeds apart from faith or before His grace. It is His mercy that forgave us and saves us. Any deeds that participate with His grace that have saving effects required by God, again, do not come from us alone. And the initial grace did not come because of our deeds. First comes the grace. He saves us by grace, faith, the good works He puts in our hearts, baptism and the Holy Spirit. All these in Titus 3:4-5,7.

So Catholic/Orthodox beliefs do NOT contradict Titus 3:4-5,7.

Romans 8:1:
Hence, now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Of course we are not condemned when we have been granted faith in Christ. Condemned means damnation. Eternal punishment for sin. That is not what temporal punishment is. Temporal punishment has nothing to do with condemnation and damnation.

So Catholic/Orthodox beliefs do NOT contradict Romans 8:1.

Colossians 2:13:

And even when you were dead [in] transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions

God forgives our sins, when we repent and accept His grace and have faith in Christ.

ALL our sins are forgiven.

Temporal punishment has nothing to do with FORGIVENESS of sins.

Temporal punishment has nothing to do with eternal reward/salvation or eternal punishment/damnation.

Temporal punishment is for the effects of sin.

So Catholic/Orthodox beliefs do NOT contradict Colossians 2:13.

Elisa on June 25, 2014 at 1:16 AM

God can do anything any way He wants and would still find a way to make it perfect and just. He could have set up salvation history differently, in a way we cannot imagine.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM

.

. . . . . Even though He is God and can just wave His hand to save anyone He wishes, if that was what He set up.

Elisa on June 24, 2014 at 10:14 PM

.
If everything you said (that I copy/pasted above) is true, then God is guilty of complicity in the murder of Jesus.
.
Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, specifically asking if there was another way … but there was no other way.
.
Nothing … gets me in more ‘theological strife’, with any number of my fellow Christian brethren, than the following statement :
.
God … is … not … “in control” of anything that’s happening in this earth right now, except … calling individuals into any of the ‘offices’ of the five-fold ministry. God does exercise complete control over those.
.
If you reject that, then all I can do is shrug my shoulders, and say “well, you’re in good company.”

And whether you agree with me or not isn’t going to affect your status as a ‘child of God’, if you have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD.

But neither is it going to change my thinking on it.

listens2glenn on June 25, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Okey dokey then.

Not much left to say. lol

1 Peter 3:15-16:

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.

Elisa on June 25, 2014 at 11:12 PM

listens2glenn on June 25, 2014 at 4:24 PM

I agree with you that God is in complete control at all times. Permitting Will and Ordaining Will.

That is why I said, “God can do anything any way He wants and would still find a way to make it perfect and just.”

I don’t agree with you that God would have been “guilty of complicity in the murder of Jesus” if there was another way to save us. Perhaps that other way would have had other unwanted side effects.

He could have deemed another way that we can’t imagine and it would have been perfect and just. And I do believe that He probably chose the best way. I was only disputing the statement of S.P. saying God “cannot . . .”

God can do anything He wants and it would still be perfect and just.

Elisa on June 25, 2014 at 11:20 PM

I am mercifully going away for about a week.

May God bless all here and your families. May He draw each of us closer to His Most Sacred Heart.

Love,
Elisa

Elisa on June 25, 2014 at 11:22 PM

listens2glenn on June 25, 2014 at 4:24 PM

.
I agree with you that God is in complete control at all times. Permitting Will and Ordaining Will.

That is why I said, “God can do anything any way He wants and would still find a way to make it perfect and just.”

Elisa on June 25, 2014 at 11:20 PM

.
( s i g h ) . . . . . re-posting :

God … is … not … “in control” of anything that’s happening in this earth right now, EXCEPT … calling individuals into any of the ‘offices’ of the five-fold ministry. God does exercise complete control over those.
.
listens2glenn on June 25, 2014 at 4:24 PM

.

I don’t agree with you that God would have been “guilty of complicity in the murder of Jesus” if there was another way to save us. Perhaps that other way would have had other unwanted side effects.

He could have deemed another way that we can’t imagine and it would have been perfect and just. And I do believe that He probably chose the best way. I was only disputing the statement of S.P. saying God “cannot . . .”

God can do anything He wants and it would still be perfect and just.

Elisa on June 25, 2014 at 11:20 PM

.
You’re not going to get me to agree that the almighty Heavenly Father can do anything He wants on this earth right now, until Adam’s lease is up.. When Adam’s lease is up, then He’ll return and take control of all of the earth.
.
It’s His expressed will that everyone born of a woman be saved … excluding none.

He also said that isn’t what’s going to happen, and Jesus stated why it’s not going to happen. It’s because some “believed not”.

listens2glenn on June 25, 2014 at 11:49 PM

It is incorrect to pull one line out of context and say it means that God doesn’t value our good works towards salvation, that He considers them “filthy rags.”

God does not value any work toward salvation.

davidk on June 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

davidk on June 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

S.P. Link on June 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM

.
I’M HOLIER THAN ALL OF YOU ! ! !
.
.
( where’d that lightning bolt come from ? … I didn’t think we had any storms in the area… )

listens2glenn on June 27, 2014 at 7:28 PM

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