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Galatians 2

GALATIANS 2-
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
https://youtu.be/Ld07s54F3M4 Galatians 2
https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/12-27-16-galatians-2.zip
ON VIDEO-
.What Jerusalem visit was it?
.Did Peter quote Paul in Acts 15?
.Hearing and believing justifies
.Paul rebukes Peter
.God chose us
.The faith itself is a gift
.Justin Martyr
.Legalism
.Law versus grace
.God rested the 7th day
.The ‘Way’
.Catholics and Protestants
.Great Schism- 1054 ad
.Reformation- 16th century
.We all have ‘traditions’

NEW-
As Paul makes the argument that ‘his gospel’ is the true message of grace-
He recounts a story about Peter.
One time Peter visited the gentile Christians of Antioch [the region] and when Peter was with them he ate and fellowshipped with them-
Galatians 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
Galatians 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
Galatians 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
Then Paul says when some from ‘James’ came down- he separated himself from the gentiles- and started going back to the old ways of the law [The Jews saw the gentiles as unclean].
Paul says he withstood Peter- to his face- and said this-
Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
Ok- it looks like Peter learned a lesson this day.
The same lesson God himself showed him in Acts chapter 10-
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Acts 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Now- we read about a visit Paul made to Jerusalem- ’14 years’ after the encounter he mentioned in chapter 1 [of Galatians]-
Galatians 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
Galatians 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
I don’t want to get too much into the weeds here- but bible scholars have different views on the visit to Jerusalem mentioned in this chapter.
Some think this is talking about a visit we read about in Acts 11- others think he is speaking about the acts 15 council.
On the video I talk about the different reasons why this is so- but it really makes no difference-
The main point Paul is making is the fact that the leadership of the Jerusalem church knew he was preaching grace to the gentiles- and they were ok with that.
He spends a lot of time in chapters 1 and 2 defending himself- and talking about his interaction with the leaders of the church at Jerusalem.
The reason he is doing this is because the Judiazers [the believing Pharisees out of Jerusalem] were going around behind Paul’s back and telling his converts that Paul was teaching in rebellion of the ‘main church’ at Jerusalem.
Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
Acts 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
He in fact was not.
At the end of the chapter we have another clear argument for why people are indeed justified by faith in Jesus- and not by the works of the law.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Galatians 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
Galatians 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
Galatians 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
I mention- quote a lot on today’s video [Galatians 2]-
I’ll try and add some of my past teaching on the key chapters [Acts 10- etc.]
Because they fit In with the whole story of what’s going on-
The New Testament is to be read in context.
When we read thru the whole bible- it helps us see the bigger picture.
One note on why I think it might be possible that the visit talked about in this chapter might not be the Acts 15 council-
When Paul recounts his rebuke to Peter – these are the same words Peter uses when defending Paul at the Jerusalem council-
Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
Acts 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
Acts 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
Acts 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Sort of like Peter remembered the earlier rebuke by Paul- and it stuck with him.
Another reason it might be the earlier meeting- is Paul says the only ordinance James gave them- was to remember the poor-
Galatians 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Galatians 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
Yet- in the famous Acts 15 meeting- there were actually 4 things James and the leaders told them- and in the Acts 15 meeting- it leaves out the part about taking care of the poor-
Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Acts 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
Either way- the main message is the same.
That the gentile believers did not have to get circumcised and come under the law in order to be saved-
In the words of Paul himself- this would make the death of Christ ‘vain’-
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
PAST TEACHING I DID THAT RELATES-
https://ccoutreach87.com/acts/ [see chapters- 10- 11- 15- I talk about them on today’s video- Galatians 2.
GALATIANS [Links]
https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/12/26/galatians-1/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/12/30/2nd-samuel-3-homeless-friends/
I also mention- quote from these books- here are my past commentaries on them-
https://ccoutreach87.com/ephesians-highlights/
https://ccoutreach87.com/romans-updated-2015/
https://ccoutreach87.com/john-complete-links-added/
https://ccoutreach87.com/hebrews-updated-2015/
https://ccoutreach87.com/james-2015/
https://ccoutreach87.com/protestant-reformation-luther/
I mention Justin Martyr on today’s video- I taught about him in previous posts- here’s one-
HERACLITUS- Ok- lets pick up on my philosophy stuff.
Heraclitus lived in the 6th/5th century BC. – He was from Ephesus and his key thought was Ever Present Change.

That is he saw everything as being in a state of continual flux- one of his famous sayings was ‘No man ever steps into the same river twice’.

He is called the Weeping Philosopher- sort of like the prophet Jeremiah in the bible- also called the Weeping Prophet.

Heraclitus is known for his concept of the Logos- the Word- or thought/reason.

Now- this aspect of his thought plays a role in the development of the Christian understanding of Christ himself- in our New Testaments [written in Greek] Jesus is indeed referred to as the Logos- or Word of God.

The Greek philosophers understanding of the Logos was not the same as the Christian view- mainly expressed thru the writings of John [The gospel- the 3 epistles- and Revelation].
But- some see the Greek view as a precursor to Christ.

In the work of one of the early church fathers- Hippolytus ‘The Refutation of all Heresies’ he attacks Heraclitus view of the Logos as an early form of heresy.

The apologist Justin Martyr is more gracious- he [Like Ulrich Zwingli- the great Swiss reformer of the 16th century] viewed the early Geek thinkers as ‘pre- Christian’ or ‘Christians before Christ’.

Though many reject this view- yet there is some scripture to back it up.
The apostle Paul said in his letter to the Romans that if the Gentiles [non-Jews] do by nature the things contained in the law- then they are justified in God’s sight.

Of course these things are debatable- but I add this to show you that some great Christian thinkers did indeed view the early Greek thinkers- who did live by a moral code- as being right in God’s eyes.

And the bible does teach a theme that we will be judged according to the amount of light [understanding] that we had at the time.

I should note that Plato [one of the 3 titans that arose after Heraclitus- from the city/state of Athens] disagreed with Heraclitus on all things being in a state of constant change.

When [if?] we get to Socrates- Plato and Aristotle- I’ll try and cover the ways they advanced- built upon- the thought of the pre Socratic thinkers.

As a side note- the most famous student of Aristotle- who was the most famous student of Plato- who was the most famous student of Socrates- was Alexander the Great.

This goes to show you how great an influence Greek philosophy had on the ancient world.

A few nuggets from Heraclitus- ‘all things come to pass in accordance with this Logos’ ‘follow the common’ ‘not having their own judgment’.

Recently I covered Acts chapter 2- and we see some of these ideas in the early Christian movement.
The first Christians did ‘follow the common’ they sold their goods- and had ‘all things common’ [communal lifestyle].

The apostle Paul teaches the early church to all ‘speak the same thing- that there be no divisions among you’.
And the New Testament also says the scripture should not be given to Private Interpretation- meaning- ‘not having your own personal judgment’.

All in all- we do indeed see a sort of pre Christian thought in the pre Socratic thinkers- they did indeed speak of the Divine- God- though there understanding of him was not the same as the Christian church.

In a sense- Heraclitus idea that in life- the only ‘constant’ is the fact that there is no constant- that life itself is made up of an ongoing journey- we live day by day- not ever knowing what ‘the next day will bring forth’- Jesus.

Yeah- the man had some good points- the later Stoics would consider Heraclitus as the father of their movement.
And in the study of Philosophy- the Stoics- who had a good run from a few years before the Common Era- were overtaken in the 4th century [as the main influential philosophy of the time] by some new and lasting philosophy- started by a man named Jesus Christ- who his followers claimed rose from the dead.
Yeah- this New Way was called Christianity- and this philosophy has endured now for over 2 thousand years.

________________________________________
1895- BUYER BEWARE!

We bought the Rocu thing the other day.

That’s the device that lets you watch movies on line.

You get a lot of real good stuff- I was surprised.

I was also surprised to see all the documentaries about religion and Christianity.

The ones from Netflix looked interesting- so I watched a couple.

Yikes!!

All of the ones I saw were done from a skeptic’s point of view.

Now- as someone who writes on apologetics [the defense of the faith] I am familiar with these arguments against the faith.

But- if you are not familiar- these doc’s will shake your faith- for sure.

Why?

They are done from the perspective that Christianity basically copied the Greek myths of God and religion- they focus on the ‘similarities’ between Christianity and Greek [and other cultures] religions.

Okay- what was wrong- or deceptive?

First- this entire school of thought was popularized in the 19th century- from the Christian universities in Germany.

Yes- some good men- well meaning men [others not so good! Freud- etc] believed that in order for the faith to survive in this ‘brave new world’ [modernity- and the whole humanistic advance of man since the enlightenment].

That they had to re-fashion the faith and sort of bring it up to date with the times.

Men like Rudolph Bultman introduced the idea of ‘de mythologizing’ the bible.

So- these guys rejected all the supernatural elements of the bible- no more miracles- angels- demons- or resurrection!

Many people embraced this ‘new’ bold approach to the faith- and basically became theological liberals.

One of the reasons some of these men went down this road were covered in the above documentaries.

Okay- as I watched a couple of them- they had similar themes- and were also wrong in the same way.

They compared about 25 other religious myths- from other cultures- and they said these other religious myths all had a savior- a son of god- who had 12 disciples.

They said this Lamb of God died- was buried- and on the 3rd day rose again.

They said he did miracles- was born of a virgin- was called Lord and savior.

And they made it sound like this ‘story’- in complete form- was repeated many times before the Christians ‘picked it up’.

Wow- double wow.

Why are these documentaries dangerous?

First- I actually have read/studied in this field.

The similarities that they described in the doc’s were way overdone- they simply are not true.

That’s the first problem.

But- they did mix in some truth- with the false stuff.

Both of the documentaries I saw [it seems like there is one person- producer- behind the 2 I saw] did give an actual quote from a 2nd century Christian leader- Justin Martyr.

The quote is indeed real- Justin is known as one of the first Apologists of the church.

He defended the faith during a time when many enemies of the faith slandered the religion.

In one defense [out of many] he said that those who reject Christianity because we believe that a Divine son rose from the dead- that others also held the same type of belief in the pagan world.

He was referring to the god Jupiter and the stories that surround those who believed in him.

You also do find this same type of thing in the myth of Hercules.

Okay- so the skeptic was right then?

No.

In the documentary- the skeptic actually gives the quote from Justin- and Justin says that just because these similarities did exist in other religions- before Christ- that this in no way means the Christian faith is false.

How so?

Justin said it was possible for satan to have ‘imitated’ what was really going to happen.

The skeptic mocked this argument from Justin- and went on to challenge the faith.

A few things.

First- it is possible that Justin was right.

2nd.

This whole line of attack is not new [unless you never heard of it before- which is why I’m kinda surprised that Netflix has them in their lineup].

It goes all the way back to the writings of Gilgamesh.

These are writings that also have similarities to the things we find in the bible- yet they are not coming from the Christian perspective.

They contain a story about a flood [like the one in Genesis].

So- over time- skeptics have said ‘see- the bible must have copied these flood stories- because we find them in other cultures’.

I actually covered this before.

Let me give you the short version.

We- as Christians- do indeed believe the story of Noah [the flood].

Some debate whether it was a global event or local- I don’t want to get into that now.

But- if there was a huge event- say like a 911 plane attack on the world trade center.

Would you not expect to find that event- recorded in more than one culture?

Of course you would.

So the fact that other cultures have a flood event recorded too- this does not mean the Christians plagiarized the flood- no- it would be evidence that the flood really did happen.

See?

Now- the similarities between a divine son who rose from the dead.

First- there ARE NOT 25 or so stories like this- with 12 disciples- raised on the 3rd day- and so on.

The producer of the doc was simply mislead- or outright lying.

2nd.

We must remember that anything we find in Greek culture- which predated Christian ‘culture’ was also predated by Jewish culture.

That is to say that the story of Judaism comes before the Greek philosophers.

Are there any themes in the Jewish religion that speak about a Messiah who would come- die- and be the Messiah of all mankind?

Yes!

So- you could argue that any similarities between Greek myth- and Christianity- are actually ‘copies’ taken from the Old Testament story.

That is- God himself gave us clues about the story of redemption- and these clues might have very well ‘seeped’ into the Greek culture- before Christ- and that’s why you might find similarities between the 2.

See?

Okay- I could go on- but I think I made the point.

I was not mad that these documentaries were on net flix.

But I saw the danger in presenting one side like this- without giving the other view [which I just gave].

All in all- the Christian faith has more historical backing [like the many thousands of bible manuscripts that survived the early days] than any other religion or writings of any kind.

The documentaries made a couple of good points- things that were indeed true- but they had way too much mis information in them to be playing on such a huge venue.

Buyer [or watcher] beware!

http://www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

Let’s talk a little about Apologetics/Theology. Apologetics is the field where Christians Defend the Faith.

In our day- it is common for believers to be ‘left in the dust’ when they bang up against an atheistic scientist [they not all are!] or someone versed in Philosophy [Sartre or Camus- atheist thinkers- or Hitchen’s and Dawkins].

Many times these various fields of study are too much for the average believer to feel like he can engage in- in an intelligent way- and ‘win’ the argument for the Christian view.

But church history has a long- and very successful- track record doing this very thing.

A few weeks back I did about 5 posts or so on Philosophy- a field I like to study. But if you do too many of those posts at one time- then it can get a little heavy [and boring!] So I try to break it up by only doing so many at a time. The same goes for Theology- Church History- etc.

But over time- if we become well versed in these various fields- it will help us defend the Christian view- in an intelligent way- without being mean about it [I try!]

But sometimes you will offend people- even if you try to be nice- because you’re engaging in a conversation that says ‘yes- as Christians we believe in ultimate truth- and that truth is in the person of Jesus Christ’ yes- that will offend some.

My approach to these types of debates is I’m what you would call Ecumenical- I believe that Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox- and all the other ‘churches’ that profess Christ- I believe they are all Christian.

Now you might say ‘well John- doesn’t everybody?’ Actually no- many of the most knowledgeable Apologists do indeed go after the other groups. Quite often you will have a strong protestant defender [usually from the Reformed faith] that will really hit the Catholic church- in my view- too hard.

While it is true that historically Catholics and Protestants have differences- I have often found that Many ‘average’ Catholics/Protestants are not really aware of the real differences- they often have very limited perspectives about the ‘other side’ and these limited ideas [often wrong] seem to stay with the people- for most of their lives.

One example- the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception- what is it?

The teaching became Official- only in the last 2 centuries of the Catholic church- though it was held by many- it finally became official in the last 2 hundred years [ 1854 for the Immaculate Conception- 1950 for the Assumption of Mary doctrine].

The doctrine teaches that the Virgin Mary- Jesus Mom- was born ‘without the taint of original sin’. Now- what does that mean?

Some Protestants think the Catholics teach that Mary was ‘sinless’ in the same way Christ was sinless.

Actually- that’s not the official doctrine [see- it’s important to know the official teaching when we engage like this]. The actual teaching- that has the churches Imprimatur on it- is that Mary WAS A SINNER- just like the rest of us- but in order for Jesus to have been born from a pure vessel- that the actual work of the Cross- Redemption- it was applied to Mary ‘ahead of time’.

Yes- the official teaching is that Mary ‘was saved’ from her sin- just like the rest of us- thru the Cross. The difference is the forgiveness that came to Mary- came to her before she was born- yes- the teaching does teach that Mary was born ‘without sin’ but not like Jesus was without sin- but she was ‘without sin’ because her salvation was applied ahead of time- way ahead of time- before she was born.

Okay- do Protestants believe in this teaching? No. But is it ‘so way out of line’ to the point where we should view our Catholic brothers and sisters as ‘non Christian’ because of it? No- not in my view.

Plus- many Catholics don’t even realize that this is what the doctrine teaches- many think it is talking about the birth of Jesus- being born without sin- by the act of the Holy Spirit descending upon the Virgin Mary and Mary conceiving.

No- this is what we call ‘The Virgin birth- conceived by the Holy Ghost’. Jesus being born from a virgin with no earthly father.

This is not the Immaculate Conception.

So right here alone [trust me- there are many more examples that I could give] Both Catholics and Protestants usually get the doctrine wrong- yet they remain divided their whole lives- over something that they are not even right about.

So I have found this type of stuff to be a problem while striving for Christian unity- and many Christians prefer to see the ‘other side’ in a negative light- and will continue to view them that way- till they die.

I always feel bad when I lose a friend from the site- sometimes you can’t help it [other times it is my fault!] but sometimes it’s because we have views about things- strongly held views- and when others hold to a different view- well we try and avoid them.

One day I received a Friends Request- to my surprise- it was from a young Catholic priest- I did not know him but he must have read a few posts of mine and liked them. He often gave me Thumbs Up comments on the posts- and at times would tell me he loved the posts.

Most were my Theology/Church history posts.

Often times Catholics and Protestants can agree and enjoy these types of studies. I love studying and teaching on the Church Fathers and early Christian history- and these sources all have a very strong Catholic flavor to them- so I see my fellow Catholics as being a part of a long tradition of Christian history.

Many famous converts to the Catholic Church [Bishop John Newman- converted from the Anglican Church] convert because they read the Church Fathers- and when you read them- it’s obvious to see the catholic nature of the early church in these men’s writings.

So anyway I was very happy to have a Catholic priest as one of my ‘on line students’ [and honored].

But one day- during one of my studies [covering one subject for a month or so] to my surprise I saw he was gone [yes- the dreaded block]. I thought- geez- wonder why?

I realized it was right in the middle of a study I did on Islam- and while I was doing the posts- I was also going thru a study on Islam- by the same guy who teaches it to the U.S. govt. – yes- it was a prof. [I think named Espinoza?] who teaches Islam to our govt. employees [sort of like a tolerance type thing].

Though the teacher was Catholic- yet he was VERY much pro Islam- I mean to the point where I had to reject some of the stuff he was saying- and finish the study from my own education on Islam.

At one point- he taught that the spread of Islam thru out the world had a wonderful- liberating effect on all the women in the lands where Islam spread. I mean it was so obvious that the man had no idea what he was talking about [in this area] that I realized he was not a good source [this happens every so often].

And it was more troubling that this was the guy Obama picked to teach Islam to our govt. employees [don’t get me wrong here- he teaches our govt. workers- not to convert them- but more of an informative type thing- just like you would teach any other course about sexual harassment- or whatever].

Anyway- in one of my posts while teaching on my site- I did refer to Mohamed as ‘the prophet’- now- I don’t receive Mohamed that way myself- but because I was teaching some Muslims who did recently join the site- well I used the title in this way.

I think that might have been the ‘last straw’ for my student/priest- he ‘went on Pilgrimage’ right after that post.

Okay- today’s point is we all should try our best to be ‘tolerant’ that is- we should give people as much grace/mercy as possible- but at the same time we also need to be honest about the Christian faith.

Yes- as Christians we believe salvation comes thru Christ- he was not just ‘one religious leader among many’ no- we believe he is the Way- the Truth- the Life/light- no man comes to the Father- but by him.

Sometimes we do our best not to offend- we might even go out of our way to receive people- other religions and systems that are not Christian- that’s okay- I have Muslim and Jewish and all types of friends- I’m glad they are my friends!

But we also have to be honest about our beliefs- and every now and then that might- just might- earn you a BLOCK.

http://www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

(594) . Let me cover some church history. I have had someone argue with me about the history of Islam. Not a Muslim, but a Christian who was saying ‘why do you say Islam started in the 7th century, it started around the 11th’. My answer was ‘Muhammad lived in the 7th century’. Not to hard to see this. So I thought I should cover some history. During the time of the rise of Islam, the Christian church was already dividing from east and west. After Constantine [4th century Roman emperor] consolidated the Roman Empire in the 4th century he set up the capital city of the eastern empire, Constantinople [named after him]. As time progressed the western church would take on the form of Roman Catholicism, the eastern [Constantinople area. Modern day Turkey-Istanbul] would be known as ‘Orthodox’. Though the official split of eastern and western [Catholic-Rome!] churches occurred in 1054 AD, yet the division started years before. The official split is called ‘the great schism’ of the 11th century; it would not be until 500 years later that the church would have her ‘reformation’. The official reason for this split was over a rather silly thing. For centuries the Catholic church had an expression that said ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father’ than they included ‘he proceeds from the father and the Son’. Well the eastern brothers didn’t like Rome telling them what to believe and used this as the official reason to ‘have the schism’. To be honest the divisions were coming for years. After the Roman Empire consolidated under Constantine, he tried to strengthen the eastern territories of his empire and for centuries you had the struggle for which region would be the most influential. At first you had 5 major areas that were divided under 5 main Bishops. As time went on the argument would be ‘which bishop has the most say so’ and it was really a power struggle. Finally Rome said ‘the bishop of Rome is the FIRST AMONG EQUALS [a term that many in the Protestant strain of the discipling movement would later embrace] he holds Peters seat’ and this is really where the divisions started. Eventually Muhammad would rise and Islam would take control of the eastern capital. This later became the reason for the crusades. The Catholic church wanted to regain the territories that she lost in the east. The eastern churches are very much Catholic in many ways. They also hold to a view of Christianity that sees man being ‘joined’ with God and becoming pleasing to God thru Christ’s grace uniting with us and making us like him. A perfectly scriptural view, but a different emphasis from the strong intellectual power that you read about from the western fathers of the church. The Catholic church is noted for her social action in ways that the eastern church is not. So both of these communions have good things to bring to the table. The Orthodox [eastern] churches would not be affected by the major social and political upheavals that took place in the west. The Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment had major impacts on western Christianity, while not affecting the eastern church in the same way. During the 13th- 15th centuries you would have ‘pre reformers’ rise up in the western church. John Wycliffe, the great Catholic Priest who was at the center of learning in France would become known for his translating the scriptures into the common language. Then you have John Huss and John Knox [3 Johns, scripture says 3 fold cords are not easily broken!] who would have their own influence in western Christianity. At this time you had whole movements of believers who would be seen as neither ‘western or eastern’ but restorationist [the restoring of the early practices and beliefs of the church] Peter Waldo would be the Father of the Waldensians and in the 12th century you would have the Albigenses in the south of France. These groups would be looked upon as ‘cults’ [though the term was not used yet] by the traditional church. So you can see how the church has been growing and reforming ever since the first century. Even though we see many divisions that exist till this day, there are strides being made for unity. The eastern and western church are very close to‘re uniting’ once again. While I do not personally hold to the doctrine of the Pope being the occupier of Peter’s seat, I also see him as a Christian man who is striving for unity in Christ’s church. Some believe the whole attempt for outward unity is futile. The more ardent Protestants see it as ‘the one world church of the anti christ’ I reject that language out of hand. Well I hope you got something out of this short overview of world history [real short!].

[parts]
Part of the achievements of Constantine was his development of the eastern half of the Roman empire- whose capitol was named after him- Constantinople.

Over a period of years the early Roman church fought over whose bishop would have more influence- the bishop of Rome [Pope] or the bishop in the east.

Many bishops in the Catholic Church have disagreed over the influence of one bishop being greater than the others [the idea that all the bishops should have an equal voice at the church councils is called Collegiality].

This has caused splits within the Catholic Church thru the centuries [the last big one in the 19th century].

Eventually the early church split- and the Eastern Church separated from Rome.

The eastern empire [called Byzantium- the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Church] officially split in the year 1054.

Now- in church history we call this the Great Schism- even though the Protestant split which took place in the 16th century was greater in effect.

Okay- the Protestant reformers split over various issues- I have an entire study on the blog about this.

But the main issue became what we call justification by faith.

Over the centuries many good men- and average church goers- lost the main message of the New Testament- which was a message of being saved by the grace of God.

Many well meaning Christians were struggling to do penance in a way that sort of earned them their salvation thru works.
[parts]
ELI’S BOOK
https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/11-24-15-elis-book.zip

ON VIDEO-
.Why did Paul work to support himself and others?
.Did I relapse?
.Will you pray for me?
.Baptist- Catholic- Orthodox
.House church?
.Should we tithe?
.Law or Christ?
.Bishops
.Church history
.Russia goes Orthodox
.Moscow the new Rome?
.The Papacy
.John of Damascus
.Icons
[parts]
The 6th session of Trent was the one where the church dealt with justification [how we become saved in Gods sight].

Rome made a distinction between mortal and Venial sin in the council- the church said that Baptism is the INSTRUMENTAL CAUSE of justification. Yet faith is the Root- Foundation and Initial act that justifies.

Rome also taught that Mortal sin kills the grace in the soul that brings justification- and when a person commits a mortal sin- they need the ‘2nd plank of justification’ in order to be brought back into a state of Grace.

This 2nd Plank is the Sacrament of Penance [confession]. Catholic Moral Theologians use an example to show the difference between Mortal and Venial sin.

Drinking- if you take a drink [alcohol] not a sin. If you get tipsy- Venial- and if you get flat drunk- mortal.

This is a true teaching by the way- not making this up.

Catholic scholars are not in total agreement on all the Mortal/Venial sins.

Some teach that missing Mass on Sunday is a Mortal sin.

I just threw this in to show you the debates that take place.

The teachings from Trent are referred to as Tridentine.

The Protestants [early on] rejected the belief that a person can lose Gods grace once he has it- later on the Protestants would divide- severely- over this teaching- Predestination and the Perseverance of the Saints.

But early on all the major Reformers did indeed teach this.

Luther believed in the doctrine of Predestination just as much- if not more- than John Calvin.

But sometimes in these history shows they get this wrong and say Luther and Calvin disagreed on it- that’s a common mistake that you hear every so often.

Luther actually wrote a book dedicated to the subject [The Bondage of the Will] Calvin never wrote a book solely on the subject.

Okay- as we end this brief study of the Protestant Reformation- you could also call it a primer on Catholic doctrine [short one].

Why is it important that we study this?

In John chapter 17 Jesus said that he desired unity for all of Gods people- and many of these divisions- which date back 500 years- are commonly misunderstood on both sides.

It is common in our day to run across an ex Catholic who might say ‘you know- I left the church because I don’t believe I need to confess to a priest’ or ‘the Catholic church teaches you are saved by works’.

The original Reformers did not have a problem with confession- the Lutherans carried the practice over into their communion.

And like I just showed you- the Catholic church rejected the doctrine of being saved ‘by works’ [Pelagianism] and simply emphasized the teaching found in the bible- the book of James- and focused more on James than Paul [who the protestants focus on].

So yes- there are still differences- but if we are not informed- then it makes it harder to strive for unity- and at the end of the day God does desire unity for all his people.

The other day I quoted the great Civil rights leader- MLK. In one of his famous speeches that’s played when we celebrate his life- you hear Martin say that not only was he seeking unity among the races- but also in the church.

He said he wanted to see Catholics and Protestants- as well as Blacks and Whites- sit down together- he referred to us all as Gods kids.

I think we should strive to achieve the desire of Martin- and Jesus.

Amen.
[parts]
1782- PROTESTANT REFORMATION CONCLUSION

Today let’s finish up the study on the Protestant Reformation. We left off on Luther disputing with the church over the doctrine of how a person becomes just in the sight of God- is it by works or faith?

Now- to the surprise of many Protestants [and Catholics!] both sides agreed that a person cannot be justified by works.

Yes- the Catholic Church rejected what was known as Pelagianism. In the early centuries of the church there was a Catholic priest- named Pelagius- who taught that people had the ability within themselves to obey Gods law and become saved that way.

He rejected the doctrine of original sin and another famous bishop- Saint Augustine- would refute Pelagius and teach salvation comes by the Grace of God. The official Catholic position was to reject Pelagius and accept Augustine.

Okay- then where’s the difference?

The church council that spells it out is the Council of Trent [named after the Italian city where the council took place in the 1500’s- Trento].

This council is often referred to as the Counter Reformation. The church rejected the Protestant line- but also acknowledged the need for reform and made some changes.

This is the council where the church rejects Pelagianism- and also says the position of Luther [Justification by Faith ALONE] was flawed.

The church appealed to the New Testament letter of Saint James- where James uses an example from the life of Abraham [found in Genesis 22] where Abraham obeys God and is willing to sacrifice his son Isaac on an altar.

Of course this never happens- God was simply testing Abraham- but James says this act of obedience justified him in Gods sight.

James says ‘see how a man is justified by works- and not by faith ALONE’.

The argument from Rome was Faith played THE major role in justification- but was not sufficient by itself- there had to be righteous works eventually associated with it in order for God to say ‘you are just’ [saved].

Luther disagreed and said God justified Abraham before he had good works- we find this in Genesis 15. God says to Abraham ‘look- count all the stars- so shall your offspring be’ and Walla- the bible also says Abraham was justified in God’s eyes the moment he believed the promise.

Who’s right?

Actually they both are.

I have taught this a few times over the years- and it would take too much time to re-do right now.

But I believe James and Paul [the 2 who debate this in the bible] are simply looking at different aspects of salvation/justification.

Paul emphasized faith- and James showed us how true faith always has works with it.

When you read the statements that came out from the council of Trent- some of them do seem to indicate that both sides might have been talking past each other at some points.

In the heat of the day they were too quick to condemn the other side- without really trying hard to achieve unity [like politics!].

The 6th session of Trent was the one where the church dealt with justification [how we become saved in Gods sight].

Rome made a distinction between mortal and Venial sin in the council- the church said that Baptism is the INSTRUMENTAL CAUSE of justification. Yet faith is the Root- Foundation and Initial act that justifies.

Rome also taught that Mortal sin kills the grace in the soul that brings justification- and when a person commits a mortal sin- they need the ‘2nd plank of justification’ in order to be brought back into a state of Grace.

This 2nd Plank is the Sacrament of Penance [confession]. Catholic Moral Theologians use an example to show the difference between Mortal and Venial sin.

Drinking- if you take a drink [alcohol] not a sin. If you get tipsy- Venial- and if you get flat drunk- mortal.

This is a true teaching by the way- not making this up.

Catholic scholars are not in total agreement on all the Mortal/Venial sins.

Some teach that missing Mass on Sunday is a Mortal sin.

I just threw this in to show you the debates that take place.

The teachings from Trent are referred to as Tridentine.

The Protestants [early on] rejected the belief that a person can lose Gods grace once he has it- later on the Protestants would divide- severely- over this teaching- Predestination and the Perseverance of the Saints.

But early on all the major Reformers did indeed teach this.

Luther believed in the doctrine of Predestination just as much- if not more- than John Calvin.

But sometimes in these history shows they get this wrong and say Luther and Calvin disagreed on it- that’s a common mistake that you hear every so often.

Luther actually wrote a book dedicated to the subject [The Bondage of the Will] Calvin never wrote a book solely on the subject.

Okay- as we end this brief study of the Protestant Reformation- you could also call it a primer on Catholic doctrine [short one].

Why is it important that we study this?

In John chapter 17 Jesus said that he desired unity for all of Gods people- and many of these divisions- which date back 500 years- are commonly misunderstood on both sides.

It is common in our day to run across an ex Catholic who might say ‘you know- I left the church because I don’t believe I need to confess to a priest’ or ‘the Catholic church teaches you are saved by works’.

The original Reformers did not have a problem with confession- the Lutherans carried the practice over into their communion.

And like I just showed you- the Catholic church rejected the doctrine of being saved ‘by works’ [Pelagianism] and simply emphasized the teaching found in the bible- the book of James- and focused more on James than Paul [who the protestants focus on].

So yes- there are still differences- but if we are not informed- then it makes it harder to strive for unity- and at the end of the day God does desire unity for all his people.

The other day I quoted the great Civil rights leader- MLK. In one of his famous speeches that’s played when we celebrate his life- you hear Martin say that not only was he seeking unity among the races- but also in the church.

He said he wanted to see Catholics and Protestants- as well as Blacks and Whites- sit down together- he referred to us all as Gods kids.

I think we should strive to achieve the desire of Martin- and Jesus.

Amen.

[parts]
NOTE 3- Augustine.

I personally am a fan of Saint Augustine. He is one of the famous church fathers of the early centuries.

In my view he holds a distinct place- he is admired by both staunch Protestants [Reformed Theologians]- and Catholics.

Why?

The original Protestant Reformation of the 16th century had 3 key figures.

Martin Luther [Germany]- Ulrich Zwingli [Swiss] and John Calvin [studied for the priesthood in Paris- later took a key role in Geneva Switzerland].

One of the key beliefs- of at least 2 of these 3- was the doctrine mentioned above- Predestination.

It is a common mistake in our day to see historical documentaries [I have seen some] that refer to Calvin as someone who believed in Predestination [true] and that Luther disagreed with him.

That’s wrong [but you have to study theology to find this out- a brief reading of church history does not show you this- that’s why some of the well meaning documentaries you might see on the History channel get this wrong].

Okay- Martin Luther was a Catholic Monk- under an order called the Augustinian order- named after St. Augustine.

See?

Even though he would break away from the church- and the Lutheran church would form- yet he held to the original belief that the founder/namesake of his order taught.

Now- you do indeed find many verses in the bible that speak about God choosing us- and not us ‘choosing him’.

Or chapters [Romans 9] that say Gods choice of us has nothing to do with our own goodness- but he chose us because he loved us.

So- this teaching does indeed have scriptural backing.

But- you also have scripture to back up the opposing view- which is referred to as Arminianism.

Named after another church leader- Jacob Arminius.

He held to the Calvinist view at first- but as he began studying- to defend this view- he came to the belief that this view [at least among its more radical adherents] was wrong.

These 2 groups- Calvinists- Armenians- became enemies as the Protestant Reformation grew.

The followers of men like John Wesley [founder of the Methodist church] disagreed strongly with those who held to the Calvinist view.

In our day- you still have adherents of both views- seeing the ‘other side’ as non Christian.

It’s sad- but this is just one- of thousands of teachings- that have had this effect.

The Catholic leaders warned of this at the time of the breakaway- which took place in the 16th century.

They feared that once you made a clean break from the historic church- that the ‘breaking’ would never stop.

As you look at the scene over the past 500 years- it’s hard to say they were wrong.

One last note- many modern Protestants do not hold Augustine- or any of the men mentioned above- in high regard at all.

Some hold to a belief [another popular one in groups that are Restorationist- as opposed to Reformist] that all of the early Christian expressions got off course [apostatized] and that the only ‘true’ church- just happens to be the group they are in.

Once again- this type of belief simply increases the division in the church- in my view.

Many reject men like Augustine- because of his influence by the Greek philosophers- they charge that some of the early church leaders were too much into philosophy.

For instance- one of the first Christian schools ever founded was in Alexandria- Egypt.

In the 2nd/3rd century Origen- an early church father- would take over the school and teach Christian theology.

But- the school was basically a school that first taught Greek philosophy.

Origen is respected by many [like me] but officially the church does not recognize him as a legitimate Church farther.

Why?

Because he did indeed hold to some views that were not Christian based- like the pre- existence of the soul.

This belief comes straight from Greek philosophy- not Christianity.

He also believed in what we refer to as Universalism- that at the end- everyone gets saved- even the Devil!

So- this debate has gone on for centuries- the debate over how ‘Platonic’ so and so is- or did men like Thomas Aquinas [ 13th century- another favorite of mine] simply mix Aristotelian thought [Aristotle] in with Christian teaching- and thus water down the true faith.

This is also the reason many [most] Protestants do not teach Philosophy- as a basic plank- in their seminaries.

I think this is a big mistake.

Philosophy- as a field- deals with the basic issues of life.

Why are we hear- what’s the purpose of mans existence- etc.

For the Protestant church to have basically abandoned this field- this left the secular world to shape it as they wish.

But- the Catholic Church has indeed engaged in this field- and in my view- has presented a better world view- than the secular philosophers.

Okay- now this post is becoming an entire study!

That’s it for now- I have lots of posts like this on the blog- if you want- just look them up there.
[The above comes from my study on the Protestant Reformation- here’s the complete study- https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/protestant-reformation-luther/ ]
[parts]

GW BRIDGE- https://youtu.be/70CVdZxFIMg GW bridge
ON VIDEO-
.Foundation stones
.Why Bishops?
.Gnostics and Docetism
.Dads boat
.GOV Christie and hot dogs
.Restore the paths
.Isaiah and John
.Memories of a kid- train tunnel
.Robert Moses to blame?
.Mayor LaGuardia
.The argument for Rome
.Church fathers
.Mystics
.Suicide signs
.Apostolic succession
.What church is the ‘true church’?
.Most amazing intellectual discourse ever? Only if you don’t hear [have to watch to get it- sorry]
.Bedrock
.I am homeless- can you spare a 5?
VERSES-
Galatians 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
Galatians 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
Galatians 2:3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
Galatians 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
Galatians 2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
Galatians 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
Galatians 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
Galatians 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Galatians 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
Galatians 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
Galatians 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
Galatians 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
Galatians 2:15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Galatians 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
Galatians 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
Galatians 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 5:25
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Sonof God: and they that hear shall live.
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
Genesis 2:7
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
1 Corinthians 15:45
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:
15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Mark 7

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About ccoutreach87

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