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Jesus died for all

Before I respond, I think De Maria’s objection makes perfect sense, given his Roman Catholic perspective. 

The Catholic perspective is not the one you described. I have corrected your straw man and provided the true Catholic perspective.

And to complicate matters for the Reformed position, I must admit at the outset that I am unaware of any passage that specifically says “God died only for the elect.” That said, what follows is a response to both De Maria’s take onRomans 5:6 and De Maria’s request for a passage that teaches that God died for the elect. Let’s first begin with Romans 5:6


Romans 5:6 in Context

The problem is your presupposition. You start from the erroneous premise that Jesus died only for the elect. Therefore, when St. Paul says, “He died for US…” you read into it that He “only” died for those of us who chose to accept His sacrifice. But Rom 5:6 is the correction to that error in case anyone were to fall into it.
St. Paul says, “He died for US…” But in Rom 5:6, he clarifies that Jesus died for the ungodly. That means Jesus died for all creation. He died for the world. He died for us because He died for all. We are not excluded when we way He died for all. We are included in that number. We are a subset of that number.

Let’s look at Rom 5:1-11 in context. First, St. Paul is contrasting the Jews and the Gentiles. He is showing how the Gentiles are now grafted into the tree and are savable. Because Jews thought that God would not save Gentiles.

So, we begin where he says:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith 2 into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

We, in this verse is a reference to Catholics. Although not yet called Catholics, it is Catholics who are justified by faith through the Sacraments. And that is what St. Paul is talking about. We who are justified by faith through the Sacraments.

3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

Here he mentions suffering which is an essential part of salvation. Unless we suffer with Christ, we will not be saved with Him:

Romans 8:17
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 

Here is the correction. While we were still weak. The we refers to those who prior to Christ’s sacrifice were still sinners.

Note that He didn’t say, “while we were still weak, Christ died for US.” Why not say it. He had used that pronoun approximately 13 times in the past 11 sentences. But that is not what he means. He means exactly what the verse says. While we were sinners, weak in the flesh, Christ died for all who are not God. Christ died for all who are not divine. Christ died for the whole world. Christ died for all.

Therefore, Christ died for us because He died for all.

7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Then, St. Paul refocuses on those who have repented and accepted God’s call. But that is not a denial of the fact that Jesus died for all.

9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 

This is a reference to the Mass and the original Passover, where God passed over the Hebrews who had marked their door post with the blood of the lamb.

Christ is now our Passover and we are justified in His Blood when we drink of the Cup of Salvation. And when we drink of His Blood, we are saved from God’s anger.

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 

This is still a reference to the Eucharist.

While we were dead in our sins, Jesus died for us in order that we might be reconciled to God. Now that we are reconciled to God, Jesus saves us by His life. His Blood that He shed for us on the Cross, is in the Holy Eucharist and is our life. If we partake of it.

11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation (Romans 5:1-11, ESV).

Furthermore, still talking about those who live according to the Catholic Faith, we now rejoice because God offers us forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Sincerely,
De Maria
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We live in a time of trial

But if we were to do this, numerous absurdities would follow. For example:All humanity would presently be justified and be at peace with God (v. 1)All humanity would now stand in God’s grace through faith and be rejoicing in the hope of glory (v. 2)

That’s not true. Only those who obey Christ:
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

All humanity would be suffering in endurance which produces character and hope (vv. 3-4)

All humanity is suffering. We live in a time of trial. But suffering produces character and hope only with those who unite their suffering with God.

All humanity would have God’s love in their hearts and possess the Holy Spirit (v. 5)

Not true. Only those who respond with faith:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

All humanity would be justified by his blood and by Jesus from the wrath of God (v. 9)

Only those who drink His Blood as Jesus commanded:
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Those like the Protestants, who reject this teaching, will not be included.

All humanity is now reconciled to God and shall be saved by his life (vv, 10-11).

Nope. Only those who work out their salvation in fear and trembling:
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
You’re a Catholic. Or a former Catholic. You know I’m telling the truth. And you know that you are misrepresenting the Catholic Doctrine.
Sincerely,
De Maria

All creation suffers

So given that Romans 5:1-11 is written to believers, can we affirm as De Maria does that Romans 5:6 applies to all humanity without exception? 

Yes. And not just to all humanity but to all creation:
King James Version (KJV)
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The answer to that question is clearly no, since then we would have to apply virtually everything else in this passage to all of humanity. 

Not if you speak English.
Obviously when he says, us, we and our, that refers to believers.
And obviously when he says, “the ungodly”, that refers to everything and everyone that is not divine. Everyone that is not God.

But if we were to do this, numerous absurdities would follow.

Of course. Because you want to exaggerate everything in order to create a nonsensical straw man you can knock down. But that is not truth. You simply endeavor to justify your errors.
Sincerely,
De Maria

Jesus baptized the Apostles

DG said: 

Maybe I don’t understand an answer you gave to Michelle on 10/26. She asked about John the Baptist and Jesus doing full emersion baptism. Part of your answer was that Jesus never did any baptisms. Yet in paragraph 7 of “Are You Born Again” you state,” He (Jesus) went down and baptized people in the Jordan with his disciples” (Jn 4:1-2). I read these verses in Chapter 4 and verse 2 states *(although Jesus himself was not baptizing, just his disciples). So I see Jesus didn’t baptize, but I don’t understand your reply in paragraph 7 of your article. If you have time can you clear up this for me. Thank you for your help.
DM replied:
Hi, I’m not responding to your question to Steve. I’m giving my opinion in the meaning of the seemingly contradictory Scripture verses. First one verse says that Jesus baptized. Then another says that only His disciples baptized.
I think though, that Jesus had to get the ball rolling, so to speak. Who baptized the Apostles? True, some of them were baptized by St. John. But St. John’s baptism did not give the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus had to re-baptize those Apostles. And baptize the rest. And then, presumably, delegated the duty of baptizing the masses to them.
That is my speculative explanation intended to explain the seeming contradiction in those two verses.

 

How do I prove the divinity of Christ, to a Jehovah, from Scripture?

I recently saw this question asked on the Internet.  This is how I would respond.

In my debates with JW, Evangelicals and other Non-Catholics, I don’t try to prove anything definitively from Scripture.

My reasons.

1. The old saying is true, “for some, no proof is necessary. For others, no proof is ever enough.”

2. They read Scripture differently than we do.

a. They read Scripture to discover their doctrines within. In fact, the JWs are famous for rewriting Scripture in order to write their doctrines into it.

b. Whereas, we know that New Testament Scripture is written based upon the pre-existing Traditions of Jesus Christ. That which Jesus Christ taught the Apostles is the basis of the New Testament. Thus, we go to the Church for our understanding of the Word of God. Not to Scripture.

3. Remember, we do not believe in the false doctrine of Scripture alone.

Having said that, I still engage them. But on our terms. Not theirs.

First of all, I keep in mind that proof texting is a no-win plan. As many texts as you provide to back up Catholicism, they can provide texts, which they twist, to support their errors. So, it’s a stalemate.

So, my game plan is like this. Let’s take the Divinity of Christ, for example.

JW says, “Proskyneo means obeisance and that proves that no one worshipped Christ in the early Church”.

Me, “Mm? Then why do all the Early Church Fathers, worship Christ? Let me give you a list.”
Polycarp, who was taught by the Apostle, St. John, in his Letter to the Philippians, said:

Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth…and to us with you, and to all those under heaven who will yet believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ and in his Father who raised him from the dead.

Another disciple of St. John, Ignatius, said:

Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which hath been blessed in greatness through the plentitude of God the Father; which hath been foreordained before the ages to be for ever unto abiding and unchangeable glory, united and elect in a true passion, by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God; even unto the church which is in Ephesus [of Asia], worthy of all felicitation: abundant greeting in Christ Jesus and in blameless joy.

Being as you are imitators of God, once you took on new life through the blood of God you completed perfectly the task so natural to you.

There is only one physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord.

You get the drift, right? Now, I can guess how the discussion might go. They’ll say, “Christianity went into apostasy at the time of Constantine”

And I say, “that’s not true. Again, the Church Fathers prior to Constantine all teach the same things the Catholic Church Teaches today. It’s your church that teaches heresy and your church is the new comer. Let’s see what Scripture says about that:

Gal 1:8 New World Translation
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away* from the One who called you with Christ’s undeserved kindness to another sort of good news.+ 7 Not that there is another good news; but there are certain ones who are causing you trouble+ and wanting to distort the good news about the Christ. 8 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, I now say again, Whoever is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed.

You, Jehovah’s, are adding to the Teaching of the Church which came by Jesus Christ, something new which we do not accept.

And that’s how I would respond.  I hope that helps.
Sincerely,

De Maria

Is it in the Spirit of the Mass to pray in the Orans position during the Our Father?