Jesus told His disciples plainly,"...In this world ye shall have tribulation: but be of god cheer; I have overcome the world (Jn. 16:33). The Apostle Paul in echoing the same sentiments, spoke too of a necessary suffering with Christ that we might receive our inheritance as beloved children in an age yet to come. The great hope of our glorification with Christ at His appearing ought to be a great source of encouragement to us as believers, not least when enduring under trial and hardship.
In these final verses of Romans chapter 8, Paul is relentless in his argumentation, mounting one case after another; all designed to lift the believer’s eyes heavenward. The gist of his reasoning is this: We are the children of God, foreknown of God before the foundations of the world, predestined, called, justified with the sure hope of being glorified. If this be so then what weapon formed against the child of God can prosper? If God be for us, who can be against us? Be of good courage!!
The Catholic Church makes no bones about it when it declares that it is the vehicle through which salvation comes to the world. The Latin phrase “extra Ecclesiam nulla sallus” well sums up Rome’s position which being interpreted means “outside the Church there is no salvation”.
In this teaching we ask the question, by what means does salvation come through the Church? To answer this, we turn to what is called the sacraments! There are seven sacraments which the Roman Catholic Church hold to. These sacraments are rituals or ceremonies that the Catholic Church maintain Christ instituted and entrusted to the true Church of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church defines that these seven sacraments are not outward symbols conveying the reality of an inward reality but rather that these visible rituals (ceremonies) carry actual power, to impart divine life and saving grace to those who are the recipients of them in true faith. In this sixth teaching part, we explore each of these seven sacraments as we continue to ask the question, is Roman Catholicism true Christianity?
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Paul continues in this chapter to set forth the redemptive purposes of God in Christ Jesus for mankind. Turning away from looking at the believers experience in the here and now, Paul now looks ahead to the future wherein shall be revealed the full redemptive purposes of God in the glories which await us at the coming of Christ. When asked how this can be? The answer lies in our adoption as sons and daughters of God! As such we have been grafted into the family of God and have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba, Father!! As such we have now become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together!
This sermon seeks to lift believers’ eyes above this world to see the wonderful inheritance that has been laid up for us in the ages to come when the Saints shall inherit the earth in a Kingdom that is yet to come wherein creation itself awaits the manifestation of the sons of God at which time it too shall be delivered from bondage into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Romans chapters 6-8, when taken as a whole, form one of the most powerful portions of Scripture in the whole Bible as it relates to regeneration. Chapter 6 sets forth the power of sin broken…chapter 7, the strength of sin through the law…and chapter 8, freedom sin through the Spirit. Many it seems like to live in the realm of theological head knowledge and fancies but where is the practical application that grasps the precious truths contained in these chapters and brings beauty of godliness down to earth!! Though many read Romans 6 and 8 as though written across the pages are the words “do not touch”; every page cries forth “try me”!!
In the chapter before us we turn to look at the power through which men find victory over sin, namely the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit!!
One of the most abused and misunderstood chapters in the whole of New Testament is the chapter before us in this sermon, namely Romans chapter 7. I say abused, because for many this chapter offers a supporting crutch for them to continue to live in habitual sin; for after all they’ll say, if Paul struggled with sin doing those things he desired not to do and not doing those things he desired to do – then who are we!! I say also misunderstood, because so often in the exegesis and application of Holy Scripture, we must first establish beyond all shadow of doubt what a passage/verse cannot be saying!! Romans 7 is sandwiched between two chapters either side (6 & 8) which refuse to allow for the position of defeat in the area of sin in the life of the believer.
This sermon seeks to debunk the myth of Romans 7 offering a seeming safety net to excuse sin and brings out the true understanding of the chapter so that a proper application can be made to our lives.
If one was to ask a Roman Catholic what his position was regarding the authority and inspiration of the Bible, they would respond in the affirmative, namely that it is the Word of God. However, the fundamental question that must be asked of all evangelicals at this point is this; if it is the case that the Roman Catholic Church upholds the authority of the Bible then how at the same time does it differ so drastically in its doctrines and beliefs? How can one reading the Bible and accepting its authority possibly come to believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary or her immaculate conception? How could one ever possibly come to the position that by confessing one’s sins to a priest he/she could receive forgiveness of sins on the say-so of a Catholic priest? How would one ever know that what is before him in the mass, which by all accounts seems to be natural wafers and natural wine, is in fact the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ? To answer this question, one has to turn to what Roman Catholics term Sacred Tradition.
In this fifth part of this teaching series looking at the Roman Catholic Church, we seek to better understand the place to which Rome elevates Sacred Tradition. Was such a so-called tradition handed down by the apostles? Is such a tradition biblical? Can history substantiate and testify to such a tradition existing in first century Christianity? We seek to shed light on these questions and more.
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In the mind of many Christians, the only difference between themselves and that of sinners is that they are “forgiven”. Grace is viewed as an insurance policy in which we can sin now and claim forgiveness later. Admittedly, whilst many would not be so brazen as to put it in those exact words; the sad reality is that in experience, this proves to be the policy under which many who name the name of Christ live! Paul begins the sixth chapter of Romans with a question; “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound”? He spends the rest of the chapter showing categorically that this cannot be the case. For Paul, the cross of Jesus Christ was more than a place where sins are forgiven but was the place of his own funeral and subsequent resurrection from the dead. The implications of the mystery that Paul presents in this sixth chapter are so profound and the ramifications so powerful, that if heeded, and acted upon, one’s Christian worldview and experience will never be the same again!
This sermon is a strong exhortation to holiness and a thorough refutation to the lukewarm, sin excusing breed of Christianity that seeks to comfort and assure men in their sin in the name of so-called grace.
One has only need to open his eyes to see that there is a fundamental problem with the world we live in. Though it shines with the beauty of a rising sun and glistens with the splendour of a snow capped mountain; though one cannot escape the beauty of the vast array of wildlife, as beautiful as all this is, that beauty is overshadowed by the presence of a lurking enemy, poised to take it all away. That enemy has a name and its name is death!
Many today deny the doctrine of original sin. To them the Garden of Eden is just a myth. However, Paul takes the reader right back to the Garden and in so doing lays down the truth of what took place; “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Rom. 5:12). In Adam, through the offence of one, all died, yet in one man Jesus Christ, through His obedience, the free gift of everlasting life has now come to all who would receive.
If one was to ask a Roman Catholic, what his/her authority is for determining truth, they would invariably respond by saying the Magisterium. One cannot seek to understand the authority of the Roman Catholic Church without understanding what the Magisterium is. Having dealt with the papacy, we turn our attention in this teaching to the second leg in the three-legged stool on which Rome sits – the first being the Papacy, and the third being Sacred Tradition. In short, the Magisterium is the name given to the official teaching office of the Roman Catholic Church, which Rome maintains is the sole teaching authority which alone is qualified to define and explain the authentic teaching of the Church to the people. The Magisterium is made up of the pope in communion with the college of bishops. Rome believes that this authority has been entrusted to them by no less authority than Jesus Christ. When the Magisterium exercises this teaching authority in a solemn way to define and teach divine revealed truths (dogma) whether by an ex cathedra papal declaration or in an Ecumenical Council this is the Magisterium acting in an extraordinary and solemn manner. These solemn pronouncements are deemed to be infallible and as such binding upon the universal Church of Jesus Christ.
In this teaching we seek to understand what the Magisterium is as it pertains to the extraordinary Magisterium and the ordinary Magisterium. Is such a teaching office biblical? Are the teachings arising from this teaching office biblical? May the Lord increase your knowledge as you listen to this very important teaching as we seek for an answer to the question; “Is Roman Catholicism True Christianity?”
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Paul has already dealt with two great doctrines in the preceding two chapters of this great epistle to the Romans, the doctrine of justification by faith and the doctrine of redemption. Now Paul comes to another great doctrine and pillar of the Christian faith, namely the doctrine of reconciliation which results from the other two. Can it be, that we who were formerly at enmity with God have been brought into a state of friendship? This is the great clarion call of the Gospel; be ye reconciled to God!!
This sermon lays out this wonderful truth and encourages believes who are enduring trials of affliction to lift up their heads heavenward and to fix their hope on the eternal prize laid up for them in Christ!!