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An Apologetics Primer on Explaining the Communion of Saints to Protestants
Patrick Madrid.blogspot.com ^ | July 27, 2009 | Patrick Madrid

Posted on 07/28/2009 11:59:42 PM PDT by GonzoII

Every Sunday, millions of Christians around the world recite the Creed, professing their belief in the “communion of saints.” Few realize the importance of this phrase, which is sandwiched between other deep mysteries of the faith.

The Catholic understanding is denounced by many Protestants as “unbiblical.” It’s a bitter irony that the very doctrine of Christian unity has itself become a barrier to unity. The controversy revolves around the question, “Is it biblical to ask the saints in heaven to pray (intercede) for us?”

Catholics say yes. Since Christians are united with each other through Christ, and are commanded to love and pray for one another, Christians on earth can ask Christians in heaven for their prayers.

Protestants say no. They say that praying to saints undermines Christ’s unique mediatorship, pointing to 1 Timothy 2:5: “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.”

They think asking the saints to intercede for us is in direct conflict with this verse. The Anglican Reformers, under the leadership of Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said, “The Romish doctrine concerning . . . [the] invocation of saints is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but is, rather, repugnant to the Word of God” (39 Articles of Religion, article 22).

Vatican II gave the Catholic position . . . (click to continue reading)

(Excerpt) Read more at patrickmadrid.blogspot.com ...


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; communionofsaints
 Who is like unto God?........ Lk:10:18:
 And he said to them: I saw Satan like lightning falling from heaven.
1 posted on 07/28/2009 11:59:42 PM PDT by GonzoII
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To: GonzoII

bookmark


2 posted on 07/29/2009 12:21:28 AM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: GonzoII

I know quite a few non Catholics who have prayer groups who pray for people in their church or the sick - what is the difference? If I meet someone I know and find they are in a terrible situation - I say I will pray for them - they accept that quite readily - Catholic or non-Catholic. I cannot understand how asking Mary or the saints to pray for us is so terrible. They are already in heaven.


3 posted on 07/29/2009 12:51:49 AM PDT by Guardian Sebastian
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To: Guardian Sebastian; GonzoII

“I cannot understand how asking Mary or the saints to pray for us is so terrible. They are already in heaven.”

Are those who are in heaven, other than the Trinity and the angels, aware of what is going on in this world?


4 posted on 07/29/2009 1:34:28 AM PDT by Semper Mark (Third World trickle up poverty, will lead to cascading Third World tyranny.)
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To: Markos33
"Are those who are in heaven, other than the Trinity and the angels, aware of what is going on in this world?"

Why sure, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses:

Heb: 12:1

5 posted on 07/29/2009 1:50:12 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

A primer for protestants?

How about, “Some men in fancy robes way long ago made a bunch of complicated rules to keep themselves in power, and tradition matters to us more than the simplicity of God’s plan, and all the rigamarole makes us feel good, and it would be terribly upsetting to just follow scripture, so leave us alone?”


6 posted on 07/29/2009 2:03:53 AM PDT by Jedidah ("Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana)
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To: Markos33; GonzoII

“Are those who are in heaven, other than the Trinity and the angels, aware of what is going on in this world?”

Only in the West would that question be asked. In the East it is understood that there is a constant “back and forth” of angels and saints and the Theotokos between earth and heaven. We “see” our patron saints with the “nous”, the eye of the soul and they are very real. Although mass visions like the appearance of the Theotokos over a church in Egypt are a matter of wonder, that a regular Christian would see her or saints while saying daily prayers or at the Divine Liturgy is not all that remarkable. We expect to see them...and we have no doubt that they intercede for us just as much as we intercede for each other.


7 posted on 07/29/2009 3:54:59 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: GonzoII
[the] invocation of saints is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but is, rather, repugnant to the Word of God”

A feat of utterance only possible once one has thrown out the parts of scripture that do mention this, parts of scripture used by Christ and the authors of the new testament.


8 posted on 07/29/2009 5:27:01 AM PDT by lucias_clay (Its times like this I'm glad I'm a whig.)
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To: Kolokotronis

Troo dat.


9 posted on 07/29/2009 5:50:41 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Markos33

You wrote:

“Are those who are in heaven, other than the Trinity and the angels, aware of what is going on in this world?”

Sure. I think they rejoice over conversions as implied in Luke 15:7-10 and they seek the justice on earth as alluded to in Rev. 6:10.

And if they are not aware then I think Rev. 5:8 makes no sense.


10 posted on 07/29/2009 6:05:53 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: Jedidah

You wrote:

“How about, “Some men in fancy robes way long ago made a bunch of complicated rules to keep themselves in power,...”

What power were the martyrs and saints seeking?

“...and tradition matters to us more than the simplicity of God’s plan,”

If it’s so simple, then why can’t even Protestants fully agree on what it is or how exactly it works? Just think of infant baptism. Is it necessary? Is it effectual? Is there grace involved in it? Now gather ten Protestants together from ten different denominations (something that can be done on almost any street in America) and have them hash out things on infant baptism. You won’t see a whole lot of unity on these issues. Simple plan?

“...and all the rigamarole makes us feel good,”

Rigamarole to make us feel good? So truth is irrelevant now?

“...and it would be terribly upsetting to just follow scripture, so leave us alone?”

We follow scripture. We wrote it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit after all. Your sect on the other hand is a recent man-made creation. You could learn from the Church sent by Christ - but not with such hatred in your heart.


11 posted on 07/29/2009 6:13:57 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: GonzoII

The “we’re just asking the departed to pray for us” usually gets trotted out in defense of what is unmistakably asking the dead to DO (”save us”, “protect us”, “grant us”, “give us”, etc.) things, along with words of praise and adoration - indistinguishable from outright worship violating the 1st Commandment.


12 posted on 07/29/2009 6:17:31 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (John Galt was exiled.)
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To: Kolokotronis
In the East and among those of us Westerners who still hold the faith of the saints, we understand that there is an openness now between heaven and the saints on earth that was made possible by Christ sacrifice on the cross.

Protestants - for all their preaching about a “personal relationship with Christ” - seem to view heaven as very remote, far beyond an unbreakable veil.

13 posted on 07/29/2009 6:18:09 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: ctdonath2

You wrote:

“The “we’re just asking the departed to pray for us” usually gets trotted out in defense of what is unmistakably asking the dead to DO (”save us”, “protect us”, “grant us”, “give us”, etc.) things, along with words of praise and adoration - indistinguishable from outright worship violating the 1st Commandment.”

No.

1) There’s no adoration.
2) We praise saints only in their relationship to the God Who made them saints.
3) No saint has any power other than that given him by God.
4) Saints aren’t dead.

Matthew 22:29... Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

God is the God of the living. The saints are alive in God.


14 posted on 07/29/2009 6:23:32 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998
not with such hatred in your heart

Reading the mind of another Freeper is a form of "making it personal."

Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.

15 posted on 07/29/2009 6:31:19 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator; Jedidah

Okay. Is this then making it personal:

You wrote:

“How about, “Some men in fancy robes way long ago made a bunch of complicated rules to keep themselves in power, and tradition matters to us more than the simplicity of God’s plan, and all the rigamarole makes us feel good, and it would be terribly upsetting to just follow scripture, so leave us alone?””

Try this instead:

How about, “Some men in fancy robes almost 500 years ago decided to serve Satan’s goals rather than God’s. They put themselves in power, encouraged violence, theft and destruction, cut books from the Bible, and denied the inspiration of some. They falsely claimed the truth was rigamarole and became effective in teaching their followers to hate everything and everyone Catholic. Those people were the so-called Protestant Reformers, and they are still effective today at encouraging ignorance, bitterness, and even hatred among their religious descendents as is evidenced by some responses in this thread.

Is that personal? Seriously, I’m just asking.


16 posted on 07/29/2009 6:44:26 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998
Neither is "making it personal" because they do not speak of another Freeper, personally - but of a belief or group of believers.

It is not unusual when one belief spawns from another for each side to condemn the other in the harshest terms it can muster, e.g. heretic, apostate, cult, Satanic. Those terms often become part of the official documents, some are deeply held even today and the beliefs are subject to open religious debate (pro and con.)

The line I draw is hate mongering which like pornography, I know when I see it (e.g. Jack Chick, Christian Identity, Aryan Nations, the False Jesuit Oath, KKK, anti-Semitism.)

17 posted on 07/29/2009 6:54:31 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: vladimir998

1. Those prayers sure sound “adoring” to me. “Most sacred...”, “Merciful...”, “O compassionate...”, “Holy...”, etc.

2. Nothing in Scripture warrants praising, unto deifying glorification, any other than God.

3. Scripture does not depict ANY “dearly departed” having power to influence the living world.

4. Saints have passed on. They are no more. They has ceased to be. They have expired and gone to meet their maker. The individual is now a stiff. Bereft of life, they rest in peace. If someone hasn’t stuck ‘em in a box they’re pushing up the daisies. The metabolic processes are now history. S/he’s off the twig. They’ve kicked the bucket, shuffled off their mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. They’re dead!

Nothing in Scripture portrays any of the dearly departed as having influence upon the living, be it directly or by intercession. Resurrection will come, but lacking physical embodiment there is no indication their spirit interacts with this world.


18 posted on 07/29/2009 7:13:46 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (John Galt was exiled.)
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To: ctdonath2

You wrote:

“1. Those prayers sure sound “adoring” to me. “Most sacred...”, “Merciful...”, “O compassionate...”, “Holy...”, etc.”

That wouldn’t surprise me that you misunderstand the prayers.

“2. Nothing in Scripture warrants praising, unto deifying glorification, any other than God.”

Well, since we don’t glorigy onto deification any saint your point is moot at best.

“3. Scripture does not depict ANY “dearly departed” having power to influence the living world.”

It doesn’t have to. Scripture was never intended to contain all truths.

“4. Saints have passed on. They are no more. They has ceased to be. They have expired and gone to meet their maker. The individual is now a stiff.”

Not at all. You are committing a serious error. An individual is his soul. Hie body is almost incidental. In other words, we are really our souls. Many people - like yourself - make the mistake of thinking we are our bodies. This is the direct result of the inherent materialism that comes from Protestantism. No body, no person so to speak. In reality, however, we are our souls. When you die let’s say you go to heaven. The resurrection has not happened. Have you gone to heaven or not? Yes, you went...even without your body. Thus, who we REALLY ARE is our soul AND NOT OUR BODY. I am surprised at how many people I encounter who do not understand this simple and undeniable truth.

“Bereft of life, they rest in peace. If someone hasn’t stuck ‘em in a box they’re pushing up the daisies. The metabolic processes are now history. S/he’s off the twig. They’ve kicked the bucket, shuffled off their mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. They’re dead!”

Souls in heaven are dead? You’re completely wrong. Since you believe in sola scriptura, show me where in the Bible it says those in heaven perpetually glorifying God are in reality just dead bodies rather than living souls alive in Christ. Can you do that?

“Nothing in Scripture portrays any of the dearly departed as having influence upon the living, be it directly or by intercession.”

Why would it have to show it?

“Resurrection will come, but lacking physical embodiment there is no indication their spirit interacts with this world.”

Souls in heaven interact with souls on earth through prayer and Christ’s grace.


19 posted on 07/29/2009 7:55:12 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998

The core issues are:
- there is nothing in Scripture suggesting the departed intercede for us nor have influence over the world
- the first commandment forbids worshiping any but God, and one should refrain from minimizing what constitutes “worship” in that context
- someone here is grossly deficient in their studies of Monty Python.


20 posted on 07/29/2009 8:26:34 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (John Galt was exiled.)
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To: ctdonath2
The “we’re just asking the departed to pray for us” usually gets trotted out in defense of what is unmistakably asking the dead to DO (”save us”, “protect us”, “grant us”, “give us”, etc.) things, along with words of praise and adoration - indistinguishable from outright worship violating the 1st Commandment.

Jesus HIMSELF spoke with "the dead":

Matt. 17:3; Mark 9:3-4; Luke 9:30-31

No one would call Jesus and idol worshiper.

21 posted on 07/29/2009 8:30:43 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: ctdonath2

You wrote:

“The core issues are:- there is nothing in Scripture suggesting the departed intercede for us nor have influence over the world”

Actually there is. Look at Rev. 5:8 for instance.

“- the first commandment forbids worshiping any but God, and one should refrain from minimizing what constitutes “worship” in that context”

We don’t worship the saints. We venerate them.

“- someone here is grossly deficient in their studies of Monty Python.”

Having seen all the episodes of Monty Python more times than I can count when I was young, it must be you.


22 posted on 07/29/2009 8:35:07 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: GonzoII
GonzoII, you stated; "Jesus HIMSELF spoke with "the dead."

Matt. 17:3; Mark 9:3-4; Luke 9:30-31

"No one would call Jesus and idol worshiper."

Lets take Mark 9:3-4 and see what it says about when Jesus spoke with the dead."

 

Mark 9:3-4
 

 3and His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them.

 4Elijah appeared to them along with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus.

Is this what happens when you speak with the dead?

Do your garments glow and become exceedingly white as Jesus' garments did?

Do the dead appear to you?

If not, you need to supply other evidence of why we should be able to speak to the dead.  BVB 

 

 

 


23 posted on 07/29/2009 12:08:19 PM PDT by Bobsvainbabblings
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To: Bobsvainbabblings
"Is this what happens when you speak with the dead?"

No. And it doesn't need to.

Our God is the God of the living.

These verses prove that the just are alive.

24 posted on 07/29/2009 12:42:15 PM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII; All
"Is this what happens when you speak with the dead?"

No. And it doesn't need to.

Our God is the God of the living.

These verses prove that the just are alive.

It may prove that the just are alive but it also shows that the Lord Jesus had to be transformed before He could talk with them.

The two untransformed disciples with Him did not talk. It says they were afraid..

It said He talked with them. It did not say He asked them to intercede for Him with the Father.

No were can you show anytime He asked anyone but people on earth to pray as in Matthew 18:19-20. 

Matthew 18:19-20 (New American Standard Bible)

 

 19"Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.

 20"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."

I would hope all here agree that God the Father sees the future. I know I do.

It makes a person wonder if He gave this passage for discussions such as this.

BVB

 

25 posted on 07/29/2009 5:17:10 PM PDT by Bobsvainbabblings
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To: Bobsvainbabblings
"the Lord Jesus had to be transformed before He could talk with them."

God is not restricted by anything, He's God.

Was he transfigured when he called Lazarus back from the dead?

The manifestation of His Divinity on Mt. Tabor was not done by and interior need that had to be fulfilled before he could speak to the departed just, it was to prepare the Apostles for the trials that were about to come.

"It may prove that the just are alive"

It does. So the claim that Catholics talk with the dead is groundless.

"The two untransformed disciples with Him did not talk. It says they were afraid.."

Well, if they were afraid to talk that doesn't mean they were unable to.

"It said He talked with them. It did not say He asked them to intercede for Him with the Father."

Christ needs no intercessors, no one claimed that he was asking them for their prayers, He's God. The point originally was that Catholics transgress the First Commandment by praying to the just for intercession. I've proved that false.

"No were can you show anytime He asked anyone but people on earth to pray as in Matthew 18:19-20."

There's no need, we are all one Body in Christ. You can't separate the head from the body (members):

Jn15:5-7 "I am the vine: you the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch and shall wither: and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire: and he burneth. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will: and it shall be done unto you.

Surely the just in heaven are abiding in Christ therefore Christ's words are still applicable to them.

19"Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.

This shows that Divine help is promised by prayer it doesn't say that the just in heaven can't obtain that same help for those in earth.

26 posted on 07/29/2009 10:50:54 PM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
the Lord Jesus had to be transformed before He could talk with them."

God is not restricted by anything, He's God.

I do not agree that God is not restricted by anything.  He has to live by the rules He established. If He does not, He will cease to be God. He does nothing without a purpose. If Jesus didn't have to be transformed, He wouldn't have been.

Was he transfigured when he called Lazarus back from the dead?

Let us see what scripture says about that in Jn 11.

John 11:1-27 (New American Standard Bible)

 

John 11

The Death and Resurrection of Lazarus
 1Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.

 2It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

 3So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick."

 4But when Jesus heard this, He said, "This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it."

He stated; "This sickness is not to end in death."

One could ask; "If this sickness was not to end in death, was He speaking to the dead when He told Lazarus to come out of the tomb? 

This whole event was for God's glory so The Christ could be glorified by it as well.

How different is this than when you ask a saint or saints to help you? Who gets the glory?

I watch the Catholic posts to this forum. Very often there is a feast day for a saint for their glorification.

Why are there patron saints that have to be involved before a specific request can be asked?

Who gets the glory if the request is granted? God or the patron saint?

Catholics ask why we have a problem with requests to saints at he same time denying you are putting anyone before God.

The manifestation of His Divinity on Mt. Tabor was not done by an interior need that had to be fulfilled before he could speak to the departed just, it was to prepare the Apostles for the trials that were about to come.

"It may prove that the just are alive"

It does. So the claim that Catholics talk with the dead is groundless.

Once again, it proved they are alive but it shows that no one talked to them except Christ and only after He was transformed.

"The two untransformed disciples with Him did not talk. It says they were afraid.."

Well, if they were afraid to talk that doesn't mean they were unable to.

"It said He talked with them. It did not say He asked them to intercede for Him with the Father."

Christ needs no intercessors, no one claimed that he was asking them for their prayers, He's God. The point originally was that Catholics transgress the First Commandment by praying to the just for intercession. I've proved that false.

We finally agree. Christ needs no intercessors. If Catholics believed that, there would be no need for this conversation.

You've proved nothing I have said wrong. Just the opposite. You admit Catholics prey to the just for intercession.  Prayers only go to God where Jesus is the intercessor.

"No were can you show anytime He asked anyone but people on earth to pray as in Matthew 18:19-20."

There's no need, we are all one Body in Christ. You can't separate the head from the body (members):

Jn15:5-7 "I am the vine: you the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch and shall wither: and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire: and he burneth. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will: and it shall be done unto you.

Surely the just in heaven are abiding in Christ therefore Christ's words are still applicable to them.

19"Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.

This shows that Divine help is promised by prayer it doesn't say that the just in heaven can't obtain that same help for those in earth.

What part of Matthew 18:19  "if two or more of you agree on earth" makes you think it includes people in heaven?

BVB


27 posted on 07/30/2009 4:46:49 PM PDT by Bobsvainbabblings
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To: GonzoII; Reaganite Republican; Clintons Are White Trash; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; ...

Saints Intercede for us.

Once you understand this it really does not matter how it’s worded since God knows our hearts

From Scripturecatholic.com...

1 Tim 2:3 - because this subordinate mediation is good and acceptable to God our Savior. Because God is our Father and we are His children, God invites us to participate in Christ’s role as mediator.

1 Tim. 2:5 - therefore, although Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and man, there are many intercessors (subordinate mediators).

1 Cor. 3:9 - God invites us to participate in Christ’s work because we are God’s “fellow workers” and one family in the body of Christ. God wants His children to participate. The phrase used to describe “fellow workers” is “sunergoi,” which literally means synergists, or cooperators with God in salvific matters. Does God need fellow workers? Of course not, but this shows how much He, as Father, loves His children. God wants us to work with Him.

Mark 16:20 - this is another example of how the Lord “worked with them” (”sunergountos”). God cooperates with us. Out of His eternal love, He invites our participation.

Rom. 8:28 - God “works for good with” (the Greek is “sunergei eis agathon”) those who love Him. We work as subordinate mediators.

2 Cor. 6:1 - “working together” (the Greek is “sunergountes”) with him, don’t accept His grace in vain. God allows us to participate in His work, not because He needs our help, but because He loves us and wants to exalt us in His Son. It is like the father who lets his child join him in carrying the groceries in the house. The father does not need help, but he invites the child to assist to raise up the child in dignity and love.

Heb. 12:1 - the “cloud of witnesses” (nephos marturon) that we are surrounded by is a great amphitheatre of witnesses to the earthly race, and they actively participate and cheer us (the runners) on, in our race to salvation.

1 Peter 2:5 - we are a holy priesthood, instructed to offer spiritual sacrifices to God. We are therefore subordinate priests to the Head Priest, but we are still priests who participate in Christ’s work of redemption.


28 posted on 01/06/2013 12:33:17 PM PST by narses
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