Rest in God, Not in the Roman Catholic Church

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By Richard Bennett and Stuart Quint

True Bible believers “are kept by the power of God through faith”[1] True believers rest in the foretaste that we have of the Eternal Life that will be ours for all eternity. Jesus Christ prayed, “As Thou has given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou has given him.”[2] Eternal life could not be given to us Bible believers, unless Jesus Christ our surely both glorified His Father, and was glorified by Him.

True Life Is Found Only in Jesus Christ

The Apostle Paul explains the dilemma that he faced just as we do today: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I [cannot tell.  For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.[3]

The Lord Jesus continues to fulfill His glorious promise for us. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.[4] Because we belong to Jesus Christ, we now have His “peace”.  Also, in the future, we will enjoy His peace in its fullness forever in His Glory in heaven.  He prayed in His Word, Father, I will that they also whom thou have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory.”[5]

Consequently, our heart’s desire is to behold the Glory of Jesus Christ in God our Father in heaven.  The Apostle Paul explains; “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory[6] Therefore, we rejoice in the excellence of the loving kindness of our Lord God: “How excellent is thy loving-kindness, O God! Therefore, the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shall make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.[7]

The Loving Kindness of God our Father Is Assured

The loving kindness of our God our Father is never withdrawn from us His children. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee so that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”[8]  Thus, we who are Bible believers are “in” Christ.  Nothing can separate us from the love of Father God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[9]

Though we often sin against our loving Father God, He will bring us to repentance through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.  He will “visit their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes.[10] He also promises, “Nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.”[11]

What amazing kindness our Father God shows toward us His people!

God Is a Personal Father to His People

One of the most significant statements in the four Gospel accounts of the life of our Lord Jesus Christ is found in John 20:17. Christ constantly spoke of “my Father”.  However, after His death and resurrection, for the first time our Lord adds the phrase, “And your Father.” “Jesus said unto her [Mary Magdalene], “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.’[12]

True Bible believers ought to rejoice exceedingly when our glorious Lord Jesus Christ says to each of us: “my Father, and your Father.[13] The All Holy, Almighty God is personally Father to each of us who are genuine believers.

Fellowship consists in giving and receiving.  Unless we receive the love of the Father, we have no relationship with Him.

The Father’s Love Is Revealed to Bible Believers by Faith

God has so fully and so eminently revealed His love to believers.  Bible believers can know His love by their faith in Him.  “You believe in God”;[14] Christ commands believers to believe in the Father. What is the first thing that believers ought to have faith in the Father? It is His love, because He is “Love.”[15]

It is by and through Christ we have access to the Father God.  As the Lord so clearly told us, “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.”[16] The men and women whom the Son describes are those who were given to Him; as Christ said, “I have [manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.”[17]

Thus, by Christ and by faith through Christ’s grace we “begin” to relish and love the Loving nature of our Father God. “We love him, because he first loved us.”[18]

The Father God’s Love is Received by Us Bible Believers

In Scripture, the Apostle Paul tells us how through the Holy Spirit we have an intimate relationship with our Father: “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”[19] This intimate sharing with our heavenly Father is that which our Lord Jesus Christ reveals to us. Each of us communes with our heavenly Father calling Him by the endearing name, “Abba Father.” Within the Gospels it is recorded our Lord Jesus Christ communed with His heavenly Father one hundred and seventy times, signifying His personal love toward His Father. Christ Jesus also revealed God distinctively as His Abba Father. The Lord prayed, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt.”[20]

In Scripture, the Apostle Paul uses the same endearing term to teach us how to commune with the Father in prayer. “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”[21] All Christ’s prayers were addressed to the Father, with the exception of His prayer while on the Cross when He quoted Psalm 22:1.[22] The Father is the great fountain and spring of all gracious intercommunication and fruits of love. This is that which Jesus Christ came to reveal; namely, God as our intimate “our heavenly Father” to His adopted children; even addressing Him with the endearing name: “Abba Father.”

Then we are instructed emphatically “God is love.”[23] Also, the name of God in this statement is taken personally for the Father. This is evident in the verse below where He is distinguished from His only begotten Son whom He sent into the world. So, the Word of God proclaims, “The Father is love.” Not only is God graciously tender and compassionate as He had proclaimed Himself in the Old Testament,[24] but also He eminently portrays Himself to us as love. Thus, His Word continues, “He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”[25] Distinctively, the Father loved us. The Holy Spirit unmistakably shows this love, demonstrated originally in the sending of Christ. The love of the Father is, in fact, declared to be before the foundation of the world, “According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Christ Jesus to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”[26]

Our beloved Savior Himself told us, “I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you; for the Father himself loves you.”[27] The Father Himself loves each true believer eminently, therefore we must resolve to hold communion with our Father God in His love.

The Catholic Church’s Teaching on the Church as Mother

Officially the Catholic Church teaches:

“No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother.”[28]

This official Roman Catholic teaching is horrendous. Thus, the official teaching of the Catholic Church in its Catechism states that Catholics believe that, “the Church is the mother of all believers.” It is noteworthy that in the official Catechism of the Catholic Church: part one, section two, article 9 states, “I believe in the holy Catholic church.”

Thus, the Catholic Church teaches the Roman Catholics have relationship with “the Church as mother”; indeed, it is expected of the laity.

The Catholic Church also teaches that its seven Catholic sacraments are the exclusive means for obtaining the grace of the Holy Spirit. This teaching is officially stated:

“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.  Sacramental grace’ is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament.”[29]

The Roman Church’s pretense is to present the Catholic “physical” Sacraments as the cause of “spiritual” sanctity and salvation.

For example, the Papal Church claims that baptism regenerates the souls of men and women.[30] Then the Papal Church claims that in the Sacrament of Confirmation the Bishop uses the oil of Chrism as a means whereby young people and adults are to be filled with the Holy Spirit.[31]  By the words “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” uttered by the catholic Priest in Confession the Church of Rome claims to forgive sins.[32] Then on the Altar, during Mass the Catholic Church believes that her Priests change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.[33]

God’s Word contradicts these false Catholic teachings with an eternal curse.  “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed.”[34]

Nonetheless, Catholic Priests use these alluring things called Sacraments. These Priests, the Catholic Church officially states; “have received from God a power that he has given neither to angels nor to archangels…God above confirms what priests do here below.”[35]

However, it must be noted that the New Testament established Pastors and Elders to lead the Lord’s flock.

As opposed to apostolic teaching, the Roman Church conveniently bridges over twenty-one centuries to join its sacrificial Priests to Christ Himself.[36] Thus, the Catholic Church belief system expresses some of the greatest temptations that can be imposed on the souls of men and women.

Conclusion

The design of our loving Father God from all eternity was that all gifts should come to us saved sinners in and through Christ Jesus.  Christ’s grace in its most genuine sense is free, as the Scripture says, “being justified freely by His grace.”[37]  Then, Christ’s grace is glorious bestows it on those of us who believe in His blood shed for us on the Cross.  Graciously the reign of sin and false religion is overcome by the reign of Jesus Christ’s grace, as the Scripture says, “even so might grace reign.[38]

The abundance of grace far surpasses the evils of sin.  Once we as believing sinners accept Christ Jesus as our only surety before the All Holy God, we finds ourselves not only freed from our sins, but made to “reign in life,” “For if by one mans offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”[39]

Those of us who receive the abundant grace given by Christ are not only redeemed from the reign of death we live and reign with Him as they are sanctified daily through His Word by the Holy Spirit, and by constant fellowship with our Loving Abba Father God and with our Gracious Lord Jesus.  With the Father and the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit we shall forever live and reign, world without end!  Through our Father’s Love Christ Jesus’ grace and the Holy Spirit’s consoling power we will be forever being filled with glorious Love and Knowledge of the Holy Trinity!   “Blessed be his glorious name for ever:  and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.”[40]

Our thoughts expressed in this Article really come from our hearts therefore kindly share your thoughts and desires with us.  To do please email me Richard at: rbennett@bereanbeacon.org  or Stuart at: doulos@bereanbeacon.org

Thank you

Richard

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[1] 1 Peter 1:3-5

[2] John 17:2

[3] Philippians 1:21-24 NKJV text

[4] John 14:27

[5] John 17:24

[6] Colossians 3:4

[7] Psalm 36:7-9

[8] Hebrews 13:5-6

[9] Romans 8:38-39

[10] Psalm 89:32

[11] Psalm 89:31-32

[12] John 20:17 (Underlining added)

[13] Ibid.

[14] John 14:1

[15]God is love” 1 John 4:8

[16] John 1:18

[17] John 17:6 nkjv text

[18] 1John 4:19

[19] Romans 8:15

[20] Mark 14:36

[21] Romans 8:15

[22]My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

[23] 1 John 4:8

[24]The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth” Exodus 34:6, 7

[25] 1John 4:10

[26] Ephesians 1:4-7

[27] John 16:26, 27

[28] Catechism of the Catholic Church, Para 181

[29] Ibid., Para 1129.

[30] Code of Canon Law, Canon 849

[31] Catechism, of the Catholic Church Para 1316

[32] Ibid. Para 1493

[33] Ibid. Para 1413

[34] Galatians 1:9

[35] Catechism, of the Catholic Church Para 983

[36] Vatican Council II Document No. 63, Presbyterorum Ordinis, Vol. 1, Sect. 7

[37] Romans 3:24

[38] Romans 5:21

[39] Romans 5:17

[40] Psalm 72:19

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