You shall know them by thier fruits[teachings], Part 1

The finished work dished out in installments

In Catholicism, apparently the Christian’s salvation is like a cup that was half-filled by Christ and is in process of being completely filled by Church sacraments especially the Eucharist. Don’t believe me? Check out the following authoritative quotes:

“…in this divine sacrifice which is performed in the mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in a bloodless manner the same Christ who once offered Himself in a bloody manner…this is truly propitiatory….For the victim is one and the same…now offering [Himself] by the ministry of priests…not only for the sins…of the faithful who are living, but also for those departed in Christ but not yet fully purified” [i.e., still suffering in purgatory for their sins] ( Council of Trent, p142).

By the way, immolate means: To offer as a sacrifice by killing or by giving up to destruction

If anyone says that in the mass a true and real sacrifice is not offered to God…[by] priests [who] offer His own body and blood…[or] that the sacrifice of the mass is…not a propitiatory one…let him be anathema (Council of Trent, p 149).

“The Church…formulated and devised various ways [the seven sacraments] of applying [in installments] the fruits of Christ’s redemption to the individual faithful…For it is the liturgy [sacramental rituals] through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, the work of our redemption is accomplished. (Vatican II, First page)

The Mass is a truly propitiatory sacrifice [by which] the Lord is appeased [and]…pardons wrongdoings and sins…. Finally the Mass is the divinely ordained means of applying the merits of Calvary. Christ won for the world all the graces it needs for salvation and sanctification. But these blessings are conferred gradually and continually…mainly through the Mass….The priest is indispensable, since he alone by his powers can change the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ….the more often the sacrifice [of the Mass] is offered the more benefit is conferred [i.e.; Calvary wasn’t enough] (Pocket Catholic Dictionary, pp 248-49).

What does scripture say about this?

Nor yet that he should offer himself often [as Catholicism teaches]…but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself…we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…for by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified….Now…there is no more offering for sin Heb 9:25-10:18

Redemption is finished! Yet this truth is denied by the Catholic Church. Paul wrote:

“In whom we have [present possession, an accomplished fact through Christ] redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14).

Hebrews 9:12 says, “…by his own blood he entered in once [for all time] into the holy place [heaven], having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

For Catholics “even Christ’s death is an ongoing process, so the Mass is not a remembrance of a finished work but a sacrifice which obtains forgiveness of sins and from which ‘graces and merits’ flow in partial installments. ”

“The Mass continues to transmit installments of grace even after one has died, as relatives buy “Mass cards” which are laid upon the altar during Mass in the name of the deceased in order to shorten purgatorial suffering. Christ’s death couldn’t get us to heaven, but Masses, Hail Marys, good works, “bearing one’s cross” for others, etc. will do so. ”

“In Roman Catholicism the “graces won by Christ and the saints” are “applied to the faithful” in installments so that they must come back again and again to receive more “graces and merits” to help them on their way to heaven. There is no assurance that this goal will ever be attained, nor is there any indication of the number of Masses, rosaries, indulgences, etc. it will take to reach heaven. The Catholic’s only hope of salvation is in the ongoing ritual of the Church. Yet the Bible offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life as the free gift of God’s grace to all who believe the gospel. What a contrast!”

Quotes adapted from Dave Hunt @ The Berean Call
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1 John 2:27 – A huge blow to Sola Ecclesia (Romanus)

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Concerning the verse above,  Dr. Henry Morris (Co-founder of the modern day creationist movement) aptly states:

This in no way denigrates the value of God-called teachers (note Eph4:11; Act13:1), but does indicate that each believer is capable and responsible to study the Word for himself or herself. The Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures, and has anointed and indwells each believer, who therefore does not need other believers to tell him what to believe. He can certainly request and receive help from others, but in the last analysis he is able and responsible to know and believe the truth himself. Otherwise, he may not end up as a “workman that needeth not to be ashamed” (2Ti2:15) when the Lord comes (1Jo2:28).

This excerpt above flies in the face of the Roman State Church’s philosopy that ordinary Christians are unable to ascertain truth by themselves and therefore need a special intermediary (e.g. the Magisterium, the Pope, etc.) to arbitrate truth to the poor and helpless Christian. In fact, through out scripture we are told that we have been empowered to personally understand truth and admonished to resist putting our confidence in man, for example:

(Jeremiah 31:34 KJV)  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

(John 6:45 KJV)  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

(John 16:13 KJV)  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

When John first referred to this anointing back in 1John 2:20 he did not suggest that this anointing was the private property of a few special or spectacular Christians (e.g. the Magisterium, the Pope).  All Christians, we are told have the presence of God’s Spirit within them and because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit given to all believers, they possess the resources for knowing the truth.

Once again, this does not set aside the usefulness and necessity of God-appointed and equipped teachers in the Church or mean that teachers are unnecessary, in fact, one of the resources for knowing the truth is the reminder given by teachers like John.

Therefore, regarding 1 John2:27, when understood properly, we discover that Christians are not at the mercy of a particular church or at the mercy of any teacher, for that matter.  No teacher, even a God-appointed one, is the only and ultimate source of the Christian’s instruction contrary to what the Roman State Church would have us believe. We have the Holy Spirit and the Word which scripture tells us is utterly sufficient and profitable for doctrine, for reproof (or apologetics), for correction, and for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

In light of the above, it is common for Catholics (i.e. My Catholic friend Dave @ Dave’s Books) to mention the following: “God sent His Holy Spirit to guide the Church.”  Now by “the Church” they always only mean the Roman Catholic Church thus Rome claims to have a systematic monopoly on the Holy Spirit and thus truth. The interesting thing about this proposition is that it is not explicitly found anywhere in scripture.  One has to deduce this from other verses in scripture that talk about Christ imparting His Holy Spirit to his disciples and to all believers.

This link from “The Berean Call” provides an excellent analysis of Roman Church State’s heresy of Sola Ecclesia (The Church Alone).