Skip to comments.What does Scripture mean by the term “The Flesh” ??
Posted on 02/18/2014 3:16:33 AM PST by markomalley
There are many references to the flesh in New Testament Scripture, especially in the letters of St. Paul. The phrase confuses some who think it synonymous with the physical body, or sometimes with sexual sin.
It is true that there are many times when Scripture uses the word flesh to refer to the physical body. However when the definite article the is placed before the word flesh we are dealing with something else. Only very rarely does the Biblical phrase the flesh (? s??? (he sarx), in Greek) refer only to the physical body (eg. John 6:53; Phil 3:2; 1 John 4:2), but almost always the phrase refers to something quite distinct from the physical body.
What then is meant by the term the flesh (? s???)? Perhaps most plainly it refers to that part of us that is alienated from God. It is the rebellious, unruly and obstinate part of our inner self that is operative all the time. It is that part of us that does not want to be told what to do. It is stubborn, refuses correction, and does not want to have a thing to do with God. It bristles at limits and rules. It recoils at anything that might cause me to be diminished or something less than the center of the universe. The flesh hates to be under authority or to have to yield to anything other than its own wishes and desires. The flesh often desires something simply because it is forbidden.
Some modern Scripture translations often call the flesh our sin nature (e.g. the NIV) which is not a bad term in summarizing what the flesh is. In Catholic tradition the flesh is where concupiscence sets up shop. Concupiscence refers to the strong inclination to sin that is in us as a result of the wound of Original Sin. If you do not think that your flesh is strong, just try to pray for five minutes and watch how quickly your mind wants to think of anything but God. Just try to fast or be less selfish and watch how your flesh goes to war.
The flesh is in direct conflict with the spirit. The spirit here refers not to the Holy Spirit but to the human spirit. The (human) spirit is that part of us which is open to God, which desires him and is drawn to him. It is that part of us which is attracted by goodness, beauty and truth, which yearns for completion in God and to see His face. Without the spirit we would be totally turned in on ourselves and consumed by the flesh. Thankfully our spirit, assisted by the Holy Spirit draws us to desire what is best, what is upright, good and helpful.
Perhaps it is good that we look at just a few texts which reference the flesh and thus here learn more of the flesh and its ways. This will help us to be on our guard and to rebuke it by Gods grace and learn not to feed it. I make some comments in red with each quote.
1. The Flesh does not grasp spiritual teachings [Jesus said] The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. (John 6:63)
Having taught on the Eucharist, most of Jesus listeners ridicule his teaching and will no longer take Jesus seriously. So Jesus indicates that their hostility to the teaching on the Eucharist is of the flesh. The flesh demands that everything be obvious to it on its own terms. The flesh demands to see physical proof for everything; demands that it be able to see using its own unregenerate power. And if it cannot see based on its own limited view, it simply rejects spiritual truth out of hand.
In effect the flesh refuses to believe at all since what it really demands is something that will force it to accept something. Inexorable proof which faith demands takes things out of the realm of faith and trust. Faith is no longer necessary when something is absolutely proven and plainly visible to the eyes of flesh. The flesh simply refuses to believe and demands proof.
2. The flesh is not willing to depend on anyone or anything outside its own power or control For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless .I [now] consider this rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ (Phil 3:3-9 selected)
The flesh wants to be in control rather than to have to trust in God. Hence it sets up its own observance, under its own control. And when it has met its own demands it declares itself to be righteous.
Since the flesh hates being told what to do it takes Gods law and makes it manageable based on the fleshs own terms. So, for example, if I am supposed to love, let me limit it to my family and countrymen but I am allowed to hate my enemy. But Jesus says, no, love your enemy.
The flesh recoils at this for unless the law is manageable and within the power of the flesh to accomplish it, the Law cannot be controlled. The flesh trusts only in its own power.
The Pharisees were self-righteous That is to say, they believed in a righteousness that they themselves brought about through their flesh power. But the Law and flesh cannot save. Only Jesus Christ can save. The flesh refuses this and wants to control the outcome based on its own power and terms.
3. The Flesh hates to be told what to do For when we were controlled by the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. (Rom 7:5)
The disobedience and rebelliousness of the flesh roots us in sinful behavior and prideful attitudes. The prideful attitude of the flesh is even more dangerous than the sins that flow from it since pride precludes instruction in holiness and possible repentance that lead to life.
So the flesh does not like to be told what to do. Hence it rejects the testimony of the the Church, the scriptures and the conscience.
Notice, according to the text, the very existence of Gods Law arouses the passions of the flesh. The fact that something is forbidden makes the flesh want it all the more! This strong inclination to sin is in the flesh and comes from pride and indignation at being told what to do. The flesh is refuses Gods Law and sets up its own rules. The flesh will not be told what to do.
4. The Flesh is focused on itself and its own desires only - Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the spirit have their minds set on what the spirit desires. The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace (Rom 8:5-6)
The flesh is intent on things of this world, upon gratifying its own passions and desires. On account of the flesh we are concerned primarily with ourselves and seek to be at the center. The flesh is turned primarily inward. St Augustine describes the human person in the flesh as curvatus in se (turned in upon himself).
But the spirit is that part of us that looks outward toward God and opens us the truth and holiness that God offers. Ultimately the flesh is focused on death for it is concerned with what is passing away: the body and the world. The human spirit is focused on life for it focuses on God who is life and light.
5. The Flesh is intrinsically hostile to God The mind of the flesh is hostile to God. It does not submit to Gods law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the flesh cannot please God. (Rom 8:7-8)
The flesh is hostile to God because it is pridefully hostile to any one more important than itself. Further the flesh does not like being told what to do. Hence it despises authority or anyone who tries to tell it what to do. It cannot please God because it does not want to.
6. The Flesh abuses freedom - You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another in love. (Gal 5:13)
The flesh turns God given freedom into licentiousness. Licentiousness is to demand freedom without limit. Since the flesh does not want to be told what to do it demands to be able to do what ever it wants.
In effect the flesh says, I will do what I want to do and I will decide if it is right or wrong. This is licentiousness and it is an abuse of freedom. It results in indulgence and paradoxically leads to a slavery to the senses and the passions.
7. The Flesh Demands to be fed So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. (Gal 5:16-17)
Within the human person is this deep conflict between the flesh and spirit. We must not be mistaken, the flesh is in us and it is strong. It has declared war on our spirit and on the Holy Spirit of God. When the spirit tries to obey, the flesh resists and tries to sabotage the best aspirations of the spirit.
We must be sober about this conflict and understand that this is why we do not do what we most know is right. The flesh has to die and the spirit come more alive.
What you feed grows. If we feed the flesh it will grow. If we feed the spirit it will grow. What are you feeding? Are you sober about the power of the flesh and do you and I therefore feed our spirit well through Gods word and holy communion, through prayer and the healing power of confession. What are you feeding?
8. The Flesh fuels sin - The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-210)
This catalog of sins for Galatians 5 is not exhaustive but is representative of the offensive and obnoxious behavior that flows from the flesh. Be sober about the flesh, it produces ugly children.
So here is a portrait of the flesh. It is ugly. You may say I have exaggerated, that the flesh is not really this bad. Well I am not, just buy a newspaper and see what the flesh is up to.
We may, by Gods grace, see a diminishment in the power of the flesh in our life. That is ultimately what God can and will do for us. He will put the flesh to death in us and bring alive our spirit by the power of his Holy Spirit.
A four step plan -
God by his grace will cause the flesh to die and the spirit to live by his grace at work in us through Jesus Christ.
Msgr Pope ping
I dunno...the author should go back and look at the original Greek and Hebrew scripture and not focus on the English translation for this kind of analysis.
Heady stuff; well done.
Please put me on the ping list.
"3.Step three is, by Gods grace, to stop feeding the flesh and start feeding the spirit on prayer, scripture, Church teaching and Holy Communion.
I would reverse scripture and prayer and knock out Church teaching and Holy Communion.
We learn HOW to commune with God through scripture and we commune with God IN PRAYER (and HE with us)
Amen to that.
Getting' down wid OPP.
Not a catholic but I enjoyed the article.
I have to agree with you out to about 99%.
I do believe there is some good in Church teachings. As a youngun, I grew up learning the bible and other teachings every Sunday school classes held at our Church while my parents attended church services.
Of course we were from an old German settlement but from these teachings my belief in God was established. My parents also instilled these beliefs at home as well.
I still attend the same clapboard church and Sunday school is conducted in the same manner as it was 55 years ago.
Church teachings inform us how a particular passage of Scripture is to be interpreted. This is fairly important for all: think about the differences in denominations on really important issues. Such as the difference between Lutherans and Presbyterians (for the purpose of our discussion, let’s talk about LCMS vs PCA/OPC...so we can leave aside what’s happened in other groups in modern times). Or think about the difference between Baptists and Reformation Protestants (such as with infant baptism and its effect). Or even the differences between Southern Baptists, Independent Fundamental Baptists, and General Baptists. Or think about the differences between charismatics and others. Some of those differences are relatively trivial, some are actually central to the Faith (I think about the differences between Calvinism and Arminianism as being pretty foundational). Yet most, if not all, claim to believe in the Scriptures as their sole source for doctrine and practice.
Church teaching provides for a relatively constant understanding of what, exactly, is meant and what should be believed. Unless you are sitting at home with nothing other than a Bible and a Strong’s Concordance, you will see Church teaching one way or the other.
Pants on women .... long hair on men ... short hair on women ... submissiveness of wife to husband ... etc.
I attend a Baptist church and we are known, derogatorily , as those people that don't allow women to wear pants ... or that pastor that doesn't allow women to wear pants ... neither of which is true.
But about once or twice a year we DO hear the messages from Deuteronomy about that which pertaineth to a man or a woman. (hmmm ... how about THAT ... my spell checker underlined pertaineth ... I guess English is no longer recognized ... )
I rest my case here.
T’anks. What a worthy word study in brief .
“Church teachings inform us how a particular passage of Scripture is to be interpreted....Church teaching provides for a relatively constant understanding of what, exactly, is meant and what should be believed.”
Your church may give you a constant, but what if Rome is totally and constantly wrong? What if you have trusted a false gospel?
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
I compare everything I am taught to the Word of God to see whether those things are so. And rather than trusting men I pray I am one of those “taught of God” in the sense of John 6:45.
Post 12 did not even discuss the Church. It was talking about church teachings from allegedly Sola Scriptura groups. All of which claim to be influenced solely by the Scriptures.
Perhaps you would care to reap pond to that post rather than going on yet another of your tiresome, prideful diatribes.
Prov 29:23 “ Humiliation followeth the proud: and glory shall uphold the humble of spirit.”
II Tim 3:1-5 “ Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, Without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God: Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid.”
Or, as Our Lady said, “ He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.” (Lk 1:51)
Today it is easy, fast and free to get back to the original Greek to see depth of meaning and translation interpretations. Blue Letter Bible has a web site and an app with a great concordance, listing all the words in a verse at one time, and then all the verses that use each Greek word. In the old days that would take hours with Strong's; now it takes minutes. The iOS app even has audio pronunciation of each Greek word. BibleHub.com has a free interlinear Bible. I did pay a few dollars for the OliveTree KJV with Strong's, and now I can see the original Greek with one tap on a word, and all the verses that use that word with another.
Here's a quick example: the word "diligence" in 2Pe 1:5 is spoude meaning "speed, haste, dispatch, earnestness, eagerness". It is also the root of the Greek word translated "give diligence" in verse 10 and "endeavor" in verse 15. So, three times Peter was inspired to use this word referring to the list of qualities in verses 5-7. Enhances the meaning and emphasis, doesn't it?
I responded directly to your claim with a question. I even quoted you. Apparently you can take swipes at Protestants but we shouldn’t respond. Frankly, if you don’t like my criticism of Roman Catholicism, then you and the others should stop with the ceaseless Romish propaganda. And believe it or not, my goal isn’t to debate you, and it certainly isn’t to please you. My goal is to sound the alarm. My goal is to make people think and consider what God has said through His Word, not what Rome says, and not other men.
Rome’s gospel is a damning false gospel. You may never believe me, but I pray someone else will. Based on all the emails I receive, lots of people believe me. Believe it or not, I have received much encouragement for challenging all the propaganda. I’ve heard from a number of people looking for insight into the errors of Rome.
I have never posted a single thread on this website. I don’t use it as a platform to spread my faith. But you and so many others do, and since I know that faith is a false religion, I feel duty-bound to warn others when I can. I care about the souls of men, even people I don’t know. It’s very hard to simply scroll past soul-destroying doctrine and remain silent when I know the truth. I know the truth because I know Him. A believer is supposed to be salt and light to a dead and dying world. He can’t hide the truth under a bushel. I know some person reading these posts could be in his final days on this planet and in dire need of the biblical gospel, not the Roman Catholic gospel. Last days or not, I know many who read this site need Christ, the Jesus Christ of the Bible, not Rome’s Christ.
Thank you for another opportunity to post these links. I hope hundreds of people follow them and listen to these message today. And because of you giving me this opportunity, I pray The Lord directs thousands to this post over the coming months, even years. If even one lurking soul is awakened to the dangers of Rome, my time on Free Republic has been well spent.
Why We Must Continue to Oppose the False Gospel of Rome
The Heresy of Roman Catholicism
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Martin Luther’s Gospel
Well said and well done! God will reach those He is calling through your posts.
Another sermon by the same name as one previously linked. I highly recommend it to one and all. It’s good for Protestants to have a reminder of what the Reformation was all about and why it was a necessity. When you recall the cold darkness you will appreciate the warmth of light all the more.
Martin Luther’s Gospel
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4)
Soli Deo Gloria!
1 John 4:1-4
New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
1st my ‘denomination’ is Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
My question is: Do you use commentaries such as Scofield, Matthew Henry, or A.T. Robertson, in your Bible studies?
If a Bible study is a Sunday school type, we have SS Sunday morning 10 - 11 and preaching 11 - 12 or more often now, 1230.
Wednesday is generally a shorter, get over the hump spiritual injection.
Thanx for the links ... I haven’t gone to any yet, but one of my favorite preachers is Lester Rolloff
The Bible is written in English and the translators of KJ were, if nothing else, Master English scholars.
Scripture compared to scripture is the basis for understanding doctrine
Again, thanx for the links
WOW! There’s a name from yesteryear. I haven’t thought of Lester Roloff in many years. He was one of those godly men who sounded the alarm for this nation until the day he died. The way I remember Lester, he wasn’t like the compromisers who are prevalent today.
One of my favorites of Lester’s era was an old Baptist evangelist named Rolfe Barnard. Most people sitting in pews today wouldn’t tolerate even one of his sermons posted on sermonaudio.com. People hate the hard truths of Scripture.
It was a few years before I heard a message and of course it took the internet and youtube to REALLY endear him to my heart.
I used to have a couple of cassette tapes of him but have no idea where they are or what shape they're in.
My wife just forced me to buy a cassette player from Goodwill just before the holidays so we could time travel .... my wife is wise.
There's a good bio under this short clip ... 6 1/2 minutes .. before his death so this is 1970's or earlier
**Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the spirit have their minds set on what the spirit desires. The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace (Rom 8:5-6)**
Unless you are sitting at home with nothing other than a Catholic Bible and a
Strongs Catholic Concordance, you will see Church teaching one way or the other as the truth.
Check the salvationhistory website for the Catholic Concordance.
Amen to that...
He would be wise to reformulate his rubric on the basis of considering three kinds of hearts of the humans, that is, "Who is on the throne of your heart?":
sarkikos = fleshly = carnal; self on the throne--especially when claiming that Christ is on the throne, but is not. (Rom. 8:5-7, Gal. 5: 19-21; Strong's Gk Lexicon 4559)
psuchikos = soulish = sensual in thinking; one's philosophy on the throne; intellectuality and one's reasonings preeminant, especially when one is unregenerate but claiming to understand Biblical interpretation and application.(1 Cor. 2:14, Eph. 2:1,5, Jas. 3:15, Jude 15; Strong's 5591)
pneumatikos = spiritual = having the mind of Christ; The Lord Jesus Christ on the throne; dying to self, to Sin as one's master, and to worldly focus, but coming alive to Christ as Spiritual Lifegiver; regenerated, with the Holy Spirit in control. (1 Cor. 2:15-16/Php. 2:5-8, Psalms 1 (all), 128:1, Col. 3:1-3, ; Strong's 4152)
The author's hypothesis seems to me to be soulish, intellectually derived, of the law, and not spiritual. Here is his four-step plan for advancement:
But step one is to appreciate what the flesh is and understand its moves.
Step two is to bring this understanding to God through repentance.
Step three is, by Gods grace, to stop feeding the flesh and start feeding the spirit on prayer, scripture, Church teaching and Holy Communion.
Step four is to repeat steps 1-3 for the rest of our lives.
This sounds good, but upon close inspection seems to be without the godly kind of sorrow of a practicing sinner that brings repentance from unbelief to salvation on the basis of faith alone, in Christ's death and reconciliation for us alone, as told reliably by Scripture alone; but rather on the basis of the kind of sorrow that depends on one's works, that brings self-willed attempts to reject sin, which in the end leads only to death of the body, soul, and spirit, and rejects the Christ and His Bible.
"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death" (2 Cor 7:10 AV).
It is a works-based gospel.
I am pretty certain that no one is forcing you to read the "ceaseless Romish (sic) propaganda", or even to comment on it.
Of course I don’t have to read it, but you say that as if I read it for fun or because I want to debate. That’s far from the truth. I read and comment because I know many lost people do read it. If born again Christians don’t sound the alarm who will? If I sit back and ignore damning false doctrine, I believe that’s a sin of omission on my part. Would you refuse to throw a life preserver to a drowning man just because you didn’t want to make him angry? I bet you wouldn’t. Likewise, I can’t refuse to tell people the gospel truth.
From John 10:
22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Did you catch verses 26 and 27 really say and mean? When His sheep hear His voice and they follow the Good Shepherd. Those who don’t believe, aren’t really His sheep.
If my posts don’t mean anything to you, if you don’t hear the truth, they aren’t meant for you. On the authority of the Word of God I know that His sheep, those who were chosen in Christ from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1), will eventually respond when they hear the truth.
One of my favorite passages in all of Scripture comes from the first section of Ephesians 1:
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Are you sure you know THE GOSPEL?
The True Gospel
Then you attempt to rationalize it with this: Of course I dont have to read it, but you say that as if I read it for fun or because I want to debate. Thats far from the truth. I read and comment because I know many lost people do read it. If born again Christians dont sound the alarm who will? If I sit back and ignore damning false doctrine, I believe thats a sin of omission on my part. Would you refuse to throw a life preserver to a drowning man just because you didnt want to make him angry? I bet you wouldnt. Likewise, I cant refuse to tell people the gospel truth.
If a Conservative doesn't want a gun, he doesn't buy a gun, If a liberal doesn't want one he tries to get them banned.
Tell me do you see any Catholics telling the protestants: "then you and the others should stop with the ceaseless Heretical propaganda"?
The first amendment gives me the freedom to practice my religion, any religion that I choose. It does not give you the right or the authority to tell me not to practice that religion.
You want to point out what you believe to be errors, you go right ahead, but don't tell us not to post.
Reading is fundamental. I never told anyone what to post. I never told anyone not to post.
What I said was quite simple. I said if people don’t want me to respond, they should stop posting Romish propaganda. That’s hardly the same thing as telling Catholics not to post in the first place. Post Roman Catholic stories all you want, but when you do you should expect at least occasional pushback from people who know the Scriptures and know Christ.
So true. When I think of the money I invested in books years ago...(Strong's Concordance, Young's Concordance, Moulton, Thayer, Bullinger Lexicons, multiple interlinears, and so on and so forth). I think the only one I ever use anymore is the Moutlon's Lexicon.
By the way, a site that too many Biblical autodidact scholars (like me) are not familiar with is Perseus. You should check it out if you're not familiar with it.
Unless you are sitting at home with nothing other than a Catholic Bible and a
Strongs Catholic Concordance, you will see Church teaching one way or the other as the truth.
Salvation, for your information, I have the following reference books on my shelf that, before the Internet, I used on a regular basis.
As well as numerous Bible versions, both Protestant and Catholic.
Sadly, there just AREN'T good Catholic Bible study books to handle the Greek and Hebrew. I wish there were, but there aren't.
Last time I checked, having all those Protestant Bible study books didn't turn me into an Evangelical. Hopefully over the years it has allowed God to make me a little bit better Catholic.
If you have two Bible-believing Protestants disagree about some aspect of Biblical interpretation, how do you tell which is correct?
I'm not saying this in a derisive fashion and, obviously, there are obvious examples of where one can throw something out as being ludicrous.
But when both parties are able to defend their position, are able to show where it is both in immediate context and within the overall context...
Now, of course, the Lutherans can get some guidance from the Smaller and Larger Catechism, the Smalcald Articles, and so forth (not that any of them would be more authoritative than Scripture, but they can provide a framework through which Scriptures are interpreted consistently by Lutherans). And the Presbyterians have the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms, the Heidelberg Catechism, and so on. Again, not to say that any of these would be more authoritative than Scripture, but they provide a doctrinal framework.
But for somebody who rejects even those documents (as I understand many "Bible-only" folks do), then how do you determine correctness? And how are you certain that you're right and that the other fellow isn't? (Again, excluding the obvious cases...)
I always enjoyed listening to "Through the Bible"
Really this is your story and you are going to stick to it? Whose words are these: then you and the others should stop with the ceaseless Romish(sic)propaganda.
They are your words and you are telling people what not to post.
Thats hardly the same thing as telling Catholics not to post in the first place.
Yeah it really is exactly that.
when you do you should expect at least occasional pushback from people who know the Scriptures and know Christ.
Catholics don't push back against Catholics.
You are woefully misconstruing what I said. I can’t tell if it’s intentional or not.
Here is what I said: “Frankly, if you dont like my criticism of Roman Catholicism, then you and the others should stop with the ceaseless Romish propaganda.”
Even though my point was clear, I will state it once again: If Roman Catholics do not like criticism of their religion, they should stop the never-ending parade of stories. Once the Roman Catholic stories are posted here they are free game for those of us who believe Rome is an apostate church with a false gospel.
That is not the same thing as telling you or anyone else what they can and cannot post and to say it is a gross mischaracterization.
While it would be wonderful if some FReeper Catholics were to heed my warnings, I don’t expect it, so I mostly comment for the benefit of others. Too many people don’t know American history, let alone Christian history. Protestants need to be reminded of the dangers of Rome. They need to remember why the Reformation was biblical and absolutely necessary. They need to know that if anything, Rome has drifted even further away from the truth of the Scriptures since the Council of Trent. They need to know Trent denounced people who believe in grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone and Rome has never repealed Trent. They need to know that until about 100 years ago, almost all Protestants (to include pre-Reformers such as Wycliffe and Hus) were united in the belief that the papacy is antichrist and that the Roman church is the “whore of Babylon.” They need to know that while we differ with Rome over the papacy and Mary and the blasphemy of the mass and the priesthood and the authority of Scripture and idolatry and purgatory and indulgences and saints etc., the heart of our dispute is over Rome’s gospel. And that—the gospel— is why we cannot be united with Rome. Rome does not have a biblical saving gospel, ergo on the basis of Galations 1:8, Christians are forbidden from having anything to do with Rome.
I don’t intend to go back and read and give a detailed response to the post Mark O’Malley wants me to respond to because I don’t have time, but I will say this: traditional Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists and Congregationalists have one thing in common: we believe the same gospel. So while we differ on certain secondary matters such as ecclesiology or the mode of baptism, we are actually united. I can worship and pray with any of those groups with a clean conscience and I have done so. I have gained so much from fellow believers in all of those camps.
In my initial post in this thread I asked what I thought would be taken as a rhetorical question. I ask it again now: What if you put your faith in Rome’s understanding and learn too late that she was wrong?
Again, my intent is to make people wrestle with that thought. I don’t want to debate and I don’t seek to prove Rome is wrong. I want people to dive into the Scriptures and see the truth for themselves.
This is all I am saying on any of this, but I must thank you for once again giving me a platform to warn people about Rome. And I appreciate having a place to post these profitable links.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Two Former Catholic Priests Analyze Catholicism
The Testimony of a Former Catholic Priest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvID3lRyYIc&feature=relmfu
Justification by Faith http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=97091138184
From Trent to Vatican 2
Separate Yourselves—Understanding the European Reformation
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galations 1:8)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Amen .... and good night.
You still haven’t managed to answer the question. Curious that you have the time for that extensive a diatribe but are unwilling to answer a simple question.
Is it that the question scares you?
I understood you perfectly. Maybe it is you that doesn’t understand exactly what you are saying. Maybe you think you are saying something else. Either way the fact remains as I originally said, no one is forcing you to read anything and no one is forcing you to respond. I will pray for you.