Friday, April 24, 2009

"I Am the Bread of Life"

Here is an article by Roman Catholic apologist Robert Sungenis trying to explain the Roman Catholic interpretation of John 6 which says that Jesus, in calling Himself the Bread of Life and saying His disciples must eat His flesh, is talking about literally eating a piece of bread that has become the body of Christ.
I want to thank Mr. Sungenis for giving me a better understanding of the Greek words used in the passage which are translated 'to eat.' But his argument that the words are the literal words 'to eat' (phago) and 'to chew slowly' (trogo), the latter which has the connotation of really taking the time to savor the food, does not convince me that Jesus was talking about eating a literal piece of bread. I believe He was using metaphorical language; that He was speaking of Himself as our sacrifice and as the Word that we should ingest and savor daily. Here are some reasons for my belief:
1. A metaphor compares unlike things using literal language.
2. Jesus often spoke in metaphors to convey spiritual truths.
3. Jesus explains the spiritual, metaphorical nature of His language in several places in John 6.
First, a metaphor compares unlike things using literal language. Here is the definition of metaphor from dictionary .com:
–noun 1. a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.” Compare mixed metaphor, simile (def. 1).
2. something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol.
And a definition from grammar.about.com:
A figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something important in common. A metaphor expresses the unfamiliar (the tenor) in terms of the familiar (the vehicle). When Neil Young sings, "Love is a rose," "rose" is the vehicle for "love," the tenor.

So, in other words, Jesus is using the metaphor of comparing the familiar 'bread' to the unfamiliar, spiritual idea of Himself as the savior and the word of God both of which have something important in common: they give life. In a metaphor the language is literal by definition: for example using the literal words for bread, eat, and chew. What other word would Jesus use when comparing belief in Himself to eating bread, or comparing learning from and enjoying His word daily to savoring bread slowly?

Secondly, Jesus often spoke in metaphors to convey spritual truths. Examples of this include: John 10 where Jesus says “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." He calls Himself the literal word for shepherd and his people the literal word for sheep. He uses literal words that a shepherd would use, such as 'shepherd, sheep, door, gate, robbers, thieves, flock, fold, wolf.' However we don't know of Jesus ever having a literal flock of sheep while He lived on earth.
In the same passage He also calls Himself the door of the sheep, which is actually another way of calling Himself the shepherd, as the shepherd would sleep across the opening of the sheepfold to protect the sheep at night.
John 15 where Jesus calls Himself the true Vine and His disciples branches. Again He uses literal descriptions that refer to vinedressing.
John 8:12 in which Jesus says “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Jesus also used the metaphors of building upon the rock, entering in by the narrow gate, fishing for men, the living water, the Lamb of God, planting seeds, harvesting crops, etc. He called believers salt, light, sheep, and fishers of men.
Also, all through the Old Testament metaphors are used for God which are fulfilled in Jesus in the New Testament. For example, Isaiah 44:8 says
Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’”

Finally, Jesus explains the spiritual, metaphorical nature of his language in several places in John 6. First Jesus calls Himself the bread from heaven, comparing Himself to manna and the people ask Him: “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." Jesus is comparing belief in Himself with eating bread and drinking wine. We eat the bread (Himself) by coming to Him and believing in Him. Another comparison Jesus makes is in two parallel verses that equate belief with eating His flesh and drinking His blood. See John 6:40 and 54:
40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
A third comparison Jesus makes is in verses 47-51:
47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” Jesus again says faith or belief in Him brings everlasting life Then He stresses that the Israelites ate the manna, but are dead, implying that physical bread cannot give everlasting life and that whoever trusts in it will likewise die; then He immediately contrasts Himself, the bread from heaven, saying He does give everlasting life. He says He will give the bread of His flesh for the life of the world. This is a reference to His upcoming crucifixion in which He gives up His life for our salvation. The New Testament confirms this over and over by stressing that it is Christ's sacrifice that saves us and is central to our faith. It does not stress the eucharist as being central and giving salvation. The eucharist is secondary and is an act of faith and thanksgiving IN Christ's finished work on the cross.
A final explanation Jesus gives in verse 63: "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life."
This is similar to what He said about the manna, that it is spiritual food that gives life, not physical. Jesus says this to His disciples after some had become offended and left at His saying they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Jesus is saying to those who have remained with Him that His words were referring to a spiritual truth,not a physical eating of His flesh, which we have seen that He has already explained by saying over and over that belief in Him is what gives us eternal life.
Based on these things I have concluded that in John chapter 6 Jesus is calling Himself the bread of life because He Himself is the bread we must devour in the form of faith in Him and also 'devouring' Him in His word; and He is asking us to eat His flesh and drink His blood by faith in the sacrifice He made of His body and blood on the cross. Jesus says He is speaking of spiritual things, not flesh or the physical; though His literal flesh was sacrificed, it is for our spiritual salvation. Which is more consistent with all that Jesus has said in this passage and all that is taught in the Bible: the spiritual interpretation based on Jesus' metaphor which calls for saving faith in Him and feeding daily on His word, or the physical, literal interpretation which calls for eating a piece of bread in order to 'ingest Christ' and so cause Him to dwell in the believer and bring salvation, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches? This latter interpretation takes the glory from Christ and puts in in the act of a believer eating a piece of bread, which is a works salvation. It creates an idol by making something into God which is not God (the bread and wine). It places another veil between the believer and God, when Christ died to remove the veil that separates us so we can come to the Father directly because of what Jesus completed at Calvary. It also seems to be replacing the indwelling of the Holy Spirit upon justification through faith with the indwelling of Christ upon repeatedly celebrating the Mass. Saying all this of course does not deny that Jesus did establish the Lord's Supper, Communion, or Eucharist (which means 'thanksgiving'); but the eucharist is secondary to Christ who established it and to His sacrifice that is sufficient to save us. See the following verses that emphasize the glory and precedence of Jesus Christ and the sufficiency of His once for all sacrifice:

John 1:14 (New King James Version)
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Deuteronomy 8:3 (New King James Version)
3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.

Matthew 4:4 (New King James Version)
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

John 14:23-24 (New King James Version)
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

John 14:15-17 (New King James Version)
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

Hebrews 7:26-28 (New King James Version)
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

Hebrews 9:24-26 (New King James Version)
24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Hebrews 10:11-18 (New King James Version)
11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Revelation 1:4-6 (New King James Version)
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

53 comments:

Moonshadow said...

I read this one-line critique of the Real Presence on a Reformed blog two weeks ago (the original post is even older, I think Boar's Head Tavern linked to it):

"Ubiquity undermines orthodox Christology."What does that mean to you, if anything?

Jennie said...

Nothing whatsoever. Remember, I'm a Baptist; we don't like big words ;-)
I'll go look it up; I'm sure it will be interesting.

Jennie said...

Ok; I read some of the post and the comments on that blog. Then I did a search on 'ubiquity and the Lord's Supper.' I found a section of Calvin's Institutes that spoke about the issue: Book IV, Part 17.
After seeing what is meant by the statement you quoted, I think I agree with it; if ubiquity means that the physical body of Christ is everywhere present in the eucharist, then I don't believe ubiquity is biblical. Calvin quoted scripture showing that Christ's physical human (though glorified) body is in heaven and that He said to His disciples "Me ye have not always" in Matt. 26:11 meaning that His physical presence would not be with them in the world for now. Then, argues Calvin, Christ said He would be with His disciples always which is "in regard to his providence, in regard to his ineffable and invisible grace, is fulfilled what he said: "Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world,""(Matt. 28: 20) I would also add that this is fulfilled in the Holy Spirit's presence in believers as well. See section 26 of Book IV, chapter 17 of the Institutes: http://www.reformed.org/books/institutes/books/book4/bk4ch17.html
If you read the whole chapter and see the scripture supporting this, I think Calvin's position is clear, and while I don't agree on everything 'Calvinists' teach, I agree with him on this issue.

Moonshadow said...

This link to the Institutes could be what I'm looking for. I began to read the chapter ... it is deceptively easy-reading, I should be cautious! ... and am very afraid that there is a difference of respective christologies here as well. I'd hate to discover another area of incompatibility, and such an important one as the nature of the Incarnation.

Thank you for the link to Calvin.

I unintentionally dropped off reading Rev. Dr. Rayburn's sermons because my browser quit and I lost my place.

Most recently, I did find his argument that, "No one objects to the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification for that reason" unique, at least to my ears. Of course, the knee-jerk comeback is Rayburn doesn't understand how St. Paul builds an argument (ad hominem, I know, I know).

I'll tell you what I appreciate about Baptists is they aren't intimidated and will run a thing to ground, as you have, in dogged determination to understand it. Very worthy, Jennie.

Jennie said...

"I'll tell you what I appreciate about Baptists is they aren't intimidated and will run a thing to ground, as you have, in dogged determination to understand it."
Maybe it's because we know that no evidence will contradict God's word, once the evidence is properly understood. I don't fear the bible being disproved, because it can't be; on the other hand, I don't have any problem with any erroneous beliefs I may have being disproved by God's word, though it may be uncomfortable to me.

Moonshadow said...

Two good points ... and I totally agree.

Elena said...

"properly understood"

Therein lies the conflict.

Jennie said...

Yes, but you can't really think that the evidence does (or should) contradict God's word.
A passage of scripture has to be understood in the light of the rest of scripture; God's word is able to explain itself, and the more believers study it, with God's help, the more we understand.
Any traditions must be compared to scripture and discarded if they don't agree with it, because God's word is the standard.
The practice of the eucharist as taught by the Roman Catholic church is not scriptural because it says that Jesus is being sacrificed again and again when the bible says that He died 'once for all' and ROSE AGAIN and is 'alive forevermore' as He says in Revelation. Revelation 1:17-18 (New King James Version)
17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

Before He died, He said 'tetelestai!' which means 'paid in full!' No resacrifice is needed; to do so is a denial of His finished work.

Here are some more verses:
Romans 6:9 (New King James Version)
9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
John 10:
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
In this verse it shows that Jesus is the one who lays down His life; no one else, not a priest, can sacrifice it for Him. He lay down His life, and then TOOK IT UP AGAIN; the Bible says He is alive forever after His resurrection: there is no further sacrifice, such as the Mass teaches.

Jennie said...

And yes, I know the Lord's supper IS an offering or sacrifice; but it is not a sacrifice of Christ for sin; it is a thank offering in remembrance of His sacrifice. There were many kinds of offerings in the Old Testament; all were not for sins.

Elena said...

Yes, but you can't really think that the evidence does (or should) contradict God's word.Absolutely. I don't think it contradicts God's word. Whether it contradicts with someone's interpretation of God's word is something else! That's an entirely different matter.

A passage of scripture has to be understood in the light of the rest of scripture; God's word is able to explain itself, and the more believers study it, with God's help, the more we understand.
Any traditions must be compared to scripture and discarded if they don't agree with it, because God's word is the standard.
I agree with all of that as well.



The practice of the eucharist as taught by the Roman Catholic church is not scriptural because it says that Jesus is being sacrificed again and again when the bible says that He died 'once for all' Actually that is NOT what the Catholic church teaches at all. What amuses/astounds me are the number of Protestants who want to decry and debate Catholic theology when they don't KNOW or understand Catholic theology. This being one such example.

The rest of your comment is a straw horse I guess you can beat with someone else who believes that that is what the Catholic church teaches. But since it doesn't it sort of makes the whole point moot.

Moonshadow said...

it is a thank offering"Eucharist" means "thanksgiving."

In Revelation 11:17, just before the heavenly ark of the covenant appears, the 24 elders (presbyteros, "priests") chant, "We give thee thanks, O Lord ..." (eucharistoumen).

And remember that among the things preserved in the ark is Exodus-era manna (Rev. 2:17, Heb. 9:4).

Look at the immediate context of tetelestai, John 19:28 and John 19:30. Verse 28 says that Jesus' death fulfills scripture, not a financial debt.

However I agree there is no need to re-sacrifice.

So, then, how can Peter address his first letter to the "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:2)? Is there metaphorical language in the apostolic greeting?

Somehow the blood of Jesus Christ is available during the church age without re-sacrifice. Catholics believe the blood is to be found in the cup of blessing. (1 Cor. 10:16)

Peace of Christ to you.

Jennie said...

Elena, that is exactly what the Roman Catholic church teaches. I have read it in many places stated by the Church. Following are some quotes:
"The sacrifice of the Mass is the same sacrifice of the cross, for there is the same priest, the same victim, and the same offering." ("The Roman -Catholic Sacrifice of the Mass" by Bartholomew F. Brewer, Ph.D.)

"I profess likewise that in the mass there is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead." (From the fifth article of the creed of Pope Pius IV.)

The Holy Eucharist is the perpetual continuation of this act of sacrifice and surrender of our Lord. When the Lord's Supper is celebrated, Christ again presents Himself in His act of total surrender to the Father in death." ("The Spirit of Jesus" pp.89-90, Imprimatur: John Joseph Cardinal Carberry, Archbishop of St. Louis.)

He offers Himself continually to the Father, in the same eternal act of offering that began on the cross and will never cease." ("Sons of God in Christ" Book 4, P. 117.)

The Council of Trent:
"If any one shall say that in these words, 'This do in remembrance of Me', Christ did not make the apostles priests, or did not ordain that they themselves and other priests should offer His body and blood, let him be anathema."
"If any one shall say that the sacrifice of the Mass is only of praise and thanksgiving, or a bare commemoration of the sacrifice performed on the cross, but not propitiatory; or that it is of benefit only to the person who takes it, and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities, let him be accursed."
"If any one shall say that a blasphemy is ascribed to the most holy sacrifice of Christ performed on the cross by the sacrifice of the Mass let him be accursed."

"At the Last Supper. . . our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of His body and blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross. . ." p. 154, The Documents of Vatican II, Walter M. Abbott, S.J.

(taken from the book, This Is The Catholic Church, published by the Catholic Information Service, Knights of Columbus, Imprimatur: Most Reverend John F. Whealon, Archbishop of Hartford:
"Sacrifice is the very essence of religion. And it is only through sacrifice that union with the Creator can be perfectly acquired. It was through sacrifice that Christ Himself was able to achieve this for man. It is only through the perpetuation of that sacrifice that this union may be maintained.
"What makes the Mass the most exalted of all sacrifices is the nature of the victim, Christ Himself. For the Mass is the continuation of Christ's sacrifice which He offered through His life and death. Jesus then, is the priest, the offerer of the sacrifice. But Christ was not only the priest of this sacrifice (of the cross), He was also the victim, the very object itself of this sacrifice.
"The Mass is thus the same as the sacrifice of the cross. No matter how many times it is offered, nor in how many places at one time, it is the same sacrifice of Christ. Christ is forever offering Himself in the Mass." (pp. 20-24.)
>"It should be easy to see why the Mass holds such an important place in the Church's life. The Mass is the very essence of the Church. Within it the Church's life, and the Church's very existence is centered. If there were no mass, there could be no Catholic Church. The Mass is our act of worship, an act which we know to be really worthy of God, because it is the sacrifice of God's own Son.
"What the sacrifices of the old law were unable to accomplish what no other form of human worship can accomplish^×the Mass performs: Perfect atonement is made for sin.
"The souls of men yet unborn, together with those now living and those who have come into existence since Christ's sacrifice, all have need of the salvation which Christ has won for us. It is through the Mass as well as through the other sacraments that the effects of Christ's salvation are applied to the souls of men." ("This is the Catholic Church", pp. 24-25.)

" These words do not declare that His sacrifice was finished, but that He had finished His former, normal, earthly life and was now fixed in the state of a victim...He then began His everlasting career as the perpetual sacrifice of the new law." ("The Sacrifice of Christ" by Fr. Richard W. Grace.)

Look at Hebrews 7,9, and 10 to see that Christ's sacrifice on the cross was complete and never needs to be repeated.
"Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: For this He did once, when He offered up Himself" (7:27)."...by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (9:12)."Nor yet that He should offer Himself often. . . but now once in the end of the world has He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. . . so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto those who look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (9:25-28).". . . we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for the sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God. . .for by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified" (10:10-14).
Notice that Hebrews repeats the term 'once for all' several times to reinforce this truth.

"Christ, being raised from the dead dies no more" (Romans 6:9).

"Seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame"
(Heb. 6:6).

Elena said...

Elena, that is exactly what the Roman Catholic church teaches. I have read it in many places stated by the Church.Find it in the "sure norm" - the Catechism of the Catholic church. If you can find it in there, we'll talk.

Jennie said...

Teresa (Moonshadow),
"And remember that among the things preserved in the ark is Exodus-era manna" Yes, as a remembrance of God's provision to Israel and a foreshadowing of God's provision for our forgiveness through Jesus' death: His flesh and blood is our bread and wine when we trust in Him.

"Look at the immediate context of tetelestai, John 19:28 and John 19:30. Verse 28 says that Jesus' death fulfills scripture, not a financial debt."
Of course; it fulfills scripture that foretold of Christ's death for our sins; it is not a financial debt, but a spiritual debt of sin that He 'paid in full' on the cross.

"unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:2)? Is there metaphorical language in the apostolic greeting?" Yes; the sprinkling of blood occurs by faith when we trust in Him and are born again. Our sins are washed away by His blood. After that we are forgiven of any furure sins when we confess them to God and repent.
"if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
"Somehow the blood of Jesus Christ is available during the church age without re-sacrifice. Catholics believe the blood is to be found in the cup of blessing. (1 Cor. 10:16)" The blood is there by faith, as I just quoted about confessing our sins. Christ's sacrifice is still effective for us, and is till the end.
Romans 3:24-26 (New King James Version)
24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Hebrews 11:28 (New King James Version)
28 By faith he [Moses] kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

The point being that Jesus' blood is available through faith for our cleansing. And the sacrifice was done ONCE FOR ALL, and FINISHED on the cross; paid in full.

Jennie said...

Elena,
First the catechism teaches that the sacraments are necessary for salvation, when only faith in Christ's finished work is necessary by God's grace which brings us to repentance:
1129 The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation. ... The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Saviour.
Then the catechism teaches that the eucharist is a sacrifice for sin when the bible teaches that the sacrifice of Christ once for all on the cross is the only one:
1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

1365 Because it is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. ... In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: ... "In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner."

It says 'in an unbloody manner' but "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins." Jesus shed His blood once, and the repeated unbloody sacrifice is of no avail for forgiveness, and is worse than useless. Hebrews 6-10 makes that clear.

Jennie said...

Elena,
Here's an interesting article I found that shows, for one thing, that the reformers understood that the Catholic church taught the eucharist was a propitiatory sacrifice, which you deny they teach.
http://www.echohills.wso.net/Worship/calvin_on_eucharist.htm

Elena said...

Can we please stick with one point at a time? One of the favorite things anti-Catholic apologists want to do is pile all of there issues up and expect the Catholics to deal with all of it. I don't work that way any more. You want to discuss the sacrifice for Christ being offered again and again, and so I expect to be focused like a laser beam on that. Anything else is simply a strawman.

I suspect then Jennie what you discovered if you attempted to look into the catechism is that it DOES NOT SAY that the Catholic Church teaches that Christ is sacrificed again and again. You can concede that point because it's simply not in there. Period. Your own quotes support that.


Then the catechism teaches that the eucharist is a sacrifice for sin when the bible teaches that the sacrifice of Christ once for all on the cross is the only one:
1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.
Indeed. Once more you pick a paragraph that makes MY point and not yours. The Eucharist is joined with Christ's ultimate sacrifice for the reparation of sins. It is not offered again and again and again. It is one continuous sacrifice.

1365 Because it is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. ... In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."Another excellent paragraph that does not support your point at all.

1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice:BINGO - could this be easier?

It says 'in an unbloody manner' but "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins." We don't have to shed the blood again, remember? Christ did it all. This is the mystical blood of Christ that was already spilled for the remission of our sins.


So I think with your ample help, I've illustrated that what you misinterpreted about what the Catholic Church teaches was indeed wrong. The Catholic Church does not teach that Christ is re-sacrificed again and again.

In short, you were wrong.

Moonshadow said...

I don't want you defending on two fronts, Jennie, 'though I suspect you'd relish the challenge. :-) If Elena decides to engage, I'll step back.

Paul says to the church at Galatia: "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?"Were these lapsed pagan converts actual eyewitnesses to the crucifixion in Jerusalem 30 yrs. prior? Or did Paul's ministry somehow make Christ's crucifixion present to them, at their own time and in their own place? That is, "in due time" (Rom. 5:6). See Acts 20:7 for a description of Paul's customary missionary activity which consisted of breaking bread and preaching.

The Catechism references aside for the moment, not all the book citations you gave are trackable. However, I'd like to provide more context for the Vatican II quote you gave, especially since it seems to come, in some form, originally from St. Augustine:

At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity [36], a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us [37].I searched the internet for the phrase "Christ is eaten" and found a brief history of the first challenge to eucharistic doctrine occurring in the mid-11th century AD, from a fellow named "Berengarius."

I've always heard that the eucharistic doctrine wasn't set until Trent, at the time of the Reformation. Apparently not only is the doctrine centuries older than I thought but it's also consistent: Pope Gregory's "credo" makes its way into a Vatican II-era encyclical. Speaking primarily to myself, it seems that encyclical might be worth reading!

Peace of Christ be with you.

Elena said...

Feel free to keep on with defending the Eucharist Theresa. My main point originally was that we all agree that God's word is truth. We don't all agree on how that is properly understood. Our problem isn't with trying to serve and honor God, it's in dealing with each other.

Jennie said...

Elena,
"1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead" How does this support your claim? It says reparation for sins; that seems obviously to be saying that the eucharist is a sacrfice for sins, which only Christ's sacrifice can be.
Whether you want to say it's a continuous sacrifice or a resacrifice, it still means Christ is still being sacrificed when He finished His work on the cross. The bible teaches us to trust in Him, not in the eucharist, for salvation. The eucharist is a sign of Christ's sacrifice, not the thing itself.
On the rest, I'll have to continue next time; my 2 year old is finally done nursing, and I need to get to bed.
'nite, ladies...

Elena said...

You can continue to believe that if you want Jennie but Catholics will look at you like you're nuts. Most likely so will the Orthodox and Anglicans as well.

Want to reach out to Catholics? Then you have to start where we are, not where you think we are or what you "understand" that to be. We don't resacrifice Christ we simply share in the sacrifice he already did. And from what I gather from a lot of Protestant rhetoric, so do they.

Jennie said...

Elena,
You said yourself in a comment to me on your blog that the catholic church teaches that Jesus said eating the piece of bread (of the eucharist) saves you. Maybe I've been clumsy and didn't make myself clear: what I'm trying to say is what was said in all those catholic quotes that you disregarded, that the catholic church teaches that taking the eucharist gives you forgiveness and salvation. However you phrase it, that's what the Church teaches, and that is trusting in the eucharist instead of in Christ. It also makes the people dependent upon the priest for salvation, because without the priest there can be no mass, and without the mass there can be no salvation. According to the bible, a person is saved only through hearing the word of God and accepting it by faith. No church, priest, bread, or even baptism is essential. If a person dies before baptism, he is still saved by trusting in Christ.
Jesus died, and the veil of His flesh was torn, shown by the tearing of the veil of the temple, in order to remove anything that comes between us and God. We come to Him (John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.") in faith in His shed blood and we are saved by Him alone.
Can you tell me that you believe you can be saved without the eucharist, the magisterium, Mary, the priest, confession to a priest, etc; or are you trusting in those things instead of or along with Christ? If you are trusting in all those things, then you and your church have added to the simple gospel and are believing a false gospel. You have put the veil back between you and God. That is what many of those the Church calls heretics all through the centuries have been trying to say.

Elena said...

that the catholic church teaches that taking the eucharist gives you forgiveness and salvation. Which is an entirely different issue than the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus is sacrificed again and again. These are two different and distinct issues.

Is that important? Of course it is. Because when you are talking to a Catholic apologist about re-sacrifice, that is what they will defend. It seems to me that you want to dump all of your issues with the Eucharist in one catch-all phrase and it just doesn't work.

And what I have learned in the 10 years of doing this on line is that clarity, precision, focus and exact terminology are the most important things when attempting Catholic apologetics.

It seems you have a desire to be a Protestant apologist, at least as far as it applies to anti-Catholicism unfortunately. If that's your goal those are the qualities you'll need to strive for if you want busy Catholic apologists to take the time to engage with you.

Jennie said...

Elena,
I said: "It says 'in an unbloody manner' but "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.""
You said: "We don't have to shed the blood again, remember? Christ did it all. This is the mystical blood of Christ that was already spilled for the remission of our sins."
No, we don't need to shed the blood again, we only need to trust in Christ's finished sacrifice; so why does the Church teach that you must take the eucharist/celebrate the mass to be saved? You can't be saved without trusting in Christ's blood, but you're not trusting in Him alone, you're trusting in the mass, which is unbloody and has no power for salvation. If it's a sacrifice for sin as you believe, then it's useless, because Jesus already made the sacrifice.
In other words, the Church is trying to have it both ways: saying it really becomes Christ's body and blood, so it can save us; but on the other hand, by saying it's an unbloody sacrifice, it in effect cancels out it's usefulness, because 'without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.'
At least the Israelites had blood in their sacrifices, but the Bible says in Hebrew that those sacrifices could not save; it was faith in God that saved them, looking forward to Christ. Your mass has no blood, so it is even one step further away from being able to save; yet both are unable. So, if you are trusting in the mass, you are lost.
Hebrews 7:23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who isholy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.
The Israelites were not saved by the sign, which was the animal sacrifices, but by faith in the future true sacrifice; so also, we are saved not by the sign, which is the eucharist, but by faith in Him. Are we going to go backwards to an inferior sign when the Real Sacrifice has been accomplished?

Jennie said...

Elena,
About your last comment,
You are ignoring my point, that I clarified in the comment above yours, that the church teaches salvation through the mass/eucharist, and other things besides Christ's finished sacrifice. You haven't answered those Catholic quotes, and you haven't answered the question: are you trusting in the mass, priests, Mary, the Church, the magisterium, OR are you trusting in Christ alone? Do you believe you can be saved without those things? You can.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
I'm not ignoring you, I just can't answer you both at once; so I'll get back to your comment soon.

Moonshadow said...

I'm standing back as I said I would. I am patient. Peace to you.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
"Paul says to the church at Galatia: "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?"Were these lapsed pagan converts actual eyewitnesses to the crucifixion in Jerusalem 30 yrs. prior? Or did Paul's ministry somehow make Christ's crucifixion present to them, at their own time and in their own place? That is, "in due time""
I always see that as setting Him forth by the word, the gospel accounts. See the verses tat directly follow those and it is clear: 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

On the quote from Augustine, there are other writings that seem to support a symbolic view of the eucharist by Augustine. Also, the quote you gave does not say that we are saved by the eucharist, or that the host should be adored as Christ. That is key. Also, as you may know, I don't believe the Fathers are reliable as gauges of Apostolic teaching. Augustine has some views that are not biblical, but I don't believe he would agree with all the teachings of the Roman Catholic church. Here are some quotes I found:
"You know that in ordinary parlance we often say, when Easter is approaching, 'Tomorrow or the day after is the Lord's Passion,' although He suffered so many years ago, and His passion was endured once for all time. In like manner, on Easter Sunday, we say, 'This day the Lord rose from the dead,' although so many years have passed since His resurrection. But no one is so foolish as to accuse us of falsehood when we use these phrases, for this reason, that we give such names to these days on the ground of a likeness between them and the days on which the events referred to actually transpired, the day being called the day of that event, although it is not the very day on which the event took place, but one corresponding to it by the revolution of the same time of the year, and the event itself being said to take place on that day, because, although it really took place long before, it is on that day sacramentally celebrated. Was not Christ once for all offered up in His own person as a sacrifice? and yet, is He not likewise offered up in the sacrament as a sacrifice, not only in the special solemnities of Easter, but also daily among our congregations; so that the man who, being questioned, answers that He is offered as a sacrifice in that ordinance, declares what is strictly true? For if sacraments had notsome points of real resemblance to the things of which they are the sacraments, they would not be sacraments at all. In most cases, moreover, they do in virtue of this likeness bear the names of the realities which they resemble. As, therefore, in a certain manner the sacrament of Christ's body is Christ's body, and the sacrament of Christ's blood is Christ's blood,' in the same manner the sacrament of faith is faith." (Letter 98:9)
"But He instructed them, and saith unto them, 'It is the Spirit that quickeneth, but the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I have spoken unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.' Understand spiritually what I have said; ye are not to eat this body which ye see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify Me shall pour forth." (Expositions on the Psalms, 99:8)

"If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice, or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative. 'Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,' says Christ, 'and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.' This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice; it is therefore a figure, enjoining that we should have a share in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us." - Augustine (On Christian Doctrine, 3:16:24)
I think history shows that the modern doctrine of the eucharist was not widely held for centuries and only gradually developed to what it is today. The seeds of the doctrine were there fairly early, but it was not thought of as a means of salvation during the early centuries. This doctrine is what I object to, as I hope I have made clear.

Jennie said...

Hmmmm...
I've just been over to Elena's blog, My Domestic Church, and today she has linked to this (http://www.realclearreligion.com/index_files/0f7d329002895a4f7a0c8204712bd1f2-583.html)in her 'daily domestic diggolet' post.
Funny that it's ok for her to use these quotes from catholic sources about the mass, but if I use them as I did in a comment above (may 12 I think), it isn't proof enough of what catholics teach: she says I have to use the catechism. Ever heard of 'plausible deniability?' It seems to be standard practice for catholic apologists.

Jennie said...

oops, my comment with quotes on the eucharist was May 11th.

Elena said...

Well I suppose you could use Catholic quotes out of context to prove that Catholics like baseball and eat hot dogs - but if the quotes you use don't actually say that it's sort of a waste of time doncha think?

Don't you have better things to do with your time Jennie?

Jennie said...

Elena,
the quotes I gave above at 9:51 PM on May 11, say the same thing, and some are the same exact quotes, as the quotes on the website you linked to on your blog. Mine are not 'taken out of context' anymore than yours are, and are complete thoughts that express clearly the meaning the Mass and Eucharist have for catholics. My statement above that the catholic church teaches that Jesus is sacrificed again and again in the mass is the same idea that is expressed in the following quotes: that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross isn't finished, as He said it was before He gave up His life, but is continuing perpetually in the Mass:
'...the Mass, which renews and perpetuates on our altars the Sacrifice of the Cross'
'By offering and immolating Himself continually on our altars'
'The Sacrifice of the Altar "is not merely a commemoration of the Passion and Death of Christ, but is a true and proper sacrifice, in which, by immolating Himself in an unbloody manner, the great high priest renews His previous act on the Cross.'
There is no need for anymore sacrifices, repeated or perpetuated; Jesus paid the price ONCE FOR ALL. See Hebrews 7-10.

Elena said...

The Daily Diigolet are a collection of links that I find interesting to share on my blog. I don't recall making a point about the mass recently. Your quotes were used to prove that Catholics sacrifice Jesus again and again, and they didn't at all. Sharing in the one sacrifice is not the same as doing a new sacrifice again and again.

So you were wrong although you seem to be recalcitrant to admit it.

I could get into it with you about what "It is Finished" really means, but no doubt you wouldn't accept that from a Catholic either so I'll save us both some time.

Jennie said...

'Sharing in the one sacrifice' is not what was said. The general idea I see from all the quotes and other sources is that the Mass is a sacrifice for sin, and that it perpetuates, continues, or repeats Christ's sacrifice. We need no more sacrifices. The eucharist is not effective for cleansing from sin. Only faith in Christ's finished sacrifice is.

Elena said...

OK, maybe we are saying the same thing in a different way. I agree that we need no more sacrifices. Jesus was the supreme sacrifice, and His sacrifice is as valid today as it was 2000 years ago. That is essentially what the Catholic Church teaches. Do we at least agree on that much?

Jennie said...

I wish that we (catholics and protestants) were just saying the same thing in a different way, but I don't think so. I hope that we (you and I) are just saying the same thing in a different way, but I don't know your heart, only some things you've said. The question that may help clarify this is one I've already asked earlier: Do you believe you can be saved without the Church, auricular confession and penance, priests, Mary, and taking the Eucharist? Do you believe you are saved (and have assurance of salvation NOW) only by trusting in Jesus' sacrifice by faith through God's grace which leads to repentance from sin and a desire to abide in His word and live a holy life? If you can answer yes to these questions without reservation, then I will think we two are saying the same thing in different ways.

Elena said...

I don't see it as a heart thing as much as I see it as a reading comprehension and theology thing.

So Do we agree that Jesus was the supreme sacrifice? I say yes and you say....

His sacrifice is as valid today as it was 2000 year ago. I say yes and you say...

Let's see if we can just handle those two points.

Jennie said...

I say it has to be a heart thing, not just a head thing.

I say Jesus is the supreme and ONLY sacrifice for sin forever.
I say His sacrifice is the ONLY valid way to salvation yesterday, today, and forever.
I answered your questions, Elena; now will you answer mine?

Elena said...

I say Jesus is the supreme and ONLY sacrifice for sin forever.Well see there - we have a point of agreement!!!!


I say His sacrifice is the ONLY valid way to salvation yesterday, today, and forever.Wow!! We're now 2 for 2!!!


I answered your questions, Elena; now will you answer
mine?
Oh let's savor the moment Jennie! I knew if we tried hard enough we could find basic Christianity 101 things to agree on - and we did!!

Jennie said...

I don't know how you can say either of those things if you believe as your church teaches that Mass is essential and is a sacrifice for sin; and that salvation is through the sacraments of the Church. Those are adding to the gospel of simple faith in Christ.
I'm still waiting....! :)

Elena said...

: )

Jennie said...

:( I want you to truly know that you are saved by Christ alone through faith; not by the Church.
The church, as the assembly of believers, is instrumental only in sharing the gospel and making disciples through the teaching of the word. We share in the eucharist in faith and thanksgiving, but it is not necessary to salvation.

Jennie said...

1 Peter 1:
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because


“ All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man
as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
25 But the word of the LORD endures forever.”


Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

Elena said...

Ok Jennie, I rounded up some lovely people who might want to go round with you on this here.

Moonshadow said...

I agree with Elena on this one point, at least:

Want to reach out to Catholics? Then you have to start where we are, not where you think we are That Catholics cannot be evangelized in the same way as other unbelievers. We esteem the Bible and especially revere Jesus as the Gospels present Him.

And we certainly hold Him to be sinless, so ...

If ... it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, ... it is figurative.It would never enter a Catholic's mind that Jesus would "seem to enjoin a crime." He's the Lord of the Universe and can do what He likes.

(The method of interpretation you suggest is more fitting to questions raised by a skeptic or post-modern reader of the Bible.)

But, however, let's try out this method of interpretation - If Jesus seems to enjoin a crime, like eating His flesh and drinking His blood, He speaks figuratively. What other passages of Scripture could this principle of interpretation be applied to?

A simple sample is Mark 2:18-19 where Jesus says His disciples do not fast while He is with them. He refers to Himself as "the Bridegroom." Yes, that is figurative language. But not fasting is literal.

How about the colt for His entry to Jerusalem? A literal colt (Mt. 21:2). And Judas' betrayal? (John 13:27b) A literal betrayal.

Can you please give me a verse besides John 6:53 that this method of interpretation also applies? It seems strained to have a special method of interpretation that handles only one verse of the Bible.

Thank you and Christ's peace.

Moonshadow said...

Do you believe you can be saved without the Church, auricular confession and penance, priests, Mary, and taking the Eucharist? Do you believe you are saved (and have assurance of salvation NOW) only by trusting in Jesus' sacrifice by faith through God's graceNow, this is where you are at a disadvantage, I'm afraid.

In historical Christianity ... and I'm speaking of Reformation Christianity ... the sacraments are known as "the ordinary means of grace." That is, as C. S. Lewis described them, these are the ways by which God's grace is communicated to us.

Lewis mentions three "things," if you will, faith, baptism and holy communion. He says Christians fight about which one is more important but that, "anyone who professes to teach you Christian doctrine will, in fact, tell you to use all three."Now, I came to Christ by reading Lewis's book, Mere Christianity in college; I learned about Redemption. Whether or not you agree with Lewis, I can't help but agree.

How the sacraments effect salvation is understood differently, of course. It's my understanding that in Calvinism, for instance, the Lord's Supper is graciously effective only for the elect. But, even in Catholicism, sacraments aren't magic. Christian sacraments are the ordinary means of grace. Christians are saved by grace. Therefore, sacraments are the ordinary means of salvation.

I have great concern for people who advocate abandoning the church and its life, of spurning the ordinances of Christ, i.e., the sacraments. No, I am not willing to rely on an extraordinary means of salvation; I'll stick with the means that Christ established.

You know that parable of the man on the rooftop surrounded by flood waters ... to whom, when he dies, God says, "I sent you the boat, and the helicopter and ..."

Wishing you Christ's peace.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
"If ... it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, ... it is figurative.It would never enter a Catholic's mind that Jesus would "seem to enjoin a crime." He's the Lord of the Universe and can do what He likes."
Well, if you don't like Augustine's method of Bible interpretation, don't blame it on me. I was only quoting him to show that he was saying the language was figurative. I don't suppose Augustine thought Jesus was 'enjoining a crime' either. Augustine was only saying that Jesus was not speaking of literal cannibalism, but of a figurative meaning. It seems he was talking about John 6 and saying this means the eucharist is figurative or symbolic. I don't agree with him that John 6 speaks of the eucharist, as my original post explains.

"(The method of interpretation you suggest is more fitting to questions raised by a skeptic or post-modern reader of the Bible.)
But, however, let's try out this method of interpretation - If Jesus seems to enjoin a crime, like eating His flesh and drinking His blood, He speaks figuratively. What other passages of Scripture could this principle of interpretation be applied to?"
Again, Teresa, this was Augustine's method of interpretation, not mine.

"A simple sample is Mark 2:18-19 where Jesus says His disciples do not fast while He is with them. He refers to Himself as "the Bridegroom." Yes, that is figurative language. But not fasting is literal.
"How about the colt for His entry to Jerusalem? A literal colt (Mt. 21:2). And Judas' betrayal? (John 13:27b) A literal betrayal."
I don't see how you are applying the interpretation method, here. Your examples don't make any sense; but, again,I don't feel the need to defend it, because it's not my method. (Is not fasting a crime? No. Is Jesus only figuratively a Bridegroom? No. Did Jesus steal the donkey's colt? No. Did Jesus tell his disciples it was a good thing to betray someone? No. He wasn't ordering Judas to commit a crime, but letting him know that He knew his heart, and that He was giving up His own life knowingly.)

Jennie said...

Teresa,
"Now, this is where you are at a disadvantage, I'm afraid."
I'm at a disadvantage because I believe God's word over C.S. Lewis' word?

"How the sacraments effect salvation is understood differently, of course. It's my understanding that in Calvinism, for instance, the Lord's Supper is graciously effective only for the elect. But, even in Catholicism, sacraments aren't magic. Christian sacraments are the ordinary means of grace. Christians are saved by grace. Therefore, sacraments are the ordinary means of salvation."
As I've been saying over and over here, the Eucharist is not for salvation, but for remembrance and thanksgiving for those who are already born again. It does not bring salvation. Only faith in Christ's sacrifice saves us.

"I have great concern for people who advocate abandoning the church and its life, of spurning the ordinances of Christ, i.e., the sacraments. No, I am not willing to rely on an extraordinary means of salvation; I'll stick with the means that Christ established."
I have great concern for people who spurn Christ's finished sacrifice and trust in a Church, and in sacraments instead. I don't advocate abandoning the true church, which is the ecclesia, or congregation of the saints; the believers, not the magisterium. I attend church and take communion, but I don't trust in this for my salvation. I've already been justified by faith in Christ, and am being sanctified by the Spirit, helped by studying the word, hearing teaching and preaching, praying with the saints, and so on.

"You know that parable of the man on the rooftop surrounded by flood waters ... to whom, when he dies, God says, "I sent you the boat, and the helicopter and ...""
Yes, but jokes are not God's word. However, God did send the boat (Christ, the Ark of Safety, that saves us from the flood of God's wrath) and many are trying to save themselves by trusting in their own leaky vessels.

Jennie said...

"Ok Jennie, I rounded up some lovely people who might want to go round with you on this here."
Thanks, Elena. I'm used to talking to myself; I'm a mother too remember? Or maybe it's the wall I'm talking to, not myself. :)

Jennie said...

I had another thought to add to my post on the Bread of Life.
In the final verses of the passage in John 6, it says: But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
This to me captures the essence of what Jesus was saying to the disciples when He said He was the Bread of Life and that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life. He is the bread of life because of the sacrifice He made on the cross to take away our sin. We must have faith in Him as our sacrifice, and listen to His word, the 'words of eternal life' that Peter referred to. We find Christ in the scriptures, the inspired word of God, that reveals Him to us by the Spirit. Jesus in this passage was referring to Himself as the Word of God, from which our life comes.
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God."

Moonshadow said...

listen to His word, the 'words of eternal life' ... We find Christ in the scriptures



But not only there.

Spoken to the "seventy" (or "seventy-two," depending on your NT text tradition), Luke 10:16 -

"He that heareth you heareth me;"

And to the Apostles he said in Luke 22:29-30,

And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The larger context is The Last Supper.

How interesting that I'm not as familiar with those two verses quoted above as I am with the preceding story - "Who's the Greatest" - and the next bit - "Satan has asked to sift you like wheat, Peter." Hmm.

Yes! Jesus has the words of eternal life! And He passed them on to His Evangelists, His Apostles (including Paul) and His disciples! Some of it got written down!

Jennie said...

"But not only there.

Spoken to the "seventy" (or "seventy-two," depending on your NT text tradition), Luke 10:16 -

"He that heareth you heareth me;""

Yes, 'only there,' now. The Apostles were 'the scripture' back then, whether they spoke aloud or in writing, just as the prophets in the old testament spoke to the people and also wrote down the word s for the future. After they died, then all that we had was the written word.
Now when men preach, they preach from the written word. The only sure word is that which agrees with the whole of scripture.

"And to the Apostles he said in Luke 22:29-30,

And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Eating and drinking at His table in
His kingdom refers first to preaching the Word of the Gospel to
spread the kingdom of God, then to the fellowship of the faithful who will enjoy Him in the millenial kingdom and rule with Him.

"The larger context is The Last Supper."
The larger context is Christ's death for us and resurrection for our life that will be preached as the Gospel and believed by faith.
Romans 10:13-15
13 For “whoever calls on the name

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:


“ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

"Some of it got written down!"
Teresa,
all of it that was necessary for the future got written down. Every other tradition and teaching must be compared to the scriptures to be proved. They are the only word of God we have today.

Jennie said...

oops. some of the Romans passage got messed up. Here's the whole thing:
Romans 10:13-15
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:


“ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”