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April 30th, 2011

Story : Life is An Echo

Life is an echo

A son and his father were walking on the mountains. Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: “Ah!” To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “Ah!” Curious, he yells: “Who are you?” He receives the answer: “Who are you?” And then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!” The voice answers: “I admire you!”

Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!” He receives the answer: “Coward!” He looks to his father and asks: “What’s going on?”

The father smiles and says: “My son, pay attention.” Again the man screams: “You are a champion!” The voice answers: “You are a champion!” The boy is surprised, but does not understand.

Then the father explains: “People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do.

Our life is simply a reflection of our actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence. This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life; Life will give you back everything you have given to it.”

April 29th, 2011

The Communion of Saints

The Communion of Saints

The Communion of Saints

Hear the following talk from Apologetics on The Communion of Saints.

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1. Catholic Teaching

A. Catechism of the Catholic Church #946-962

1. The Communion of Saints is the Church; #946
2. All members of the one body – Christ; #947
3. All Christians are connected through the Body of Christ; #953, 2 Cor 2:5, and 2 Cor 1:5

B. Communion of Saints-Underlying Principles

1. Every Christian is a member of the Body of Christ; Rom 12:4-5, 1 Cor 12:12-13
a. Through baptism; Col 2:12; Rom 6:4,Gal 3:27
2. Physical death does not separate us from the Body of Christ; Rom 8:38-39
3. There is only one Body of Christ, in Heaven and on Earth; Eph 2:15-16; Eph 4:4
4. The Church is the Body of Christ; Eph 1:22-23, Col 1:18,24

C. Just as we can pray for one another, we can suffer for one another; Col 1:24

2. Objections to Catholic Teaching

A. Contrary to Deut 18:10-12, “calling up the dead”

1. Misinterpretation of Scripture; this is about the occult
2. Misunderstanding of Catholic practice and teaching; Catholics do not use mediums, spiritists, etc. to “call up the dead”
3. Saints in Heaven are “alive”; Mt 22:31-32 God is the God of the Living!
4. Mt 17:1-4, Elijah and Moses “appear” to Jesus and 3 disciples

B. Terminology: “Prayer” to Mary or “Prayer” to the Saints is not worshipping them;
It is asking or requesting their prayer and intercession. E.g., “I pray thee, brothers and sisters, pray for me.”

C. Saints in Heaven can’t hear us or see us; therefore, we cannot pray to them

1. Saints in Heaven do not have the same limitations that we have on Earth: Rev 21:21;1 Cor 13:12; 1 Cor 15:49; 2 Ptr 1:4; 1 Cor 2:9
2. God reveals certain knowledge to angels and saints in Heaven; 1 Cor 2:10, Rev 6:9-10, 1 Sam 28:8-19, Lk 16:19-31
3. Angels and saints, to some extent, know what’s in a person’s heart and mind; Luke 15:7-10, Mt 22:29-30, Heb 12:1

D. Prayer to Mary and the Saints is attributing God-like power to them

1. Example of left hand sticking right hand with needle; all impulses 1st go through the brain
2. All prayer 1st goes through Christ; everything is through Him, with Him, and in Him; Mary and the Saints have no power of their own

Summary:
1) Saints in Heaven are alive, not dead;
2) Saints and angels in Heaven have some knowledge of events, present and future, on Earth; and some knowledge of interior dispositions;
3) This knowledge is not of their own power, it is only through Jesus Christ.

E. Why waste your time praying to the Saints when you can go straight to Jesus?

1. Why waste your time asking me for prayer when you can go straight to Jesus?
2. Misunderstanding-you cannot go to the Saints with out 1st going to Jesus (Head of the Body)
3. Prayer of a righteous man; James 5:16, 1 Ptr 3:12, Heb 12:22-23, Job 42:7-10, Ex 17:8-13
4. If there are no righteous ones on earth (Rom 3:10),and therefore, according to Protestant argument, Mary was not sinless, who was James talking about in 5:16?
5. Saints in Heaven love us and want to pray for us; “Love never ends…” 1 Cor 13:8

F. Biggest objection to Catholic teaching – 1 Tim 2:5; Jesus’ role as “sole mediator between God and man”

1. Catholics agree that Jesus is the “sole mediator between God and man”. Jesus is the only one who is true God and true man; only by Jesus’ blood are we saved; but, as members of Jesus’ Body, we can share in His role as mediator as He allows us to
2. Moses, Abraham, Job are examples of mediation and intercession between God and man; praying for one another here on earth is an example of mediating and interceding between God and man
3. 1 Tim 2:5 is being misinterpreted
4. Only one foundation, Jesus: 1 Cor 3:11. Yet, other foundations: Eph 2:19-20, Rev 21:14
5. Only one Lord, Jesus: Eph 4:4-5 Yet, other lords: Rev 19:16, 1 Ptr 3:6
6. Only one judge, Jesus: James 4:12, 2 Tim 4:1. Yet, other judges: 1 Cor 6:2, Lk 22:28-30
7. Only one Father, God: Mt 23:9 Yet, other fathers: Acts 7:2, Acts 22:1, 1 Cor 4:15
8. Only one teacher, Jesus: Mt 23:6-8 (NKJV). Yet, other teachers: Acts 13:1, 1 Cor 12:28
9. More examples of intercessors/mediators: Mt 18:10, Rev 5:8, Rev 8:3-4

Summary: Scripture tells us that there is only one Foundation, only Lord, only one Judge, only one Father, only one Teacher, just as it tells us there is one Mediator; yet, Scripture also shows us that there is more than one judge, more than one foundation, more than one lord, more than one judge, more than one father, more than one teacher. Does scripture contradict itself? No! Jesus is the head of the Body.

Jesus grants different members of the Body the graces to share in His role as foundation, as lord, as judge, as father, as teacher, and yes, as mediator. The members of the Body are allowed…through, with, and in Jesus Christ…to share in the grace and glory of the Head, Jesus Christ. And, as we have seen, Scripture is full of examples of people sharing in the mediation of Christ.

April 28th, 2011

Story : The Nail

Church Nail

As the story goes, they built a new church building and people came from far and wide to see it. They admired its beauty! Up on the roof, a little nail heard the people praising everything about the lovely structure-except the nail! No one even knew he was there, and he became angry and jealous.

“If I am that insignificant, nobody will miss me if I quit!” So the nail then released its hold, slid down the roof, and fell in the mud.

That night it rained and rained. Soon, the shingle that had no nail blew away, and the roof began to leak. The water streaked the walls and the beautiful murals. The plaster began to fall, the carpet was stained, and the pulpit Bible was ruined by water. All this because a little nail decided to quit!

But what of the nail? While holding the shingle, it was obscure but it was also useful. Buried in the mud it was just as obscure, but now it was useless and would soon be eaten up by rust!

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The moral of the story: EVERY MEMBER IS IMPORTANT TO THE CHURCH!

You may, like the nail, feel obscure at times, but just like the nail, your absence is felt. When you are not present for worship, in some way the body of Christ hurts. We are ALL a part of the Lord’s ministry.

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