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What are the Chief Truths Taught by Jesus?

We can find the chief truths taught by Jesus in the Catholic Church found in the Apostles’ Creed.

APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilot, was crucified, died and was buried.  He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.

These are the chief truths of the Catholic Church.  More explanation is below.

Jesus taught us that God is: all knowing, almighty, all-good.  These are God’s perfections that we praise.  He is the Supreme Being, eternal, and all-present (everywhere).  Jesus taught us that the Trinity is three Divine Persons but one God.

When we say hell in the Apostles’ Creed, we mean “the place where the good souls were waiting until heaven was reopened by Christ”.  We don’t mean the place of the damned.(The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism)

When we say that we believe in the Holy Catholic Church, we mean that Jesus chose and gave the power to Peter to be the first Pope. The successor of St. Peter is the Holy Father, the Pope now.  Jesus gave the power to teach, to sanctify and to rule the Church. “The Church is the congregation (body) of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice and the same sacraments, under the Holy Father, the Pope.” (Baltimore Catechism)  There is only one Church with one head, the Pope.  This is how Jesus founded it.

The Communion of Saints is our family of saints and deceased loved ones who all pray for us, intercede for us and are our family in heaven.

The power to forgive sins was given to Peter and the apostles only and is offered through Confession in the Church.  The power was not given to anyone except the apostles and their successors.  That means that other churches/pastors do not have this Jesus-given power because they broke succession.

Resurrection of the body means that our bodies will be resurrected up when Jesus comes which means that we should take special care of our bodies after death.  If we have received the Eucharist during our life, we are the tabernacle of the Lord.  We should not be cremated if we can help it and if we are, our ashes are not to be scattered; instead they should be buried right away and not left on someone’s mantle.  Our bodies should be blessed and have a proper funeral in the Church.

Life everlasting is what Jesus promised us if we ate of His Body and Blood, the Eucharist in John 6.  This is what Jesus instituted.  This is what the Mass is about.  This is the core of Catholicism.  If we don’t eat of it, then we have “no life within us.” John 6.

If you believe this, then you are on your way to being Catholic.

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Is there a difference what church you go to?

I have been told, “There’s no difference between the Lutheran Church and the Catholic Church…right”?  There are many similarities between them…however there are many differences too. (Sorry if this is long. There’s a lot of material to cover.)

ORIGIN-Who started the Catholic Church = Jesus in 33 A.D.   Who started the Lutheran Church = Martin Luther 1517 A.D.

REASON FOR BEING-Why was the Catholic Church started = Jesus wanted salvation for our souls.   Why was the Lutheran Church started = Martin wanted to break away from the Catholic Church and protest against the Pope and many teachings of the Catholic Church.

COMMUNION-What is the Catholic communion = The real presence of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ instituted by Jesus, regardless of the person’s belief, it is still Jesus.  What is the Lutheran communion= A symbol or taught that it’s the body and blood of Jesus; however in the Lutheran Catechism it states “It is not eating and drinking that (forgives sins), but the words  “given and shed for you for the remission of sins” that have the power and it requires the belief in these words to receive the benefit“.  The Lutheran Communion is not a valid sacrament in the Catholic Church because of their lack of validly ordained priests in the Apostolic Succession, so they do not have the authority, to consecrate the communion, which then makes it the Body and Blood of Jesus.  This means it is not the Body and Blood of Jesus.  It would be blessed like saying the blessing over your meal.

What is done with the communion bread after church in the Catholic Church=The remainder of the Hosts (wafers) are stored reverently in a Tabernacle kept in the Church.  They are not mixed with the unconsecrated ones.  Any remaining wine is consumed.  The vessels are carefully cleansed and anything left is consumed so as not to allow any particle of Jesus to go down the sewer or be disrespected. What is done with the communion bread after church in the Lutheran Church=If it is home cooked bread, some bring it back home to cook with or sometimes it is thrown away in the garbage. There is no tabernacle.  If it is wafers, then the “blessed” wafers are put back into the cellophane bag with the “unblessed” ones and kept for next time. Any remaining grape juice/wine is poured back into the bottle.

SACRAMENTS-A sacrament is an outward sign of God’s grace given as a gift to us for our salvation.  How many sacraments does the Catholic Church have = 7, Baptism, Holy Communion, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Matrimony and Anointing of the Sick.  How many sacraments does the Lutheran Church have = 2, Baptism and Holy Communion. They are Baptized but are not in full communion with the Catholic Church.

AUTHORITY/OFFICE OF KEYS-What the Catholic Church teaches=Jesus gave the authority to the apostles.  They were to form the Church and pass on this authority as Apostolic Succession in an unbroken line.  Jesus said “So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”.  Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus gave only Peter the keys to His Church, Heaven giving him authority.  He did not give this authority to the public to forgive sins or have authority to interpret scripture.  What the Lutheran Church teaches=They go by the scripture John 20:23 and Matthew 18:18 and teaches “to forgive the sins of those who repent and to declare to those who do not repent that their sins are not forgiven”.  Since Martin Luther broke away from the Catholic Church, he broke the apostolic succession and any successive pastors in the church lost the Jesus-given authority to forgive sins, consecrate the Eucharist, interpret scripture and head the church.  When Martin Luther broke away he became someone from the public again, so he refused any and all authority that was given to him as a priest in the Catholic Church.

CONFESSION OF SINS-What the Catholic Church teaches=This is a sacrament.  For mortal (large) sins it is required to go to Confession for forgiveness and receive grace to resist sin in the future.  Through the priest Jesus gives us absolution.  This teaching comes from scripture John 20:23 and Matthew 18:18, but Jesus only gave this authority through the Pope and validly ordained priests.  What the Lutheran Church believes about confession of sins=This is not a sacrament.  They believe that you can do private confession to the pastor and get absolution. They teach that the pastor may offer absolution by saying “By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.  (This sounds great however Jesus didn’t give the pastor the authority to absolve people of sin.9  This is only an authority given in the Catholic Church passed down through the Popes.)

Comparing the two churches shows some of the differences between them, and if you are searching, then you already know that it’s important to be in the one, holy, catholic (universal) and apostolic church that Jesus founded.

Sources: The Small Catechism by Martin Luther, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible.

 

 

 

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Believing in Jesus

A Martyr is someone who is killed because of their religious beliefs.  White Martyrdom is when a person is persecuted for their religious beliefs.  We all hear about martyrs but do we really think about it?  People who are willing to endure unspeakable pain, ridicule, anguish and torture because they won’t denounce their belief in God.

I spoke with someone about St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, who were both martyred for their faith.  They said that they believed in Jesus but didn’t understand why someone would die for their faith, “why not just ‘say’ what the captor wants to hear and then be free”?  This person didn’t truly understand that by “saying” what the captor wants, you are denouncing God.

We say we believe in Jesus, but to believe in Him means much more than just believing He existed.  What does it truly mean to believe in Jesus?    We think it’s all about love and roses because He has resurrected but if we read the scriptures below within the understanding of the Eucharist, then it takes on a new light.

  • John 6: 35  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life (the Eucharist); whoever comes to me (the Body of Christ in the Eucharist) will never hunger, and whoever believes in me (The Blood of Christ) will never thirst.
  • John 6: 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son (seeing and discerning the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist from that of ordinary bread) and believes in him (the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist) may have eternal life, and I shall raise him (on) the last day.
  • John 6: 47-48  Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes (in the Eucharist as the Real Presence) has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life  (The Eucharist).
  • John 6: 55  For my flesh is true food (The Body of Christ as The Eucharist), and my blood is true drink (the Blood of Christ).”

Try reading the scriptures John 6:35-58 with the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist in mind.  It is all in the context of the Eucharist and yes, Jesus meant it literally, not symbolically.  It’s eye opening.  Especially when you consider the scripture, “I am with you (in The Eucharist) always, until the end of the world” (Mt. 28:20).  The Eucharist has been with us since Jesus founded it on Holy Thursday at the Last Supper.  This is also the same time Jesus began the ordination of priests.  This is not a coincidence.  He needed the priests, because through the priests and the Holy Spirit we have the Eucharist.  This is only done through the ordination and apostolic succession of the priests.

Believing in Jesus means we believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Body and Blood of the Eucharist.  This is truly believing in Jesus.  You cannot have believing in Jesus without the Eucharist; Jesus and the Eucharist are the same and inseparable.  These sound like strong words but once you understand the connection; that the Eucharist is Jesus’ Heart, it makes perfect sense. (Check out the Miracle of Lanciano on my Links page-The Eucharist Host is true human heart tissue with veins and nerves and the Blood is AB blood type.)

When you read the above scriptures in a new light, then the idea of dying for our faith becomes more clear.  Of course we would die for Jesus if we truly love Him and understand what context He meant regarding the Eucharist.  The martyrs I mentioned above would not have died for a symbol, but they did die for the Eucharist.  When we get to that point, then and only then can we truly say, “I believe in Jesus and I would die for Him”.

For further information, check out the Bread of Life Discourse at BREAD OF LIFE DISCOURSE & REASONS TO BE CATHOLIC  (especially check out #42 and #43, then scroll down to the bottom of the page for a good explanation on the Eucharist).  They have an easy explanation of the Eucharist and the difference between Protestant and Catholic beliefs.

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Aren’t all the churches the same?

It shouldn’t matter which church I go to as long as I’m Christian, right?  Aren’t all churches pretty much the same?  As long as I believe in Jesus, that’s all I need, right?

Let’s reason this out:

  • What provision did Jesus leave us for the continuation of His Church?  You might say, the Bible, right?
  • Well, there’s nothing in the Bible that says anything about Jesus leaving us the Bible.  It didn’t exist yet.
  • This leads us to the apostolic succession.  Jesus gave the apostles the right to bind and loose and Peter is the Rock.  Jesus gave Peter the Apostolic Office of His one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
  • In Matt 16: 18-19 Jesus calls Peter the Rock and upon the Rock He will build His church (notice this is not plural churcheS).  He gave Peter the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever they bind on earth is bound in Heaven and whatever is loosed on earth is loosed in Heaven.  Peter was the first Pope.  The authority Jesus gave him was passed down from pope to pope through the laying on of hands through an unbroken line of succession through the ages (2000 years).
  • Anyone who does not receive the Divine Authority through Jesus and his apostles does not come from His church.

There are many churches out there and there are some truths is them but the Catholic Church is the only Church Jesus founded.  Peter died crucified upside-down for Jesus’ Church.  That should tell you something.

(Thank you to the radio show Called to Communion for some text on this page.)