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Christ removes all barriers to catholicity of His church through faith

JeffLogan's picture

Thinking about Christ and how He breaks down all barriers and spoils all principalities and powers which prevent true universality, true catholicity, of His body, the church...

Has anyone ever considered that a living faith is not achieved by adding our works to our faith but rather, that faith is a gift from God which being quickened by the Holy Spirit produces obedience (good works)? (The keyword here is "quickened". It would serve you well to consult your Strong's Concordance.)

Think about this verse and tell me what it means:

    And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. -Acts 5:32 (KJV)

But first, before you answer, tell me what this means to demonstrate your wisdom:

    "Love means never having to say you're sorry." (Love Story, The movie.)

Does it mean...

    1) Love does nothing to warrant an apology

    2) Love takes no account of injury

    3) Other (explain)

Now answer the verse in question:

    And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. -Acts 5:32 (KJV)

Does it mean...

    1) God only gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him

    2) God gives His Holy Spirit to men so they might obey Him

    3) Other (explain)

This is a discovery exercise and not a theological debate. Opinions are welcomed but scriptural support would be even better. Be sure to interpret your scriptures so we can understand how you are using them. Commentaries may be insightful but a paraphrase in your own words would be appreciated and would demonstrate you understand your subject matter.

De Maria's picture

re: A discovery exercise in this

A discovery exercise in this context is a process whereby we hone our skills searching spiritual truths from scripture.


DM writes, "I would ask that you provide the Scripture which supports your opinion that Christ breaks down all barriers. Because Scripture says..."

I can see from the text you cited that you are searching down the wrong path.

Wrong path? Did you designate a correct path?

One passage you could have cited is Ephesians 2:11-20 which describes how Jesus' death on the cross ended the earthly sacrificial system which excluded the Gentiles.

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Eph 2:11-20 (KJV)

He did so by providing Himself as the Lamb slain for the whole world. Now everyone, everywhere can come to Him as their Mediator of the better covenant.

This verse speaks of pagans who have converted. Therefore, they must first convert. Those who remain pagans are not acceptable as your OP insinuated. Therefore all barriers have not been removed.

It has been taken out of the hands of men entirely.

Really? Scripture says that it has been put in man's hands:
Philippians 2:12
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

"But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises."

Heb 8:6 (KJV).

This required that the laws concerning the earthly sanctuary be changed. The shadow system was replaced by the true.

That is true. But that doesn't mean that the barriers between faith and unbelief have been removed. Nor that our salvation is out of our hands.

For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

Heb 7:12-14 (KJV)

This change occurred on the cross where these laws were annulled at Christ's death. That which waxeth old was ready to vanish away. And the blood of Jesus ratified the new covenant.

In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Heb 8:13 (KJV)

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Col 2:13-17 (KJV)

See, we are not to allow any one to judge us even respecting an holyday. No more holy day of obligation! Nor in meat or drink. No fasting days of obligation! None of those rudimentary things. Just Christ!

You are misreading that verse. The holyday to which it refers has to do with the "shadow of things to come" the Old Covenant.

We have not eliminated the law, but changed it. The body of Christ has its own holyday of obligation which must be observed by penalty of sin:
Hebrews 10 25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

KJV Col 2:8
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Col 2:20
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

And, there is nothing meritorious about observing special occurrences during the years. This is not a works gospel.

Then why assemble on the first day?
1 Corinthians 16:2
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Acts 20:7
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Gal 4:9-10 (KJV)

These are just some of the barriers that Christ removed. Now the path has been cleared of all debris so that the sinner can flee to Christ without any barriers, hurdles, or restrictions. You don't even have to wait to go to church. You can get on your knees and ask forgiveness of your sins and know that Jesus will forgive you. No need to wash before you come! Come as you are!

I would rather wash before I come (Titus 3:5). Otherwise, I would be condemned (Mark 16:16).

DM writes, "So, in the spirit of your intent for this discovery exercise, please provide the support for your opinion."

Whoa there! There is a forum for interdenominational debates but this is the Spiritual Discovery room. No need to challenge anyone here.

??? Isn't it you who said that opinions must be supported by Scripture? Doesn't that apply to you as well?

That's rather strange.

I want everyone to feel free to express their thoughts without being challenged. This is a discovery room. Besides, I started this thread. Please don't try to usurp my privileges.

What privileges? Are you implying that those who start a thread don't have to support their opinions with Scripture?

DM writes, "Yes. I believe that a living faith produces saving faith by producing good works. This is confirmed in Scripture:"

You started off great but then you fell right off the subject.

I don't know what you mean. You say I'm off topic but you proceed to continue along the same line right below.

We are discussing the quickening of the Holy Spirit which enables men to obey God and therefore perfect their faith.

Yes, we are. And the Holy Spirit does so by enabling us to obey God and perform good works which perfect our faith. That is in Scripture almost verbatim:
James 2:22
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

The word quicken means to make alive. Therefore, if the Holy Spirit quickens us then it can make our faith alive. In other words, does the Holy Spirit in us produce the fruit of the spirit which testifies that our faith is alive? A faith without works would be dead. But if we are void of the Holy Spirit then how can we produce good works. A dead person cannot produce living works. But a dead person quickened (made alive) by the Holy Spirit could. "Not I but Christ liveth in me."

Sounds like precisely what I said. What do you consider to be the difference?

DM writes, "3) Other-God gives the Holy Spirit to all men. But this verse is talking about those men who ACCEPT the gift. Just as I can give someone a gift which I like, they may look at it with disdain and promptly return. Therefore, those who disobey God in so doing, reject His Gift, the Holy Spirit."

Yes, but does God give it to them (1) because they obey or (2) so that they might obey? It sounds like you favor #2. It's just that not all wish to obey so they ignore the gift as though they did not receive it.

It is actually both. God gives the Holy Spirit to all men so that they might obey, but gives the Holy Spirit in greater measure to them that obey:
Matt 25
29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

DM writes, "I hope I've answered to your satisfaction."

Well, you did quite well but I will never be completely satisfied because there is so much ground we could cover. We've only scratched the surface.

A bit at a time.

There is a power mentioned in Daniel 8 which it is prophesied will try to cast the heavenly Priesthood and the place of God's tabernacle to the ground. That is, after Jesus arose and went to heaven to sit on the right hand of the Father and to be crowned our High Priest officiating in the heavenly temple this power would think to bring all those functions back to earth. "Cast [them] down" to earth. Oddly enough it says this power practiced and prospered. But in verse 14 we learn that the truth will come out and God's heavenly temple will be restored (cleansed; be made right) to its rightly place in the minds of His people. But that is another topic.

Yes, I've heard of it. Its all made up by people who add to Scripture their own prejudices. You aren't one of those are you?