BibleCatholics.com Why the "Gospel Mass" is so necessary if we are to worship in spirit and truth!

This article shows how the Mass, as described in the Roman Catholic Catechism, is so different from the Lord's Supper taught in the very word of God, the Bible. Please read it along with the article on Holy Communion, which indicates that all Bible Catholics believe they do indeed receive the very body and blood of Christ at Holy Communion but only because that's what Christ promises us--not because of some man-made description of "transubstantiation" and not because of any erroneous teaching about the priest somehow being able to "confect" it by a special grace or charism. Also go to The Gospel Mass - Bro. Jim

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(For more on the Mass, click here.)

 

As you will see from the Catechism references we will soon list, Roman Catholics are taught that the Mass is a real sacrifice, that Christ is the victim and that he is offered again to God the Father at each Mass to turn away God's wrath or punishment of the sins that we recently committed. This is why it is so important, according to the church's hierarchy, that the Mass be said often, not only for the living, but also for the dead, who are trying to get out of Purgatory and go to heaven.

However, the following biblical references clearly prove the Mass should not be viewed or expressed as a re-offering of Christ, a re-sacrifice of Christ or even a re-presentation of the one sacrifice! Why, none of these? Because as the word of God tells us:

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.(1 Peter 3:18)

Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for sins once and for all when he offered himself. (Hebrews 7:27-28)

He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood having obtained redemption. (Hebrews 9:12)

Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:26)

Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these (sins) have been forgive, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins. (Hebrews 10:17-18)

So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:28)

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10)

But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 10:12-14)

"Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him." (Romans 6:9)

"The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God." Romans 6:10)

How much more plain can the word of God make it? The Lord’s sacrifice upon the cross is a full, perfect, sufficient, once-for-all time, sacrifice for the sins of all who come to believe in him. It need not be repeated or re-offered, even if we could somehow do so. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)

The Mass then is not the holy sacrifice itself but a commemoration of that “once for all times” holy sacrifice of Christ. It is instead "Eucharistia" our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for his one sacrifice on our behalf.  As the Lord himself puts it, “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)

"But go, and learn what this means. 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'" (Matthew 9: 13)

Yet, in total opposition to the word of God, the Roman Catholic Church teaches:

That a "real" sacrifice is continually made present again at the Mass, according to the Roman Catholic Catechism (numbered paragraphs):

 

1365 Because it is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice.

Because it is a memorial, it is also a sacrifice? So teaches the Catechism. Consider the difference! Christ's sacrifice is an historical event, well recorded in the Bible, which took place about 2,000 years ago. A memorial does not repeat the event, it remembers it, so that we can more fully express our appreciation for what was accomplished, in this case, the salvation of all who believe!

 

1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is a memorial and because it applies its fruit: (the Council of Trent is then cited)

Now we are taught, without biblical reason, that the memorial makes Christ's one sacrifice present! The memorial, which is also a sacrifice, makes Christ's one sacrifice present and applies the fruit of the sacrifice--Christ's death--to the sinner. Quite a memorial! We are taught, all of this without one shred of biblical evidence or support. When did Christ or his apostles teach such a thing? Never! Certainly not at his Last Supper, which is where the Roman Catholic Church claims it got the Mass. Nevertheless we are told by the Roman Catholic Church to believe the sacrifice is made present at the Mass or face an eternity in hell!

 

The only biblical citations used in the Catechism at this point are 1Corinthians 11:23 where it says the night Christ was betrayed he "took bread." Hebrews 7:24 and 7:27 are then cited--they tell us that Christ has an unchangable priesthood and that he doesn't need to offer up daily sacrifices like the Old Testament priests. How do these prove the Mass re-presents the sacrifice?  Good question. They teach the opposite. Yet, the scripture citations seem to be used here only in an attempt to make the teaching "appear to be" biblical.) 

 

Next the Catechism tells us: 1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice....only the manner of offering is different. Says who? Again, the Council of Trent which, with apparent help from some of the so-called "church fathers," made it up! Again two more biblical citations to make it look legitimate: Hebrews 9:14 which tells us the blood of Christ purges our conscience of dead works, and Hebrews 9:27, which informs us that we will die and face judgment. Again, no direct relevance to the teaching! These Bible verses in the Catechism are obviously used as a type of window dressing and nothing more!

 

1323 Christ instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood at the Last Supper "in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages" until he should come again...  We began this article with several Bible verses that told us Christ's sacrifice was so great that it was "once and for all times." He wanted us to remember it, so to constantly appreciate the work of salvation he accomplished for all who believe. He did not intend to give us his Supper so we could repeat his sacrifice over and over again. Christ himself plainly told us his sacrifice was "finished." In John 19:30 we find, "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, 'It is finished': and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost."

 

1354 ..."she (the Church) presents to the Father the offering of his Son which reconciles us with him. " 1357 "...we offer to the Father what he has himself given us; the gifts of his creation, bread and wine which , ...have become the body and blood of Christ."  Contrary to this teaching in the Catechism, Christ alone has reconciled us to the Father, not the priest's supposed re-offering or re-presentation of God's Son.

 

Why does the church teach this repeated re-offering of the Son to God the Father, despite all the biblical evidence to the contrary?  Because, supposedly wise beyond God's word, it insists, it is necessary to re-offer Christ or make his one sacrifice present again and again in order to appease or continually turn back God's wrath against our sin. That's why the church calls it a "propitiatory" sacrifice. It would have us believe that, without the repeated offerings of Christ at the Mass, God would grow angry and pour his wrath or just punishment upon us for our sins. Instead, the Roman church teaches us that, thanks to it and its repeated offerings of Christ, God's wrath is not only turned back, but those of us who participate in the Mass are able to receive the fruits of Christ's redeeming act:

1354 ...(the Mass) "reconciles us with him" 1366 ...its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of sins we daily commit.  1371 ...purifies the faithful departed,  1391 ... provides intimate union with Christ, 1395 ...preserves us from future mortal sins. 1414 ...is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain temporal (earthly) benefits from God.

 

In other words, without the "Sacrifice of the Mass" the repetition or "re-presentation" of the one sacrifice, all of the above benefits would be impossible! See how important the Roman Catholic Church is for your salvation--or how important it would have us believe it is?

 

However, despite these many promises about the supposed benefits of the Mass, it is very interesting indeed that the same church also teaches that "The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins--that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation." (1395) "Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion." (1385)

 

What? The Mass can't forgive mortal or serious sins? The Sacrifice of the Mass cannot forgive serious sins? Not one? Then, how in the world can it possibly be the same sacrifice of Christ? The answer is that it cannot be--and need not be--for Christ's death was once and forever and that one sacrifice does indeed result in the forgiveness of mortal sins to all who believe in Christ and the work he accomplished on the cross for them.

 

Talk about having to crack a code! Isn't this unbelievable? On one hand, the Catechism tells us that the "Mass reconciles, applies forgiveness to sins daily committed, provides intimate union with Christ, purifies the faithful departed, preserves us from future mortal sins and makes reparation to God. On the other hand, the Catechism admits that the Mass cannot  forgive even one mortal or serious sin--only small or venial ones! The Catechism teaches that such an apparent "high level" of reconciliation for mortal or serious sins is reserved only for the confessional, when we privately confess our "big" sins to a priest. (1456, 1484, 1493, 1495)

 

So again, exactly what sins are the sins that the church teaches the Mass actually is able to forgive? Remember, the Roman Catholic Church divides sins into two categories mortal and venial. The so-called "venial" sins, are the "smaller" sins of neglect and omission, that you don't have to confess to a priest. Venial sins are called temporal sins and that is supposedly the reason that there are souls in Purgatory. The souls are there to undergo a purification or "purgation", they're being "purged" of their smaller or venial sins, so they can be purified to enter heaven. So it is these smaller sins that are the only sins the Mass can handle. Yet, as we have already read, the church claims (1367)  "The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice....only the manner of offering is different." I think we have fairly established that this is simply not so--the one sacrifice of Christ forgives big, serious or grave sins, the sacrifice of the Mass or the Eucharist does not.  

 

In fact, it's clear that the Catechism contains a "veiled admission" (1395) that all the repeated Masses in the world, designed to highlight the Eucharist or real body and blood of Christ, cannot forgive one serious sin. Only a priest can do that, according to the teaching of the church. How then can this particular Mass ever properly reflect the true Gospel? What a stark difference there is between the Gospel of forgiveness for all who believe and the Mass of a repeated sacrifice or a sacrifice made present that cannot forgive a single serious sin!

While Christ's one sacrifice was obviously propitiatory in that it did indeed truly reconcile all who believe in Christ with God the Father throughout the ages, any other so-called sacrifice cannot have this same effect. Why? Because the Bible tells us there must be the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22) and the Roman Catholic Church clearly teaches that its own supposed re-presentation of Christ is an unbloody sacrifice.

1367...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.  This cannot be, according to God's word: Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Leviticus 17:11 "For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."

That ultimate blood sacrifice, by Christ himself, has already been made, once and for all times, and need not be repeated, even if that were possible.  Again, the Bible speaks clearly to this: Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:26) Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these (sins) have been forgive, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins. (Hebrews 10:17-18) In any case, Christ didn't tell us to repeat his sacrifice, he commanded us to repeat his supper in rememberance of him and his one sacrifice for us. "Do this in remembrance of me."

But the Roman Catholic hierarchy will have none of this, instead it insists: 1410  "It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. 1409 ...a work made present by the liturgical action."

Since the Church's hierarchy actually teach that every time a priest offers Mass, he is essentially presenting the sacrificed Christ so that God will relent and forgive our latest sins,  it is no surprise that the church teaches the Mass gives the faithful the fullest measure of the benefits of the cross (1366, 1407), and that the sacrificial work of redemption is continually carried out through the Sacrifice of the Mass (1364, 1405, 1846), and therefore the Church is to continue this sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of the world.

The problem is that all of this is absolutely alien and opposed to God's word and the Gospel itself. That Gospel, found in God's word, says nothing about the church continuing a supposed sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of the world. Instead, the church was to set aside this Last Supper of Christ to worshipfully proclaim the one and only death of the Lord Jesus for the salvation of all who believe. "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come." (1 Corinthians 11:26) 

In the Gospel, we do not find the word of God telling us that we are saved through participation in the repetition of daily or weekly Masses of sacrifice, where Christ is supposedly reoffered to the Father, but instead "For by (God's) grace (undeserved favor, mercy) you are saved through faith and this is not from you it is a gift of God, not from works, so no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) We are saved and were saved once and for all time by Christ alone and the way we worship should reflect that.

Again, the Bible, the word of God, says nothing about a continued sacrificial work of redemption in our worship, but it speaks loudly about the one finished sacrifice of Christ who shed his blood on the cross for all who believe in him. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." (Ephesians 1:7)  "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:24.)"... when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Hebrews 1:3)

Now we see how very different is this so-called  "gospel" of the repeated sacrifice of the Mass compared to the true Gospel found in God's word, in which we recognize that only through Christ's one sacrifice, once and for all times, is salvation given and that solely through the gift of faith and by the grace of God alone. Christ left his church no "ritual" to perform for our salvation and that was never Christ's intention with his Last Supper. His command was "this do, in remembrance of me."

And so we should celebrate his Last Testament Supper often and with great rejoicing. Not to help us attain salvation, but to express our thanksgiving or, in the Greek, "Eucharistia" for the salvation that he alone has already won for us. It is a salvation that comes not through water or this special meal but only when we are reborn spiritually by the work of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts. Then we have ears that hear and eyes that see and we believe the Gospel that Christ alone shed his blood on the cross to absolutely secure the salvation of all who believe in him. His once for all times sacrifice totally accomplished the salvation of all who will ever come to believe in him. Then and only then does this feast he has left us become so real we can taste it.

Perhaps you are thinking by now that we, as with many others, see all of this catechism nonsense as reason that we should not believe that we receive the body and blood of Christ at Holy Communion? You would be very mistaken. As Bible Catholics, we believe that the Bible is the very word of God. Christ plainly declares, "this is my body ...this is my blood." (Matthew 26:26-28) And we believe that is exactly what we receive at Holy Communion. And immediately after he tells us the wine is his blood of the new testament, he adds that he will not drink again of the "fruit of the vine" (Matt. 26:29) until he drinks it anew with us in his Father's kingdom--a telling indication that there need be no change in the drink for his words to be true. Likewise, Paul talks about eating the bread and drinking this cup of the Lord, while discerning the Lord's body. (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)  Again, he admits what we are eating is bread and confirms that what we are receiving is Christ's body.

In other words, there needs to be no change ("transubstantiation") as the Roman Catholic Church teaches in the elements of bread and wine in order for us to receive what Christ promised, his very body and blood. And truly, we receive just that if we believe that he is the Christ, the Son of the living God, God in the flesh. We know his word and his every command to us is true. Therefore we receive his body and blood only by the gift of faith he has given us, but we do indeed believe we receive his very body and blood at Holy Communion. Why? Simply because he said so.

So are there blessings in store for those who receive the bread and wine in faith? Are you kidding? All who believe in him have everlasting life! (What greater blessing can we desire than to be with our Savior some day forever?) Jesus himself said so. Holy Communion doesn't change that, it constantly reaffirms that teaching on our salvation by the grace of Christ alone, through the gift of faith he has given us. 

Each time we, as believing Christians, receive the bread and wine, we know we feed on his very body and blood. The salvation he won for us becomes so real we can taste it.  How could we receive him in this special way without being blessed by his grace--which is his favor, which none of us deserve? It is by his grace alone that we believe in him and by his grace that we are allowed to approach and receive him in this special way. 

So is Holy Communion then a "channel or a means of grace?" How can it not be? Would Christ leave us no more than an empty sign? Certainly it is not this supper itself that saves us, but Christ alone. Yet it is he who left this supper for us. Would he leave us something that he has directly connected to the act by which he won for us salvation and not use it to bless us in this life? Especially when we obey his command to "take and eat...take and drink of it all of you"? God's word says nothing specifically about the supper being a channel or means of grace but because the supper (Holy Communion) commemorates his saving act, we can't help but understand it in the context he gave it--forgiveness of sins--a time of great grace when he confirms in our own bodies what he has done for us. It is his chosen means of confirmation that he truly lives in us and guides us to all truth.

Surely God is able to pour his grace upon us at anytime. But certainly, he must be pleased when we receive When we receive Holy Communion we should all the more realize that his Holy Spirit, who dwells in each believer, is the true Channel of Grace, the true Means of Grace, constantly blessing us with grace (God's undeserved favor) and guiding us into the Truth, which is his only Son, every day of our lives.

With all this in mind, how very necessary it is then that we have a Mass that truly shows forth the biblical Gospel. That is the sole intention of the "The Gospel Mass" (see link below). Find out how those who wish to worship in spirit and truth in a way that is familiar to them, can do so. 

The Gospel Mass

Why Neither Mass is Acceptable

Analyzing the Canon of the Mass

A Very Brief History of the Roman Rite 

Holy Communion

 

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