When you start reading the Bible, the word of God, some things that were fuzzy become very clear. When you compare the Bible to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, get ready to be "shocked" as you will too often find the Roman Catholic teachings are totally opposed to the word of God. Here are some glaring examples. For more, click here.
If I were to ask various people at random to give me the Gospel or message of Jesus Christ, I would be willing to speculate that very few would be able to do so. That’s sad because, as St. Paul tells us, the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe (Romans 1:16).
At the very least that statement lets us know that the Gospel is very important for people to know and hear. It’s something you would indeed expect a professing Christian to be able to communicate with others. But sadly, they often cannot do so.
Thankfully, professing Christians do often seem to know that the Gospel has something to do with Jesus dying for them. There is no doubt that that is indeed central to the message. The problem is that most of us are “blurry” about what exactly the death of the Son of God actually means to us and for us who believe in Christ.
St. Paul, speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, offers real insight when he tells us the Gospel is the very power of God for the salvation of all who believe. He’s telling us that God uses the Gospel to reveal to people that he has indeed chosen them for salvation. If they believe it, they can know with certainty that they have been saved.
For those of you who come from a Roman Catholic background, like me, the thought that you can have certainty that there is a place in heaven waiting for you is bound to come as somewhat of a shock. For me, it was the first of many “shockers” that you will encounter as you read the word of God—the Bible. However, once you hear and believe, I trust you will do the same as me and rejoice!
BIG SHOCKER—You can know with certainty that you have been saved. If
you believe the Gospel, you have that certainty—the Gospel really is
GOOD NEWS for those who believe in Christ—it is good news about
their eternity! This GOOD NEWS of the Gospel is much better than
most of you have been led to believe. It is explained very thoroughly
in the following brief promise that was given by Jesus Christ himself:
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household. (Acts 16:31)
also explained that this ability to believe—to have faith—is not
something we have anything to do with “making happen” in
ourselves. We can’t “muster it up.”
Instead, it is a gift.:
He who believes in me has eternal life. (John 6:47)
I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:23)
We are saved BY GRACE, THROUGH FAITH. Paul tells us clearly that the Good News for all those who believe in Christ is that they are saved by the “grace” of God, that is, God’s “unmerited or undeserved favor” toward us. The apostle tells us we know that we have been given this unmerited favor through the faith we have been given to believe in Jesus Christ.
also tells us this faith is not from us—it is a GIFT OF GOD. It
comes NOT FROM WORKS, so none of us can boast that we did anything to
deserve it because we didn’t do anything—nor can we do anything to
deserve this gift.
It is a free gift given by God alone to whomever he chooses (read more
about God choosing or “electing” us for salvation under SEVENTH
BIG SHOCKER, below).
plainly tells us that our belief in him as Lord and Savior, as God in
the flesh, is the work of God himself
“the work of God is this” and has nothing to do with our
good works. And, because this is God’s work and not
ours—we can’t “mess it up.” In other words, true believers
cannot “lose” the faith he has given us. That is why…
is a solemn promise from Christ—that we will not perish, not be
lost. Yet it seems to go virtually unnoticed by most professing
Christians—as well as those who claim to be their teachers—such as
the pope and his bishops.
FIFTH BIG SHOCKER—More than a few teachings that the pontiff and company teach as necessary for salvation are contrary to God’s word—the Bible. This is why it is so important that every teaching word from the pope and his bishops must be put to the test of God’s word the scriptures, for instance:
POPE: “We declare, say, define and proclaim to every human creature that they by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff. (Pope Boniface VIII, 1302, in the papal bull Unum Sanctum)
The pope says we must subject ourselves to his rule if we are to be saved, it is necessary for salvation. But Christ taught us, the necessary thing for our salvation is to believe, to put our trust, in him:
(Again) “He who believes in me has everlasting life.” (John 6:47)
and Christ taught us that there is only one master we must submit to for salvation, Christ himself:
CHRIST: “For one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren.” (Matthew 23:8)
The pope claims earthly supremacy (also called “primacy”):
THE BISHOPS AND THE POPE: “…full power was given to him (the pope) in Blessed Peter…this power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate; to which all, of whatever rite and dignity, both pastors and faithful, both individually and collectively, are bound, by their duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience to submit, not only in matters which belong to faith and morals, but also in those that appertain to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world….This is the Teaching of Catholic truth, from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and salvation.” (Vatican I, Chap.III. Of the Power and Nature of the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff)
But Christ tells us something quite to the contrary:
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to
me." (Matthew 28:18)
For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. (1 Timothy 2:5)
he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning
and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he
might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:18)
as for hierarchical subordination that the pope speaks of, Christ
specifically commanded his apostles against setting up a hierarchical
structure in the church:
Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the
Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones
exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you:
but whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister: And
whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all (Mark
10:42-44, also see Luke 22:25-26)
If the supposed “infallible” words of the pope, spoken from “Peter’s chair” can depart so far from God's word as in the few examples above, how could the church's tradition even be remotely considered equal to God's word? And because these are but a few among the many teachings by the pope and his bishops that are “required for salvation” they have become a part of the “gospel” preached by the Roman Catholic Church. (See dogma link)
Any doctrine that is taught as “required for salvation” is clearly part of the “gospel” preached by that particular church. That is, it becomes part of the “message of salvation” that they say Christ proclaimed. This is why it is so important that we know the doctrines or key beliefs taught by any church—most churches have “belief statements” that briefly outline their key beliefs. But tell me, did Christ and his apostles teach submission to the pope as necessary for salvation? Did they teach of a hierarchical order that should be given full power to rule over all Christianity? The verses above make it very clear that what Christ and his apostles taught is in direct opposition to the teachings of the pope and bishops on these issues.
You tell me, if these are in direct opposition, how can the gospel preached by the pope and bishops be the same as that preached by Christ and his apostles? Clearly, it is not the same gospel and it therefore comes under God’s condemnation, as announced by St. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to
you a gospel other than that which you accepted, let him be
eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:9)
Perhaps you have believed that the Church’s “Tradition” was indeed “equal” to the word of God, as is taught. Perhaps now you see the glaring difference between the teachings from that so-called “tradition of the apostles” and the teachings of the Bible. We have no right to blame the apostles for the way we have twisted the Gospel. They never told us Christ died for the mere “possibility” of the salvation of a true believer nor that that “possibility” hinged on our ability to maneuver in a man-made system of beliefs that far exceeded God’s own requirements. Christ died to assure salvation to secure salvation for all who truly believe in him and anyone who teaches otherwise, teaches a false gospel. As you may know, that includes many Protestant denominations as well, several of them teach against salvation assurance.
It won’t be easy to keep believing this Gospel—a Gospel that says Christ died to guarantee the salvation of all who come to believe in him. It won’t be easy to be a BibleCatholic. Despite the clear evidence, many will try to tell you it is a lie. But Christ promises that you will persevere in the faith. Remember—you have his promise—he has you in his all-powerful hand and no one is able to snatch you out of it—not even you yourself and your own strong will or “free-will” as it is called by some (tell them to show you the scripture verses that speak of your free-will—there are none)! Thank God that, when he gives us faith, he saves us even from our own “free-wills” and, to be constantly reminded of that, we pray to him in the Lord's prayer: “Thy will” be done (not “my will” be done).
The closest the bible comes to touching on anything that could be remotely considered our “free-will” is in describing our natural tendency to sin—some call it our “sinful nature.”
SIXTH BIG SHOCKER—We are born in sin and helpless to choose God on our own.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world
through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death
came to all men, because all sinned…(Romans 5:12)
If we were not born in sin and helpless to do anything about it, we would have no need of a savior. Instead, we could lean on the teachings of one of the Church’s earliest heretics, the priest Pelagius, who essentially taught that man indeed had the power to accept Christ on his own and do good works to attain heaven. In other words, Pelagius was exalting man’s own abilities above God’s sovereignty. He was refusing to believe that God is indeed “Lord” in complete control over all those things and all the creatures he made and that certainly includes all human beings—whether those human beings are wicked or whether they are true believers. For instance, God used wicked men to nail his only Son to the cross—he used wicked people to do his will—he used them to assure that His Son would save those human beings he chose for eternal life.
SEVENTH BIG SHOCKER - God chooses us for salvation!
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the one he loves. (Ephesians 1:4-6)
In him, we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. (Ephesians 1:11)
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you… (John 15:16)
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:44)
one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by my Father.
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” (John 14:6)
EIGHTH BIG SHOCKER –God credits or covers believers in Christ’s own righteousness—a righteousness that is not our own.
And how is it that he makes us admitted sinners “holy and blameless?” (Ephesians 1:4) When he gives us the faith to believe in him, he “justifies” or “makes us right” with God. Christ covers us or “credits to our account” his own righteousness. In other words, if you believe in him, you have been credited by God with a righteousness that is not your own--a righteousness ("right standing" before God) that is Christ's own righteousness, given through his gift of faith. There are many who refuse to believe this but Bible proclaims it everywhere:
And their righteousness is from me, says the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)
Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him. (Romans 4:7-8)
…and being found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that come from God and is by faith. (Philippians 3:9)
…the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith. (Romans 9:30)
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)
This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him (Abraham) alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised for our justification. (Romans 4: 22-25)
For if, by the trespass of the one man (Adam), death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)
This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness. (Jeremiah 23:6)
For he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice. (Isaiah 61:10)
Since we have now been justified through his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! (Romans 5:9)
For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:23)
And yet, despite all this biblical evidence, we are told that “faith alone” in Christ and such things as his imputed or credited righteousness are simple “Protestant innovations.” Perhaps they don't expect us to read the Bible. Or, perhaps they don't expect us to believe it is the word of God—something they too claim to teach.
Welcome to the hands of a sovereign God who truly has all who believe in him in the palm of his loving hand. A sovereign God, who because he is over all and controls all, can be trusted to keep all of his promises! Do not fear death any longer. He has clothed us in the righteousness of his Son, so that we may enter heaven one day without need of a “Purgatory” or even indulgences.
are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body,
and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8)
please be reminded that the verses cited above are not from my
personal diary—I did not write them. They are the word of God. And
no, of course not, I’m no where near as smart as those many men. But
a great mind cannot save you anymore than great works—we cannot
“reason” our way to God anymore than they could. Remember, faith
is a gift. Only with this gift can you suddenly see the Gospel as
reasonable—and wonderful! Otherwise, the Gospel will seem utter
foolishness to those who refuse to believe.
The word of God has always been the word of God—no matter how
“smart” men may have tried to twist it to their advantage—to fit
how about this promise from Christ:
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)
It is finished. (John 19:30)
Yes, it is indeed “finished.” Christ fully accomplished the work he was sent to do—God in the flesh “saved” us from the end times wrath he will pour out on all those who continue to reject him—those who refuse to believe. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, St. Paul tells us that we were born just like the unbelievers, we were by nature, “children or objects of wrath.” (2 Ephesians 2:3)
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4)
Thank him for the faith he has given you and always ask him for more. Give him the full credit for your salvation and trust him to keep you firmly in his grasp. Don’t let your sins get you down (Satan just loves that). Each time you sin, repent and trust all the more in what Christ has done for you, trust all the more in his forgiveness and promise of eternal life.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John1:8)
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:19-20) Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25)
But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. (1 John 2:1)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
the same time, seek always to obey his commands, so that you may
glorify him in all you say and do. And also prepare to fail miserably
at times. He’ll make you always stronger. He is preparing you for
your eternal life with him and he has already covered you in his
righteousness. See the Bible verses on righteousness under the
"Salvation" heading at the "Gospel Verses" link.
“Take and eat, this is my body.” …“Drink from it all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28)
If it is not his body and blood that we receive, why would Paul offer such a warning as…
whoever eats or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner
(refusing to believe in Christ) will be guilty of sinning against
the body and blood of the
Lord. (1 Corinthians 11:27
How could anyone be guilty of sinning against the very body and blood of the Lord if they weren’t truly receiving his very body and blood in Holy Communion? And how does this happen? We can no more explain it than we can explain how Christ multiplied the loaves and fishes while he was on earth. And no, we don’t need “transubstantiation” to vainly attempt to explain the unexplainable anymore than we need Luther’s valiant attempt at “in, with, and under.” We simply believe on the promise of Christ!”: “This is my body…this is my blood…”
We DO believe God’s word—so when Christ tells us he gives us his body and his blood at Holy Communion—we very much believe just that. We dare not try to explain it, as many have attempted in vain—we simply believe. Nor do we try to add novelties to his teaching such as receiving his “soul and divinity” in addition to receiving his body and blood—another “specialty” from the Council of Trent. Christ tells us he gives us his “body and blood” and we know that is enough for us. He tells us this same body and blood has been poured out for the forgiveness of our sins. What a wonderful, intimate way for him to forgive our sins—before the whole community of believers. (you can read more about this by going to the link entitled “About the Mass.”)
We also need to keep in mind the specific context in which Christ gave us his body and blood. It was in the context of a meal. We take it out of that specific context when we put portions of this holy meal in a monstrance and carry it about. We take it out of context, when we place it before people for worship and adoration. We are told this is in the “apostolic tradition” but the word of God himself contains no such tradition. Go to the Holy Communion link.
Even the other “ancient Catholic Church” the Eastern Orthodox, follow no such tradition. I realize this will be particularly hard for some to swallow but it must be said. Too many people have the idea that they aren’t praying in Christ’s “real presence” unless they’re praying in front of a monstrance. I certainly used to be among them. There are 27 books in the New Testament and they tell us many things about the apostles and their practices but nowhere do they speak of those who did anymore with the bread than “break” it together.
Did the Roman Catholic Church
decide which books of the New Testament would be in the Bible? We know
the church that decided the matter certainly wasn't called the Roman
Catholic Church at that time but it is true that its bishops did
choose the books to include, based on the apostolic origins of the writings. These
apostolic origins were widely accepted at the time. Unlike today’s
church of Rome, which has seen fit to add many other teachings not found in the
Bible, the early bishops fully submitted themselves to these books as
the very word of God.
Click on the “Gospel” link to see an explanation of the Gospel you can use with the kids or choose the “Gospel Verses” link to study scripture verses related to the Gospel. Read the Bible or Bible stories with your children, every night. Then pray with them as a family. “Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) If you’re wondering what "works" the Lord may have for you, consider the most obvious first—such as nightly Bible reading and prayer with your children.
Check all the verses above and make sure I’m
using them in the right context. Read God’s word and let him speak
to you in this very direct way. And remember: “Let him who boasts,
boast in the Lord!” (1 Corinthians 1:31) We are never to be prideful
in our salvation—only thankful and grateful— to the One who won it
for us. He is the same One—the Christ—who is coming again in
glory for you! Isn’t it nice to always have something to look