Born Again - The Bible Way

October 4, 2013 | 242 comments

“Have you been born again, my friend?” Thousands of Catholics have been asked this question by well-meaning Fundamentalists or Evangelicals. Of course, by “born again” the Protestant usually means: “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior through the recitation of ‘the sinner’s prayer?”” How is a Catholic to respond?

The simple Catholic response is: “Yes, I have been born again—when I was baptized.” In fact, Jesus’ famous “born again” discourse of John 3:3-5, which is where we find the words “born again” in Scripture, teaches us about the essential nature of baptism:

Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicode'mus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

At this point, a Fundamentalist or Evangelical will respond almost predictably: “Baptism does not save you, brother; John 3:5 says we must be born of water and the Spirit.” The Catholic will then be told the “water” of John 3:5 has nothing to do with baptism. Depending on the preference of the one to whom the Catholic is speaking, the “water” will either be interpreted as man’s natural birth (the “water” being amniotic fluid), and “the Spirit” would then represent the new birth, or the water would represent the word of God through which one is born again when he accepts Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior.

Amniotic Fluid vs. Baptismal Water

To claim the “water” of John 3:5 is amniotic fluid is to stretch the context just a smidgen! When we consider the actual words and surrounding context of John 3, the waters of baptism seem to be the more reasonable—and biblical—interpretation. Consider these surrounding texts:

John 1:31-34: Jesus was baptized. If you compare the parallel passage in St. Matthew’s gospel (3:16), you find that when Jesus was baptized, “the heavens were opened” and the Spirit descended upon him. Obviously, this was not because Jesus needed to be baptized. In fact, St. John the Baptist noted that he needed to be baptized by Jesus (see Matthew 3:14)! Jesus was baptized in order “fulfill all righteousness” and “to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,” according to Scripture (cf. Matt. 3:15; Luke 1:77). In other words, Jesus demonstrably showed us the way the heavens would be opened to us so that the Holy Spirit would descend upon us… through baptism.

John 2:1-11: Jesus performed his first miracle. He transformed water into wine. Notice, Jesus used water from “six stone jars … for the Jewish rites of purification.” According to the Septuagint as well as the New Testament these purification waters were called baptismoi (see LXX, Numbers 19:9-19; cf. Mark 7:4). We know that Old Testament rites, sacrifices, etc. were only “a shadow of the good things to come” (Hebrews 10:1). They could never take away sins. This may well be why “six” stone jars are specified by St. John—to denote imperfection, or “a human number” (cf. Rev. 13:18). It is interesting to note that Jesus transformed these Old Testament baptismal waters into wine—a symbol of New Covenant perfection (see Joel 3:18; Matthew 9:17).

John 3:22: Immediately after Jesus’ “born again” discourse to Nicodemus, what does He do? "... Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized." It appears he baptized folks. This is the only time in Scripture we find Jesus apparently actually baptizing.

John 4:1-2: Jesus’ disciples then begin to baptize at Jesus’ command. It appears from the text, Jesus most likely only baptized his disciples and then they baptized everyone else. 

In summary, Jesus was baptized, transformed the “baptismal” waters, and then gave his famous “born again” discourse. He then baptized before commissioning the apostles to go out and baptize. To deny Jesus was teaching us about baptism in John 3:3-5 is to ignore the clear biblical context.

Moreover, John 3:5 is not describing two events; it describes one event. The text does not say “unless one is born of water and then born again of the Spirit...” It says “unless one is born of water and Spirit...” If we hearken back to the Lord’s own baptism in John 1 and Matt. 3, we notice when our Lord was baptized the Holy Spirit descended simultaneously upon him. This was one event, involving both water and the Spirit. And so it is with our baptism. If we obey God in being baptized—that’s our part of the deal—we can count on God to concurrently “open the heavens” for us and give us the Holy Spirit. 

And finally, it would be anachronistic to read into Jesus’ use of “water” to mean physical birth in John’s gospel. In fact, St. John had just used a word to refer to physical birth in John 1:12-13, but it wasn’t “water:”

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

St. John here tells us we are not made children of God by birth (“of blood”), or by our own attempts whether they be through our lower nature (“of the flesh”) or even through the higher powers of our soul (“the will of man”); rather, we must be born of God, or by God’s power. Notice, St. John refers to natural birth colloquially as “of blood,” not “of water.”

Washing of Water by the Word

It is perhaps an even greater stretch to attempt to claim the “water” of John 3:3-5 represents the word of God. At least with the amniotic fluid argument, you have mention of “birth” in the immediate context. However, the Protestant will sometimes refer to Ephesians 5:25-26 and a few other texts to make this point:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word…

“See?” a Protestant may say, “The ‘washing of water’ is here equated to ‘the word’ that cleanses us.” If you couple this text with Jesus’ words in John 15:3, “You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you,” the claim is made, that “the water” of John 3:5 would actually refer to the word of God rather than baptism. 

The Catholic Response

Beyond the obvious fact that there is nothing in the context of John's gospel to even remotely point to "water" as referring to "the word," we can point out immediately a point of agreement. Both Catholics and Protestants agree that Jesus’ words—unless one is born anew (or, again)—speak of man’s initial entrance into the body of Christ through God’s grace. Perhaps it would be helpful at this point to ask what the New Testament writers saw as the instrument whereby one first enters into Christ. This would be precisely what we are talking about when we speak of being “born again.” 

I Peter 3:20-21: “... in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Romans 6:3-4: "Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were indeed buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life." 

Galatians 3:27: "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

I Cor. 12:13: "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit (See also Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16 and Col. 2:11-13).

If baptism is the way the unsaved are brought into Christ, no wonder Christ spoke of being “born of water and spirit.” Baptism is the instrument of new birth according to the New Testament.

  


 


Tim Staples is Director of Apologetics and Evangelization here at Catholic Answers, but he was not always Catholic. Tim was raised a Southern Baptist. Although he fell away from the faith of his childhood, Tim came back to faith in Christ during his late teen years through the witness of Christian...

Comments by Catholic.com Members

#1  jay smith - ogden, Utah

The most crucial difference between Catholics and Bible Christians is on the issue of salvation. Catholics view salvation almost entirely as a process, while Christians view salvation as both a completed status and a process. Catholics see themselves as “being saved,” while Christians view themselves as “having been saved.” First Corinthians 1:2 says, “To those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy.” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root. This verse is declaring that Christians are both sanctified and called to be sanctified. The Bible presents salvation as a gift that is received the moment a person places faith in Jesus Christ as Savior (John 3:16). When a person receives Christ as Savior, he/she is justified (declared righteous – Romans 5:9), redeemed (rescued from slavery to sin – 1 Peter 1:18), reconciled (achieving peace with God – Romans 5:1), sanctified (set apart for God’s purposes – 1 Corinthians 6:11), and BORN AGAIN as a new creation (1 Peter 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Each of these is fully accomplished at the moment of salvation. Christians are then called to live out practically (called to be holy) what is already true positionally (sanctified).

October 7, 2013 at 3:59 am PST
#2  Alonso Sanchez - Tres Cantos, Madrid

I didn't know that for Christianity to be biblical the Holy Spirit had to sleep for 1500 years.

October 7, 2013 at 5:38 am PST
#3  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Jay sets up a false either/or proposition and in so doing misrepresents what the Catholic Church teaches. We are not either "saved" or "being saved." Both are true. The Church teaches in agreement with Scripture that Christians "have been saved" through faith and baptism (Mark 16:16; Eph. 2:8-9; Romans 6:3-4), they're "being saved" through cooperation with grace (I Cor. 1:18, I Cor. 15:1-3; II Cor. 6:1), and that they "shall be saved" if they persevere in the Faith (Matt. 10:22; Romans 2:6-7; Gal. 6:7-9).
Jay's emphasis on the past tense concerning salvation, redemption, justification, and sanctification needs to be supplemented with the many biblical texts that emphasize the fact that each of these also have a future and contingent sense to them (see Romans 11:13; Rev. 2:10; Romans 8:23; Rom. 2:14; Matt. 12:36-37; I Cor. 4:3-6; I Thess. 5:23, etc.).

October 7, 2013 at 10:43 am PST
#4  jeffery martin - arroyo grande, California

jay...jay..crickets chirping

October 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm PST
#5  Todd Farris - Mattoon, Illinois

I find it amusing how the "Bible" Christians pepper you with Scripture verses to prove their point and then fail to tell you that the verses being used are out of context. This seems to be the modus operandi for Protestants to prove their points. The verses have to be used in context of the entire chapter, book, and the entire Canon for that matter. Like Alonso, I wasn't aware that the Holy Spirit didn't come into the fray until Luther decided his way of thinking was the only way.

October 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm PST
#6  John Martinez - Walnut, California

Though very interested in all that has been said here, I find it very difficult understanding some of what is said. Is there a way that this information can be explained in a more layman terms? Very interesting though.

October 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm PST
#7  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

I recommend "The Essential Catholic Survival Guide" available here at Catholic Answers. It has a lot more in it than just the matter of salvation, but in chapters 28-30, you will get all the information you need in layman terms.

October 16, 2013 at 9:28 am PST
#8  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

You have at least five things wrong here, Dick. First, Jesus never talked about amniotic fluid. He didn't say you must be born and then born again. It's a given that everyone he is talking to has already been born. He says you must be "born of water and the Spirit." This is one event. Baptism.
Second, the marriage ceremony is not "to show others you are married" already. When you exchange vows, that is when your marriage is ratified. It is not just a "show."
Third, baptism is not just "to show others you are married to Jesus" already either. Scripture says baptism is the instrument God uses ordinarily to incorporate us into Christ (Romans 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27; I Peter 3:21).
Fourth, baptism is when we are born again. I would suggest you read my post again and look up the Bible verses I cite to demonstrate this to be so. Never does the Bible say we are born again through saying a prayer or confessing faith in Christ. John 3:5 indicates baptism is when we are born again, though faith is an integral part of this as Mark 16:16 says.
And finally, baptism is said to be "the circumcision of Christ" in Col. 2:11-12. This indicates babies can be baptized (Jewish males were circumcised at 8 days). Just as our Jewish forefathers understood our covenant relationship with God to be familial in nature, so does the New Covenant. St. Peter said baptism is "for you and for your children" in Acts 2:38-39. The Book of Acts and elsewhere speak repeatedly of whole households being baptized when one parent in the home comes to faith (Acts 11:14; 16:15; 31-33; I Cor. 1:16).
Matt. 9:2, 18, 15:22-28, etc. indicate that God accepts the faith of others in situations where a person cannot come to God on his own. A baby has original sin on his soul (Romans 5:12), but needs the help of his parents to come to Jesus and be baptized.

October 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm PST
#9  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Jesus never said you have to be born twice. In John 3:3 he said, "Unless a man is born from above (anothen), he is not able to see the Kingdom of God." Jesus then directs Nicodemus away from the "second birth" idea because Nicodemus was stuck in the flesh. Nicodemus got it wrong when he then asked how a man can climb back into his mother's womb and be born a "second time." Jesus never uses the language of "a second time." Jesus answers Nicodemus and says, in verse five, "Unless a man is born of water and spirit he cannot see the Kingdom of God." This is one event... baptism.
In verses seven and eight Jesus uses "born from above" again. If you want to say "born again" that is fine, but he is trying to get Nicodemus to see that the new birth is not climbing back in the womb, it is being born of the spirit through baptism.
There is no connection between "water" and "flesh" in the text. That is your making. Nor is there a connection between "water" and "birth" in St. John's writing as I said in my post (see John 1:12).
Also, that which is "born of flesh is flesh" is not speaking of birth, it is speaking of living "in the flesh" as he will say again in Mark 14:38 and St. Paul will say in many places (Romans 8, I Cor. 2-3). But I am not a stickler on that. If you want to say "born of flesh" is physical birth that is fine. But being "born of water and spirit" is baptism. That is clear as I said in my post.
We have no problem with your emphasis on the new birth. We agree. We are born from above (or anew) through faith and baptism. This is essential for salvation. Absolutely.
Baptism does not mean "one with." But I would agree that through baptism we are incorporated into Jesus Christ and become "one with him" as Romans 6:3-4 indicates.

October 22, 2013 at 1:46 am PST
#10  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

As Catholics, we are born again (or more accurately from John 3, born "from above") through faith and baptism. This is one metaphor that is used in Scripture for our being incorporated into Christ (in fact, if you want a text that actually says "born anew," that is found in I Peter 1:23, not John 3).
Now you are moving to St. Paul and I think you are missing it with St. Paul just as you missed it with Christ because once again you are reading into the text things that are not there. There are different metaphors that St. Paul uses for our being incorporated into Christ and remaining in Christ. But the texts you are using from St. Paul actually have nothing to do with being "born again." Again, there is nothing wrong with using that metaphor. We just have to be careful that we use it the way the biblical text is using it. When Jesus uses "water and spirit" in the context of baptism, you see amniotic fluid. That is a misapplication of the text. You are doing it again here.
In II Cor. 5:17, St. Paul speaks of being "a new creation." This is not speaking of being "reborn," it is speaking of our spiritual "re-creation" whereby we are "reconciled" to God (see verse 18) and we "put on the new man, created after the likeness of God" (see also Ephesians 4:22-24).
In Ephesians 2, St. Paul is using the image of resurrection, not rebirth. St. Paul speaks of being "dead" then "made alive" (see Eph. 2:1-6; 5:14). In fact, he oscillates between the main images of "reconciliation," resurrection and re-creation throughout Ephesians, but he just does not use the image of being born again. You are reading into the text something that is just not there.
Romans 8 and I Cor. 2-3 speak of living "in the flesh" verses living "in the spirit." "The flesh" represents the human person apart from grace, not physical birth. Paul does not speak of either being "born" or being "born again." He is encouraging Christians to continue to live in the spirit rather than in the flesh. "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit... and those that are in the flesh cannot please God... for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live" (Romans 8:5-13).
In Romans St. Paul is saying we have to live in the Spirit and not be enslaved by sin, which leads to spiritual death. Romans 6:16: "Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness" (Gr. - hupokoeis eis dikaiosunen - "obedience unto justification").
As a former Protestant myself, I can appreciate where you are coming from. The misapplication of a few verses in John 3 ends up coloring everything in the New Testament, especially in Evangelical and Pentecostal circles. It is truly amazing how that happens. We just have to try not to allow what ends up being "traditions of men" to nullify the very word of God.

November 19, 2013 at 8:18 am PST
#11  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Rom 10:13 "every one who calls on him shall not be saved" is a quote from Joel 2:32 . The prophet envisions a time of judgment and salvation in the messianic age, with the Spirit pouring down on all flesh and a remnant of Israel being saved. This text was the springboard of Peter's inaugural sermon in Acts, where calling on "the name" of the Lord was linked with Baptism (Acts 2:21, 38) In Acts 2:38, after they hear and believe, they ask "what then shall we do?" "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.": The call for conversion is a call for Baptism, the sacrament that takes away sin and confers the Spirit (22:16; Jn 3:5; Tit 3:5). Here and elsewhere Peter insists that Baptism is the sacrament that brings us salvation (2:40; 1 Pet 3:21) Baptism is the instrumental cause of our justification, i.e., the means used by Christ to cleanse us of guilt, fill us with the grace of divine life, and adopt us as children of God.
As for children being baptized, Christ says" let the children come to me" (matt 19:14, luke 18:16) which sounds much like Acts 2 "for all whom the Lord calls to himself".
From a heart perspective (rather than a verse by verse back-and-forth), baptism wasn't instituted by Christ as a means to set a dogmatic chokehold on the faithful. It is simply a beatiful means by which He uses elements and ideas common to man in order to fulfill and instill in us the Justification given us as a free gift through the sacrifice of His son. It is a wonderful sign of God and it should be celebrated venerated and protected. It should not be (and isn't) elevated to the level whereby it in itself does anything. It is the power of God that saves. It is also the power of God that chose to implement this through baptism. In many ways, the idea of saying a prayer to be justified instead of through baptism takes away from Gods mercy imparted to us through a simple baptism and places emphasis instead upon the intellect and man's own ability to comprehend, rationalize, and then pray to be saved. Not that rationalism comprehension and prayer are bad, but it's more of a childlike act to accept Gods gift through baptism then it is to reason your way to a prayer experience. With the heart of a child we come before Him. Regenerated as a new man through the waters of baptism we enter his body as a child. Continuing in faith we grow in love and rightousness through cooperation with his infinite grace. Through this perseverence we can have great confidence that our soul shall find eternal peace and rest with our Father.
Dick, I address much of this to you, because you seem to have the idea that the Catholic view on baptism is flawed. However, it is the view held throughout history by the church, tought by the church's original members, the apostles. It is not a view that detracts from Christ's saving grace; it rather perfectly fulfils it. I too said the "sinners prayer" as a Child. I said it again and again, as I grew up, each time worried that I hadn't had the right level of understanding or faith the previous prayer. That I might not have reached "the age of reason" at the previous prayer. It was the most comforting day in my life when I realize that it wasn't about my reason. It was about childlike faith. And it was precisely in my most childlike state that I was Justified through Christ... As a young and helpless baby being baptized held in my Mothers arms.

February 7, 2014 at 2:54 am PST
#12  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick, I would also like to comment on your use of Romans 10. No where in Romans 10:9-13 does St. Paul say we are born anew through confessing Jesus Christ. The text reads, "if you confess... you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness (Gr. eis dikaiosune, unto justification), and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (eis soterion, unto salvation)... every one who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
The same Greek words are used in speaking to Christians about obedience in Romans 6:16: "Know you not that whoever you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are, whether it be sin which leads to death (Gr. hamartia eis thanaton, "sin unto death"), or obedience which leads to righteousness (hupakoeis eis dikaiosunen, "obedience unto justification")." The implication here is that the confession of Christ must be on-going. It is not a one-time deal (see also Matt. 5:32-33). II Cor. 7:10 tells us that, for Christians who fall into sin, repentance "leads to salvation" (Gr. - "eis soterian") as well. Same words. So Romans 9, in context, is not speaking about how someone first enters into Christ. St. Paul is there talking about an on-going relationship with Christ where we continue to confess Christ so that we will be saved in the future. In Romans 6:3-4, he already told us how we first enter into Christ--through baptism.
Moreover, the phrase "shall be saved" lends itself to an on-going process as well. In Matt. 10:22 we find our Lord saying. "You shall be hated of all men for my name's sake, but he that endures until the end shall be saved." Salvation is often referred to as something contingent upon us continuing to cooperate with the grace of God, continue being faithful, believing, etc. (Romans 13:11, Rev. 2:10, II Cor. 6:1, I Cor. 15:1-2, etc.).
And finally, the point about infant baptism. David makes great points. I would add this: If you believe it to be necessary for salvation to first believe in order to be saved, then that means all babies that die in the womb, all children who die before they have the use of reason, and all those adults who are severely mentally challenged would have no possibility of salvation. We do not believe that. We believe that we are only responsible for what we have the ability to do. In other words, we will not be held accountable for what we could not have known or done (see John 15:22).
Baptism is called by St. Paul "the circumcision of Christ" in Col. 2:11-12. As David mentioned, St. Peter, preaching to thousands of Jews who already understood the idea of a family covenant (they circumcised children) specifically said baptism was "for [them] and their children." We have numerous people who came to Christ and the apostles could say to them that not only them but their entire "households" would be saved. And sometimes before they even knew who or how many or how old the members of their household were. That implies children being baptized (see I Cor. 1:16; Acts 11:14; 16:15; 31). Just as in the Old Covenant with circumcision, in the New Testament parents are commanded to baptize their children and they are responsible to do so.
The thief on the cross is a reminder that we are only responsible for what we can do. He could not be baptized; thus, he could be saved by his desire for Christ. But that does not negate the fact that both faith and baptism are necessary for salvation (see Mark 16:16). If he would have been miraculously brought down from the cross, he would have been required to be baptized. If he refused, he would have been lost.
Faith is essential as well, but only if one had the opportunity to believe. But the point here is the injunctions to believe do not eliminate the possibility of infant baptism. The parents' faith and obedience suffices until the child reaches the age of accountability. We have multiple examples in Scripture of the faith of parents (Acts 2:38-39) or others bringing people who have no ability to believe to Christ and Christ heals them, whether that be the paralytic in Mark 2:5, or the parents bringing their infants (Gr. brephe, "infants") to Christ in Luke 18:16.
The Catholic Church teaches as Scripture does in Eph. 2:8-9, the initial grace of salvation is something entirely unmerited. Baptizing babies is the ultimate example of this. They can do nothing to merit the gift of salvation. However, Eph. 2:10 tells us that once we enter into Christ, we must then perform good works in him that both St. Paul in Romans 2:6-7, and Galatians 6:7-9, and St. James in James 2:24, tells us result in our final justification/salvation.

February 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm PST
#13  david pruit - dallas, Texas

I dont know where you get all this. It's not scriptural and it's not Christian. I dont know how people could more clearly and concisely (logically and in spirit) explain these things to yoy. You've been told several times so now I gues it's time to stop arguing. Peace be with you.

February 10, 2014 at 8:40 pm PST
#14  david pruit - dallas, Texas

I dont know where you get all this. It's not scriptural and it's not Christian. I dont know how people could more clearly and concisely (logically and in spirit) explain these things to yoy. You've been told several times so now I gues it's time to stop arguing. Peace be with you.

February 10, 2014 at 8:41 pm PST
#15  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,

You claim Romans 10:8-9 says "Confess and believe = Salvation." But then you quote it and it doesn't say that. It actually says, by your own quotation of if, “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." It doesn't say you are saved, it says you "will be saved." There are other things the Bible says we also must do in order to be saved. You can't just cherry pick verses and forget about the rest. The Bible also says we have to keep confessing Christ, or as Scripture says it, we must "hold fast to our confession of faith" (see Heb. 4:14; 10:23; Matt. 5:32-33, etc.). So yes, we must confess faith in Christ to be saved, but we must continue to confess Christ. We also have to take Matt. 10:22 that says, "You shall be hated of all men for my namesake, but he that endures until the end shall be saved." Rev. 2:10 says, "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life." And I could give you 20 more such examples.

Yes, Hebrews 10:14 says "He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified," but what is the context? Hebrews 10:1-11 focuses on how the sacrifices of the Old Covenant could "never take away sins" because they were of an inferior nature (see verses 1-4). They had to be offered over and over again as well. Jesus' sacrifice was offered once and for all. His sacrifice is perfect. That is what is being said. Christ's sacrifice means "he is the propitiaton for our sins, and not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:1-2).
However, what you are failing to see is that the blood of Jesus that takes away our sins, and continues to take away our sins must be applied to our lives by our choosing to "walk in the light as he is in the light" and by "confessing our sins," for example (among other things we must do), as I John 1:7-9 says. Christ's perfect and infinite sacrifice will not save us unless we accept what he did for us. And not just once, but daily (Luke 9:23; see again I John 1:7-9).

Another example of how we must continue to choose to participate in what Christ did for us on the cross is found in the Eucharist. Jesus said, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood you have no life in you" (John 5:53). "The cup which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread when we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?" The blood of Christ will not continue to cleanse us unless we choose to walk with him as I John 1:7-9 plainly says, and unless we receive him worthily in communion (I Cor. 11:27-29).

We agree that Jesus "put an end to sin at the cross" on the objective level. But unless we confess our sins, we will die in our sins as I John 1:8-9 indicates. You are not getting the difference between Jesus' objective sacrifice which is of infinite merit and our applying that sacrifice to our lives by saying yes to God.

You also take Romans 8:2 out of context. Yes, it says, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." But you have to keep reading. It also says we must continue to walk in the spirit and not fall back into a life in the flesh, "... in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit... for if you live according to the flesh you will die, But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Romans 8:4-14).
In Galatians 6:7-9, St. Paul really sums it up:
"Be not deceived God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that shall he reap. For he who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap death; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lost heart."

We agree that Jesus died so "that we might become the righteousness of God in him" as II Cor 5:21 says. But notice it says "that we might become." Again, that implies that if we sin, we have to ask for forgiveness in order to be forgiven as I John 1:8-9 says. We become unrighteous if we sin and we have to be cleansed on our sins (I John 1:8-9; I John 3:7-8; I Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-5, etc.) Our souls can become tarnished. That is why St. Paul would say, "Having these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (II Cor. 7:1).

We also agree with you that there are a lot of verses that indicate we have been saved through faith and baptism (Eph. 2:8-9; I Peter 3:21, etc.). We as Catholics believe we "were baptized into Jesus Christ" just as Romans 6:3-4 says. But we take all of Scripture. Scripture also says we are "being saved" indicating salvation does not only have a "past" sense to it, but it is also an on-going process (I Cor. 1:18; cf. Romans 13:11, I Cor. 15:1-2, etc.). Moreover, we also see it in the future indicating it has a future and contingent sense to it as well. We have to take all of these Scriptures. Notice, we "will be saved" if we endure faithfully until the end (Matt. 10:22; Acts 15:11; Rev. 2:10, Matt 24:45-51, etc.)

So we agree that Jesus is our savior. He obeyed where I could not. He suffered and died for my sins because I could not. He paid a debt that he did not owe because I owed a debt I could not pay. However, according to the Scriptures, through his sacrifice, he empowers me to be able to cooperate with what he did so that I can then participate in my own salvation and the salvation of others "in him, with him, and through him" (Romans 11:36). "Apart from [Christ, I] can do nothing" (John 15:5; Eph. 2:1-7). But in Christ "I can do all things" (Phil. 4:13, John 14:12).

I can't save myself apart from Christ, but in him, I can save not only myself, but those that hear me as well (I challenge you to read I Tim. 4:16, I Cor. 9:22, Romans 11:14, I Cor. 7:16, James 5:19-20, Col. 1:24, II Cor. 1:6, and I could give you more, that say precisely what I said above). I can do all of this because I am a "co-laborer with Christ" as St. Paul said it in I Cor. 3:9. I am nothing, and I have nothing to boast about apart from Christ, but in Christ it is a whole new ballgame (I Cor. 1:31).

February 12, 2014 at 12:24 pm PST
#16  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Dick, you28 comments in #23 can all be brought into question by citing one passage: "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. (James 2:14-17). And by "cherry pick" I think Tim is referring to how you seem to be using a specific verse only to prove a certain point, but you are ignoring all the OTHER verses that speak on the topic, and also the context in which that verse is cited.
For instance, you would likely quote Romans 3:28 to "counter" the above verse " For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law". The great thing about being Catholic is that we dont have to scratch our heads about those seemingly contradictory verses (and there are many others). Rather, we can accept all the verses in the bible, and understand them as their meant to be - in unity of dogma, amd not in confused uncertainty.

February 19, 2014 at 5:37 pm PST
#17  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Therefore by your own reasoning faith AND works are required for salvation. And this is exactly what the catholic church teaches.
Man cannot "work his way to heaven". Afrer initial salvation or as you call it "activation" we are to continue in "good works" which are only possible through cooperation with Christs grace, which is a result of our continued state of faith. BOTH are necessary, and you cant have one without the other. They are 2 sides of the same coin.

February 20, 2014 at 11:55 am PST
#18  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Therefore by your own reasoning faith AND works are required for salvation. And this is exactly what the catholic church teaches.
Man cannot "work his way to heaven". Afrer initial salvation or as you call it "activation" we are to continue in "good works" which are only possible through cooperation with Christs grace, which is a result of our continued state of faith. BOTH are necessary, and you cant have one without the other. They are 2 sides of the same coin.

February 20, 2014 at 11:55 am PST
#19  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Dick, I want to summarize what you are saying and point out which parts agree with and disagree with the Catholic position:
1) "Before you[re] saved Works are call Dead works" - AGREED (or as Paul might call them, "Works of the Law").
2) "Salvation is a free Gift, You don't have to pay for a FREE GIFT" - AGREED.
3) "Works you pay for; there's a WAGE involved" - Which works are you talking about? Dead or Good works? To Clarify, Works you GET PAID for. You "receive a WAGE" for them.
4) "the wages of sin is eternal death, but the gift of Jesus is Eternal Life" - AGREED. But by your own statements, you must agree that the wages of GOOD WORKS is NOT eternal death, but eternal LIFE in Christ.
5) "Before you are born again there is no Grace (Mercy) applied; only Judgement for your Sins ( Wages)" - AGREED. We are all subject to the ORIGINAL SIN of Adam before being born again.
6) "Only Jesus is the Answer" - AGREED!
7) "I owed a debt I could not pay,He paid a debt He did not owe;
I needed someone to wash my sins away......Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay" - AGREED!

So where is the disconnect!? The disconnect is that you seem to think Catholics believe things that they actually don't. In 1) you seem to think that Catholics believe that (by your definition) "Dead Works" save you. Catholics DO NOT believe this!
This is what I was trying to say in #27. Good works (works you perform after your salvation, that you can only do because you already HAVE faith, and are only possible THROUGH GRACE) play a continual role in our lives as NEW BEINGS (made new because we are BORN AGAIN) and they are INSEPARABLE from our FAITH. They continue Christ's work in us, called "Sanctification". The disconnect is that often, Catholics still call sanctification "salvation". Sanctification is Christ's continued work in us to bring us ever and ever closer to Him, to help perfect us, to infuse us with His perfect love, and drive every last bit of attachment to this world and its ways out of us. And also to drive it out if it starts to creep back in. It's not through our own power that this happens. Its all Him. But we have to CHOOSE to let him work in us.
This leads to the next disconnect, which is that it IS possible to LOSE your salvation. I know you won't agree, but Tim explained it in #22, and it's in the Bible, so you are REQUIRED to believe it. Sorry. You don't get to re-interpret these, or omit them, or pull out a single verse that seems to contradict them, such as Heb 10:14. (Heb. 4:14; 10:23; Matt. 5:32-33, Rev 2:10, Matt 10:22, Luke 9:23; I John 1:7-9, Galatians 6:7-9).

The next disconnect, which ties into the subject of this thread, is when #5) is applied/occurs. Again, it's in the bible over and over again, so same rules. You can't omit the verses you don't like or just find 1 that seems to contradict them and use it to prove your own point. You are born again when you are baptized. Now, again, don't go on thinking that Catholics believe that God is bound by the motions or action of baptism. God isn't bound by any of the sacraments. He gave them to us for US. They are physical signs by which HE CHOOSES to impart His Supernatural work IN US. He can choose to do this any way He wants. He chose the Sacrament of Baptism to impart Justification of our sins to us, and our re-birth into the mystical body of Christ as NEW MEN. So, can he choose to impart Justification by another means. Certainly so! and Catholics hold fast to this, noting that certainly man are "baptized by desire" or "by blood". Does this mean we shouldn't be baptized? Certainly not! For Christ TOLD US TO DO IT! It's not for Him, it's not "a work" that we do of our own power in order to "gain" his Love and Mercy. That's not the point, and that would be a heresy (if that's what the Catholic church taught, which it isn't). Baptism Saves By the Resurrection of Christ. (1 Peter 3:21). Does it say anywhere that saying the sinners prayer "saves you". Does the Bible say that "you must ask Jesus into your heart and this will save you"? It does not. That is because Christ CHOSE to use baptism. Not a prayer to ask him into your heart. (Note that this type of prayer is certainly great, and advantageous, and even "salvific" in the sense that it fosters "sanctification", or continual life IN CHRIST, and CHRIST IN YOU).

I feel like at this point in the discussion you need to be very clear about what it is you think Catholics believe. Because so far in these threads, what you've stated shows that you do not seem to actually know what the Catholic church teaches (even though you used to be Catholic, so this is somewhat surprising). As a newer Catholic myself, I've found that it's pretty easy to search out good sources that discuss what the Church actually teaches. I think it's important that if you are going to continue in these conversations, you need to be getting your facts about what the Church teaches from a good source, rather than making assertions about what you think the church believes (and just because you WERE Catholic, does not mean that you actually understood what the Church teaches). When you do make arguments in these threads, you set up a "straw man" and then knock it down. This is pointless if we're going to have real dialogue. I hope you consider this, so we can continue to dialogue about our differences in a coherent, logical, and reasonable manner.

February 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm PST
#20  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Ok.... im sorry I do not follow you. Doesn't seem like you are arguing or responding to anything I'm saying. I'm going to stop posting on this thread to you. God bless.

February 21, 2014 at 7:42 pm PST
#21  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Dick, Ive been an evangelical born again bible believing Christian since day 1 of my life. Ive been baptized. Ive said the sinners prayer. Ive prayed my whole life for wisdom. Ive read the bible and been in bible studies since I could read. So you arent teaching me anything new. Ive heard all your type of rhetoric and weak arguments be before. Ive been in your shoes and made the same arguments. God led me to His church by calling me to a closer relationship with Him and His Church. So thank you for worrying about my salvation, but I could say the same thing to you. But I wont. God is calling you and and in the end will judge each mans heart. All I can do is tell you your theology is is wrong, and you are mistaken on a few points. The rest is between you and God.

February 22, 2014 at 10:52 am PST
#22  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Dick, Ive been an evangelical born again bible believing Christian since day 1 of my life. Ive been baptized. Ive said the sinners prayer. Ive prayed my whole life for wisdom. Ive read the bible and been in bible studies since I could read. So you arent teaching me anything new. Ive heard all your type of rhetoric and weak arguments be before. Ive been in your shoes and made the same arguments. God led me to His church by calling me to a closer relationship with Him and His Church. So thank you for worrying about my salvation, but I could say the same thing to you. But I wont. God is calling you and and in the end will judge each mans heart. All I can do is tell you your theology is is wrong, and you are mistaken on a few points. The rest is between you and God.

February 22, 2014 at 10:52 am PST
#23  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Thank you David. And thank you all. Oremus pro invicem (Latin for "Let us pray for one another)!

February 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm PST
#24  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
You can't say David's, "Spirit is now perfect..." You don't know that. St. Paul tells the Christians in Corinth (and he includes himself), "Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God." Our spirits become defiled when we sin as Christians, according to St. Paul. And "no unclean thing can enter into heaven" (Rev. 21:27; Hab. 1:13). That defilement must be cleansed. You really need to meditate on God's word and get away from all of these man-made traditions you keep attempting to foist upon us.
Second, when you say David "could not have be[en] a Christian since [he was] one year old..." once again you are wrong. Becoming a Christian is not something we merit by our works. We enter into Christ through an entirely unmerited gift (Eph. 2:8-9). Baptism is the instrument God uses to communicate that gift. St. Peter tells us that gift is for children (Acts 2:38-39) and we find out from St. Paul in Col. 2:11-12 that baptism is "the circumcision of Christ." Babies were circumcised. So should Christian babies be baptized.
Third, if you say "you have to comprehend" God in order to be saved and you have to "confess" Christ to be saved, then all babies who die will go to Hell. That is absurd!
For adults, it is required that they make a profession of faith. But that is not required for babies because babies do not have the ability to make a profession of faith. You are only responsible for what you can do. When you say, "God knows the situation and he has babies covered until they can do it themselves," where does the Bible say that? You just quoted Romans 10:9-13 as an absolute and said everyone has to confess Christ, and then you say millions and millions do not have to confess Christ to be saved. But when Catholics say Romans 10:9-10 does not apply to babies you say we are wrong. You make no sense.
The bottom line here is this: Though babies cannot profess faith in Christ so they do not have to in order to be saved: parents can have their babies baptized, so they are responsible to do so. And this leads to my fourth point in answering your comments.
When you said, "Your parents can't say it for you either and the church can't believe it for you," that is simply not true. This is the point in circumcising babies. The parents believe for the babies. How often do we see it is the faith of others that provides for those who cannot believe for themselves. This happens in dramatic fashion when God raises the dead through Elijah, Elisha, St. Peter, and St. Paul. The person who is dead cannot believe for themselves. We see this in Matt. 9:2 as well. When Jesus saw the faith of the ones carrying the paralytic, he forgave the sins of the paralytic. So it is with the baptism of babies.
Don't get so hung up on "works" in thinking that we have to do something in order to receive the initial grace of salvation. It is entirely unmerited. Baptizing babies is the ultimate example of that. It is only after baptism that we can begin to "call on the name of the Lord" and merit eternal life as Romans 10:9-13 says (see also Romans 2:6-7; Gal. 6:7-9).

February 27, 2014 at 7:24 am PST
#25  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Hello Dick,
I am not going back and forth. The initial grace of salvation is entirely unmerited. We demonstrate this in baptizing babies. A baby can do absolutely nothing to merit anything. However, once we enter into Christ, "we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works" as Eph. 2:10 says. We can only merit because of Christ working in us.
Of course you are not going to say you are hung up on works, but you are. You seem to think a baby can't receive the circumcision of Christ because he has to first do something. No, he doesn't. He received a pure gift from God.
Yes, Jesus died for all of our sins, past, present and future. In fact, I John 2:1-2 says he died for all of the sins "of the whole world." That is not at issue.
What is at issue is your failure to understand that his sacrifice cannot be applied to our lives unless we cooperate with his grace. Once we enter into Christ we must choose to "walk in the light" (I John 1:7) in order for his blood to continue to cleanse us. We must "confess our sins" in order for him to "forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That is what you are not seeing. Read I John 1:7-9 and I think you'll at least see what I mean.

February 27, 2014 at 10:24 pm PST
#26  Kelly T - Wickliffe, Ohio

Doesn't a person have to make a conscious decision for him/her self? How can parents make the decision to follow Christ for their child? Where is the free will and what happens if someone who was baptized as a baby renounces Christ as an adult?

(I am currently going through RCIA and I have tons of questions.)

Thanks!

February 28, 2014 at 11:09 am PST
#27  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Kelly,
No one can make a decision for someone else to follow Christ. A baby can't "follow Christ" until he or she reaches the age of accountability. That is not what we are talking about. We are talking about parents deciding for their children that they are going to be Christians. This is a great gift that God gives to the child through the parents apart from anything the baby can do. It is a pure gift of God.
Think of the analogy of the Jewish faith. A child was circumcised at the age of eight days and at that point they became a Jew. "But didn't they have to choose to "believe in God and in his servant Moses?" (see Ex. 14:31) Of course they did. Remember, King David (and Abraham) was an example for us of Justification by faith in Romans 4 but he still had to be circumcised or else he would have been "cut off from [God's] people" (Gen. 17:14).
It is not a contradiction; it is a great gift to receive baptism as "the circumcision of Christ" as a baby. That baby is incorporated into Christ, not just into the nation of Israel, and he receives many gifts that will be there to help him when he reaches the age of accountability.
But of course, each of us must choose to follow Jesus when we reach the age of accountability and we can, at any time, choose to reject our inheritance as Hebrews 12:14-17 says of Esau.
And remember this, Kelly. We make all sorts of choices for our children. That is an essential part of being a parent. We don't wait for them to come of age to choose their names, food, clothes, doctors, medical care for their bodies, schools (as they get older), etc. They can change all of those things when they get older, but we don't wait for them. We have a responsibility towards them. And so it is with the faith. We "train up a child" in the way of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6) even as they get older so that when it comes time they will hopefully choose correctly.

February 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm PST
#28  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
Where does the Bible say "babies are covered up to the age of accountability?" It says they cannot sin personally because they don't know the law (Romans 7:9) and because they don't know what is right and wrong (Romans 9:11), but Scripture also says, "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." Romans 5:12 says, "For by one man, sin and death come upon all," and that "we were by nature children of wrath" (Eph. 2:2-4).
That means there is something called original sin that must be taken away and that is why (part of the reason, anyway) we have infant baptism.
You say, "Water baptism is a witness of your statement of faith of what happened earlier in you Spirit," but that is not what the Bible teaches. It says, "baptism now saves us," in I Peter 3:21. It says, "We are buried together with him through baptism" in Romans 6:3 (see also Acts 2:38; 22:16; Gal. 3:27; Mark 16:16). Why do you quote Romans 10:9-10 that says confessing Christ leads to salvation, but you don't cite Mark 16:16 that says "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved," or Matt. 10:22 that says, "... he that endures until the end shall be saved?" Same words. Baptism and enduring until the end is just as much necessary for salvation (in the final sense) as is confessing Christ's with our lips, according to the Bible. You are only giving a partial picture.
Where does the Bible say you became married to you wife "when [you] confessed [your] Love for her and ask[ed] her to marry [you]?" Where does the Bible say that is "when [you] became one in each other." And then the wedding ceremony was merely a symbol? Really? Can you give the verses for this?
Actually, it is the public exchange of vows that brings about a ratified marriage and then the consummation brings about a consummated and indissoluble union. Of course you have to love one another and freely commit to Christ and each other in the sacrament, but the sacrament is confected in public, not when you are out at the park somewhere and saying, "I love you." Otherwise, there's a whole lot of folks married out there but they don't know it!
In the same way, the Bible never says baptism is a mere symbol representing something that already happened. It is a symbol that brings about what it symbolizes. It is not the mere "cleansing of dirt from the flesh," as St. Peter says in I Peter 3, that we are talking about here - faith and the proper intention must be present, but faith and baptism work together in bringing a person into Christ.
I am taken by how little you back up anything you say with Scripture. You quote Ephesians 2:4-6, which tells us how God loved us, saved us, and raised us up, and we agree on that. What you don't do is show the verses of Scripture like Romans 6:3-5 that show the instrument God uses to bring this about along with faith.

February 28, 2014 at 8:53 pm PST
#29  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

From what I have experienced when dealing with Protestants on this issue of "born again" is that the term is confused with conversion. Maybe at some point in their life they did not take Jesus as serious as they should have, then boom, the lights come on and all of a sudden they can't get enough of Jesus. That is the emotional moment that they claimed they were "saved" or "born again." By that reasoning they believe being saved is a moment and not a process. Without pounding me with many snippits of Scripture, is this true Mr. Martin? Must a person have a "born again" moment to achieve salvation?

March 2, 2014 at 5:05 am PST
#30  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Mr. Martin, thank you for your answer and letting me know that you do indeed believe salvation is achieved in a single "born again" one time moment. Does that single moment mean a persons struggle for salvation is over at that point?

If that is the case, and from your answer above you are making the claim that the one time "born again" happens to be the moment we are saved, then that would also have to be the exact time God has judged us, correct? Is our confession our judgment or do we get saved before we are judged? Can you please answer that in simple terms.

March 3, 2014 at 5:00 am PST
#31  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Mr Martin, you still did not really answer my question but rather gave a long drawn out answer with another persons quotes. Based on everything you have said in all that you have posted, the conclusion I come to is that you are saying that as soon as a person confesses that Jesus is their Lord and Savior that they are saved at that very moment. If that is the case then that would have to be the very moment their soul has been judged. What I want to know is a yes or no answer, is that the moment our souls are judged by God and our ticket to heaven is punched? Also can a person lose their salvation once they have professed Christ as their Lord and Savior?

March 3, 2014 at 7:59 pm PST
#32  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

And yes Mr. Martin we both agree that eternal salvation is the work of God and is a free gift from God. That is exactly what the Catholic Church has taught for two thousand years!!

March 3, 2014 at 8:07 pm PST
#33  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, thank you for the short answer and being blunt. So if what you say is true, then there is no need to ever repent again for any future sins, repentance would serve no purpose if a person is already saved. Am I right on this Dick?

March 4, 2014 at 6:19 pm PST
#34  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, you say the answers are in the Word of God, but the problem is your understanding of God's Word and mine have different meanings. Also, there are thousands of other denominations that disagree with you. Where is a person to find the real truth? I have no doubt about your intentions but I have the best of intentions too. Where are two Christian brothers who disagree suposed to take their argument? I am going to read and meditate on the Word of God, then I am going to compare what I read to what you have been telling me. Thank you once again, and may God bless you even if you do not agree with the Catholic Church. Even though we do disagree on theolgy we stand united in Christ and we both seem to be far from the influence of secularism.

March 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm PST
#35  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
You say, "If you are born again (In Christ) sin does NOT keep you out of Heaven ; has no bearing on your eternal security. Jesus paid for you sin's, past, Present, and future."
And yet, I John 1:8-9 says, "If we say we have no sin, we are liars... If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
You say your future sins are already forgiven. The Bible says otherwise. Can you see why we Catholics have to go with the Bible instead of following you?

March 6, 2014 at 5:02 am PST
#36  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, you say all we have to do is believe on the name of Jesus and we are instantly saved, further more, you state that once we do so, we can not loose our salvation.

Jesus says... "Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, 'Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who do the will of my Father who is in Heaven."

Those are very straightforward and strong words straight from the mouth of the one who is doing the saving! I believe I will side with Jesus on this one. If Jesus tells me ONLY THOSE WHO DO THE WILL OF HIS FATHER will enter heaven, then there can be no doubt, He means what He says. If I refuse to do His will I can not enter Heaven. Plain and simple, absolutely blunt and to the point.

What Jesus says makes sense in so many ways. First of all, we all have been given the gift of free will and at no time in our lives is this gift revoked. We are never ever forced to love God. If we are free, and we truly are, because love can not be forced, then there is only one logical conclusion, I am free to accept and do the will of Christ one day, or free to forsake Christ and reject His will the next day, if that is what I choose to do. It is a huge, and I do mean an error of epic proportion to believe God forces us to love and be with Him if we chose not to.

After some meditation and thought on this, I have come up with two good examples. First is the one who I think is the biggest example of all, Satan. At one time he accepted and worshiped God, later he chose to reject God and was permanently cast out of Heaven. We can't say Satan never accepted and loved God, because God created all things good and God created all entities and creatures to love and worship Him. In other words, Satan chose to do the will of God at one time, and then later he chose to do just the opposite and made the choice of freely rejecting God's will, he instead put His own will above that of God's.

The second bad apple, Judas! He also accepted Christ and chose to follow Him at one time, and later chose to betray Christ because of greed. There is the key phrase, he CHOSE TO BETRAY his Savior of his own freewill, he chose not to repent. He was never forced to become a disciple and follow Christ, he chose to do so, just as he chose to betray Christ. He obvisously loved Jesus because he knew he messed up and tried to return the silver, and he was so heartbroken he hung himself! We all have the same choice, even after we profess that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we can repent and accept God's saving grace or we can walk away with a bag full of sins and deny our Lord's forgiveness.

With just a little reasoning and amateur philosophy it is easy to conclude that Jesus is right, not everyone who has at one time proffessed that Christ is their Lord and Savior is worthy of or guaranteed eternal salvation...only those who continue to do His Fathers will, just like Jesus says. Did forget that Jesus said if we did not forgive one another then neither will the Father forgive you? How will you go to heaven if you are not forgiven? You just can't stop loving, repenting, and forgiving! If you stop those three things then it is your will you follow, not the will of God!

One more time..."ONLY THOSE WHO DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER!!! Those are the words of Jesus, not mine, and not something the Catholic Church made up over the years.

LESSON: God gives us a choice, His will or our will. At no time in our lives does God rescend this choice, love is free, not imposed because we make a one time profession, we have to always follow through with that profession or it is a proffession made in vain. If you keep your commitment, God will keep His, and if you all of a sudden refuse to accept Christ as your Savior...well then God will surely grant you your wish!

March 6, 2014 at 10:52 am PST
#37  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Sory for the long post above but somethings are worth saying. One more question Dick, do you think Catholics will be damned for eternity for being Catholic? I cant wait to hear the answer to this one!!! Don't be affarid to answer that one, it certainly won't offend us, we are use to it.

March 6, 2014 at 10:57 am PST
#38  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, first of all it is obvious you are avoiding my question. Second of all, you are welcome to borrow my Bible that has the full Scriptures and not just a few verses highlighted in it. You seem to be very against the Catholic faith and you take the easy way out when you are challenged on what you post. I will ask you for a staight answer one more time...is it your understanding that Catholics will fall short of heaven? Are we doomed for being Catholic? How about an educated answer, a yes or no followed by a brief explanation. If you do not belive we are doomed what sense does it make for you to be on this site putting down our faith?

March 7, 2014 at 7:41 pm PST
#39  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, I figured if I asked you enough questions it would lead to this point. Now I can show you how flawed your theology is and how bad you have contridicted yourself. I do not do this to argue with you but rather to help others who are seriously studying the Catholic faith so they can get a glimpse at why picking out a couple Scripture verses and ignoring the rest can be very mIsleading.

You say over and over that if a person professes Christ as their Lord and Savior that they are instantly saved, that is when we are judged, and any sins after that does not matter. If that is the case then alleluia, all Catholics are already saved!!! We profess our faith in Christ, not just every Sunday, but also at every Mass we attend! We even take it one step further, WE PROFESS THE ENTIRE HOLY TRINITY!!!!! The Catholic Church has been doing so for over 2000 years!!!! I thought you might have known that since you said you were once Catholic. Yes sir, every time we profess the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed we profess Christ as our Savior! That is why we go to Mass, not just on Sunday's, but many of us daily...we are not going for fellowship, we go to worship Christ...AS OUR LORD AND SAVIOR! Now what are you going to say, that we aren't holding our mouth right, not saying the exact right words, or that we don't have Christ in out hearts? You see, by your own admission you say sin doesn't matter after we are saved, if that is the case then what does it matter how we interperet Scripture, we don't need it any more if we are already saved. According to you it's done, it is finished, we are judged before death, nothing else matters! So why are you so worried about Catholics not understanding your theology? Do you claim to be the judge of Catholic hearts and intentions?

You say you have not been putting down the Catholic faith but you have when you act like you have the Holy Spirit and we do not. You have no clue what great works and miracles our Lord is performing through us, CATHOLICS! Not only have you put down the Catholic faith, you said Tim was ignorant because he understands Scripture different than you. If that wasn't enough, you now tell me the train will leave without me, which is the polite way of saying I am going to hell. Well if I'm going to hell I'm going in the train founded by Jesus Christ in 33AD, it is His train and I am not dropping off now or ever!

March 8, 2014 at 7:43 pm PST
#40  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Amen Chris! Dick also stated in 57: "To believe is to understand or comprehend His reason for coming and what He was to accomplish, and the means to do it." But... as James puts it in James 2:19 "You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder." and they even professed him as Lord in Mark 3:11 "Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!”.
"Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren?" (James 2:20).
I will agree with Dick that it is possible to have an "intellectual faith" that is not rooted in the heart. It is a danger we all face, that our hearts would become hardened like those of the Isrealites. We must pray, yearn for, cooperate with Christ's grace , so that he might fill our hearts with His love.
"And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." 1 Co 13:2.
It's been a fun blog gentleman. I feel even more grounded now in my Catholic faith, so thank you for that, and may God bless you as He continuously calls you closer to Himself and back into His church. I have no doubt that you love the Lord our God and I can be thankful that we can be brothers in Christ. Let us never forget that it is to the world we owe our testimony, lest we get too wrapped up in discussing amongst ourselves. I think I've said my piece so I am going to bow out for now. Carry on!

March 9, 2014 at 6:26 am PST
#41  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

David, God bless you my fellow Catholic!! I guess this blog has run it's course and I too am done with it. I certainly hope Dick understands that we Catholics do profess our faith in Christ and that we know He is our Lord and Savior. As a matter of fact that is the good news, the Gospel that our Lord Jesus commissioned the Church to proclaim to the whole world, and the Church has done a magnificant job and continues to do so regardless of the attacks She endures everyday. Like Jesus promised...the gates of hell will not prevail!!!

Dick, thank you my fellow Christian for buiding upon my Catholic faith and opening my eyes even more to the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed. There was a little more emphesis on the creed this morning as I gazed upon all the other Catholics in perfect union with one another as we professed our faith as one. God bless you and see you on another blog.

March 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm PST
#42  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
With all due respect, you are directly contradicting Scripture in a least four clear ways. But before I get to those, I want to be clear that the Catholic Church agrees that Jesus "is the propitiation for our sins, and not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:1). But that does not mean everyone in the world is going to be saved. Why? Because there is something we have to do in order for what Jesus did on the cross to be effectual in our lives. This leads to your errors above:
1. You said, "Jesus already accomplished [our salvation]. You need to just thank him for his sacrifice." We certainly should thank him, but there are two points to consider. First, giving thanks is something WE MUST DO according to I Tim. 2:1-4. Second, that is not all we have to do for salvation. We have to "repent" (Acts 2:38), be obedient (Acts 5:32; Heb. 5:8-9; Romans 6:16), "endure until the end" (Matt. 10:22; Rev. 2:10), confess our sins (I John 1:9) and "walk in the light as he is in the light" (I John 1:7-9) in order to have our sins forgiven and in order for the blood of Christ to continue to cleanse us of all sins.
2. Yes, Jesus said "It is finished" in John 19:30. But he had already told us what he "finished" in John 17:4, the work the Father gave him to do "on earth." But obviously, he had not been resurrected yet, which justifies us according to Romans 4:25, and he had not ascended where he continues to intercede for us until the end of time, according to Heb. 7:24-25. And he also did not "finish" what we have to do in accepting him and living for him.
3. You said "I am not saying these things -- God said it." And yet, virtually all you do is bloviate your traditions of men without backing it up with Scripture. The fact that "Jesus is the door" and "believing in your heart" is necessary for salvation does not exclude all of the other things the Bible says are necessary for salvation.
4. You say "God forbids man to speak to the dead," and yet Jesus did in Matt. 17:1-3 and Luke 9:31 (see also Deut. 34:5, which says Moses died). As Catholics, we follow Jesus, not you, Dick. Scripture teaches members of the body of Christ "need" each other (I Cor. 12:21). We need the prayers of our brothers and sisters in heaven because the Bible says so (see also Rev. 5:8; Heb. 12:22-24). We are not communing with the dead, we are speaking to those who are alive in God (see Luke 20:38).
It seems to me you have a "form of godliness, but you deny the power thereof" to transform us into members of Christ's body who can then minister to one another in Christ. It is God who set it up this way, not us. Jesus loves to use members of his body to heal one another by the power of the Holy Spirit at work within them. And because "neither death, nor life, nor angels..." can separate us from Christ and from one another, that ministry goes on in the next life. Members of the body minister to one another as long as they are members of the body.

March 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm PST
#43  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Very well said Tim, I just wished Dick could read the Bible as a whole instead of isolating texts. There are many things Jesus says we must do, or must not do for salvation, He would not have said those things if He did not mean it. Just because Jesus said one thing does not cancel out everything else He said. That is the beauty of Catholicism, it does not divide nor isolate, it is the fullness of truth, it isn't a either or, it is complete!

March 12, 2014 at 8:20 pm PST
#44  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Truth to you is a one way street, truth to me is much greater than my 46 years here on earth. How could I possibly compare my blink of an eye forty something years to the over 2000 years of the Catholic Church, THE Church established by Christ to bring the Gospel to the entire world. When the Bible is seperated from the Church there is chaos and confussion. There is no doubt that you believe the Bible speaks to you alone and the other billion of us Catholics are incabable of understanding it. Your always quoting Scripture to fit your sola beliefs and ignore the rest of Scripture such as Christ telling us the gates of hell will never prevail over his Church, that the Church is the Body of Christ, that if you persecute the Church you persecute Christ, that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth, that the Church has the authority to bind and loose, that the Church can retain or forgive sins, that if two brothers disagree that they are to take it to the Church. No where in Scripture does it say Dick Martin is the pillar and foundation of the truth! I already know what your next move will be...to discredit the Church, to make it disapear, to say it went apostate, to say it is corrupt, to say it is an invisable body. The TRUTH is Christ founded a Church and He has never came back to end His Church! So no matter what else you say, the Church established by Christ takes priority over Dick Martin, and over me!

March 14, 2014 at 6:31 pm PST
#45  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

No Dick, SCRIPTURE and the CHURCH tell me what is the truth, not one or the other. In case you do not believe me here it is straight from the letter of St. Paul to Timothy...

"But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, WHICH IS THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, THE PILLAR AND THE FOUNDATION OF TRUTH."

How much clearer can it get than that? I would say it is a brilliant assurance from God to let me know where the truth is!!! And if you want to know how sturdy and how long that Church will last maybe these Words from the founder, Jesus Christ, will clue you in...

"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, AND THE GATES OF THE NETHERWORLD SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT."

And yes Dick, Jesus is the Church, so when you persecute the Church, as St. Paul once did, you persecute Christ. And yes, the Holy Sprit is Truth, that's why when Scripture tells us the Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth we must accept it no matter how much our personal opinions differ from it, it is called humility.

You say the Catholic Church is the largest denomination, that is a very inaccurate statement...the Catholic Church is not a denomination, it is THE Church founded by Jesus Christ. I don't have to take a second look where the truth comes from, God already tells me that, and I am humble enough to accept it at face value. Anyone who separates the Word of God from the Church, the Body of Christ, creates his own church in his own image, and that is the reason there are now over 30,000 denominations who can not agree even with one another over the interpretation of Scripture. The results speak clearly.

March 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm PST
#46  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
You just have the hardest time simply accepting what the Scripture teaches. Our brother pointed out the fact that St. Paul says, "the church [is] the pillar and foundation of the truth," and rather than just accepting that, you mumble:
"The Church is built on the cornerstone ( Jesus Christ ) and the teaching of the Apostles ( Foundation Stones) which is both the Truth. These are the pillar and Foundation of the Church in the beginning..."
Huh?
But I do agree with you that your "tradition and man's ideas spoiled the whole barrel." That is exactly right. And that is exactly what you do every time you add your traditions to the Revelation of God given to us 2,000 years ago.
You say, "the early three centuries the church [was] founded by Jesus, then it became corrupt..." The problem is, the Church of the first three centuries believed essentially the same things Catholics believe today. So if you want to be in that Church, you need to be Catholic.
If you want to follow Jesus, you need to also be in union with his body, which is the Church (Eph. 1:22-23). Unfortunately, you are following an amalgam of various traditions of men taught by men like Luther, Calvin, and most of all, the traditions of Dick. When you are finished running the gamut on all of these opinions of men, the Church will be waiting with the fullness of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The same one you left years ago in order to follow your own mind, or what you think the Bible says.

March 17, 2014 at 11:42 am PST
#47  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, what are your intentions for spending so much time and energy blogging against the Catholic faith? You say the Church went apostate in the 300's yet history does not show this at all. What history does show is a Church doing exactly as Christ commanded, bringing the Gospel to the entire world. This Church you claim to be apostate brought Christ to billions who never knew Him, that includes individuals, whole families, barbaric tribes, whole cities, and even nations and whole continents. This so called apostate Church built whole communities all over the world where it's members dedicated their entire days and lives to prayer and worship 24 hours a day. Yes this Church you call apostate built other communities that devoted themselves to serving their neighbors who had diseases such as leperacy and the plauge. This so called apostate Church developed education systems for all, not just for the wealthy, but for the masses of people of all races, religions and creeds. The college system, the universities was an invention of the Catholic Church. This so called apostate Church invented hospitals and cared for eveyone. They have given care to and saved billions of lives. Lo and behold, this Church you call apostate also has built thousands of orphanages, taking in babies and youths who had lost their parents or were simply rejected and tossed to the streets by their parents. Yes, this Church you call apostate is the largest charitable organization on the planet. We are there at every crisis and natural disaster that comes along. We are there at every humanitarian crisis, feeding the hungry and caring for the wounded and sick, giving shelter to the homeless. This Church you call apostate offers more graces through the Sacraments and Her worship is the same now as it has always been, and if you do not believe me, read Justin Martyrs description of Mass from the year 165. There is no way a Church could have lasted so long with so many attacks from within and from the outside world if Christ had abandoned Her. She has outlasted every Kingdom and nation and is the oldest living institution on earth. No other institution has done more charity and offered so much for the world than this Church you call apostate. The love and charity of Christ shines above all and His Church is a reflection of that love! Your darn right I'm proud of my faith! And your darn right I will be by Her side until my very last breath! I'm not so selfish to believe it is about me and a Bible because the true Church of Christ isn't meant to be hidden under a basket, no sir, it was meant to be a beacon of Light set upon a mountain for the whole world to see!!! Now what has the church of Dick accomplished or plan to accomplish other than trying to sink this beautiful ship that has been the fisher of men for over 2000 years? Good bye Dick and God bless, you will be in my prayers. No need to respond with your favorite Scripture quotes or opinions of apostasy, you will be wasting your time.

March 18, 2014 at 4:44 am PST
#48  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

How un-Christian can you get dick! Nothing you said is worth responding to, just plain sad!

March 18, 2014 at 7:07 pm PST
#49  david pruit - dallas, Texas

When you say "Catholics redefine grace as the merited favor of God"... did you just make that up? You are interpreting the catechism kind of like how you quote the bible. Mere paragraphs before 2027 which you only partially quoted, it says " 2021 Grace is the help God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his adopted sons. It introduces us into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life."
Then again its pretty crystal clear that we do not merit anything without Christ: "2020 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism" and finally "2025 We can have merit in God’s sight only because of God’s free plan to associate man with the work of his grace. "
So stop making it sound like you know what you're talking about when it comes to what Catholics believe. Just ask and read and there are plenty of people here that can explain what we believe (rather than making it up and then writing it like it's true). You should limit yourself to talking only about what you know, and that is only your particular opinion and personal interpretation of the bible (your tradition) which doesn't agree with over 3/4 of all Christian belief (not just today but since the beginning of the Church and throughout history).

March 19, 2014 at 4:28 am PST
#50  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
I appreciate your honesty in saying you believe "The Catholic Jesus is unable to save sinners..." That's being honest.
But I believe you are wrong. Jesus (and St. Paul, I should add) is the one who said he was giving us his body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist for our salvation (John 6:53; Luke 22:15-19; I Cor. 10:15-17; 11:27-29).
It is a radical truth that Jesus communicates to us to be sure. In fact, in John 6, when Jesus reveals both his divinity and the Eucharist, the unbelieving multitudes rejected both. In verse 41, they said, "How can this man say he came down from heaven." Thank God you believe at least that. But in verse 52, they said, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" You are in the camp of the unbelievers. We Catholics have to remain with Jesus and believe his word (see verse 68).
It is amazing, and requires great faith to believe that Jesus would humble himself not only in the Incarnation (II Cor. 8:9), and in his humiliating death (Phil. 2:5-10), but he continues to humble himself even further taking upon himself the form of bread and wine to be consumed by us so that we can be one with him. It sounds crazy, I know. But that is how much Jesus is in love with us!
I appreciated you quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church (except when you misquoted it, of course). It is truly a remarkable book that gives an incredibly biblical exposition of our Catholic Faith.
Like with Scripture, you were great when you were quoting the Catechism, it was when you gave your interpretations of things that you got into trouble.
For example, you misrepresented Pope John Paul II, who in a General Audience on Dec. 6, 2000 said, in paragraph 5:

"All the just of the earth, including those who do not know Christ and his Church, who, under the influence of grace, seek God with a sincere heart (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 16)..."

Pope John Paul II did not deny any Catholic doctrine here. He referenced Lumen Gentium 16, which teaches that people who do not have an explicit knowledge of Christ and/or his Church can be saved through Christ and the Church if they do not knowingly reject the truth, but follow the light and grace they have wherever they are.
The Church speaks just as her Lord does who said "I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me" in John 14:6, but then says, in John 15:22, "If I had not spoken to them, they would have no sin; Now I have spoken to them, their sin remains," teaching us that we are only responsible for what we know. The two verses do not contradict each other, they complement each other, just as the teaching of Trent is not contradicted, it is complemented by the teaching of Vatican II and John Paul the Great.
And yes, we are condemned if we deny that works are necessary for our salvation and justification not just because the Council of Trent says so, but because Jesus Christ says so in Matt. 12:36-37, St. Paul says so in Romans 2:6-7, and Gal. 6:7-9, and St. James says so in James 2:21-26.

And it is not only the Council of Trent that says. "In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints..." the Bible says it in Col. 1:24, II Cor. 1:6, Rev. 19:8, etc.

And not only "Catholics" say we can "attain our own salvation" in cooperation with God's grace, but St. Paul says it in Col. 1:24; II Cor. 1:6, I Cor. 9:22; Romans 11:14, I Cor. 7:16; I Tim. 4:16; James 5:19-20, etc.
We just believe the Bible as Catholics, rather than believing Dick's traditions.
Yes, the Catholic Church teaches Purgatory, but so does St. Paul in I Cor. 3:11-15. Yes, the Catholic Church teaches the infallibility of the Pope, but so does Jesus in Matt. 16:18-19; Luke 22:29-32; John 21:15-17, and the book of Acts in Acts 15:7-12.
Yes, the Church is the "pillar and foundation of the truth" (I Tim. 3:15); the instrument whereby the "manifold wisdom of God is revealed (Eph. 3:10), and the infallible instrument whereby Jesus Christ has chosen to communicate his truth when there are disagreements in the Church (Matt. 18:15-18).
You also do not understand the Catholic teaching on grace and merit. You quoted CCC 2010, by the way, not "2027" as you said, but just like you like to quote part of biblical texts, you only quoted part of the paragraph. It begins by saying, "Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion." This is entirely biblical (Eph. 2:8-9, Gal. 2:16, etc.). It is only then that it says, "Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase in grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life." That too is entirely biblical. Apart from Christ, or before we enter into Christ, we can do nothing (Eph. 2:1-4; John 15:5), but after we enter into Christ, we can save "ourselves" and "others" (I Tim. 4:16; I Cor. 9:22; James 5:19-20; Col. 1:24; II Cor. 1:6; I Cor. 7:16, etc.) by the power of Christ working in us and through us.
That means when we pray or offer sacrifices in Christ for ourselves and others, we believe it to be effectual, meaning God gives graces through those prayers and actions which contribute to our salvation as well as others. However, this has to be understood properly. As St. Paul said it in II Cor. 1:6: "If we suffer it is for your salvation and consolation which is made effectual by your enduring the same sufferings that we suffer." We merit grace for others to save them, but they have to then apply those graces to their lives in order for them to be effectual in their lives as St. Paul said.
By the way, not only did you fail to quote the right paragraph from the Catechism, but you did not quote what it actually says. You skipped a whole lot. But we'll forgive you!

March 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm PST
#51  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
In response to your #76:
The Catholic Church does teach that grace, in a strict sense, and as a first principle, is entirely unmerited. It is a gift of God. But the Church and the Bible also teaches that we must open the gift. Jesus says it like this, in Rev. 3:20: "Behold I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and sup with him and he with me." We have to open the door. And remember the gift of Jesus standing at the door does not cease to be a gift because we have to open the door, but we do have to open it... and every day (Luke 9:23).
And this is entirely biblical. Eph. 2:8-9, Gal. 2:16, etc. say the initial gift of salvation is entirely unmerited as I cited above when I quoted CCC 2010. This simply means that before we enter into Christ, we can merit absolutely nothing as Jesus said in John 15:5 and Eph. 2:1-4 and 8-9 says. However, after we enter into Christ, we can then merit reward from God that includes, according to St. Paul, "glory, immortality, and eternal life" (Romans 2: 6-7), and not only for ourselves, but for others as well, as I said in my last post.
Whoever that priest was who told your mother she doesn't have to confess her sins any longer is not teaching what the Catholic Church and Jesus teaches. The Catholic Church teaches we must confess all of our mortal sins that we are aware of (CCC 1447). Perhaps that priest discerned something in your mother's life like she is confessing things that are actually not sinful. I don't know. But the Church teaches as the Bible does, that if we commit sins, we must ask for forgiveness for them.
You say, "The faithful [do] not strive to conquer sin?" Really? Of course we do! You say its because Christ has already conquered sin? Well, of course he did. But now he empowers us to be "more than conquerors in him who has loved us" (see Romans 8:35-39). Read also Heb. 12:3-14 about "resisting" sin and being disciplined in our lives. And check out how many times the Bible says we are called to "overcome" or "conquer" in Christ who "conquered" before us (Rom. 8:37; Heb. 11:33; Rev. 2:7; 10-11; 17; 26; 3:4-5, which says explicitly we are to "conquer" by not "soiling our garments" with sin; 12; 21; 12:11, etc.)
Now, of course it is Jesus who first conquered for us as Rev. 5:5 says, but we are then called to "conquer sin, the flesh and the devil," in and through Christ.
You claim we are adding to what Jesus did. You are wrong. We are obeying Jesus, in Jesus, and we only act in Jesus, overcome in Jesus, merit in Jesus, save souls in and through Jesus, as the Bible teaches. I have given you scores of Bible verses to back each Catholic claim up.
Man, you are missing it on the very basics of Christianity here. I would only ask you this, "Why would I trust you to interpret the Bible for me when you can't receive the very basics of Christianity correctly?

March 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm PST
#52  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Tim, he can't receive the basics because he can not see past himself. You will not get any sound information or conversation out of Dick at all, he distorts and twists the truth of what the Catholic Church really believes. He speaks in half truths and uses misguided isolation of Scripture to fit his motives. You know where a persons heart is when they can not agree with one thing our faith teaches. He also will not acknowledge what a gift to the world the Catholic Church is and has been, all he wants to do is tear it down along with us, thus him telling me I'm going to hell and calling you ignorant. I have no doubt he loves Jesus and is passionate about Him, but he needs to understand so are we. Oh well, God bless his heart.

March 19, 2014 at 6:32 pm PST
#53  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, we are Bible believers too, but unlike you we still believe in Christ's promise of a Church that the gates of hell can never prevail over.

March 21, 2014 at 7:22 pm PST
#54  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
In answer to your #80:
You say "God's way is so obvious and simple" Once again, God does not agree with you. II Peter 3:13-16: "But according to his promise we wait for the coming of new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace (Notice, St. Peter says we have to strive to be found without spot or blemish. We don't automatically already possess it by faith alone). And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this (salvation) as he does in all his letters. THERE ARE SOME THINGS IN THEM HARD TO UNDERSTAND, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction." According to St. Peter, there are some things, specifically concerning salvation, that are "hard to understand." Again, he and the Holy Spirit don't agree with you.
You say "Bible-believing... Holy Spirit-led believers can see those who follow a man." I agree. You are exactly such a man. You follow yourself and your fallible interpretations of what you think the Bible says.
You then say I Cor. 3:11-15 "has nothing to do with becoming ready for heaven," and yet the text disagrees with you. Verse 15 says, "If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself WILL BE SAVED, but so as through fire." "Will be saved" means "getting ready for heaven."
You say "Jesus purified you completely... you are either clean or dirty." We agree that Jesus purified us in the sense that his sacrifice is objectively sufficient to purify the whole world from all sins. But subjectively, we have to apply what he did on the cross to our lives. Thus, the Bible disagrees with you and say we Christians must be continually purified by our cooperation with God's grace in our obedience and walking with the Lord (see II Cor. 7:1; Rev. 3:3-5; I Peter 1:22; I John 1:7-9, etc.). Scripture says we need to continue to be cleansed and forgiven as Christians (I John 1:7-9).
Moreover, it is obvious that I Peter 3:11-15 is referring to the judgment after death because "the day" is used all over the New Testament for "the day" of judgment (Matt. 10:15; 11:22; 24; II Peter 2:9; 3:7, or "the day" of the Lord (I Thess. 5:2; II Thess. 2:2; Acts 3:20; I Cor. 5:5; I Cor. 1:8; II Cor. 1:14; Phil. 1:6; 10; 2:16; II Peter 3:10), "the day" of wrath (Rom. 2:5), or shortened to just "the Day" (I Cor. 3:13; Heb. 10:25).
Thus, folks are being purified or "saved" from minor sins and defects after death in fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi 3:1-3.

March 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm PST
#55  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Yes wise one, you are so above the Catholic Church and its 2000 years of bringing the Gospel to the world. We will all leave our faith and follow you Dick. You are the sole interperter of Scripture while the rest of us just don't get it. All of us Catholics will burn for not seeing it Dicks way, we are all Pope zombies with minute IQ's.

March 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm PST
#56  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
In answer to your #82:
You say, "Read about the failure the Catholic Church has made through the centuries." I don't know what you mean by "failures," but one of the many reasons why I'm Catholic is the fact that the Catholic Church has never contradicted herself in infallible teachings in 2,000 years of history. There is no human explanation for that. Only God can be the source of that kind of integrity.
You said "only God's word is infallible." Not so. The Church is infallible. "Whatever you (the Church) bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 18:18). The Church has the power of heaven to back her up whenever she speaks definitely. The only way she could be wrong is if heaven (or God) could be wrong.
In fact, I would argue that technically speaking, the Scriptures are more than infallible. They are inspired and inerrant. Every word is God-breathed. Infallibility is a negative gift. The Church "can't err" in matters of faith and morals where she "binds something on earth." Inspiration and inerrancy is a positive gift where we believe every word of Scripture to be "god-breathed" (II Tim. 3:16). The Church is not "inspired" in that sense; Scripture is inspired.
And finally, when you say "the promise" of binding and loosing is "for all believers" and not the Church, once again, the Bible disagrees with you. The Church says if three or four believers can't agree about something, they must take it to "the Church" and "the Church" will hand down the truth of the matter "binding" all involved by the power of Christ at work in the Church (Matt. 18:15-18). That means "binding and loosing" is not for "all believers." In fact, if everyone has the power to bind and loose then no one would really have the power to bind and loose.
Moreover, I would say of "the keys of the kingdom," the same thing. If everyone has the keys, no one has the keys, because everyone would have the same authority so when there is a disagreement, no one could settle the dispute. That is in opposition to what we see in Scripture in Matt. 18:15-18, Acts 15:24-28, etc.

March 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm PST
#57  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
We agree that we can't attain heaven on our own. We need the grace of God to be able to merit heaven. In fact, as I've pointed out, we cannot merit in any sense the initial grace of salvation that we receive through faith and baptism (Eph. 2:8-9). We can only begin to merit when we enter into Christ, but even then it is not on our own. It is only in and through Christ that we can "do all things" as St. Paul said in Phil. 4:13, which includes meriting (or being rewarded) eternal life as St. Paul said in Romans 2:6-7; Gal. 6:7-9, etc..
I would suggest you read my blog post entitled "Arguing From a Non-Existent verse" for my answer to your use of "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" (which, by the way, the Bible never says, II Cor. 5:6-8 says nothing of the sort).

March 25, 2014 at 9:56 pm PST
#58  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
The text of II Cor. 5:6-8 does not say "to be absent from the body is the be present with the Lord." What St. Paul is certain about is that "while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord." That is certain. He then says "we would rather (eudokoumen mallon, in Greek, which means "we are desiring rather") be away from the body and at home with the Lord." Who wouldn't be? He then says, "we make it our aim to please him" so that we can one day be with him in heaven. That is a far cry from your distortion of the text.
You ask where I will be when I die? I answer like St. Paul. God is my judge, not you, me, or anyone else (I Cor. 4:3-6).
You say "no residue of sin is left" on the spirit of Christians. Even if they sin, they are perfect before God. Hogwash. II Cor. 7:1, St. Paul says, "Having these promises dearly beloved let us cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit..." The Bible disagrees with you.
There are actually close to 70 millions Catholics in the U.S. not 10 million.

March 27, 2014 at 8:26 pm PST
#59  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

You are right Dick, narrow is the gate, and diffulcult is the way. You say that on one hand while you say something just the opposite on the other hand. The gate becomes much wider and the road very easy if all we have to do is profess Christ as our Lord and Savior to obtain and never lose our salvation as you say. You should be so excited for all of us Catholics since we do this so often. Instead you seem very worried about Catholic doctrines. Why the fuss and worry from you if you feel salvation is that easy? There is no logic or reason in the points you are trying to make, only contradiction.

March 28, 2014 at 4:26 am PST
#60  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, once again you prove to everyone who reads this blog that you do not even believe in your own erradict theology. The church of Dick said many, many times that all you have to do is profess Christ one time as our Lord and Savior and our eternal salvation is one and done, secure forever. I think what you are really trying to say is you believe that is true....as long as a person is not Catholic. So which is it Dick? Saved or not saved by a profession of faith?
Do any of.you, my fellow Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ deny that Christ is your Lord.and Savior?

And one more.thing Dick, you are not God and can not judge my eternal destiny nor yours, that is reserved for God alone, not the church of Dick.

March 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm PST
#61  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
In answer to your #91:
You've made what is a very common mistake. Before the Church "binds something on earth," Catholics are not bound by it. Because the Church did not declare infallibly on the matter of the Immaculate Conception until 1854, there was legitimate disagreement in the Church as to its particulars. Thus, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas are not in Hell. They have been declared to be in heaven by the Church. They never rejected something that the Church definitively declared.
But again, yours is a very common mistake.

March 29, 2014 at 6:19 pm PST
#62  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick there is no sense in saying another word to you. We Catholics know who Jesus is and what He did for us.

March 31, 2014 at 7:19 pm PST
#63  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
In response to your #94:
This is my last post on this thread. I am sure I will see you on other threads, but I think there is nothing else to say in this one.
You say "you need to Believe who Jesus is and then confess with your mouth that you receive his sacrifice for salvation." We Catholics say amen to that. But we cannot ignore the many other biblical texts that tell us that is not all we must do (Mark 16:16; I Peter 1:22; Romans 6:16; Heb. 5:8-9; Matt. 10:22, Rev. 2:10; I John 1:7-9, Romans 8:17; Col. 1:24; Luke 9:23, etc.).
You ask, "What happened on the cross?" We've answered this over and over again. Jesus died for our sins. He is "the propitiation for our sins, and not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:1-2). But what Christ did on the cross must be applied to our lives through our cooperation. We must accept it every day of our lives (Luke 9:23).
You ask "what is Jesus doing now in heaven." He is interceding for us (Heb. 7:24-25) and he invites us to intercede as well because we are in him (I Tim. 2:1-2).
You not only claim authority in interpreting Scripture, but now you claim to know more than the Pope about Catholicism. The Pope has never declared St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas to be in Hell. They are both declared to be in heaven. I already explained the fact that Catholics are not bound to believe something until the Church "binds it on earth." The Church has not declared on the matter of the Immaculate Conception in the fifth and thirteenth centuries. There was still much freedom in the Church on the matter when Augustine and Thomas were alive.
St. Joan of Ark was condemned in an illegal proceeding. She appealed to the Pope and corrupt persons involved in her trial did not obey the Church. That is one reason among many that the Church immediately investigated what happened and declared her to be a saint. It was not the Church that condemned her; it was corrupt members of the Church who did so against the teaching and discipline of the Church.
At any rate, I have enjoyed the discussion. I will not be commenting on this thread any more.
God Bless!

April 1, 2014 at 6:57 am PST
#64  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

God bless you too Dick and thanks for your thoughts on this thread even if they were random and incomplete and self authenticated.

April 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm PST
#65  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

I was thinking the same thing when you twice told me I was going to hell.

April 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm PST
#66  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Your fun talking with Dick, your love for Christ is obvious even though we disagree on theology. I know you feel you have the truth, but then again so do I, and believe me there is nothing in this world more important than my faith, my whole life revolves around it. You probably think you have the Holy Spirit and I do not because I am Catholic, I can assure you that there has been more miracles than I can count since my "reversion", I had to stop writing them down because I couldn't keep up. As your brother in Christ I would like to ask you to do something for me... just once acknowledge that Catholics love Christ as much as you do. I have experienced nothing in my faith that takes me away from Christ, everything about it builds upon my relationship with Christ, I love the graces He bestows upon me through His Church and couldn't ask for greater gifts of mercy and love, it is what Christ gives me that sustains my soul and makes me grow as a Christian. If I said anything in the past to offend you accept my most sincere apologies, I am just very pasionate about my faith and may come across the wrong way sometimes. God bless and see you on some more blogs!!

April 4, 2014 at 3:57 pm PST
#67  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Jesus said to pick up our cross and follow Him, not punch our own ticket to get an easy one way ticket to paradise. He also tells us not everyone who cries Lord Lord will enter heaven. Jesus makes it clear He alone is the judge of our salvation, not you. Furthermore, if an Apostle, who Jesus personally hand picked and was under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit tells me to work out my salvation and to do so with fear and trembling, then I too will do the same. My Lord and Savior suffered and died, and all the other Apostles suffered too and all but one died a martyr. Not one of them preached easy street salvation, and not one of them failed to seperate Scripture from the Church. They established Churches and these Churches had more than a little post card that said follow these three easy steps and your done, its that easy. These Churches had altars, and they weren't for decorations. If you want to know what worship was like before the church of Dick came along then read about Justin Martyr. He gave a detailed description and got his head chopped off for doing so. He was two generations away from Christ and was taught by someone who actually sat at the feet of the Apostles. ALL of the Apostles and early Christians attended Mass, that's why they had altars in the churches and why so many were killed and had to hold Mass in hidden places such as the catacombs. They were accused of canabalism not because of a simple misunderstanding of a symbol, but because they gave their lives professing that the Eucharist was the real body and blood of Christ. If it were as easy as you have made it seem, then a whole lot of folks got their heads chopped off, fed to the beasts, whipped, tortured, and killed in so many ways when they could have stayed home and professed easy street salvation. Your theology Dick is very incomplete and is the complete opposite of everything Christ said and did. While you sit on a few of your favorite verses upon your golden throne as the judge of your own soul, and that of others, I shall continue carrying my cross and working out my salvation with fear and trembling and let God judge me. My worship will reflect that of the Apostles, the Bishops and Presbtyrs they hand picked, and that of the early Christians who so many gave their lives for not just a simple three step profession, but for REAL worship of our Lord! You tell me to study Eph 2:1-10, you might want to study Genesis through Revelation, all of it. Then you might want to do a follow up study and learn how the first generations of Christians taught by the Apostles applied their faith. It wasn't enough knowing who Jesus was and what He did for us, it was also doing what Jesus commanded and to imitate His good works. Just like James so plainly says, a faith without works is dead! A profession without a follow up is dead, dead, dead, and dead wrong!

April 7, 2014 at 3:04 am PST
#68  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Correction...not one of them seperated Scripture from Church.

April 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm PST
#69  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

You don't have to do any works Dick, you don't have to go against your will and imitate Christ with works of mercy and charity. Why feed the hungy, bring drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless? That was just a suggestion by Christ, He didn't really mean it. You don't even have to forgive one another as Jesus forgives you, it is your free will. Just keep in mind, Jesus will not forgive you if you do not forgive (a work) one another the way He forgives you.

Your a very good evangalizer for our faith!!! Look forward to more!!!

April 7, 2014 at 4:21 pm PST
#70  david pruit - dallas, Texas

A simple clarification that still hasn't been made in over a hundred back and forth posts: Dick please define "faith". It is either "intellectual consent, a synonym for belief" or it is "conversion of heart, hope, and charity (love)". If by "faith alone" you mean a formed faith alive in graciously bestowed love, then you Catholics would agree with you. If you mean mere intellectual consent then no I'm sorry you are mistaken and we must continue to try and witness to you until you realize that by placing your trust in your own intellectual capacity to "believe" and thus be justified you violate the very tenet by which you base your argument against "works". You've elevated your mind into the position to be your saving grace.

We as Catholics also must be careful to define works. As we've already discussed many times earlier in these posts, one cannot merit justification (you yourself agree). But a Christian life lived in faith, hope and love (or as you might call it if you define it properly as discussed above,"faith") follow justification and are its fruits. "When the justified live in Christ and act in the grace they receive they bring forth in biblical terms, good fruit" (Joint declaration).

April 7, 2014 at 9:09 pm PST
#71  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, we firmly disagree with one another, and believe me when I say your blogging entrenches me deeper in my Catholic faith. Your message of "saving ones self with just words" apart from love doesn't jive with what I read in Scripture.

The greatest COMMANDMENTS, not suggestions, from Christ is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The second part of that is to love one another the way He loves us. Love isn't just words, love is so much deeper than a profession of vows, love is doing for one another! There is a reason why Jesus says in Scripture that what ever you do for the least of these you do for me. Then the very next thing out of the mouth of Christ, our only way to heaven, is this..."Then he will say to those on his left, DEPART from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Then my Lord and Savior tells why they were accursed and made to depart to ETERNAL hell, it wasn't because of what they failed to say and profess, it was because of what they FAILED TO DO! For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothes, sick and in prison and you did not minister to me!

And if that wasn't clear enough here are the finishing words from this stern sermon from our Saviour Jesus Christ..."AND THESE WILL GO OFF TO ETERNAL PUNISHMENT (the ones who failed to do works of love) BUT THE RIGHTEOUS TO ETERNAL LIFE (those who did works of love).

How much clearer can it get? If you do no acts of love you do not love the least of thee, and if you do not love the least of thee you do not love Christ, if you do not love Christ you break the greatest of commandments, when you break the greatest of commandments He will ask you to depart for eternity, and for those who do love Him He gives eternal life.

You may not do it on purpose Dick, but the things you say are the opposite or incomplete of what Jesus says. I know you have good intentions but there is no way this sermon from Christ, the one doing the saving, can get any clearer. You can throw 100 other Scripture verses at me and make that many more insults against the Catholic Church, but you can not erase or change the Word of God. He tells us we MUST love one another with acts of love (works) and if we do not He will make us depart. It is what it is no matter how much you do not want it to be true!

Once again, thank you Dick!!! You are helping my faith very much!!!

April 8, 2014 at 4:51 am PST
#72  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick says ...Lack of Works He not MAKE us depart.

Jesus says...Then he will say to those on his left, DEPART FROM ME, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, sick and in prison and you did not care for me.

Who do we believe?
The gospel of Dick who says, "He not MAKE us depart." Or....
The Gospel of Jesus who says, "Depart from me, you accursed.

Dick says you don't have to do works of love, charity, and mercy.
Jesus says you must or you will be accursed and thrown into the eternal fire.This clear warning from Jesus can be found in the Gospel of St. Matthew chapter 25. As if saying it once from Jesus isn't enough to get the point across, Christ Jesus includes the word Amen (because He is being more stern) and says it again!

Who is more qualified to tell us what we must do to have eternal life?
Dick, a sinful man, who can not judge nor give eternal life. Or....
Jesus, the Divine, and the only one who can give eternal life.

Dick goes on to say this..."No where does it say the Church is the truth accept in your Catechism."
However, here is what the Holy Spirit tells us in Scripture..."you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the Living God, THE PILLAR AND FOUNDATION OF THE TRUTH." That can be found in St.Pauls first letter to Timothy chapter 3 verse 15.

Once again Dick says the opposite of Scripture.

Like a broken record, Dick will now repeat the same things he has been saying over and over. He will do his best do divert attention away from these Scripture verses by going on a lengthy strung together snippets of

April 9, 2014 at 4:10 am PST
#73  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

(Sorry for the abrupt end on last post, my hand accidently hit the post now button)

.....Scripture that only fits his theology. He will distort the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 or ignore it all together. Then he will redefine church and hurl insults at the Catholic church. He will say the real church was invisible, or the old church went apostate and was pagan. He will also tell us he has the Holy Spirit while anyone who disagrees with him does not.

I have come to a conclusion...if Dick will not listen to these words from Christ,

"He will annswer them, 'Amen I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me. And these will go off into eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

...then neither wlll Dick listen to me or the Church of the Living God, therefore I will shake the dust from my feet and move along. Goodbye and God bless, done with this one.

April 9, 2014 at 4:37 am PST
#74  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, your so silly! Thank God everyone else can read Matthew 25 for what it is.

April 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm PST
#75  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Bingo!!!!!!! The people on the left disobeyed!!!!! Alleluia!!!!!

Jesus tells us HOW they disobeyed and what WHAT HAPPENED when they diisobeyed!!!

No more and no less!

April 12, 2014 at 3:07 am PST
#76  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Bingo!!!!!! The people on the right obeyed!!!

Jesus tells HOW they obeyed and WHAT they received for obedience!!!

You said something very true Dick...Those who do works without Jesus are doomed. And those who do works WITH Jesus are indeed the righteous ones.

Works without faith are dead works, and faith without works is dead faith!!

That is exactly what Jesus tells us in Matthew 25, because Christ is in everybody, the hungry, the thirsty, naked, homeless, prisoners, etc...if we fail to love Christ then how could we be righteous? Love is more than a profession, love includes a profession AND acts of love. How can anyone say "I did not feed you when you were hungry Lord, but I deserve eternal life" or "I saw you naked, all alone and homeless Lord, but I turned my head and walked away, but it doesn't matter." If you think you can shun our Lord and deserve eternal life with Him after He suffered and died for you, then that is a selfish notion! What you are saying is that you have to love me Lord but I don't have to love you! Because I loved you one time Lord I can do anything I want!

It can not be any clearer in Scripture from our Lord...If you know our Lord and you willfuly turn your back on Him, He will tell you to depart! So your right Dick, we don't have to do works, He doesn't twist our arms to do so, and the flip side to that, He also doesn't have to give us eternal life!

April 12, 2014 at 4:30 am PST
#77  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

And faith is DEAD without works.

April 12, 2014 at 11:04 am PST
#78  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Why does it bother you so much that we Catholics love to apply our faith and do as Jesus commanded us to do? We are not above His greatest commandments to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and to love one another the way He loves us. This is a COMMAND not a suggestion. If you want to ignore these commands then that is your free will. So relax Dick, we love these commandments and really do see our Lord in the least of thee, not just those hyprocrits who stand on the corner crying Lord Lord. We want to follow the example of our Lord, not just with our mouths, but in every way we can. Just chill and don't let it bother you so much, its out of love that we do acts of charity and mercy, we are not trying to earn anything as you keep wrongly implying.

April 16, 2014 at 3:41 am PST
#79  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

As can be observed from many of the posts on this blog there are those that think a profession of faith is a one way ticket to heaven. Jesus makes it very clear over and over it isn't just what you say, its what you do. Hypocrits talk, disciples do! Who set the example of how we treat others? Jesus did! Saying words never proves anything, true love takes action, and if you can't love our Lord above all, and love one another the way He loves us, then a profession is no more than an empty pity plea, Lord, Lord. Think about it, we are told to pick up our cross, that is an action, not just words! Our Lord did not save us with mere words, He saved us with His wonderful works, and we should imitate our Savior in every way posslible. Good night and God bless my brothers and sisters in Christ.

May 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm PST
#80  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, believe me I get it, your interpretation of Scripture is your own. Your very right Dick that our own righteousness is as dirty as a rag, that is why we Catholics believe it when God says nothing unholy can enter heaven, we must be cleansed, the process of being cleansed of all unholliness, we call that "purging." Thanks for pointing that out for us.

May 7, 2014 at 7:11 pm PST
#81  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

We Catholics believe we must accept Christ as our Lord and Savior AND do His will for our entire lives. And I as have stated before to you, we must do as St. Paul, work out our salavation in fear and trembling. Also as St. James clarifies, we must have faith and works. No need for you to try and debunk what Scripture says with your own interpretations, we have already heard it over and over. We listen to Christ when He tells us that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth, not Scripture alone or Dick, and also that if two dissgree and it can not be resolved by more witness' that we take it to the Church. Why do we take it to the Church? Because the Church is the pillar and foundation of the Truth.

There is plenty of Scripture that clearly says our bad will be burned away, while our good is retained. But of course there is no doubt that will mean something entirely different to you. Our bad works (sin) are burned away, gotten rid of! Sounds like great mercy from our Lord considering nothing unholy shall enter heaven.

May 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm PST
#82  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

If we are already saved there would be no reason to fear or tremble, what would there be to fear? I am aware we can not add or subtract anything to the sacrifice made by Christ, the point I am making is that we must cooperate with that sacrifice for it to apply to us, it with our free will. You are adding to what Scripture says, when you say "The Bible teaches that if you Have Bad Works when you die you will go to Hell if not Born again because you Sins have not been dealt with." you are adding your own interpretation to what Jesus said. If you are already saved how could your bad works send you to hell, and if you havnt accepted Christ then how could your good works send you to heaven. What you say is a total contridiction. Jesus tells us point blank our works are for more than a reward, our works can send us to hell, and St. James backs up what Jesus tells us. I certainly agree that a person must be born again of water and spirit, but that isnt all that Scripture tells us. You are taking one phrase out of Scripture and erasing everything else Christ says.

May 9, 2014 at 7:52 am PST
#83  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

God's Grace is all we need. So let the Holy Sacraments of Our Lord be known and made.
Outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification.

"The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands" (Psalm 18:2)

"Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5); "He saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5); "Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost" (Acts 8:17); "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life . . . For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed" (John 6:55-56)

Reason tells us that all sacraments must come originally from God. Since they are the signs of sacred things in so far as by these sacred things men are sanctified (Summa Theologiæ III:60:2); since the external rite (matter and form) of itself cannot give grace, it is evident that all sacraments properly so called must originate in DIVINE APPOINTMENT (my emphasis). "Since the sanctification of man is in the power of God who sanctifies", writes St. Thomas (Summa Theologiæ III:60:2), "it is not in the competency of man to choose the things by which he is to be sanctified, but this must be determined by Divine institution". Add to this that grace is, in some sense, a participation of the Divine nature and our doctrine becomes unassailable: God alone can decree that by exterior ceremonies men shall be partakers of His nature.

Conclusion: It is not I who can save myself (e.g. my faith alone) but through the power of God, Grace that All We Need, The Holy Sacraments, His Divine Works, Sacrament Instituted by Christ, Grace handed down, Love preserve by His Church, Christ's Instrument.

"Get to know Me!"
He tells his friend, keepers, and strangers that he is with his master, goes on carrying His own, while the master has not yet arrive, no one can object nor beat me in this land cause I know my boss so well, and I will tell them that I know him!, [I dont need to train nor hammer this roof, nor check the foundation and floors, this men will not touch me] ...goes on doing things that he only consider, forgetting what his master told them before he left (instructions on.water his plant, pull out the grass, details in keeping The Home, etc) [but his master will know if his temple has improved] ...talking at His back,[ what he is actually resulting > your other works are not needed here boss, i know shortcut, and put this in place, you created this in the first place, i assume this will not shade], but no one can accuse me of this, cause I will tell them, that I know you and I follow you and truly loved you..Thinking, my belief in my boss is the more important thing to do, I'll just wait here and see what will happen to us.

Does he has the full conviction of his loyalty? He who does not follow. What is he lacking? The answers to what is lacking to him is The Truth. His true faith, an incomplete one.

May 10, 2014 at 6:55 am PST
#84  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

READ THIS: I have been born again when I was baptized.

Oggy: Wow nature change?
Man (us) to sinless, here...

Acceptance that we our sinners and humble ourselves in this journey, is more sound.

"There is nothing we can do to change our Nature ourselves. So we are Lost and Separated"-

Um, do you actually know what you're saying?

Bart: contradictions taking...

"God has done everything He is going to do to provide Salvation for you. It's up to you to get it right."

-Yes. that's it!

Computer guy: Do you know that man, him and me are capable of memorizing the Bible.

your last comment is somehow a bit??.Ha, don't do it then (seems Godly)...

It is not I who can save myself (e.g. my faith alone) but through the power of God, Grace that All We Need, The Holy Sacraments, His Divine Works, Sacrament Instituted by Christ, Grace handed down, Love preserve by His Church, Christ's Instrument.

May 10, 2014 at 9:14 am PST
#85  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

The Church as Christ's Body, the priest as Christ's representative, the sacraments as visible signs of Christ's grace are all inextricably connected in the Catholic

May 14, 2014 at 7:12 am PST
#86  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

“Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit. We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has already designated to make up our way of life (Ephesians 2: 8-10).”

‘It is not anyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven (Matt 7: 21).”

See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. - James 2:24

When you read scripture in entirety, it becomes more and more clear, that salvation comes not by faith alone,but allowing God's Sacrament, with faith and living a Christian Life as he will finally come again.

May 14, 2014 at 7:52 am PST
#87  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Ged, the problem with Dick is he can not see past his own interpretations. According to him he has the Holy Spirit and we do not as Catholics, therefore we can not see Scripture the way he does. You and I understand that we need God's grace because we can not do it on our own. Dick on the other hand has already done God's job for Him, God doesn't have to judge Dick, he supposedly has a free pass to heaven and can sin as much as he wants with no consequence, just rewards. He has told me three times that I'm going to hell, so not only does he judge himself he judges others according to his private interpretations. He is uncharitable and he has nothing nice to say to any Catholic. If Dick won't listen to Jesus, the Apostles, or the Apostolic Fathers, he will not listen to me and you.

May 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm PST
#88  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

Thanks Travis..I always read your comments on this blog and inspire me more of my Catholic faith..you are always genuinely kind in sharing and does not spoils the gospel.
I also thank Dick, though he is harsh and unloving to his approach,...through him, we all love more what Catholic defend and love. There is always love in this Church.
How I wish that all would found in full communion in Christ and return to His Home, the Catholic Church. All Christian are invited and welcome, in humbleness.

The Church as Christ's Body, the priest as Christ's representative, the sacraments as visible signs of Christ's grace are all inextricably connected in the Catholic.

God bless us and help us, to go to his one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

May 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm PST
#89  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

(Hebrews) The author saw the addressees in danger of apostasy from their Christian faith. This danger was due not to any persecution from outsiders but to a weariness with the demands of Christian life and a growing indifference to their calling (Heb 2:1; 4:14;6:1–12; 10:23–32). The author’s main theme, the priesthood and sacrifice of Jesus (Heb 3–10), is not developed for its own sake but as a means of restoring their lost fervor and strengthening them in their faith. Another important theme of the letter is that of the pilgrimage of the people of God to the heavenly Jerusalem (11:10; 12:1–3,18–29; 13:14). This theme is intimately connected with that of Jesus’ ministry in the heavenly sanctuary (Heb 9:11–10:22).
The author calls this work a “message of encouragement” (Heb 13:22), a designation that is given to a synagogue sermon in Acts 13:15. Hebrews is probably therefore a written homily, to which the author gave an epistolary ending (Heb 13:22–25). The author begins with a reminder of the preexistence, incarnation, and exaltation of Jesus (Heb 1:3) that proclaimed him the climax of God’s word to humanity (Heb 1:1–3). He dwells upon the dignity of the person of Christ, superior to the angels (Heb 1:4–2:2). Christ is God’s final word of salvation communicated (in association with accredited witnesses to his teaching: cf. Heb 2:3–4) not merely by word but through his suffering in the humanity common to him and to all others (Heb 2:5–16). This enactment of salvation went beyond the pattern known to Moses, faithful prophet of God’s word though he was, for Jesus as high priest expiated sin and was faithful to God with the faithfulness of God’s own Son (Heb 2:17–3:6).
Just as the infidelity of the people thwarted Moses’ efforts to save them, so the infidelity of any Christian may thwart God’s plan in Christ (3:6–4:13). Christians are to reflect that it is their humanity that Jesus took upon himself, with all its defects save sinfulness, and that he bore the burden of it until death out of obedience to God. God declared this work of his Son to be the cause of salvation for all (Heb 4:14–5:10). Although Christians recognize this fundamental teaching, they may grow weary of it and of its implications, and therefore require other reflections to stimulate their faith (5:11–6:20).
Therefore, the author presents to the readers for their reflection the everlasting priesthood of Christ (Heb 7:1–28), a priesthood that fulfills the promise of the Old Testament (Heb 8:1–13). It also provides the meaning God ultimately intended in the sacrifices of the Old Testament (Heb 9:1–28): these pointed to the unique sacrifice of Christ, which alone obtains forgiveness of sins (Heb 10:1–18). The trial of faith experienced by the readers should resolve itself through their consideration of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary and his perpetual intercession there on their behalf (Heb 7:25; 8:1–13). They should also be strengthened by the assurance of his foreordained parousia, and by the fruits of faith that they have already enjoyed (Heb 10:19–39).
It is in the nature of faith to recognize the reality of what is not yet seen and is the object of hope, and the saints of the Old Testament give striking example of that faith (Heb 11:1–40). The perseverance to which the author exhorts the readers is shown forth in the early life of Jesus. Despite the afflictions of his ministry and the supreme trial of his suffering and death, he remained confident of the triumph that God would bring him (Heb 12:1–3). The difficulties of human life have meaning when they are accepted as God’s discipline (Heb 12:4–13), and if Christians persevere in fidelity to the word in which they have believed, they are assured of possessing forever the unshakable kingdom of God (Heb 12:14–29).
The letter concludes with specific moral commandments (Heb 13:1–17), in the course of which the author recalls again his central theme of the sacrifice of Jesus and the courage needed to associate oneself with it in faith (Heb 13:9–16).

18Pray for us, for we are confident that we have a clear conscience, wishing to act rightly in every respect.19I especially ask for your prayers that I may be restored to you very soon.
20* May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord,m21furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever [and ever]. Amen.
22Brothers, I ask you to bear with this message of encouragement, for I have written to you rather briefly.23I must let you know that our brother Timothy has been set free. If he comes soon, I shall see you together with him.n24Greetings to all your leaders and to all the holy ones. Those from Italy send you greetings.25Grace be with all of you.o

Faith is God’s Gift and God’s will, not of ours. To act rightly, obeying God’s commandment shows the presence of this Gift in us.

Ephesians is the great Pauline letter about the church. It deals, however, not so much with a congregation in the city of Ephesus in Asia Minor as with the worldwide church, the head of which is Christ (Eph 4:15), the purpose of which is to be the instrument for making God’s plan of salvation known throughout the universe (Eph 3:9–10). Yet this ecclesiology is anchored in God’s saving love, shown in Jesus Christ (Eph 2:4–10), and the whole of redemption is rooted in the plan and accomplishment of the triune God (Eph 1:3–14). The language is often that of doxology (Eph 1:3–14) and prayer (cf. Eph 1:15–23; 3:14–19), indeed of liturgy and hymns (Eph 3:20–21;5:14).
The majestic chapters of Ephesians emphasize the unity in the church of Christ that has come about for both Jews and Gentiles within God’s household (Eph 1:15–2:22, especially Eph 2:11–22) and indeed the “seven unities” of church, Spirit, hope; one Lord, faith, and baptism; and the one God (Eph 4:4–6). Yet the concern is not with the church for its own sake but rather as the means for mission in the world (Eph 3:1–4:24). The gifts Christ gives its members are to lead to growth and renewal (Eph 4:7–24). Ethical admonition is not lacking either; all aspects of human life and relationships are illumined by the light of Christ (Eph 4:25–6:20).

21So that you also may have news of me and of what I am doing, Tychicus, my beloved brother and trustworthy minister in the Lord, will tell you everything.q22I am sending him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us and that he may encourage your hearts.r
23Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.24Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in immortality.s

The apostolic church, as Christ Body, is the means for mission in the world, instrument for God’s plan of salvation. We are called to be holy.
Love comes from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Peace refers to the Peace of God. For with Peace and Love, Faith comes into reality. Thus, we can say all aspects of life and relationship are illumined by the light of Christ.

* Jesus answered and said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing;k for what he does, his son will do also.20For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed.l21For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life,* so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.m22Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment* to his Son,n23so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.24Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life.o25Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.p26For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to his Son the possession of life in himself.q27And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man.r28* Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voices29and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.t
30“I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.u

Amen. This refers to the Works of the Son. That by believing in totality all of Him, His Work and teaching - His Holy Church- as Christ’s Body and teaching authority, His Apostles, His Priest as Christ’s Representatives, Deeds, Faith , Hope, Charity, Sacraments, Prayers, Blessed Virgin Mary- Mother of God and our Mother and, all his angels and saints– His Life, Death, and Resurrection> we can finally access the Gift. Half belief is lack of faith. That all of this belong to Christ, God’s Gift and Graces. To believe in Him, is to be with Him, the Light, where no darkness is hidden. And thus never to neglect Jesus Life and Death and Resurrection all inextricably connected and integrated.

Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voices29and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.t

Hear this word and those who hear his word will live as he believes.
Our Life, Death and Resurrection are all also inextricably connected and integrated.

This letter (1 Peter) begins with an address by Peter to Christian communities located in five provinces of Asia Minor (1 Pt 1:1), including areas evangelized by Paul (Acts 16:6–7;18:23). Christians there are encouraged to remain faithful to their standards of belief and conduct in spite of threats of persecution. Numerous allusions in the letter suggest that the churches addressed were largely of Gentile composition (1 Pt 1:14,18; 2:9–10; 4:3–4), though considerable use is made of the Old Testament (1 Pt 1:24;2:6–7, 9–10, 22; 3:10–12).
The contents following the address both inspire and admonish these “chosen sojourners” (1 Pt 1:1) who, in seeking to live as God’s people, feel an alienation from their previous religious roots and the society around them. Appeal is made to Christ’s resurrection and the future hope it provides (1 Pt 1:3–5) and to the experience of baptism as new birth (1 Pt 1:3, 23–25; 3:21). The suffering and death of Christ serve as both source of salvation and example (1 Pt 1:19; 2:21–25; 3:18). What Christians are in Christ, as a people who have received mercy and are to proclaim and live according to God’s call (1 Pt 2:9–10), is repeatedly spelled out for all sorts of situations in society (1 Pt 2:11–17), work (even as slaves, 1 Pt 2:18–20), the home (1 Pt 3:1–7), and general conduct (1 Pt 3:8–12; 4:1–11). But over all hangs the possibility of suffering as a Christian (1 Pt 3:13–17). In 1 Pt 4:12–19 persecution is described as already occurring, so that some have supposed the letter was addressed both to places where such a “trial by fire” was already present and to places where it might break out.

Let us all remain faithful to their standards of belief and conduct in spite of threats of persecution. To believe carries Cost. But Living in God’s command, echoes Life.

James:2b Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials,*3for you know that the testing* of your faith produces perseverance.4And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.5But if any of you lacks wisdom,* he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it.c6But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind.d7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,8since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.
9The brother in lowly circumstances* should take pride in his high standing,e10and the rich one in his lowliness, for he will pass away “like the flower of the field.”f11For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass, its flower droops, and the beauty of its appearance vanishes. So will the rich person fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

James.12g Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation,* for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him.13* No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one.h14Rather, each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.15Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.
16* Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers:17all good giving and every perfect gift* is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.18i He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.*

James1:19Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear,* slow to speak, slow to wrath,j20for the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God.k21Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.l
22Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.m23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror.24He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like.25But the one who peers into the perfect law* of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does.n
26* If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue* but deceives his heart, his religion is vain.o27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows* in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

James2:1My brothers, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.2For if a man with gold rings on his fingers and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in,3and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please,” while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,”4have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?*
5Listen, my beloved brothers. Did not God choose those who are poor* in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?a6But you dishonored the poor person. Are not the rich oppressing you? And do they themselves not haul you off to court?7Is it not they who blaspheme the noble name that was invoked over you?b8However, if you fulfill the royal* law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.c9But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.d10For whoever keeps the whole law, but falls short in one particular, has become guilty in respect to all of it.e11For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not kill.”fEven if you do not commit adultery but kill, you have become a transgressor of the law.12g So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom.*13For the judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

James 2:14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?i15If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day,16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?j17So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.19You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble.20Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless?21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?k22You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works.23Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.”l24See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.25And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route?m26For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

It is Faith and Work.

Not Faith, then work. Not Faith alone, then works. Not faith alone. It is very clear.

Seven great means of grace corresponding to the principal needs of the supernatural life:
1. Birth through baptism (1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, 2:39, Acts 22:16, John 3:5, Matt. 19:14, Luke 18:15–16, Col. 2:11–12, Rom. 6:3-6, Acts 16:15, 1 Cor. 1:16, Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21, 22, John 1:29-33, Matthew 28:19, 20, Mark 1:4, 5, Mark 16:16, Acts 8:35-38, Acts 16:31, 33, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27)
2. Growth through confirmation (Acts 8:14–17, 9:17, 19:5-6, and Hebrews 6:2; Psalm 37:5-6; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 46:1 ; Psalm 55:22 ; Proverbs 30:5 ; Joshua 1:9; Psalm 23:1; Matthew 6:33; Luke 11:28; Matthew 21:22 ; Matthew 28:19-20; John 3:16; John 8:12; John 8:31-32; John 14:6 ; John 14:27 ; John 15:5 ; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 13:5 ; I John 1:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Col 3:17; Romans 1:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Eph. 1:13; Eph. 4:30; John 6:27; Rev. 9:4; Rev. 14:1 and 22:4)
3. Nourishment through the Eucharist (Isaiah 62:8-9; Genesis 14:18; Hebrews 7:17; Exodus 25:30, Exodus 35:13, Exodus 39:36, Numbers 4:7, 1 Samuel 21:6, 1 Kings 7:48, 2 Chronicles 4:19, 1 Maccabees 1:22, 2 Maccabees 10:3, Matthew 12:4, Mark 2:26, Luke 6:4, & Hebrews 9:2; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Kings 19:5-8; Exodus 12:7-8; Exodus 16:4; 1 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Corinthians 15:45; Acts 10:39-41; John 2; Luke 5:34-35; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 3:20; Revelation 2:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7; John 6:11; Matthew 26:26-28; Exodus 24:8; Isaiah 9:20, Jeremiah 46:10, and Deuteronomy 32:42; Mark 4:34 John 6: 30-66; Exodus 3:14; Luke 8:11; 1 Corinthians 10:16-21; Malachi 1:11; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30; on the road to Emmaus
4. Medicine through penance (( Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30-31; Acts 2:38; 1 John 1:8-9; John 20:21-23; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Matt. 9:6; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24; Matt. 18:18; 2 Cor. 2:10; James 5:15-16; Lev. 5:4-6; 19:21-22; Acts 19:18; Matt. 3:6; Mark 1:5; 1 Tim. 6:12; Num. 5:7; 2 Sam. 12:14; Neh. 9:2-3; Sir. 4:26; Baruch 1:14; 1 John 5:16-17; Luke 12:47-48)
5. Journey of the soul through anointing ( James 5:14-15; Mark 6:7, 12-13; Acts 28:8; Acts 5:12; Acts 5:15-16; 8:7; 19:11-12; Mark 6:13;)
6. Priesthood through ordination (Matt. 23:9; Matt. 23:8; Judges 17:10; 18:19; Eph. 3:14-15; Acts 7:2; 22:1,1 John 2:13; 1 Cor. 4:15; 1 Cor. 4:17; 2 Cor. 12:14; Phil. 2:22; 1 Thess. 2:11; 1 Tim. 1:2,18; 2 Tim. 1:2-3; Titus 1:4; Philemon 10; Heb. 12:7,9; 1 Peter 5:13; 1 John 2:1,13,14; 1 John 2:1,18,28; 3:18; 5:21; 3 John 4; 1 Macc. 2:65; Matt. 3:9; Luke 3:8; Mark 11:10; Luke 1:32; Luke 1:55; Luke 1:73; Luke 16:24,30; John 4:12; John 7:22; John 8:56; Acts 3:13,25; 5:30; Acts 4:25; Acts 7:11-12, 15,19,38,44-45,51-52; Acts 7:32; Acts 13:17,32,36; 24:14; 26:6; 28:17,25; Acts 22:3; Acts 22:14; Rom. 4:1; Rom. 4:16-17; Rom. 9:10; 1 Cor. 10:1; Gal. 1:14; 2 Tim. 1:3; Heb. 1:1; Heb. 3:9; Heb. 8:9; James 2:21; 1 Peter 1:18; 2 Peter 3:4; Matt. 15:4-5; 19:19; Mark 7:10-12; Luke 18:20; Eph. 6:2,4; Matt. 10:21; 35,37; Mark 13:12 ; Matt. 19:5; Mark 10:7,19; Matt. 19:29; Mark 10:29-30; Matt. 21:31; Luke 6:23,26; Luke 11:11; Luke 11:47-48; Luke 14:26; Luke 15:12,17-18,20-22,27-29; Luke 16:27; John 6:49,58; Matt. 19:11-12; Matt. 19:29; Matt. 22:30; 1 Cor 7:1; 1 Cor. 7:7; 1 Cor. 7:27; 1 Cor. 7:32-33, 38; 1 Tim. 3:2; 1 Tim. 4:3; 1 Tim. 5:9-12; 2 Tim. 2:3-4; Rev. 14:4; Isaiah 56:3-7; Jer. 16:1-4; Gen. 3:15; Luke 1:26-55; John 19:26; Rev. 12:1; Judges 17:10; 18:19; Mark 16:9; Luke 7: 37-50; John 8:3-11; Mark 14:17,20; Luke 22:14; Gen. 14:10; Heb. 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:15,17; Gen. 22:9-13; Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; Mark 3:13; John 20:22; 1 Cor. 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 2:12; Rom. 16:1-2; Luke 2:36-37)
7. Christian family through matrimony (Mark 10:2-12; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16; Ephesians 5:22-33; Hebrews 13:4)

The Church as Christ's body, the Priest as Christ's representative, Christ teachings -Faith, Hope and Love, and the sacraments as Christ's gift are integrated, all of, entirety and unifying in Catholic.

We are all part of the journey, this is a life-long process. To see it as one time-event, is to ignore rest of the Testament books, and is unbiblical. Faith, Hope, Family, Work and Love are interrelated and integrated. To live carrying the Cross, Jesus opens the gates of heaven; all are to walk what Christ, Our God – has all commanded.

1If I speak in human and angelic tongues* but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.a2And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.b3If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.c
4* Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated,d5it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,e6it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.f
8* Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.9For we know partially and we prophesy partially,10but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.11When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.12At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.g13* So faith, hope, love remain, these three;h but the greatest of these is love.

Love never fails (1 Cor 13:8), then develops the permanence of love in contrast to the charisms (1 Cor 13:9–12), and finally asserts love’s superiority even over the other “theological virtues” (1 Cor 13:13).
[13:13] In speaking of love, Paul is led by spontaneous association to mention faith and hope as well. They are already a well-known triad (cf. 1 Thes 1:3), three interrelated (cf. 1 Cor 13:7) features of Christian life, more fundamental than any particular charism. The greatest…is love: love is operative even within the other members of the triad (7), so that it has a certain primacy among them. Or, if the perspective is temporal, love will remain (cf. “never fails,” 1 Cor 13:8) even when faith has yielded to sight and hope to possession.
These three are interrelated features of Christian Life. Thus the proper worship of God is faith, hope and love.
Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ -- St. Jerome
Not 100 in the United States hate the Roman Catholic Church, but millions hate what they mistakenly think the Roman Catholic Church is. -- Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Those who commit these types of scandals are guility of the spiritual equivalent of murder, but I', here among you to prevent something far worst for you. While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal- who allow scandals to destroy faith- are guilty of spiritual suicide. -- St. Francis de Sales
The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist. -- Pope St. Gregory the Great
If there be a true way that leads to the Everlasting Kingdom, it is most certainly that of suffering, patiently endured. -- St. Colette
When shall it be that we shall taste the sweetness of the Divine Will in all that happens to us, considering in everything only His good pleasure, by whom it is certain that adversity is sent with as much love as prosperity, and as much for our good? When shall we cast ourselves undeservedly into the arms of our most loving Father in Heaven, leaving to Him the care of ourselves and of our affairs, and reserving only the desire of pleasing Him, and of serving Him well in all that we can? -- St. Jane Frances de Chantal
"Charity may be a very short word, but with its tremendous meaning of pure love, it sums up man's entire relation to God and to his neighbor." -- St Aelred of Rievaulx
Not the goods of the world, but God. Not riches, but God. Not honors, but God. Not distinction, but God. Not dignities, but God. Not advancement, but God. God always and in everything. -- St. Vincent Pallotti
Whatever you do, think not of yourself, but of God. -- St. Vincent Ferrer
Love consumes us only in the measure of our self-surrender. -- St. Therese of Lisieux
Charity unites us to God... There is nothing mean in charity, nothing arrogant. Charity knows no schism, does not rebel, does all things in concord. In charity all the elect of God have been made perfect. -- Pope St. Clement I
My daughter, I see more Pharisees among Christians than there were around Pilate. -- St. Margaret of Cortona
Let us therefore give ourselves to God with a great desire to begin to live thus, and beg Him to destroy in us the life of the world of sin, and to establish His life within us. -- St. John Eudes
It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for "God is Charity" (1John 4:8) -- St. Albert the Great
My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs. Our single endeavor should be to give ourselves to the work and to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our shortcomings. -- St. Isaac Jogues

May 22, 2014 at 6:36 am PST
#90  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

....in which are some things hard to understand, which UNTAUGHT AND UNSTABLE people twist to their OWN destruction, as they do also the rest of Scripture.

Who taught you Dick? Sounds like a stern warning against self interpretation.

Why stop there...

2 Peter 1:20 Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation.

St. Paul also tells us to hold fast to written and oral tradition. Christ tells us the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. He also tells us where two brothers need to take their disagreements, it wasn't to scripture alone, it was to the Church!

The bottom line, Christ gave mission to the Church to bring the Gospel to the entire world. It is individuals who twist and destort the Word of God.

You are not the pillar and foundation of the truth Dick, you are the one who will not listen to the church, the one Christ said should be treated as a publican and tax collector.

May 24, 2014 at 5:36 am PST
#91  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

If prophecy is not a matter of personal interpretation then the prophecies are a matter of the Church, which is why Christ tells us the Church is the pillar and foundation of the Truth. I too read Scripture with the Holy Spirit living in me. The One who wrote the Bible AND founded a Church leads me into all Truth. You fall short on the full revelation from God if you separate the Word of God from the Church in which it came from. Jesus do not pass out Scripture and Scripture was not apart from the Church.

May 25, 2014 at 10:12 am PST
#92  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Oh my gosh Dick! Which one of the authors of NT Scripture was not a member of the Church established by Christ? St. Peter? St. Paul? St. Luke? St Mark? NT Scripture did not come before the Church! Scripture wasn't written until well after Christ established the Church! As a matter of FACT not one word of NT Scripture was written in the lifetime of Christ! Yet the Church was founded in the lifetime of Christ! Go ahead Dick, name one author of Scripture who was apart from the Church founded by Christ! Name one who opposed the Church! No wonder you have such a hard time interpreting Scripture, you can't even get historical facts straight.

May 25, 2014 at 6:25 pm PST
#93  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

(CCC)THE TRANSMISSION OF DIVINE REVELATION
74 God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”:29 that is, of Christ Jesus.30 Christ must be proclaimed to all nations and individuals, so that this revelation may reach to the ends of the earth: (851)
God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations.31
I. The Apostolic Tradition
75 “Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline.”32 (171)
In the apostolic preaching...
76 In keeping with the Lord’s command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways: — orally “by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received—whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit”;33 — in writing “by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing.”34
...continued in apostolic succession
77 “In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them ‘their own position of teaching authority.’”35 Indeed, “the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time.”36 (861)
78 This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, “the Church, in her doctrine, life, and worship perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.”37 “The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer.”38 (174, 1124, 2651)
79 The Father’s self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church: “God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Spouse of his beloved Son. And the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church—and through her in the world—leads believers to the full truth, and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness.”39
II. The Relationship Between Tradition and Sacred Scripture
One common source...
80 “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing and move towards the same goal.”40 Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own “always, to the close of the age.”41
...two distinct modes of transmission
81 “Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.”42 (113) “And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound, and spread it abroad by their preaching.”43
82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, “does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.”44
Apostolic Tradition and ecclesial traditions
83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus’ teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition. (1202, 2041, 2684) Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical, or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church’s magisterium.
III. The Interpretation of the Heritage of Faith
The heritage of faith entrusted to the whole of the Church
84 The apostles entrusted the “Sacred deposit” of the faith (the depositum fidei),45 contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. “By adhering to [this heritage] the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining, practicing, and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable harmony between the bishops and the faithful.”46 (857, 871, 2033)
The Magisterium of the Church
85 “The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.”47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. (888-892, 2032-2040) 86 “Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication, and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.”48 (688) 87 Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles: “He who hears you, hears me,”49 the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms. (1548, 2037)
The dogmas of the faith
88 The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these. (888-892, 2032-2040)89 There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith.50 (2625) 90 The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coherence, can be found in the whole of the Revelation of the mystery of Christ.51 “In Catholic doctrine there exists an order or ‘hierarchy’ of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian faith.”52 (114, 158, 234)
The supernatural sense of faith
91 All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them53 and guides them into all truth.54 (737) 92 “The whole body of the faithful... cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people, when, ‘from the bishops to the last of the faithful,’ they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals.”55 (785) 93 “By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium),... receives... the faith, once for all delivered to the saints.... The People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life.”56 (889)

May 27, 2014 at 4:27 am PST
#94  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Matthew 7:15 Watch out for false prophets.

False prophets have no apostolic succession and oppose Christ's Church.

May 27, 2014 at 7:10 pm PST
#95  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

You are writing your own material every time you make a post Dick. Are you not man? So therefore it is man made material so we have to reject it according to your standards. No problem with rejecting the gospel of Dick here.

May 27, 2014 at 7:24 pm PST
#96  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

Travis is right. You keep on making things that you can interpret correctly the Scripture. But in fact, you lack the credibility in authorship, in appointment, and in standards. Remember that this Bible, is a historical evidence of the existence of Christ and the proof of the living Church. When you read the Bible, you only read it, and make interpretation, but as a matter of fact, the evidence of history is unchangeable and this history is about Christ, the Head of the Church and His Living Church. Regardless, of how you twist it, it will not change. The Church that Christ build is commissioned to spread the word of God and God's plan of salvation, and leading them into this truth. Also, by way we present and read, it shows what our heart truly is. Travis, Tim, David and other faithful Catholic had said it correctly. Dick your world -profanity and disbelief and hypocrisy, shows only your heart to the matter. Also, remember it is the apostles of Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit and was present in Christ, that nurtured the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the will of God, and not founded by anyone outside of Him. And also, the Scripture is the product of Christ love and written by the same apostles that i'am referring to. So the Apostles and those they appointed have the scope of the Scripture. Scripture then is within the Apostolic Tradition. To deny the source and truthfully what it present, is to fall into fallacies and errors. How many times will you not listen. You keep on repeating and repeating, because you do not listen. I have read the whole posts, and i'm already convinced by the debate that Tim Staples presentation were right. Argument must both be reasonable and faithful, coupled with charity and thus without scorn.
Matthew 22:34-46.. We are to follow the "law of Christ".
We do not want to promote, more Pharisees among Christians, than there were around Pilate.
Also read letter of James. May God bless you and enlighten you.

May 27, 2014 at 9:48 pm PST
#97  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

Autobiographically, the letter gives us Paul’s own accounts of how he came to faith (Gal 1:15–24), the agreement in “the truth of the gospel” (Gal 2:5, 14) that he shared with the Jewish Christian leaders in Jerusalem, James, Cephas, and John (Gal 2:1–10), and the rebuke he had to deliver to Cephas in Antioch for inconsistency, contrary to the gospel, on the issue of table fellowship in the racially mixed church of Jewish and Gentile Christians in Antioch (Gal 2:11–14; cf. Gal 2:15–21). At the conclusion of the letter (Gal 6:11–18), Paul wrote in his own hand (cf. 2 Thes 3:17–18) a vivid summary of the message to the Galatians.
In his vigorous emphasis on the absolute preeminence of Christ and his cross as God’s way to salvation and holiness, Paul stresses Christian freedom and the ineffectiveness of the Mosaic law for gaining divine favor and blessings (Gal 3:19–29). The pious Jew saw in the law a way established by God to win divine approval by a life of meticulous observance of ritual, social, and moral regulations. But Paul’s profound insight into the higher designs of God in Christ led him to understand and welcome the priority of promise and faith (shown in the experience of Abraham, Gal 3:6–18) and the supernatural gifts of the Spirit (Gal 3:2–5; 5:16–6:10). His enthusiasm for this new vision of the life of grace in Christ and of the uniquely salvific role of Christ’s redemptive death on the cross shines through this whole letter.
Galatians 6 -Life in the Community of Christ.*
1
Brothers, even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself, so that you also may not be tempted.a
2
Bear one another’s burdens,b and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.*
3
c For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deluding himself.
4
* Each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason to boast with regard to himself alone, and not with regard to someone else;
5
for each will bear his own load.d

6
e One who is being instructed in the word should share all good things with his instructor.*
7
Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows,
8
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.f
9
Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.g
10
So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all,h but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith.*
Final Appeal.*
11
See with what large letters* I am writing to you in my own hand!i
12
* It is those who want to make a good appearance in the flesh who are trying to compel you to have yourselves circumcised, only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.j
13
Not even those having themselves circumcised* observe the law themselves; they only want you to be circumcised so that they may boast of your flesh.
14
But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which* the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.k
15
For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision,l but only a new creation.*
16
Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule* and to the Israel of God.m
17
From now on, let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus* on my body.n
18
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.o
* [6:1–10] The ethical exhortations begun at Gal 5:1 continue with a variety of admonitions to the community (brothers: see note on Gal 1:2). Nearly every sentence contains a separate item of practical advice; the faith and freedom of the gospel underlie each maxim. Tensions and temptation within communal life have previously been addressed in Gal 5:15, 26 and Gal 6:1 continues with a case in which a person is caught in some transgression such as those in Gal 5:19–21; cf. Gal 2:17.
* [6:2] The law of Christ: cf. Rom 8:2; 1 Cor 9:21; Gal 5:14. The principle of love for others is meant. To bear one another’s burdens is to “serve one another through love” (Gal 5:13).
* [6:4–5] Self-examination is the cure for self-deception. Compare what you are with what you were before, and give the glory to God; cf. Rom 6:19–22. Load: used elsewhere of a soldier’s pack. Correcting one’s own conduct avoids burdening others with it.
* [6:6] Implies oral instruction in the faith by catechists; these are to be remunerated for their service; cf. Rom 15:27.
* [6:10] The family of the faith: the Christian household or church. Doing good has a universal object (to all), but the local community makes specific the reality of those to be served.
* [6:11–18] A postscript in Paul’s own hand, as was his practice (see 1 Cor 16:21; 2 Thes 3:17). Paul summarizes his appeal against his opponents (Gal 6:12–13), then returns to his message of glorying in the cross, not in circumcision, as the means of salvation (Gal 6:14–15; cf. Gal 5:11). A benediction follows at Gal 6:16. In the polemical spirit that the attack on his apostleship called forth (Gal 1:11–2:21), Paul reasserts his missionary credentials (Gal 6:17) before giving a final benediction (Gal 6:18).
* [6:12–15] The Jewish Christian opponents wished not to be persecuted, possibly by Jews. But since Judaism seems to have had a privileged status as a religion in the Roman empire, circumcised Christians might, if taken as Jews, thereby avoid persecution from the Romans. In any case, Paul instead stresses conformity with the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; cf. Gal 2:19–21; 5:11.
* [6:17] The marks of Jesus: slaves were often branded by marks (stigmata) burned into their flesh to show to whom they belonged; so also were devotees of pagan gods. Paul implies that instead of outdated circumcision, his body bears the scars of his apostolic labors (2 Cor 11:22–31), such as floggings (Acts 16:22; 2 Cor 11:25) and stonings (Acts 14:19), that mark him as belonging to the Christ who suffered (cf. Rom 6:3; 2 Cor 4:10; Col 1:24) and will protect his own.

Of all the letters of Paul, that to the Christians at Rome has long held pride of place. It is the longest and most systematic unfolding of the apostle’s thought, expounding the gospel of God’s righteousness that saves all who believe (Rom 1:16–17); it reflects a universal outlook, with special implications for Israel’s relation to the church (Rom 9–11). Yet, like all Paul’s letters, Romans too arose out of a specific situation, when the apostle wrote from Greece, likely Corinth, between A.D. 56 and 58 (cf. Acts 20:2–3).
Paul at that time was about to leave for Jerusalem with a collection of funds for the impoverished Jewish Christian believers there, taken up from his predominantly Gentile congregations (Rom 15:25–27). He planned then to travel on to Rome and to enlist support there for a mission to Spain (Rom 15:24, 28). Such a journey had long been on his mind (Rom 1:9–13; 15:23). Now, with much missionary preaching successfully accomplished in the East (Rom 15:19), he sought new opportunities in the West (Rom 15:20–21), in order to complete the divine plan of evangelization in the Roman world. Yet he recognized that the visit to Jerusalem would be hazardous (Rom 15:30–32), and we know from Acts that Paul was arrested there and came to Rome only in chains, as a prisoner (Acts 21–28, especially Acts 21:30–33 and Acts 28:14, 30–31).
The existence of a Christian community in Rome antedates Paul’s letter there. When it arose, likely within the sizable Jewish population at Rome, and how, we do not know. The Roman historian Suetonius mentions an edict of the Emperor Claudius about A.D. 49 ordering the expulsion of Jews from Rome in connection with a certain “Chrestus,” probably involving a dispute in the Jewish community over Jesus as the Messiah (“Christus”). According to Acts 18:2, Aquila and Priscilla (or Prisca, as in Rom 16:3) were among those driven out; from them, in Corinth, Paul may have learned about conditions in the church at Rome.
Opinions vary as to whether Jewish or Gentile Christians predominated in the house churches (cf. Rom 16:5) in the capital city of the empire at the time Paul wrote. Perhaps already by then Gentile Christians were in the majority. Paul speaks in Romans of both Jews and Gentiles (Rom 3:9, 29; see note on Rom 1:14). The letter also refers to those “weak in faith” (Rom 14:1) and those “who are strong” (Rom 15:1); this terminology may reflect not so much differences between believers of Jewish and of Gentile background, respectively, as an ascetic tendency in some converts (Rom 14:2) combined with Jewish laws about clean and unclean foods (Rom 14:14, 20). The issues were similar to problems that Paul had faced in Corinth (1 Cor 8). If Rom 16 is part of the letter to Rome (see note on Rom 16:1–23), then Paul had considerable information about conditions in Rome through all these people there whom he knew, and our letter does not just reflect a generalized picture of an earlier situation in Corinth.
In any case, Paul writes to introduce himself and his message to the Christians at Rome, seeking to enlist their support for the proposed mission to Spain. He therefore employs formulations likely familiar to the Christians at Rome; see note on the confessional material at Rom 1:3–4 and compare Rom 3:25–26; 4:25. He cites the Old Testament frequently (Rom 1:17; 3:10–18; 4; 9:7, 12–13, 15, 17, 25–29, 33; 10:5–13, 15–21; 15:9–12). The gospel Paul presents is meant to be a familiar one to those in Rome, even though they heard it first from other preachers.
As the outline below shows, this gospel of Paul (see Rom 16:25) finds its center in salvation and justification through faith in Christ (Rom 1:16–17). While God’s wrath is revealed against all sin and wickedness of Gentile and Jew alike (Rom 1:18–3:20), God’s power to save by divine righteous or justifying action in Christ is also revealed (Rom 1:16–17; 3:21–5:21). The consequences and implications for those who believe are set forth (Rom 6:1–8:39), as are results for those in Israel (Rom 9–11) who, to Paul’s great sorrow (Rom 9:1–5), disbelieve. The apostle’s hope is that, just as rejection of the gospel by some in Israel has led to a ministry of salvation for non-Jews, so one day, in God’s mercy, “all Israel” will be saved (Rom 11:11–15, 25–29, 30–32). The fuller ethical response of believers is also drawn out, both with reference to life in Christ’s body (Rom 12) and with regard to the world (Rom 13:1–7), on the basis of the eschatological situation (Rom 13:11–14) and conditions in the community (Rom 14:1–15:13).
Others have viewed Romans more in the light of Paul’s earlier, quite polemical Letter to the Galatians and so see the theme as the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, a topic judged to be much in the minds of the Roman Christians. Each of these religious faiths claimed to be the way of salvation based upon a covenant between God and a people chosen and made the beneficiary of divine gifts. But Christianity regarded itself as the prophetic development and fulfillment of the faith of the Old Testament, declaring that the preparatory Mosaic covenant must now give way to the new and more perfect covenant in Jesus Christ. Paul himself had been the implacable advocate of freedom of Gentiles from the laws of the Mosaic covenant and, especially in Galatia, had refused to allow attempts to impose them on Gentile converts to the gospel. He had witnessed the personal hostilities that developed between the adherents of the two faiths and had written his strongly worded Letter to the Galatians against those Jewish Christians who were seeking to persuade Gentile Christians to adopt the religious practices of Judaism. For him, the purity of the religious understanding of Jesus as the source of salvation would be seriously impaired if Gentile Christians were obligated to amalgamate the two religious faiths.
Still others find the theme of Israel and the church as expressed in Rom 9–11 to be the heart of Romans. Then the implication of Paul’s exposition of justification by faith rather than by means of law is that the divine plan of salvation works itself out on a broad theological plane to include the whole of humanity, despite the differences in the content of the given religious system to which a human culture is heir. Romans presents a plan of salvation stretching from Adam through Abraham and Moses to Christ (Rom 4; 5) and on to the future revelation at Christ’s parousia (Rom 8:18–25). Its outlook is universal.
Paul’s Letter to the Romans is a powerful exposition of the doctrine of the supremacy of Christ and of faith in Christ as the source of salvation. It is an implicit plea to the Christians at Rome, and to all Christians, to hold fast to that faith. They are to resist any pressure put on them to accept a doctrine of salvation through works of the law (see note on Rom 10:4). At the same time they are not to exaggerate Christian freedom as an abdication of responsibility for others (Rom 12:1–2) or as a repudiation of God’s law and will (see Rom 3:9–26; 3:31; 7:7–12, 13–25).
The Duties of Christian (12:1-15:13)
Patience and Self-Denial.
1
We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves;a
2
let each of us please our neighbor for the good, for building up.b
3
For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written,c “The insults of those who insult you fall upon me.”*
4
For whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.d
5
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony* with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus,e
6
that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God’s Fidelity and Mercy.*
7
Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.f
8
For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs,g
9
but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:
“Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles
and sing praises to your name.”h
10
And again it says:i
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”*
11
And again:
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples praise him.”j
12
And again Isaiah says:
“The root of Jesse shall come,
raised up to rule the Gentiles;
in him shall the Gentiles hope.”k

13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit.l
Apostle to the Gentiles.
14
* I myself am convinced about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness,* filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another.
15
But I have written to you rather boldly in some respects to remind you, because of the grace given me by Godm
16
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in performing the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the holy Spirit.n
17
In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast in what pertains to God.
18
For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to lead the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed,o
19
by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit [of God], so that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum* I have finished preaching the gospel of Christ.
20
Thus I aspire* to proclaim the gospel not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on another’s foundation,p
21
but as it is written:q
“Those who have never been told of him shall see,
and those who have never heard of him shall understand.”*
Paul’s Plans; Need for Prayers.
22
That is why I have so often been prevented from coming to you.
23
But now, since I no longer have any opportunity in these regions and since I have desired to come to you for many years,r
24
I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain and to be sent on my way there by you, after I have enjoyed being with you for a time.s
25
* Now, however, I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the holy ones.t
26
For Macedonia and Achaia* have decided to make some contribution for the poor among the holy ones in Jerusalem;u
27
they decided to do it, and in fact they are indebted to them, for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to serve them in material blessings.v
28
So when I have completed this and safely handed over this contribution to them, I shall set out by way of you to Spain;
29
and I know that in coming to you I shall come in the fullness of Christ’s blessing.
30
I urge you, [brothers,] by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in the struggle by your prayers to God on my behalf,w
31
that I may be delivered from the disobedient in Judea, and that my ministry for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the holy ones,
32
so that I may come to you with joy by the will of God and be refreshed together with you.
33
The God of peace be with all of you. Amen.x

* [15:3] Liberation from the law of Moses does not make the scriptures of the old covenant irrelevant. Much consolation and motivation for Christian living can be derived from the Old Testament, as in the citation from Ps 69:10. Because this psalm is quoted several times in the New Testament, it has been called indirectly messianic.
* [15:5] Think in harmony: a Greco-Roman ideal. Not rigid uniformity of thought and expression but thoughtful consideration of other people’s views finds expression here.
* [15:7–13] True oneness of mind is found in pondering the ultimate mission of the church: to bring it about that God’s name be glorified throughout the world and that Jesus Christ be universally recognized as God’s gift to all humanity. Paul here prepares his addressees for the climactic appeal he is about to make.
* [15:14–33] Paul sees himself as apostle and benefactor in the priestly service of the gospel and so sketches plans for a mission in Spain, supported by those in Rome.
* [15:14] Full of goodness: the opposite of what humanity was filled with according to Rom 1:29–30.
* [15:20] I aspire: Paul uses terminology customarily applied to philanthropists. Unlike some philanthropists of his time, Paul does not engage in cheap competition for public acclaim. This explanation of his missionary policy is to assure the Christians in Rome that he is also not planning to remain in that city and build on other people’s foundations (cf. 2 Cor 10:12–18). However, he does solicit their help in sending him on his way to Spain, which was considered the limit of the western world. Thus Paul’s addressees realize that evangelization may be understood in the broader sense of mission or, as in Rom 1:15, of instruction within the Christian community that derives from the gospel.
* [15:25–27] Paul may have viewed the contribution he was gathering from Gentile Christians for the poor in Jerusalem (cf. 2 Cor 8–9) as a fulfillment of the vision of Is 60:5–6. In confidence that the messianic fulfillment was taking place, Paul stresses in Rom 14–16 the importance of harmonious relationships between Jews and Gentiles.

Paul’s letter to the Christians at Philippi was written while he was in a prison somewhere (Phil 1:7, 13, 14, 17), indeed in danger of death (Phil 1:20–23). Although under guard for preaching Christ, Paul rejoices at the continuing progress of the gospel (Phil 1:12–26) and expresses gratitude for the Philippians’ renewed concern and help in an expression of thanks most clearly found at Phil 4:10–20. Much of the letter is devoted to instruction about unity and humility within the Christian community at Philippi (Phil 1:27–2:18) and exhortations to growth, joy, and peace in their life together (Phil 4:1–9). The letter seems to be drawing to a close at the end of what we number as Phil 2, as Paul reports the plans of his helper Timothy and of Epaphroditus (whom the Philippians had sent to aid Paul) to come to Philippi (Phil 2:19–3:1), and even Paul’s own expectation that he will go free and come to Philippi (Phil 1:25–26; 2:24). Yet quite abruptly at Phil 3:2, Paul erupts into warnings against false teachers who threaten to impose on the Philippians the burdens of the Mosaic law, including circumcision. The section that follows, Phil 3:2–21, is a vigorous attack on these Judaizers (cf. Gal 2:11–3:29) or Jewish Christian teachers (cf. 2 Cor 11:12–23), giving us insights into Paul’s own life story (Phil 3:4–6) and into the doctrine of justification, the Christian life, and ultimate hope (Phil 3:7–21).
* [3:2–11] Paul sets forth the Christian claim, especially using personal, autobiographical terms that are appropriate to the situation. He presents his own experience in coming to know Christ Jesus in terms of righteousness or justification (cf. Rom 1:16–17; 3:21–5:11; Gal 2:5–11), contrasting the righteousness from God through faith and that of one’s own based on the law as two exclusive ways of pleasing God.
* [3:2] Beware of the mutilation: literally, “incision,” an ironic wordplay on “circumcision”; cf. Gal 5:12. There may be an association with the self-inflicted mutilations of the prophets of Baal (1 Kgs 18:28) and of devotees of Cybele who slashed themselves in religious frenzy.
* [3:7] Loss: his knowledge of Christ led Paul to reassess the ways of truly pleasing and serving God. His reevaluation indicates the profound and lasting effect of his experience of the meaning of Christ on the way to Damascus some twenty years before (Gal 1:15–16; Acts 9:1–22).
* [3:12–16] To be taken possession of by Christ does not mean that one has already arrived at perfect spiritual maturity. Paul and the Philippians instead press on, trusting in God.
* [3:17] Being imitators of me: not arrogance, but humble simplicity, since all his converts know that Paul is wholly dedicated to imitating Christ (1 Cor 11:1; cf. also Phil 4:9; 1 Thes 1:6; 2 Thes 3:7, 9; 1 Cor 4:6).
21
Give my greetings to every holy one in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send you their greetings;
22
o all the holy ones send you their greetings, especially those of Caesar’s household.*
23
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Please we do not need to fight with each other. The Catholic love Christ so much. And I will continuously Love all of Christ. We are created in the likeness and image of God. Christ loves us. Let us not let our differences an obstacle of peace and love and mercy. Brother, I want you to know that we are not your enemies. We are part of one family. Let us not hurl insults and vanity. We are to love our fellow. If you were offended by this Love, i humbly ask you to have mercy.
The Catholics love for God and neighbors will still continue flowing and we shall continuously serve the Lord. Brother, you are not forced to accept us. You may not register us, it is your will. However, by what you have said, let us be merciful, be ever filled with grace, live not in sin that leads to death, and be holy. You can pop your bubble also. I'm happy that you have zealous faith, continue that. You are always welcome to the Catholic Church, you can listen and hear our mass, and read the life of saints and catechism. Still you may not, if that makes you angry. It needs an open heart. Dick, i invite you, there is faith, hope, love and graces found in this Church. Believe. The Catholic Church is always, waiting patiently and believing that we can be united.

May God bless you Dick.
May the Peace and goodness of Christ be with us always.

May 30, 2014 at 7:34 am PST
#98  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

You are more a declaration here of hatred and unloving. You are an unreasonable man. What have i tell you Dick... I'm amazed that now you have chosen to be the untrusted and the unblibical. You are closest to be the deceiver and false witness.
It saddens my heart ,of how prideful, profane and disbeliever you are Dick.
I thought i can trust you and love and believe with you. So go hurl more insults if that's what you are, tell more lies Dick, go and kill that is what you are. You are not the first, who hated the Holy Catholic Church. Now compete more of them, prideful and shallow-minded people.

Father Malachi is a good and holy person. Why does envious people bury and throw so many lies around him?
May God have mercy on his soul.
May His Soul rest in peace.

I wanted to write more how i am sad with what you made. But this is sadness is enough.
To love you have bring forth your mercilessness and rudeness.

I have not invited you for this fallacies, and spites. But I have invited you because out of Love and for Loving. i thought we can follow a path of holiness. I thought you post scripture, was passion and faith was it was truly. Yet, you have not love and peace.

"If you don't have the highest reverence for the priesthood and for the religious state, you certainly don't love God's Church"- St. Josemaria Escriva.

May God bless you Dick, so that the darkness revolving and occupying within your heart, mind ,and eyes -be vanished and be replaced completely with the true light of Grace, Peace, Love and Mercy.

May the God of Hope, lead our life doing His will.
Jesus Christ,the Head and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, His Body, lead us into all truth.

Goodbye and live a holy and truthful life.

June 2, 2014 at 7:00 am PST
#99  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Malachi 1:11 "For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, my name is great among the nations; And everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name, and a pure offering; For great is my name among the nations, says the LORD of hosts."

Sounds like the One, Holy, & Apostolic Church upholds this prophesy.

June 5, 2014 at 2:12 pm PST
#100  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Sounds like you have been watching the discovery channel to much.

June 6, 2014 at 11:20 am PST

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