Monday, August 2, 2021

The Divinity of Jesus Christ

In the New Testament, the apostle John begins by making the divinity of Jesus Christ clear to all when he wrote –
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2) He was in the beginning with God. 3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” – John 1:1-3, NKJV throughout, unless otherwise specified.
Thus, the Word was God and was with God. And the Word – Jesus Christ – is a lot like the Father. Notice that Jesus became flesh –
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt [or rather, tabernacled] among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” – John 1:14.
An important point to notice is that this shows us that our Lord Jesus Christ was God and that He actually became flesh – Scripture does not state that He remained fully God on Earth. It should probably be mentioned that those with a unitarian view believe this should be translated differently. Yet, that does not change the totality of God’s living word on this subject.

Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches, “’ I and My Father are one’” – John 10:30, which completely contradicts the unitarian position that Jesus is not now God (as well as does John 1:1-3, which is another issue unitarians dispute).

The apostle Matthew, who quoted Isaiah 7:14, makes it abundantly clear of His divinity –
’ Behold, the virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” – Matthew 1:23.
Also, notice what occurred after Jesus Christ’s glorious resurrection –
“And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 29) Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’ – John 20:28-29.
So, not only did the apostle Thomas call our Lord Jesus Christ God – and indeed Jesus’ statement confirmed the correctness of Thomas’ assertion (of which happened after the resurrection of Jesus Christ).

Also, the apostle Paul states, after Jesus’ resurrection –
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” – Colossians 2:9.
Our Lord Jesus Christ clearly knew that He was equal with God the Father as the apostle Paul correctly points out –
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6) who, being in the form of God [God the Father], did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” – Philippians 2:5-6.
Confess Your Faults

God’s living word says we are to confess our trespasses [or rather, ‘our problems’] to one another, and to pray for one another, that we may be healed. But, it also says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” – 1 Timothy 2:5.

We are admonished by the apostle James to confess (or rather, admit) our unintentional error or willful transgression that we have done to harm somebody. We are to confess only to those whom we have hurt or wronged! Recall God’s living word says –
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2) And He HIMSELF is the propitiation for our sins, …” – 1 John 2:1, 2.
Friends, your personal sins are no one’s business except God the Father’s and our Lord Jesus Christ’s – who is our Advocate!
“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but ALL THINGS are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” – Hebrews 4:13.
GOD is the only Judge! Notice that King David wrote in Psalm 51 that his sin was against God, and God alone –
“Against You, You ONLY, have I sinned, …” – Psalm 51:4.
God’s living word does not say – anywhere – that we are to confess our sins to a priest, nor does it say that we are to ever authorize any penance.

Sadly, I have known of people that would confess some of the most horrible and despicable sins and crimes to their brethren or to a priest. I wouldn’t ever think about sharing some of the rotten and terrible things that I have done in my past with anyone but God. Sharing these things with others is called T.M.I. – too much information. Friends, it is uncouth, it is inappropriate and it is dangerous. It is unbelievable to me how many in these Baptist churches will stand up and confess their deepest of sins to the congregation. We are to be prudent – cf. Proverbs 13:16; 27:12. We are not to lack decency – cf. 1 Corinthians 14:40.

Now, truly, if you have committed a wrong against someone, then you ought to go directly to them and seek forgiveness, restitution, reconciliation as our Lord Jesus Christ Himself teaches us –
’ Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24) leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift’ – Matthew 5:23-24.
Again, we should NEVER confess our sins to anyone but God.

Original and early translations of God’s living word do not show that any penance was implemented as a requirement.

The Roman Catholic Church, under Pope Callistus I, compromised or either implemented penance or even extended what may have already existed within the Roman Catholic Church.

And on another note, the late American Baptist evangelist Billy Graham (whose annual salary was $633,722) 1 had taught and spread a perverted plan of salvation, which is called Lordship Salvation. Advocates of Lordship Salvation are careful to say that salvation is by grace alone, that believers are saved before their faith ever produces any good works.

This false doctrine of demons has crept into the greater majority of this world’s churches today – improperly teaching that all one needs to do is believe in the Lord to be saved.

One of the major false doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church is to confess sins to a mere man – instead of Almighty God! The idea that we should confess our sins to each other to help us to live a more righteous life is unbiblical. It is a satanic false doctrine to confess any sin to a minister or a Catholic priest – because they cannot forgive anyone’s sins, including their own! ONLY GOD CAN FORGIVE SIN! Even the hypocritical Pharisees of Jesus’ time knew this –
“ … ‘Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” – Mark 2:7b.
The apostle Paul wrote –
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” – Hebrews 3:13.
Now, here the Greek word for exhort is parakaleō, which means “to ask, to comfort, encourage.” It means to care about one another so that if we see a fellow Christian going astray or about to make a bad decision, we lovingly let them know that we care, praying for them, and are concerned about them.

Now, The Catholic Encyclopedia points to John 20:23 as their proof that auricular confession is to be made to priests – it also points to Matthew 16:19 as their proof -
Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted through the priest's absolution to those who with true sorrow confess their sins and promise to satisfy for the same...the Council of Trent declares, Christ principally instituted the Sacrament of Penance after His Resurrection, a miracle greater than that of healing the sick. "As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained' (John 20:21-23)...

Clement I (d. 99) in his Epistle to the Corinthians not only exhorts to repentance, but begs the seditious to "submit themselves to the presbyters and receive correction so as to repent" (chapter 57), and Ignatius of Antioch at the close of the first century speaks of the mercy of God to sinners, provided they return" with one consent to the unity of Christ and the communion of the bishop". The clause "communion of the bishop" evidently means the bishop with his council of presbyters as assessors. He also says (Letter to the Philadelphians) "that the bishop presides over penance".

(Hanna, Edward. The Sacrament of Penance. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. Retrieved 2 August 2021).
There is absolutely no mention in God’s living word that our Lord Jesus Christ ever instituted penance for “forgiveness of sins committed after baptism.” So, while it is true that He taught forgiveness of sin, that bold face lie about penance being instituted by Jesus Christ is false!

Even Roman Catholic sources openly admit that Callistus I made changes in the standards along with the factors in making the majority of those who professed Christ part of the Greco-Roman confederation. 2 This shows clearly again that the Roman Catholic Church clearly has changed from the practices in the first (and early second) century.

The Council of Trent back in the 16th century made a variety of statements concerning auricular confession. The following is perhaps the first one to deal with this -
CANON VI.--If anyone denieth, either that sacramental confession was instituted, or is necessary to salvation, of divine right; or saith, that the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, which the Church hath ever observed from the beginning, and doth observe, is alien from the institution and command of Christ, and is a human invention; let him be anathema.

(The Council of Trent The Fourteenth Session The canons and decrees of the sacred and oecumenical Council of Trent, Ed. and trans. J. Waterworth (London: Dolman, 1848), 92-121. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
God’s living word clearly teaches repentance – not penance. His word also teaches us that God forgives sins that true Christians should acknowledge to Almighty God.

There are more references – including Roman Catholic Church references – that make it crystal clear that auricular confession was not an original true Christian practice, and those who truly believe that they should “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” would certainly not want to practice such a late and heretical innovation.

God’s living word clearly teaches us –
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” – 1 John 1:9. □


1 Baptist Planet Southern Religion - Retrieved 2 August 2021.
2 Matz T. St. Callistus I. Copyright 2009 Catholic Online. viewed 2 August 2021.

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