Bible 1 Yr – Day 262 – “… you will save both yourself and your hearers”

Paul is continuing to encourage Timothy in his new role as Bishop of Ephesus. He reminds him of how to address some of the false notions that are being advocated. Then Paul basically tells Timothy to go in and take charge (but also set a good example) because he has divine authority. Paul says,

11 Command and teach these things. …

In other words Timothy’s teaching is not just one opinion among many. The faithful must comply with his teaching. And how did Timothy get this authority?

14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you.

In other words, this did not come upon him through his internal machinations and feelings from the Holy Spirit. He most likely felt a calling but the gift he has come from the laying on of hands by the council of elders (the Apostles). The laying on of hands comes directly from the Old Testament and was used by Moses, at the direction of God to ordain priests. It shows that the old law is fulfilled in the new. Before the ordination to the priesthood was hereditary, now it is restored to the ordination of all those who are called but they still must be ordained. They must be confirmed by the Church and be given authority this helps insure fidelity to the truth and the preaching of the one true Gospel – which is basically what Paul’s letter is about. If your pastor, preacher, Reverend, holy man, etc did not have hands laid on him by someone with divine authority to do so then their teaching is just one opinion among many.

Now the HEART of the matter. Paul says,

16 Take heed to yourself and to your teaching; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

This it like a theological nuclear bomb in the middle of the New Testament. You can save yourself! Yet, I hear so often from my protestant brothers and sisters, “It’s not you, it’s all Jesus. We can’t save ourselves! Without him, we are nothing.”

Does Paul disagree? It seems so, but … not so fast.

This is why it is so important to have a proper teacher. This is why it is important to understand scripture in context as part of an organic whole. This is why Paul has elsewhere said that scripture must be interpreted in light of the traditional teaching he has passed on orally. When Paul writes that Timothy can “save himself” he is writing KNOWING that Timothy has spent YEARS with Paul discussing these topics. He knows that Timothy has received the Holy Spirit is a special way by the laying on of hands. And he knows that Timothy will teach Christianity that is consistent with the Church’s doctrine. He knows that if there is question that the Church will meet in council and decide the matter as they did in Acts 15. He knows that the Holy Spirit will prevent the Church from teaching error. Paul does not write in a vacuum, he writes knowing Timothy has been trained, ordained and faithfully dedicated his life to the Church.

What then is the context? What does it mean that we can save ourselves?

Recall that Paul has written that we are the Church and that the Church is the Body of Christ. And the Church, as the Body of Christ, is the physical manifestation of Christ in the world, the “fullness of him who is all in all.” Thus, there is nothing lacking in the Church. And the Church is the Bride of Christ. “And a man shall leave his mother and cling to his wife and the two will become on flesh.” This is true for the Church, which is the Bride. Thus, Christ is one with – in perfect union with – his Church. In his epistles, Paul calls himself a father to his congregations and the Scripture tells us that through Christ we are the adopted sons and daughters of the Father. Jesus says that if we follow his teaching we are his family and closer than his mother and brothers. Scripture tells us that if we give a glass of water to someone who is thirsty out of love of God we give it Christ himself. Jesus says that he will separate the lambs from the goats by what we did for the least fortunate in his name. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, “Father, let them be one as You and I are one.”

Can you see what should be apparent to you?

We are not just “brothers and sisters in Christ” in the simple sense. We are more than a family. We are integral parts of a whole. We are so close, so radically connected to each other through Christ, that we cease to exist being separate (yet we retain all of our individuality). This is why that what we do to the least we do to the Lord. This is why Paul says, “it is not I who live but Christ who lives in me.” This is why Paul writes we are one body and that foot cannot go without the hand. And this is now, Today. Right here, right now, as you sit and read this, you are not separate from your fellow Christians. Through Christ we are intimately and radically joined together. So much so that we manifest Christ for each other and for the world. And this is why our works in this life can have merit for the next.

When, because I love the Lord, I give a glass of water to someone who is thirsty I don’t just give it to the physical man, I give it to the Lord. When, because I love the Lord, I forgive my brother and show him charity it is not just I who forgive him but Christ who allows, intensifies and helps me to forgive and show mercy. It is because of my radical union with Christ that any good thing I do is even possible. And therefore, when out of love for the Lord, I do an act of kindness, of charity, of mercy – any good work – it has INFINITE value. It adds to what cannot be added to. It becomes part of that which is already done. It fills up and that which is already completed and finished. That is why Paul wrote in Colossians 1,

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.

So we do not save ourselves of our own accord, but we do contribute to our salvation (and the salvation of others) through our union with Christ.

Why then do we hear so often the refrain of “we do not save ourselves” and “I have the Holy Spirit in ME” and “I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ”? Why does one part of Christendom focus on this personal relationship aspect and almost completely ignore the heavenly union of believers that forms the one Church in Heaven and on earth?

Sadly, it is because you can’t sell what you don’t have.

This radical union with the Lord is established at Baptism but it is PERFECTED over the course of your life through the Eucharist. This is why the last thing Jesus did before beginning the Passion was to establish the Eucharist at the Last Supper and why he said, “Do this in memory of me.” The Church teaches that the Eucharist is the glorified and resurrected body, blood, soul and divinity of the Christ. It is not a symbol, it is the Lord. And through it, we enter true Communion with Jesus and each other. By giving our willing consent to this mystery and believing on faith that which Jesus said we strengthen the heavenly bond with the Jesus and the Church. That is why on Passover, one year before the Last Supper, Jesus said,

55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

Christ was talking about the Eucharist and the union it creates between him and his followers. When you receive the Eucharist, Jesus “abides” or lives within you.
Today I am sad. Writing this makes me sad. I talk a lot about doctrine, about how to know right teaching and about authority. But all that is relevant really only for one reason – only a properly ordained bishop or priest can consecrate the Eucharist. All of theology, all of history, all of the life, suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord, all of heaven and earth, all of it – EVERYTHING – is there in that moment. There is no divide between God and man. There is no difference between heaven and earth. There is no yesterday or tomorrows, only the present and the eternal now of God and perfect Communion with the Lord. But for my Protestant brothers and sisters, your Pastor’s teachings are just one opinion among many, the bread and wine is just crackers and juice and you can’t sell what you don’t have.

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31 Responses to Bible 1 Yr – Day 262 – “… you will save both yourself and your hearers”

  1. Chris Daley says:

    When and where does this transformation of the bread and wine to flesh and blood take place? Does it take place when the priest blesses it or does it take place after I consume it? In all my years as an altar boy, I never cleaned any blood off the chalices. The last time I had communion, which was a couple of months ago, I looked in the chalice and saw the bottom of it, because the liquid in it was transparent. Blood isn’t transparent. The communion wafers taste a lot like the skin I bite off my cuticles, I know that sounds gross, but you know the flavor I’m talking about, but it sure doesn’t taste like any “flesh” I have ever eaten.

  2. The bread and wine are transubstantiated when the priest says the words of consecration (This is my body…etc). The Church teaches the the substance of the bread and wine changes but the “accidents” remain. In other words, it still looks and tastes like bread and wine but what it actually is has changed. This is actually considered part of the miracle (or a 2nd miracle) that God allows this to veil what has actually happened otherwise we wouldn’t be able to deal with it.

    Here is a video of one of the most famous incidents where God allowed the veil to be lifted:

    • Chris Daley says:

      “God allows this to veil what has actually happened otherwise we wouldn’t be able to deal with it.”
      Jesus performed most of his miracles for the world to see. Do you think it was easy to deal with seeing a leaper healed in an instant, or the cripple’s legs being straightened. What about seeing the feeding of the 5,000 with the 7 loaves and 2 fishes? What about seeing Him walking on water? Do you think the apostles or the locals were able to “deal” with Lazarus being raised from the dead after he had been in the ground for 4 days? I bet the water He turned into wine looked like wine.

      Jesus also gave his disciples the power to preform miracles like them and even greater ones
      John 14:12King James Version (KJV)
      12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

      My point is that all these miracles were front and center, for all the world to see. But for some reason the miracle of the Eucharist, the one thing you say your church has that nobody else has and is the key to everything about being a catholic is hidden, because we cant deal with it?

      Do you think the apostles at the last supper ate something that tasted like bread and wine or when Jesus spoke “This is my body” and “This is my blood” did they actually consume flesh and blood?

      • It’s not hidden it’s a measure of faith. Peter himself said, “this is a hard saying but I have come to believe that you have the words of eternal life”.

        I’m golfing this weekend. Further responses will be sporadic.

  3. Chris Daley says:

    Hopefully, you are going someplace dry for the weekend. Have fun and sink a hole in one for me.

    Hidden, veiled, however you want to phrase it, we can’t see it take place. In Jesus’s time, you didn’t have to take it on faith that the leper was healed, you SAW it. You didn’t have to take it on faith that Lazarus was raised from the dead, you SAW it. They SAW him walk on water. They tasted the wine that he made and it was the best wine. The apostles interacted with these miracles on a daily basis. And now, the greatest miracle of all, the turning of bread to flesh and wine to blood, to the saving of our souls is veiled, because we can’t “deal” with it.

    And you didn’t answer my question about the last supper. Do you think the apostles ate real flesh and blood, that tasted like real flesh and blood or was that miracle “veiled” from them also?

    • At the last supper it appears as bread. On the road to Enmaus. It appears as bread. Almost always it appears as bread. Those who have sufficient faith can see it. I’m sorry but it makes sense in context. Of course people saw Jesus make people walk. He was here He did things on purpose to establish who he was. He told Thomas “blessed are you bc you see and believe but blessed are those who don’t see yet believe.”

      Go to a Catholic Church. Sit in front of the blessed sacrament. Pray. Say “Lord I believe, help my unbelief”. You’ll see.

  4. Chris Daley says:

    “Today someone asked me about the blessed sacrament. My answer: FAITH.”
    “Those who have sufficient faith can see it.”

    If your faith makes the sacrament real, then why can’t my faith in taking communion at a protestant church make it real for me. Jesus’s command was to “do this in memory of Him”, so if my act does that, am I not fulfilling the command?

    • It’s real bc it is real. Faith enables you to see that it is real. Protestant Churches it is not real bc you need to have a properly ordained priest to offer a sacrifice.

      • Chris Daley says:

        So all the Christians who are being killed for their faith by ISIS can’t celebrate the Lord’s supper in their prison camps if there isn’t a ordained catholic priest to do it?

      • Chris Daley says:

        even though Christ is there among them when they gather in HIs name.

  5. Chris Daley says:

    1 Peter 2:5King James Version (KJV)
    5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

    1 Peter 2:9King James Version (KJV)
    9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

    • This is a continuation of the OT. In the OT there was a high priest, a ministerial priesthood and the universal priesthood. Moses was the high priest, the Levites are the ministerial priests and all Israel is a universal priesthood. This is repeated in the NT. Jesus is the new high priest. As you quote there is a new universal priesthood of believers. Therefore there must also me a ministerial priesthood.

  6. Chris Daley says:

    Revelation 1:5-7King James Version (KJV)
    5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
    6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    Revelation 5:9-11King James Version (KJV)
    9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
    10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

    1 Corinthians 12:27-28King James Version (KJV)

    27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
    28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

    Which one are the priests?

    • Chris Daley says:

      Please show me the verse where it says that only ordained priests can offer the eucharist?

      • Chris Daley says:

        I mean, we have all the plain scripture verses on how we are supposed to act, the fruits of the spirit, parts of the body, etc, but the one thing that you say makes the catholic church what it is, is buried deep in the scriptures, or it doesn’t really say it, but it’s implied? Paul gives us the details of what it means to be an elder and he gives in instructions on how we are supposed to conduct ourselves during the Lord’s Supper (1Cor11:17-34), but instructions on how to preform it. Why is that?

  7. Chris Daley says:

    Also, Christ told us where 2 or 3 are gathered in his name, He is the in the midst.(Matt.18:20) So, if our High Priest is among us every time we gather in his name, why do we need another priest to offer sacrifices?

  8. Let’s start by re-establishing that not everything that we believe and do needs to be found in the bible. If that were the case the bible would say that every must be found in the bible and it doesn’t.

    Let’s also look back at the first 300 years of Christianity where there was no bible and particularly the first 100 years when the books were being written but not yet widely distributed. How did Christians know what to do? For example, how did they know how to baptize? First, they had a Jewish tradition of baptism so that was their jumping off point. Jesus fulfilled the OT law but the OT practice still provide the context for NT teachings. So knowing the Jewish context of Baptism they saw the Apostles baptize and they learned – organically how to do it. The Bible does not contain explicit step by step instructions on how to baptize bc the Holy Spirit knows that the Christians are PRACTICING their faith.

    Likewise it is with the Eucharist. Of all the things in the NT the Eucharist is the LEAST HIDDEN. You just are trying to see it through bible alone lenses. No, there are not specific detailed instructions but there is the Jewish OT context and the practice of the first Christians.

    In the OT we see:
    1.The fall of man is by eating from a tree.
    2. The first punishment of man is not the casting out from the garden but now he will have to labor to get BREAD from the land. He will have to work to eat to live.
    3. We see Abraham celebrate his victory in battle with the King of Salem (the Jeru-salem) by offering BREAD and WINE.
    4. Abraham whose son carries the wood for his own sacrifice up the hill is saved and God provides a Lamb.
    5. A Passover a Lamb is offered with blood on the door posts and eaten w/ unleavened bread and wine. The Lamb MUST be eaten or death will not pass over.
    6. God provides the Manna in the desert.
    7. the OT covenant is sealed with a meal in heaven on top of Mt. Sinai.
    8.In the Ark of the Covenant is kept the Manna (and the 10 Commandments and the staff of Aaron).
    9. the “Bread of the Presence” also known as the Bread of the Face of God is kept on a table ifo the Ark on a table made of the same material as the are with wine every minute of every day. The bread is also know as the “Showbread” to “show God loves us and has made a covenant with us”.
    10. Only the Levite priests may make the animal sacrifices that the temple. Even for the forgiveness of sins the people must offer their sacrifice through the priest.
    11. Jesus who will call himself “the bread of life” is born in Beth-le-hem or “the City of Bread”.
    12. Jesus is laid in a manager where the creatures come to eat.
    13. Jesus first miracle is to turn water into wine.
    14. Jesus refuses to turn rocks in to bread at the behest of Satan and says that we don’t live on bread alone but the word of God.
    14-A. Jesus multiplies the loaves in the Desert. He refers to the “manna” the Jews ate but still died. He establishing himself as the new Moses.
    15. In the “Bread of life Discourse” is the Gospel of John, Jesus says “my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink”.
    16. Jesus was not speaking metaphorically in John 6 the reaction of the crowd clearly shows that they are taking him literally. They are scandalized and leave. This is the only time in all the NT that we see people leave Jesus over his teaching. He lets them go and does not correct himself or their understanding.
    17. At the last supper Jesus offers the Bread AND Wine as his Body AND Blood – SEPARATELY. When the body and blood are separate it signifies death. If he wanted only a memorial he did not need to offer both separately as 2 separate things. If he wanted a memorial he only need to offer one item to be a memorial.
    18. The Last Supper was a Passover meal taking us back to the Exodus. At the Passover the Lamb had to be eaten. No mention is made of a lamb at the last supper except Jesus.
    19. We know that the Passover meal continues through the passion and Crucifixion bc Jesus refers to his suffering as a “cup”. We know the cup offered at the Last Supper was the 3rd cup of 4 at the Passover cedar. We know the 4th cup of the cedar is the wine Jesus drinks on the cross. the 4th cup is called the “cup of consummation”. Jesus says “it is finished” and dies after sipping the wine.
    20. Jesus is the new Adam. The cross is the new tree of life. To correct what was done wrong by Adam it follows that we must eat of the new tree. Jesus is the new Passover Lamb. The sacrifice on the Cross is the new Passover sacrifice if follows that we must eat of the lamb. Jesus is the Word of God which we need to live. Now the Word and the Bread are the same.
    21. On the road to Emmaus the disciples recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread.
    22. Paul often refers to Christians “breaking the bread” on the Lord’s day. He refers to us being one b/c we eat of one loaf.
    23. Paul says that people who are eating of the bread unworthily are “sick and dying”. Eating symbols and metaphors doesn’t make you die. He says the “eat and drink judgement” on themselves.
    24. Paul says the those who eat the body and blood unworthily “are guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord”. This is the 1st century equivalent of saying that they are guilty of murder.

    Those are just the one I thought off off the top of my head. That’s the Jewish context. Its hardily hidden. They would have understood these parallels intuitively.

    We also know that the first Christians PRACTICED this Faith:

    Ignatius of Antioch

    “I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible” (Letter to the Romans 7:3 [A.D. 110]).

    “Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes” (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:2–7:1 [A.D. 110]).

    and Justin Martyr

    “We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” (First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).

    There are more quotes of what the early fathers believed at this link:
    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-real-presence

    Finally, Luther believe in the Real Presence. He never meant for that to be lost. Here is what he said about people who were trying to deny it:

    “Who, but the devil, has granted such license of wresting the words of the holy Scripture? Who ever read in the Scriptures, that my body is the same as the sign of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? It is only then the devil, that imposes upon us by these fanatical men. Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present.

    Surely, it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.”

    As to where it says that you need a priest – again there are multiple passages. We see that Melchizadek, who offers the bread and wine sacrifice for Abraham was “a pries of God most high”. We see the Levites had to offer sacrifice for the Jews. At the last supper the Apostles b/c the offer sacrifice (separated body and blood) and are told to “do this in memory of me” which is akin to the Passover memorial. After Judas dies they use lots to select a replacement for his “office” which is the same way offices or jobs were assigned in the temple. Paul list priest among the jobs ordained by God. There are more through treatments. I encourage you to look it up on Catholic.com

    The bottom line is this – the teaching on the Eucharist is a very difficult thing to accept. Its a mind boggling concept but its true.

    One last thing. Jesus said that his disciples would “do greater things than I”. How can we, the disciples of Christ do greater things than God who created the Universe and Redeemed it? The Answer is the Eucharist because when God created the universe and redeemed it he was a infinitely powerful being creating and restoring a finite world whereas when a Catholic priest consecrates the bread and wine he is a finite being begetting the infinite God.

  9. Chris Daley says:

    I’m not doubting the importance of the Lord’s Supper. When I read Paul saying that people are getting sick from eating it unworthily, I understand that it is something significant and not a symbol. But this idea of the “Real Presence” that you speak of sounds strange.

    So the Real presence of Christ is different from when He told us “where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst”?

    This is an extreme example, but it illustrates my confusion.
    3 catholics are shipwrecked on an island. They can worship, pray, sing, confess, but since none of 3 is an ordained priest, they can’t celebrate the Lord’s supper. Christ is with them, “2 or 3 gathered in my name”, but Christ can’t/won’t accept them preforming the eucharist. the most important thing, according to you, the sum of all our beliefs and faith are held back from them, even though Christ himself told us he would be there if 2 or 3 gathered in his name.

    Do you see my confusion?

    “Paul list priest among the jobs ordained by God.”
    1 Corinthians 12:27-28King James Version (KJV)

    27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
    28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

    Which one are the priests?

  10. Your example is contrived to create a false either / or situation. God doesn’t hold you responsible to what you cannot do. Jesus himself said “before I had spoken to them they had no sin, now that I have spoken to them their sin remains.”

    Their is the ordinary and the extra ordinary. When you live a “normal” life you are expected to participate in normal things. If you are thrown into extraordinary situations then God is free to treat you according to what you did with what is available to you.

    The thief on the cross is not baptized but Jesus says he will be in heaven. It’s a entirely different matter if you, who are perfectly capable of being baptized, refuse it.

    Here are my questions to you. You can see that the first Christians relied on what grew out of the Jewish tradition. You can see that the first learned by PRACTICE. Christians Ignatius and Justyn Martyr taught the real presence. Do you think that the men that learned form the Apostles were wrong? Do you think the other people who taught, listed in the link I gave you, were wrong for the first 1500 years of Christianity? As Luther says that UNANIMOUS belief of Christianity is the real presence. Is it not very unlikely that all those people had it wrong for so long?

    Here is a link to priest and deacons at Catholic.com. You would be better off doing you own research so you can answer these questions as they occur to you. http://www.catholic.com/tracts/bishop-priest-and-deacon

  11. Chris Daley says:

    Why is my does my example make a false either/or situation? Are there not Christians/Catholics in prisons around the world right now, that are separated from the church? And being separated from the church, they are denied, “All of theology, all of history, all of the life, suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord, all of heaven and earth, all of it – EVERYTHING – is there in that moment. There is no divide between God and man. There is no difference between heaven and earth. There is no yesterday or tomorrows, only the present and the eternal now of God and perfect Communion with the Lord.”

    The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is present during communion. I’m not debating that.
    I was never debating that. My question is about this “real” presence you keep talking about.

    What presence is Christ talking about when He says where 2 or 3 are gathered in his name, He is there among them. Is that not his “real” presence also? If He’s not “really” there, then what was he talking about?

  12. In Acts 8, the Apostles in Jerusalem hear that the deacon Phillip has converted a group of people to the south and baptized them. Peter and John leave Jerusalem and travel to them and lay hands upon them. In the laying on of hands then call down the Holy Spirit on them and give them the Holy Spirit because “the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them.”

    But we know that the Holy Spirit HAD already come upon them. They had to have had the Holy Spirit to have the grace of conversion. They had to have the Holy Spirit to have the grace of Baptism. Yet the Apostles still traveled to them and laid hands on them and called down the Holy Spirit upon them b/c they had not yet received it. Most Protestants today would say they have the Holy Spirit even if they have never had anyone, let alone an Apostle (or successor to the Apostles) lay hands on them.

    Was the Holy Spirit not present in these peoples lives before they converted?
    Was the Holy Spirit not the cause of their conversion?
    Was the Holy Spirit not present at their baptism?

    Of course the answer is Yes to all three. God comes to us in different ways all the time.

  13. Chris Daley says:

    I don’t see how that is an answer to my question, but thanks anyway.

  14. Chris Daley says:

    In Matthew 18, Jesus says this

    Matthew 18:19-20King James Version (KJV)
    19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
    20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    And before you start telling me “context, context, context” Here’s how Matthew 18 opens
    Matthew 18King James Version (KJV)
    18 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
    2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

    So when Jesus speaks in the first half of 18, he is talking to more than just the apostles, He’s talking to his disciples and he tells them that if 2 disciples agree on anything they should ask, then the Father will do it for them. Seems to me if 2 disciples are together , they could ask God to preform the Lord’s supper and it would be granted to them, considering Jesus said “Do this in memory of me”

  15. I disagree that it is clear from the context that Jesus is with more than the disciples for the entire chapter. He may be at the beginning but he is not necessarily at the end.

    In fact, the immediately preceding verse is this:

    15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
    Mat 18:15-20

    We see that verse come to fruition in Acts 15 and it is the Apostles, not just a random group of disciples, who meet in council and decide the matter in dispute. Furthermore, we see Jesus giving the power to bind and loose to the Apostles. But no average person that I know, Catholic or Protestant, would say that they have the power to bind and loose. So the context of the verse is ambiguous at best. However, lets presume the final verse is meant for all people.

    What we know that scripture is hard to figure out. There are hundreds of verses that need to be read in harmony with one another. So you have to read Matthew 18:19-20 in context with the ENTIRE BIBLE. That means, as I said yesterday, in the Jewish tradition of how sacrifice is offered. As if on cue, we say in today reading the royal priesthood verses. Israel had a high priest, a ministerial priesthood and a common priesthood. It doesn’t make sense the Christianity would have a high priest Jesus and a royal priesthood but no ministerial priesthood. The links I posted show more verse to establish the ministerial Christian priesthood.

    We know from the OT that the role of the priest is to offer sacrifices. That doesn’t mean that you can’t offer your own sacrifices and sufferings to God. We see in today’s reading that you can. That is why we are a royal priesthood. We share in Jesus’ priesthood and by doing so we are made worthy to offer up our sacrifices, sufferings and good works to the Father THROUGH the Son.

    But that doesn’t mean that we can offer ALL sacrifices to the Father. Are we fit or worthy to offer the sacrifice of the Son to the Father? For that we have consecrated priests who has been set aside to offer this perpetual sacrifice to the father. How common, how pedestrian, how belittling would it be if every person could just “conjure up” the most holy sacrifice in all creation on a whim. Again, the Holy Spirit speaks to you today through today’s reading. We should LONG for the PURE spiritual milk. Since you clearly long for it I encourage you to do the research and seek out your own answers.

    I know that you were once Catholic and I am sorry that you didn’t learn all this when you were young. I know that when I, in my 30’s, came to these realizations I felt angry and cheated by the Church. How could it be that no one ever took the time to get this message through to us? How could it be that these connections, these stories, this deep understanding was not shared with me?

    While I felt angry at the past I was given a great grace by God, I had Catholic people in my life and the idea of leaving the Catholic Church for another Church was never really an option for me. I stayed and I now do what I can to teach this to the next generation.

    There is ultimately only one choice, one path, one way, and one truth that leads to life eternal. Especially for people like you, who are obviously intelligent and have a basic understanding of scripture. That is to follow the call of the Holy Spirit home to the Catholic Church, with all it foibles and mistakes, with all its sinners and their sins, and bring as many people along for the ride as you can. God is calling you to be a great voice. Not of voice of cynicism and doubt. Not a voice of sarcasm but a voice of forgiveness and truth.

  16. Chris Daley says:

    “It doesn’t make sense the Christianity would have a high priest Jesus and a royal priesthood but no ministerial priesthood.”

    And it doesn’t make sense that considering we all equal members of the body of Christ, that the church views the deacons as “inferiors” to the priests.
    From the link you posted http://www.catholic.com/tracts/bishop-priest-and-deacon

    Council of Nicaea I
    “It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters [i.e., priests], whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer [the Eucharistic sacrifice] should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer [it]. And this also has been made known, that certain deacons now touch the Eucharist even before the bishops. Let all such practices be utterly done away, and let the deacons remain within their own bounds, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and the inferiors of the presbyters. Let them receive the Eucharist according to their order, after the presbyters, and let either the bishop or the presbyter administer to them” (Canon 18 [A.D. 325]).

    Especially when Christ said this in Matthew 18
    Matthew 18:3-4King James Version (KJV)
    3 And said, Verily,I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    “know you place” doesn’t sound very humble

    “I know that you were once Catholic and I am sorry that you didn’t learn all this when you were young. I know that when I, in my 30’s, came to these realizations I felt angry and cheated by the Church. How could it be that no one ever took the time to get this message through to us? How could it be that these connections, these stories, this deep understanding was not shared with me?”

    You nailed it. And I always come back to this verse in regards to this
    Matthew 18:6King James Version (KJV)
    6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

    Where is the forgiveness is this verse?

  17. In this thread we have already quoted the verses from Paul in which he outlines the various roles and hierarchy in the Church. We have also seen other verses that establish that like the verse that says to “honor those who are over you in the Lord” and that some ministers get “double honor”. This is the problem with you theology. You pick and choose, probably not intentionally, but you emotions and preconceived conclusions blind you to the fullness of scripture.

    Your citing of Matthew 18 is reversed. Even assuming their is no forgiveness for the person that causes a little one to sin that is for God’s judgement – not yours. Jesus is saying that He will deal with the people that corrupt the innocent. However, you are not God. The Bible is clear that you must forgive those who wronged you.

    And what follows next?

    If the Catholic Church is the true Church (which it clearly is) and YOU KNOWING THIS IN YOUR HEART corrupt the next generation of innocents by not forgiving and leading even one out of the Church – WHAT THEN?

    What should be your punishment?

    Should the Lord not forgive you?

    Should I not forgive you?

    Well I will tell you hear and now, the bible says that the not forgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The Church teaches that this means final impenitence – i.e. rejecting the forgiveness of God even unto death. No sin is unforgivable. And I, for my small part, forgive you for your errors and your hardened heart. I believe that you “no not what you do” and I pray for you to find the peace you long for.

  18. Chris Daley says:

    Giving someone honor and submitting yourself to someone is different than being told you are inferior to them.
    1 Peter 5:1-6King James Version (KJV)

    5 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
    2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
    3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.
    4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
    5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
    6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

    “Neither as being lord’s over God heritage”
    “All of you, be subject one to another”

    “But that doesn’t mean that we can offer ALL sacrifices to the Father. Are we fit or worthy to offer the sacrifice of the Son to the Father? For that we have consecrated priests who has been set aside to offer this perpetual sacrifice to the father.”

    How does that mesh with this?
    Hebrews 10:11-13King James Version (KJV)
    11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
    12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
    13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
    and
    Hebrews 10:17-18King James Version (KJV)
    17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
    18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

    How can the catholic priest offer what Christ already offered to God and was accepted?

    • Chris Daley says:

      Are you really saying that the catholic church is offering Christ as sacrifice to God every time the Eucharist is preformed?

  19. Yes. God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all eternal and outside of time. The sacrifice of Christ is perpetually offered to and accepted by the Father. It is forever, eternal, transcending time and space. Christ is not “re-crucified” at the Mass b/c the sacrifice is made “once and for all” but a sacrifice is more than the actual moment of death it is the offering and acceptance of the sacrifice that completes it. That is the why the sacrifice must be consumed. It is not compete until the flesh is consumed – partly by God and partly by the offerer.

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