Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thy Word is Truth

John 17:17
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

I read this post at today, in which Aimee Cooper posted a news article about her class, Understanding the Catholic Gospel, where she is quoted comparing the catholic gospel to what she calls 'the protestant gospel.' Again, she horribly misrepresents the 'protestant gospel.' She seems deliberately to be using the worst caricatured stereotypes about protestant teaching, which completely misses the richness and simplicity and beauty of the biblical gospel, which bible-believers teach and love.
She states the falsehood that believers are sanctified by the sacrament of the eucharist, instead of by the Holy Spirit working through the truth of God's word as we abide in Christ (See John 15):
“The Catholic Gospel is based on sacramental theology,” explained Cooper. “In the Eucharist, which we believe is the body and blood of Christ … we experience union with God here on earth, which is both physical and spiritual. It’s sacramental theology—it’s infused grace, which is different from Protestant imputed grace, which is only external.”

See my post on 'I Am The Bread of Life' for more on why believing in Jesus is how we 'eat His flesh and drink His blood', not taking the eucharist, which is a symbol and a remembrance of His sacrfice for us.
Aimee says that the Eucharist is what sanctifies catholics:
“He actually lives and grows in us. We are meant to be changed into Christ in our lifetimes,” Cooper said. “It’s what the early Christians believed in the beginning and what the Church has always believed. The Eucharist was the center of life for the early Christians—they protected it, they celebrated it. It’s what changed them and gave them power to witness, to evangelize, to suffer and be martyrs.”

The verse I quoted at the top of this post, John 17:17, gives God's version of the story as Jesus prays to the Father: Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
As born-again believers abide in Christ through His word and prayer, we are sanctified within and truly made holy, not just 'dunghills covered in snow' as Aimee quoted from Martn Luther (who was talking about justification, not sanctification; and I don't think I agree with him on this anyway). For born-again christians being justified or made right with God through Christ's imputed righteousness is only the beginning. How are we made holy? See Romans 12:1-2:

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

How are our minds renewed? See Psalm 119:9-11:

9 How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

Jesus is the Word and the Bread of Life, and we abide in Him in His word:
Matthew 4:4
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.’”

1 comment:

Jennie said...

To clarify, the bible teaches that justification occurs by faith when a person by faith trusts in Christ as savior, repenting of their sins, and being reborn as a new creation in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Then sanctification occurs as we continue to abide in Christ by being in His word and in prayer and fellowship with the saints, the body of Christ.
Catholics seem to be confused by these terms the way protestants use them. Justification is not a journey but is an immediate imputing of Christ's righteousness to our account by faith. See Romans 4:
2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
David Celebrates the Same Truth

5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
7 “ Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
8 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.”
Sanctification is accomplished as we continually abide in His word, as I brought out in the post. 'Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth.'