Roman Catholic Bible Study Personal NotesTM
Using the Roman Catholic Bible to study Salvation, Tradition, Mass, Mary, Purgatory, Celibacy, Popes, Confession and many other topics.
Copyright 1998-2012 by J.D. Martinez
May be reproduced only in its entirety, without editing. These notes must remain totally free of charge and all copyright information must be included. No advertising may be added. No need to run Microsoft add-on.
Holy Scripture quotes in these personal study notes are from the Roman Catholic Bible: The New American Bible (NAB) With Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms (The New Catholic Translation), Catholic Bible Press (#9050N). This Bible is the latest official Roman Catholic translation of the Bible and is endorsed by the Pope. This Roman Catholic Bible was used in this study so Roman Catholics could feel comfortable as they examine Holy Scripture.
The purpose for these study notes is to share what I learned from Holy Scripture and provide some interesting information that is rarely if ever taught to most Roman Catholics. I have the utmost respect and love for Roman Catholics and that is why I want them to see for themselves the truth contained in Holy Scripture.
My name is J.D. Martinez. I was born into the Roman Catholic religion. I was an altar boy, attended mass, catechism classes, Roman Catholic parochial school and received all the sacraments up through Holy Matrimony. One thing I never did was read the Bible and therefore never knew any Holy Scripture except for small portions from the Catechism and missals at mass. Although the Holy Scripture readings at mass are on a repeating 3-year cycle most Holy Scripture is not included in the cycle; I therefore missed most of the word of God.
As a retired Air Force officer I had the time to spend years studying the Bible in depth from cover to cover several times in various old and modern translations. Because I love God and know “life is short,” I wanted to see for myself the truth in Holy Scripture. This was very important to me after going through a near-death experience. This was the only way I could know for sure how to get right with God.
One reason I prepared these personal study notes was because I know that not everyone has the time to study the Bible the way I did. With the Roman Catholic Bible, these notes and source materials listed at the end of these notes, you should be able to clearly see the truth for yourself. I also included information in the “comments” sections that I found to be interesting.
The Roman Catholic Bible referenced above is a paperback edition available through many bookstores and online. It contains “study helps” which are Roman Catholic interpretations and commentary on Holy Scripture. I added the page numbers for this paperback edition for your convenience. If you don’t have this exact edition the page number should at least get you fairly close to the chapter and verse where it will be easy to find. You can also use the table of contents. I’ll illustrate an example: (Ephesians 2:8) (NAB) (1331) means the book of Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 8, New American Bible translation, page 1331 of the paperback Bible edition referenced above. Catechism references are from the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and reference paragraph numbers are given.
All Bible references are very important so quotes can be read along with the entire chapter for the complete context in which they’re used. This is very important because I’ve often found that some people who have not read Holy Scripture try to brush off the word of God in Holy Scripture by saying “it’s taken out of context.” Footnotes are given for supporting references and source material listed at the end of these study notes. You will also find web links to other Christian web sites near the end of these notes.
The Roman Catholic NAB is a very clear modern translation overall. For additional clarity a second translation was put alongside the NAB translation in only five of all the Holy Scripture quotes in these study notes.
Emphasis such as CAPITAL LETTERS has been added by me to highlight key points. All personal comments and source material information follow Holy Scripture quotes and are also in the “comments” sections. All Holy Scripture is in bold type.
There is so much I have learned and want to share but will limit this study to the following popular topics. I encourage you to read them all or simply “click” on the topics individually. If your time is limited, at least read “Salvation, Tradition, Mass, Epilogue, and How To Receive Jesus.” You may also save or print this out and read at your leisure.
(“saved”) (“justified”) (“born again”) (“born from above”) (“eternal life” with God in heaven)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is NOT from you; it is the gift of God; it is NOT from works, so no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8) (NAB) (1331) Holy Scripture clearly says here that you can NOT earn your way to heaven by good works such as being a good person or by doing more good than bad. Grace is a free gift of God through faith in Jesus. Good works cannot save you; however, good works may be one of the results of being saved through faith.
“a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ,…because by works of the law no one will be justified.” (Galatians 2:16) (NAB) (1323) Read Galatians Chapter 3 (NAB) (1321-1328) for a more detailed look at how Holy Scripture condemns teaching justification (salvation) through good works instead of by faith.
“But if by grace, it is no longer because of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace." (Romans 11:6) (NAB) (1275) Grace is defined as the unmerited or undeserved favor of God which the Bible says is a gift of God and would not be grace if it had to be earned by good works.
“Therefore, let us leave behind the basic teaching about Christ and advance to maturity, without laying the foundation all over again: repentance from dead works and faith in God” (Hebrews 6:1) (NAB) (1382) This unmistakably means we need to repent from dead works (change from doing good works for salvation) and first and foremost put our faith in God alone.
“But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, NOT BECAUSE OF ANY RIGHTEOUS DEEDS WE HAVE DONE but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7) (NAB) (1373) As a Roman Catholic I was taught that you had to earn your own salvation by earning grace from good works (good deeds, sacraments, etc.). (Catechism, 1477)
“realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.” (1 Peter 1:18-19) (NAB) (1403) Jesus paid for our sins on the cross; they are not paid for by any good works we have done. All we have to do is accept this free gift by receiving Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior by becoming born again.
“For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) (NAB) (1132)
“One cannot redeem oneself, pay to God a ransom. Too high the price to redeem a life; one would never have enough to stay alive forever and never see the pit.” (Psalm 49:7-8) (NAB) (590) Holy Scripture clearly says here that you can never do enough to redeem yourself (earn your way to heaven); the price is too high. That’s why Jesus died on the cross to pay the ransom for us. To accept this free gift of God Jesus said we must repent and believe to become born again. As a Roman Catholic I was taught that I could save myself and others through good works and indulgences (Catechism 1477, 1479). Catechism Paragraph 2027 says: “We can mint for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life.” Again, this very clearly contradicts Holy Scripture.
“not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith to know him” (Philippians 3:9-10) (NAB) (1342) I cannot earn my own righteousness for salvation; the only righteousness comes through faith in Christ.
“all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as an expiation, through faith” (Romans 3:23-25) (NAB) (1266-1267) Expiation means to the appeasement or satisfaction of God. This clearly means we are justified (saved) freely by his grace through faith in Jesus.
“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness (saved). A worker’s wage is credited not as a gift, but something due. But when one does not work, but believes in the one who justifies (saves) the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” (Romans 4:3-5) (NAB) (1267) Once again Holy Scripture says that God credits the righteousness of Jesus to your account when you believe in him. As shown earlier, you can never do enough on your own to earn self-righteousness.
“It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes;” (Romans 1:16) (NAB) (1264)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) (NAB) (1270)
“If you confess with your mouth that JESUS IS LORD and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and is so justified, and one confesses with the mouth and is so saved.” (Romans 10:9-10) (NAB) (1274) Only God knows your heart. When you confess “Jesus is Lord” you are declaring that Jesus is your Savior (from sin and eternal punishment) and Lord (master) of your life. When I was a Roman Catholic I never knew what “Jesus is Lord” meant and simply used the term “Lord” as just another title for Jesus or God. He wasn’t “number one” in my life nor the true master of my life. I never thought of Him as my true savior since I was too busy trying to save myself through good works and sacraments.
“I write these things to you so that YOU MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, you who believe in the name of the son of God.” (1 John 5:13) (NAB) (1418) The Bible clearly says here you CAN know you’re saved and going to heaven. As a Roman Catholic I was taught that you can NOT know if you have attained eternal life until after you die! It’s too late to find out then; and eternity is forever! (Catechism 1036, 2005)
JESUS said: “rejoice because your names have been written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20) (NAB) (1162) Jesus Himself even says here you can know that you’ve been saved and are going to heaven.
JESUS said: “whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me HAS ETERNAL LIFE and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24) (NAB) (1197)
JESUS said: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) (NAB) (1193)
“In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have BELIEVED IN HIM, were sealed with the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 1:13) (NAB) (1330) When you’re sealed by the Holy Spirit you are born again and a child of God.
“But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who BELIEVE in his name,” (John 1:12) (NAB) (1189)
“There is no salvation through anyone else (not even Mary) nor is there any other name under heaven (not even the Roman Catholic Church) given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4:12) (NAB) (1228) Only Jesus can save!
“For our sake He (God) made him (Jesus) to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) (NAB) (1310) God’s standard (a perfectly sinless life) can never be achieved by humans. Sin is a barrier between God and us. But because God loves us so much he sent Jesus in human form to live a perfectly sinless life in our place and take the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross. Jesus offers us His perfectly sinless life (His righteousness) to us as a free gift. All we have to do is receive Him by becoming truly born again.
JESUS said: “I assure you, unless you are BORN AGAIN, you can never see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) (NLT) NAB translation: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” (John 3:3) (NAB) (1193) “Born again” literally means “Born from above.” This is probably one of the most important scriptures in the Bible, yet it is never taught in the 3-year repeating cycle of scripture readings used in the mass. If you look in the back of your Bible you will not find John 3:3 listed. (NAB) (1481-1488)
Nicodemus said to JESUS: “How can a person once grown old be BORN AGAIN? Surely he cannot re-enter his mother’s womb and be BORN AGAIN can he?” JESUS answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.” (John 3:4-6) (NAB) (1193)
“So whoever is in Christ (born again) is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) (NAB) (1310) This makes it clear that you will see the change in the life of someone that has repented to become truly “born again.” As a Roman Catholic I was taught that I was born again when I got baptized; however, as a baby I had no concept of sin and therefore could not change my sinful lifestyle and make my own personal commitment to God.
“I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27) (NAB) (952) This is another reason why you see the change in someone that is truly born again. It may be a gradual change, but you’ll see a definite change in their lives as they make God their first priority.
“the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) (NAB) (1339) This means when you become born again God fills you with the Holy Spirit and helps refine you in a gradual process the rest of your life. This is called sanctification where you grow in your Christian walk.
“Sometimes a way seems right to a man, but the end of it leads to death!” (Proverbs 16:25) (NAB) (673) Salvation can NOT be attained by man’s way of trying to earn his way to heaven through good deeds and sacrifices. Holy Scripture says salvation is a free gift of God which anyone can accept by becoming born again. Good deeds are one of the results of a saving faith. Good deeds don’t get you into heaven; however, if you have truly been born again your good deeds will determine your rewards in heaven.
JESUS’ disciples asked: “Who then can be saved?” JESUS looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:25-26) (NAB) (1093) Jesus made it clear that it is impossible for us to save ourselves. It is only possible with what Jesus did for us. Jesus was the only one to ever lead a perfectly sinless life on this earth. He was the unblemished sacrificial lamb who paid the penalty for our sins. By becoming truly born again we put all our faith and trust in what Jesus has done for us rather than what we can do for ourselves. This free gift is how God makes it possible for us to have salvation and spend eternity with God in heaven.
JESUS said: “But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish” (Luke 13:3) (NAB) (1168) Repent means to turn away from sinful ways and toward God. Many people believe in Jesus but fail to repent and Jesus says you must believe and REPENT to be saved!
JESUS said: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty DEEDS in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never KNEW you. Depart from me you evil doers.’” (Matthew 7:21-23) (NAB) (1071) Jesus clearly said only the one who does the will of the Father (believe, repent and obey) will be saved. Deeds don’t get you to heaven; it’s knowing Jesus through repentance and a personal relationship (when you become born again). Again, good works are one of the results of salvation, not its cause.
As stated earlier “born again” literally means “born from above” and “born of spirit.” This is what happens when you believe in Jesus. “Believe” in this case does not simply mean that you acknowledge that Jesus existed and what the Bible says about him is true. After all, Holy Scripture says: “Even the demons believe.” (James 2:19) (NAB) (1398)
“Believe” for salvation’s sake means you literally put your full weight and trust in Jesus as your personal Lord (Master of your life) and Savior (from sin for salvation). You do this by surrendering (committing) your life to Him (giving God control), inviting Him into your heart, asking for forgiveness of your sins, and repenting (changing your direction toward God and changing your sinful ways with God’s help). You must also believe with all your heart that Jesus is the son of God who died on the cross for your sins and was resurrected from the dead. (Romans 10:9) (NAB) (1274)
Once you are truly born again doesn’t mean you’ll live perfectly without sin. It means you will not habitually sin and will avoid circumstances that could lead to sin. If you sin, you can confess directly to God in prayer. Only God knows your heart and will forgive you if you’re sincerely sorry and repent. Again, repent means you commit to God that you will turn away from sinful ways (with God’s help; you can’t do it alone). In short, you will be doing it God’s way instead of your own way. The creator of the universe knows what’s best for you and loves you more than you’ll ever know; so don’t be afraid to put all your trust in Him!
(Tradition can be biblical or unbiblical. Jesus clearly spoke against unbiblical tradition, which includes man-made religious rules, precepts, and rituals in the Gospel of Mark.)
JESUS said: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES HUMAN PRECEPTS. YOU DISREGARD GOD’S COMMANDMENT BUT CLING TO HUMAN TRADITION.” He went on to say, “HOW WELL YOU HAVE SET ASIDE THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD IN ORDER TO UPHOLD YOUR TRADITION!” (Mark 7:6-9) (NAB) (1126)
JESUS said: “YOU NULLIFY THE WORD OF GOD IN FAVOR OF YOUR TRADITION THAT YOU HAVE HANDED ON. AND YOU DO MANY SUCH THINGS.” (Mark 7:13) (NAB) (1126)
“See to it that no one captivates you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to HUMAN TRADITION, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8) (NAB) (1348)
The Apostle Paul said: “Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or Sabbath.” (Colossians 2:16) (NAB) (1348) As a Roman Catholic I was taught that it was a mortal sin to miss mass on a “holy day of obligation” and if I did would spend eternity in hell unless I confessed to a priest. Also, for several years before the tradition changed I was not supposed to eat meat on Fridays. This may change back again since the nation’s bishops are considering returning to this tradition.23 Another point I’d like to make is that unbiblical tradition (words of man) changes; Holy Scripture (Word of God) does not change.
“If you died with Christ (born again) to the elemental powers of the world, why do you still submit to regulations as if you were still living in the world? ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’ These are all things destined to perish with use; they accord with HUMAN PRECEPTS AND TEACHINGS.’” (2 Colossians 2:20-22) (NAB) (1348-1349) As a Roman Catholic for several years I couldn’t touch the Eucharist with my hands or drink the wine at mass UNTIL these man-made teachings changed. Also, there were many other man-made rules that have since changed. The point is unbiblical man-made tradition rules keep changing. God and Holy Scripture never change.
“not to go beyond what is written (in Holy Scripture)” (1 Corinthians 4:6) (NAB) (1287) After being a Roman Catholic for over forty years and studying the Bible from cover to cover several times I know for a fact that Roman Catholic tradition goes well beyond what is written. Just look at all the unbiblical traditions that have been added over the centuries (mass, rosary, praying to saints, purgatory, etc.).
“and that from infancy you have known the SACRED SCRIPTURES, WHICH ARE CAPABLE OF GIVING YOU WISDOM FOR SALVATION THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:15-17) (NAB) (1369) This plainly says Holy Scripture alone is capable of giving you the wisdom you need for salvation along with everything you need of be an effective Christian.
I can see clearly how Jesus felt about religious human tradition; he chastised the Jews for it Himself. All of the human tradition in today’s Roman Catholic Church did not exist in the first three centuries of the Apostolic Christian Church.
Man-made tradition began creeping into church teachings around 324 A.D. when Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion. The pagans then got into the church to gain the rights of Christians and in doing so brought in much of their pagan tradition and rituals. The pagans did this because they found Christian worship too simple after practicing their own elaborate pagan ritualistic tradition.4
Before this unbiblical tradition began entering church teachings there were no confessionals, statues, rosaries, votive candles, holy water, images, relics, medals, vestments, scapulars, signs of the cross, prayers for the dead, purgatory, limbo, prayers to Mary and the saints, novenas, popes, nuns, celibacy of clergy, sacrifices of the mass, lent, etc.4 Also, there were not seven sacraments; just the only two in Holy Scripture: baptism and communion.
In 1545 A.D. the Roman Catholic Vatican Council of Trent declared Tradition to be of EQUAL authority as Holy Scripture!7
As a Roman Catholic I was taught that Scripture and Tradition together were the rule of faith because the early Christian Church was without a New Testament and relied on the oral teachings of the Apostles. I was then taught that the New Testament came later when a portion of Tradition was put into writing.
First of all, even the very first Christians were never without Holy Scripture. As a matter of fact just three days after the crucifixion Jesus explained the Old Testament Scripture to two of his disciples who were traveling back to their homes. Jesus explained to them all the truths concerning Himself in the Old Testament from the time of Moses up through the prophets. See Luke 24:25-32 (NAB) (1185) The early Jewish Christians rediscovered their own Holy Scripture when they found the prophetic life, death and resurrection of Jesus in the Old Testament thanks to the Holy Spirit coming on the day of Pentecost and the Apostles’ teachings.2
Much of the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching is widely ignored by Roman Catholics. “Almost half of Catholic marriages end in divorce, the same rate as for other Americans. Of those who applied in 1992 in the United States, according to Vatican statistics, 83 percent received annulments while only 2 percent were denied. Fifteen percent of the cases were abandoned by the applicants.”29 Ninety percent of divorced Catholics don’t get annulments and violate church teachings with many parish priests’ knowledge.29 A high profile case was the annulment of Joe and Sheila R. Kennedy as outlined in her book, “Shattered Faith.” Sheila Kennedy said on the April 23, 1998 Good Morning America television show that there are 50-60 thousand annulments every year.21 This seems to be one way of getting around the divorce issue in the Roman Catholic Church.
Tradition is always changing. An example to show how tradition (man’s word) changes is in the Roman Catholic teachings on cremation. The Roman Catholic Church banned cremation and wouldn’t even allow the ashes inside the church during mass. The ashes would have to wait outside in the hearse. In the 1980’s cremation was allowed along with the scattering of the ashes. Now a new teaching in 1997 bans the scattering of ashes. More recently in 2004 the Roman Catholic Church changed some of the traditions of the Mass including rules, postures and gestures.31 This is another reason why I can’t understand how the Roman Catholic Church can declare that tradition (word of man which changes) can be on equal footing as Holy Scripture (Word of God which never changes).
Surveys recently commissioned by conservative Roman Catholic groups have found for example that the vast majority of U.S. Catholics see nothing wrong with birth control (before conception); they also have problems with other tradition. The conclusion as reported in the news media of the Roman Catholic polls: “Therefore, the current alienation between the teaching authority and the faithful will continue.”17
Even the tradition of the mass (the next topic) is always changing. Recently in November 2011 the missal used in the mass’s liturgy was given a new translation resulting in some controversy. As reported in the New York Times “the debate over the new translation has been angry and bitter, exposing rifts between a Vatican-led church hierarchy that has promoted the new translation as more reverential and accurate, and critics, among them hundreds of priests, who fear it is a retreat from the commitment of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s to allowing people to pray in a simple, clear vernacular as they participate in the church’s sacred rites.”32
The term “priest” is defined as someone who makes sacrifices and is a mediator between God and man. Before Jesus died on the cross Jewish priests would make animal blood sacrifices and burnt offerings for the forgiveness of sins. As shown below when Jesus completed ONCE AND FOR ALL his sacrifice on the cross, the temple curtain (which separated God from man in the Jewish temple) was torn from top to bottom. This signified man being given direct access to God through Jesus because of what Jesus did on the cross. According to the Bible priests are no longer mediators between man and God because Jesus became the “High Priest” (Hebrews 2:17) (NAB) (1379) who made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for our sins ONCE AND FOR ALL.
However, today Roman Catholic Priests conduct the “sacrifice of the mass” which I was taught is the continuing sacrifice of Jesus’ actual physical body and blood. This means that every priest around the world at every mass supposedly brings Jesus down from heaven bodily for what I was taught was an unbloody sacrifice. I was taught that Jesus’ actual sacrificed body, blood, soul, and divinity are in each host (Eucharist). (Catechism 1374)
The change from the bread and wine elements to the actual physical body and blood of Jesus is called “transubstantiation.” There is nothing in Holy Scripture about Jesus having to be continually sacrificed. In fact Holy Scripture is very clear in several verses by stating that Jesus’ sacrifice was finished ONCE AND FOR ALL as you will see in Holy Scripture below. Also, an “unbloody” sacrifice contradicts Holy Scripture as shown in the next Bible verse.
“without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22) (NAB) (1387) Jesus shed his actual body and blood ONCE AND FOR ALL on the cross at Calvary for the forgiveness of sins.
“Not that he (Jesus) might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now ONCE AND FOR ALL he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice.” (Hebrews 9:25-26) (NAB) (1387) Note that Jesus does NOT offer himself “repeatedly” as a sacrifice but “ONCE AND FOR ALL.”
“we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE AND FOR ALL. Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But this one (Jesus) offered ONE sacrifice for sins and took his seat FOREVER at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:10-12) (NAB) (1387-1388)
“Where there is forgiveness of these, THERE IS NO LONGER OFFERING FOR SIN. Therefore, brothers, since through the blood of Jesus we have the confidence of entrance into the sanctuary by the new and living way he opened for us the veil,” (Hebrews 10:18-20) (NAB) (1388) Again, the temple curtain that veiled us from direct access to God was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died on the cross. This signified giving us direct access to God through Jesus alone. As shown above in Holy Scripture he became our “High Priest” and the only one who could make the perfect sacrifice ONCE AND FOR ALL. For more details and the full context I encourage you to read all of Hebrews chapter 10. (NAB) (1387-1389)
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you PROCLAIM the death of the Lord until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26) (NAB) (1295)
JESUS said: “DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME” (Luke 22:19) (NAB) (1181)
JESUS said: “DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME” (1 Corinthians 11:24) (NAB) (1295) Bread and wine are symbols of his body and blood and are taken in remembrance of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. The symbolism in Holy Communion can be meaningful or meaningless depending on whether you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus used a lot of parables and figurative language in the Bible to help people understand his message. Jesus himself said he uses figures of speech in John 16:25 (NAB) (1214). Examples of Jesus’ figures of speech: “This is my flesh,” “I am the door,” “I am the light,” “I am the vine” which were obviously not meant to be taken literally. Jesus often used physical terms to describe spiritual things. Jesus and his apostles were Jews and to drink actual physical blood is strictly forbidden in the Old Testament. Jesus also said at this Passover meal that he would not drink the “fruit of the vine” again until he is in heaven. The key point is he was talking about wine as a symbol, he was not talking about drinking his own actual physical blood at the Passover meal and about drinking blood again in heaven.
JESUS said: “Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever.” (Revelation 1:18) (NAB) (1428) Even Jesus says that he does not continue to die for our sins over and over at each mass.
JESUS said: “It is finished.” (John 19:30) (NAB) (1218) These were his last words on the cross when he completed the sacrifice of his actual body and blood ONCE AND FOR ALL for our sins. When something is finished, it’s finished! The Greek word used in the original text of Holy Scripture is “tetelestai” which means “It is paid; the debt has been paid in full.”26 To suggest that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was not finished ONCE AND FOR ALL means Jesus’ sacrifice was insufficient. As a Roman Catholic I was taught that a priest is required to continue the sacrifice of Jesus’ actual body and blood over and over for our sins.
“We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin ONCE AND FOR ALL;” (Romans 6:9-10) (NAB) (1269)
“This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.” (Acts 1:11) (NAB) (1224) This was speaking about Jesus’ ascension into heaven. It means that like in his ascension he will return from the clouds on his next bodily return to earth. Holy Scripture says nothing about Jesus returning bodily for sacrifices several hundred times a day at masses around the world.
It’s very clear from Holy Scripture that Jesus died ONCE AND FOR ALL for our sins and he cannot be continually sacrificed over and over at every mass around the world. When Holy scripture repeats itself (“once and for all”) it is done for emphasis.
Holy Scripture explains Holy Communion as not only proclaiming and remembering what Jesus did on the Cross but also signifying oneness with Christ. This is because His church is made up of all true born again believers who make up the body of Christ; and Christ is the head of the church. Holy Scripture: “Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” (1 Corinthians 10:17) (NAB) (1294) Holy Communion is an expression of our oneness. As we partake of the same elements (bread and wine), we partake of what the elements symbolized: Christ through whom we are one. Again, all true born again believers are part of the one body of Christ which is his church.
Archbishop Michael Sheehan of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe was quoted in the November 29, 1997 Albuquerque Journal as saying that the Roman Catholic Church now will allow non-Catholics on certain occasions to receive the Eucharist, such as during a wedding ceremony. “There used to be a time when Catholics were forbidden to go into non-Catholic churches and enter into prayers,” he said. “We see a great value to Catholics going to services at other churches on occasion, for family reasons and for neighborly reasons,” he said.28
The tradition of mass developed gradually as a sacrifice and attendance was made obligatory in the 11th century.4
(Mary was the blessed virgin earthly mother of Jesus’ humanity and a model Christian.)
“And Mary said: ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God MY SAVIOR.’” (Luke 1:47) (NAB) (1145) Mary was human and here she rejoiced in her SAVIOR. If someone was perfectly sinless in their entire life like Jesus was they would not need a savior to pay the penalty of sin. This does not take away the fact that Mary was a role model for Christians.
“ALL have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) (NAB) (1266) All means all. The only one to ever walk on this earth without sin was Jesus, the unblemished Lamb of God; again, Mary was a model Christian but was also human and needed a savior.
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us.’ When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her UNTIL she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.” (Matthew 1:23-25) (NAB) (1063) Holy Scripture says that after Jesus was born Mary raised a family and there is absolutely nothing wrong with natural motherhood within the bounds of marriage.
The Bible in the Gospel of Matthew speaks about Jesus’ family when Jesus is rejected in his own hometown of Nazareth. “Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his BROTHERS James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his SISTERS all with us?” (Matthew 13:55-56) (NAB) (1083) As a Roman Catholic I was told that these were really his cousins. However, Holy Scripture’s original languages use the word for blood brother in this verse and use a different word when talking about a cousin in the book of Colossians. Also, look again at the context and you’ll see it’s clearly the immediate family (father, mother, son, brothers and sisters).
JESUS said: “Woman, how does your concern affect me?” (John 2:4) (NAB) (1192) Jesus addressed Mary as “Woman.” Mary is the earthly human mother of Jesus’ humanity, not the mother of Jesus’ deity. As a Roman Catholic I was told she was the mother of God (deity).
“Praise the name of the Lord, for his name ALONE is exalted;” (Psalm 148:13) (NAB) (655) As a Roman Catholic I was taught that God has exalted Mary in heavenly glory as “Queen of Heaven” and she is to be praised with special devotion. (Catechism 966, 871, 2675)
“I am the Lord, this is my name; my glory I give to NO OTHER, nor my praise to idols.” (Isaiah 42:8) (NAB) (820) As a Roman Catholic I used to see many celebrations with Mary as the focus including processions where a statue of Mary was carried around and glorified with praise. Most everyone has heard the famous song, “Ave Maria.” An idol can be anything important in one’s life including a person, a saint, an object, yourself (pride), money, materialism or any other “gods.”
“For there is one God. There is also ONE mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as ransom for all.” (1 Timothy 2:5) (NAB) (1361) Holy Scripture here clearly says that Jesus is the one and only mediator between God and humans; not Mary, saints and priests. As a Roman Catholic I was taught that Mary was a co-mediator to entrust cares and petitions. (Catechism 968-970, 2677)
JESUS said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME.” (John 14:6) (NAB) (1211) There is no place in Holy Scripture that says you go through Mary to have access to or petition God. Also, there is nothing in Holy Scripture about grace from God flowing through Mary to us.
“There is no salvation through ANYONE ELSE, nor is there ANY OTHER NAME under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4:12) (NAB) (1228) Only Jesus! As a Roman Catholic I was taught that Mary is the co-redeemer because she participated in the painful act of redemption. (Catechism 618, 964, 968, 970)
Again, Mary was a model Christian and the beautiful blessed virgin earthly mother of Jesus. Church history is about 2,000 years old, yet most of the Roman Catholic doctrines of Mary have been proclaimed in just the last 150 years! These doctrines which are NOT in Holy Scripture continue to elevate Mary higher and higher with each new added doctrine. Many of these doctrines have made Mary into an idol and have given her attributes similar to Jesus.
For example, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the doctrine of the “Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary” in 1854. Holy Scripture plainly states that JESUS was conceived immaculately in Mary’s womb. However, the Roman Catholic doctrine of 1854 states that MARY was conceived immaculately in MARY’S MOTHER and thus avoided “original sin!” (Catechism 490-492)
Most Roman Catholics believe that when they celebrate the “Immaculate Conception of Mary” they are celebrating Jesus’ immaculate conception in Mary’s womb, which is a true fact in Holy Scripture. However, when the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the “Immaculate Conception” they are really celebrating their own Roman Catholic doctrine of Mary’s immaculate conception in Mary’s mother!
Also, a little over 60 years ago in 1950 Pope Pius XII proclaimed the “Assumption of the Virgin Mary” (Mary’s body and soul ascension into heaven). This was proclaimed because many people questioned whether or not Mary died since she was proclaimed to be sinless by the earlier proclaimed doctrine of her immaculate conception in her mother. After all, Holy Scriptures states that the “wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) (NAB) (1270) So because of the earlier proclaimed doctrine saying that Mary was born without “original sin” than she must have ascended bodily into heaven. Yet with these great miracles there is not one single word about any of these doctrines on Mary in Holy Scripture!
There are many other Roman Catholic teachings on Mary which you can see for yourself are not in the Bible. In fact, when I read the Bible for the first time I first noticed how very little Mary is mentioned in the Bible. What little is mentioned is primarily about her human role as Jesus’ earthly mother. The exception is the Immaculate Conception of JESUS in Mary’s womb which is why she is called “blessed among women.”
Unfortunately, I believe the Mary of the Bible would be saddened to see all the praise and veneration she receives which should all be directed to God alone.
THE BOTTOM LINE OF HOLY SCRIPTURE: Mary was the mother of Jesus’ humanity, not his deity! Jesus is the one and only redeemer and mediator between mankind and God, not Mary, Priests, Saints, religions, churches, etc. That’s why Holy Scripture in Revelation 3:20 (NAB) (1431) illustrates that Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When you repent and invite Jesus into your heart and life as your personal Lord and Savior you become born again.
The title of “pope” means “universal bishop” and comes from the word “papa” or “father.” This title was first offered to the bishop of Rome, Gregory I in 604 A.D. by Emperor Phocus. The Emperor did this to spite the Bishop of Constantinople who had excommunicated Emperor Phocus for assassinating the previous emperor. Gregory I refused the title of pope. However, his successor, Boniface III compelled Emperor Phocus to give him the title in 607 A.D. and it has been the designation for bishops of Rome ever since.4
To have an “unbroken chain” of popes the Roman Catholic Church lists all previous bishops of Rome as popes. As a Roman Catholic I was taught that popes are part of an unbroken chain of successors to the Apostles (Catechism 861-862, 938). The Apostle Peter said otherwise in Holy Scripture.
After the Apostle Judas Iscariot hanged himself the Apostles were discussing a successor for Judas. The Apostle Peter said: “it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection.” (Acts 2:21-22) (NAB) (1224) No pope has met this requirement.
In Holy Scripture’s Letter to the Romans from Paul there is absolutely no acknowledgment of Peter ever being in Rome at all. Even if he had been in Rome he surely would have been mentioned or greeted in the greeting section of the letter to the Church of Rome which greeted 27 people. (See Romans 16:1-23) (NAB) (1280)
The New Testament was written in Greek which is a very precise language. Jesus said to Peter after Peter confessed his faith to Jesus that Jesus was the Christ (Messiah): (original Greek words are shown below)
“Thou art Peter (Petros) and upon this rock (Petra) (faith in Jesus as the Messiah) I will build my church.” (Matthew 16:18) (NAB) (1087)
Petros: masculine gender Greek noun meaning boulder or stone.
Petra: feminine gender Greek noun meaning massive rock formation.
The bottom line: Jesus is the rock, not Peter! Jesus and the fact that he was the Christ (Messiah) made the rock (petra) foundation on which the church is built! The word “petra” was also used in Matthew 7:24-25 (NAB) (1071) to describe where a wise man builds his house. So Jesus precisely said: “Thou art Peter (stone) and upon this rock (faith in Jesus as the Messiah) I will build my church.”
Holy Scripture unmistakably teaches that “Christ is the head of the church” (Ephesians 5:23) (NAB) (1335) Also, “GOD ALONE is my rock and salvation,” (Psalm 62:3) (NAB) (597) And 1 Peter 2:6-8 (NAB) (1403) says that Jesus Christ is the rock and chief cornerstone of the church. As a Roman Catholic I was taught that the Pope was the head of the church. (Catechism 882)
Even the new Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: ‘You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God.’ On the ROCK of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.” (Catechism 424)
The infallibility of the Pope was greatly debated but was finally approved by the Vatican Council in 1870. If you know history and the Bible you know that popes are human and have made errors in their teachings on faith and morals directly and indirectly. Examples include the Crusades, Inquisition, Tradition that contradicts Holy Scripture and actions of the pope during World War II.
A specific example to show that popes are human and are fallible is when Pope Eugene IV (1431-1447) condemned Joan of Arc (1421-1431) to be burned alive at the stake as a witch while another pope, Benedict XV, declared her to be a Saint in 1919. Obviously the first pope had to be wrong.4
Also, during the inquisition popes Paul V (1605-1621) and Urban VIII (1623-1644) condemned Galileo for his true scientific theory that the earth revolved around the sun instead of just the opposite. Yet Galileo was imprisoned and tortured during the inquisition because these popes said Galileo’s theory contradicted Holy Scripture.5 Obviously these popes misinterpreted Holy Scripture; yet the Roman Catholic Church claims its Magisterium is the infallible interpreter of Holy Scripture. Finally in 1992 the pope declared the church erred in condemning Galileo.27
Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) recommended people read the Bible while Pope Pius VII (1800-1823) and other popes condemned the practice! 5
The Vatican revised the list of the “unbroken chain” of popes several times. Some popes made such serious errors that they were removed from office. For example, there were two Pope John XXIII’s! The Council of Constance removed the first Pope John XXIII (1410-1415) for immorality and simony (profiting from his position) and the Roman Catholic Church now says he was not a legitimate pope.5
Probably one of the greatest examples of pope fallibility on faith and morals is Pope Honorarius (625-638 A.D.). He taught false doctrine about Jesus and was anathematized (cursed) by Councils and popes as a heretic for centuries.5 Although he was a pope for 13 years he was also excommunicated by the sixth ecumenical council in 680 A.D. He was condemned for teaching heresy about Jesus, yet the pope’s teachings on faith and morals are supposed to be infallible!
Popes historically have had great influence over the heads of state in Europe and were able to dethrone Kings and Queens, etc. However, Pope Pius XII never seriously tried to stop Adolph Hitler and Mussolini who were Roman Catholics and heads of state. In fact, the Vatican signed a concordat with Hitler and supported Mussolini in his rise to power!4 They were never even excommunicated for their atrocities against humanity. For a shocking study on this subject you can read the following books by Roman Catholic born authors: “The Vatican Against Europe” and “Genocide in Satellite Croatia” by Edmond Paris; also “Assassins in the Name of God” by Herve Lauriere. The same Pope Pius XII who signed the concordat with Adolph Hitler also in 1950 proclaimed the Assumption of Mary’s physical body into heaven.
There were 29 popes that held office and are now said to have obtained the office of pope fraudulently or were found to be unfit for the office and are now called “anti-popes.” I have not mentioned the most serious errors of former popes because they are very shocking and hard to believe but you can read about them yourself in a book by Joseph R. Schofield, a former Roman Catholic Catechism teacher. The book is called “Escape From Purgatory.” There is also a book on this subject written by a Roman Catholic who described in detail many of the errors and abuses of popes. The book is entitled The Papal Princes, by Glenn D. Kittler with the Nihil Obstat of Daniel D. Flynn, S.T.D., Censor Librorum, and the Imprimatur of Cardinal Spellman, 1960.
The Vatican revised the list of popes in 1947 by adding some names and deleting some. For example, Pope Pius XII was inaugurated as the 262nd pope in 1939. But today the 262nd pope is listed as Pope Paul VI (1963-1978).5 To cover obvious errors of popes I was taught as a Roman Catholic that the infallibility of teachings on morals and faith only applied when the pope was speaking “ex cathedra” (when sitting on his throne). How do you know which teachings were from when the pope was sitting on his throne?
As a Roman Catholic I was taught that popes represented Jesus on earth. Jesus was very humble and according to Holy Scripture (Luke 9:58) (NAB) (1162) did not even have his own place to rest his head. Popes on the other hand have lived as rich and powerful kings in an extremely expensive palace of over 1400 rooms full of expensive art with numerous servants and staff. The “coronation” clothes and crowns they wear are also extremely expensive.4 I believe Jesus would have sold all the treasures the Roman Catholic Church has and would have given it to the help the poor.
Decisions in the early Christian Church were made democratically after reflection on Holy Scripture by the apostles and church elders. (Read Acts 15 through 16:4) (NAB) (1242-1244)
Roman Catholic Archbishop John R. Quinn, retired head of the San Francisco archdiocese, recently called for major reforms in the papacy including shifting power to the bishops around the world and away from Vatican bureaucracy.16
“Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, ” (1 Timothy 3:2) (NAB) (1362)
PAUL THE APOSTLE said: “He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with perfect dignity; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the church of God?” (1 Timothy 3:4-5) (NAB) (1362) Holy Scripture here unmistakably says that clergy can be married with children.
PAUL THE APOSTLE said: “Do we not have the right to take a Christian WIFE AS DO THE REST OF THE APOSTLES, and the brothers of the Lord, and Kephas?” (1 Corinthians 9:5) (NAB) (1292)
Even the apostle Peter, who I was taught as a Roman Catholic was the first Pope, was married. Holy Scripture in the Gospel of Luke 4:38 (NAB) (1152) states that Jesus entered the house of Simon (Peter) to cure his "MOTHER-IN-LAW."
Over 10,000 priests have left the priesthood since Vatican II and celibacy was one of the major reasons.8 A 1996 Gallup poll commissioned by a Roman Catholic Priest and Sociologist found that 69% of Roman Catholics said the next pope should permit priests to marry.10 There is also a coalition of more than 20 groups of Roman Catholics that has launched a petition drive in 1997 seeking to get 1 million signatures calling for “fundamental church reforms.”10
The celibacy issue has been making headlines over the years especially when some Roman Catholic Bishops and an Archbishop have admitted publicly to NOT being celibate. One Bishop disappeared with a parishioner in order to get married. He already had a 15-year-old son from a previous relationship.13
On ABC Television’s “Good Morning America” broadcast of Sept. 12, 1996 it was reported that a survey indicated that only 50% of priests and bishops were able to remain celibate. Holy Scripture supports marriage for priests; man-made tradition is against it.
There is a shortage of priests and a mass can not be said without a priest. ABC World News Tonight broadcast a news piece on January 18, 1998 about the Roman Catholic Church’s shortage of priests. The church was shown advertising on billboards and TV to recruit priests. In the same news story they showed a former priest who said he left the priesthood because of the celibacy issue.24
Roman Catholic Cardinal Basil Hume said that priestly celibacy “is not divine law” and could be changed anytime the pope or church desired.9 A major point being made here is that a Roman Catholic Cardinal is making a distinction between Roman Catholic teaching (tradition) and “divine law” such as in Holy Scripture (the word of God).
JESUS Said: “Call NO ONE on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9) (NAB) (1100) Jesus was talking about a spiritual father. As a Roman Catholic I was taught to call priests “Father” and the Pope “Holy Father.” This clearly shows that Roman Catholic tradition is followed rather than the word of God. Again, Jesus said: “You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.” (Mark 7:13) (NAB) (1126)
JESUS said: “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again.” (Matthew 6:7) (NLT) The NAB translation: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.” (Matthew 6:7) (NAB) (1069) It should be noted that in the Rosary prayers are repeated again and again with about 10 prayers said to Mary for every one said to God. And as documented in Holy Scripture earlier in these notes, God said he shares his glory with NO ONE else and there is only ONE mediator, Jesus! The Rosary was invented in 1090 A.D. by Peter the Hermit over 1,000 years after Jesus died on the cross.4
God gave this commandment: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of ANYTHING that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.” (Exodus 20:4-5) (NKJV) The NAB translation: “You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down to them or worship them.” (Exodus 20:4-5) (NAB) (70) As a Roman Catholic I kneeled down before statues for worship and prayer.
“You saw no form at all on the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire. Be strictly on your guard, therefore not to degrade yourselves by fashioning an idol to represent ANY figure, whether it be the form of a man or woman” (Deuteronomy 4:15-16) (NAB) (163)
Most of us learned God’s Ten Commandments early in life. However, as a Roman Catholic I never learned about God’s second commandment against statues which is omitted from Catechism books! I have been in a lot of Roman Catholic churches and believe I know why this commandment of God is omitted (all the statues). Because the second commandment is omitted all other commandments in the Catechism have moved up in position (the third is listed as the second, the fourth is listed as the third, etc.). But since deleting the second commandment would only leave nine commandments in the Catechism the tenth commandment against coveting is split into two anti-coveting commandments so the commandments can add up to ten!
If you look in the Bible the 10th commandment in a nutshell clearly says “Don’t covet anything.” Holy Scripture: "You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s WIFE, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything else that belongs to him.” (Exodus 20:17) (NAB) (71) As you can see the wife is listed after the house and before the slaves, animals and anything else. This clearly shows in context that there is ONE commandment against coveting, not two with a separate commandment against coveting a neighbor’s wife. Even the Roman Catholic Bible clearly presents the coveting commandment in context as one commandment, not two.
So again, the Roman Catholic Church deleted God’s second commandment against statues and now has two separate commandments against coveting. This manipulation plainly demonstrates to me that the Roman Catholic Church has placed more emphasis on man-made religious tradition than on Holy Scripture and the word of God. This is exactly what Jesus spoke strongly against.
Again, Jesus said: “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!” (Mark 7:9) (NAB) (1126)
“It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove descending upon him.” (Mark 1:9-10) (NAB) (1118) Obviously Jesus was fully immersed when he was baptized as an adult. It does not matter whether you are immersed or sprinkled in Baptism. I bring this point up for Roman Catholics who question why Christians get immersed.
“Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. We know that our OLD SELF was crucified with him, so that our SINFUL BODY might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.” (Romans 6:3-6) (NAB) (1269)
“REPENT and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38) (NAB) (1226)
“When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” (Luke 2:21) (NAB) (1147)
As seen above in Holy Scripture, Jesus was circumcised and “dedicated” as an 8 day old baby and later as an adult was baptized by full immersion in water.
One of the first desires of a “new believer” after becoming truly “born again” is to get baptized. As you saw above Holy Scripture speaks about the symbolism of immersion in water as burying your OLD SELF and your resurrection to your new Christian life when you come up out of the water.
A baby has no concept of sin and is too young to REPENT (turn away from a sinful lifestyle and turn toward God) and make a serious decision to commit to Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. Also, as a baby, what old things have passed away?
Even if you are “born again” at Baptism as a Roman Catholic you lose your salvation the first time you commit a “mortal” sin such as missing mass. To regain your salvation as a Roman Catholic you have to confess your sins to a priest.
I was taught as a Roman Catholic that if babies aren’t baptized before they die, they cannot go to heaven and must go to “limbo.” This is not in Holy Scripture! God knows the heart and the “age of accountability” of each child. It’s cruel to tell parents of deceased newborn babies that their baby will not go to heaven since he or she wasn’t baptized. Roman Catholic parents need to know that babies have definitely not reached the “age of accountability” and therefore go to heaven whether they were baptized or not.
Baptism doesn’t “save” you or make you “born again”; baptism is an outward expression of faith of an inward change made after you become “born again.” The thief on the cross next to Jesus was not baptized nor did he have to go through any sacraments or “purgatory.” Yet Jesus saved him after he repented and put his faith in Jesus. Jesus said: “Amen, I say to you, TODAY you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) (NAB) (1183-1184)
“If anyone does sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is the expiation for our sins,” (1 John 2:1-2) (NAB) (1414) Again, expiation here means to the appeasement or satisfaction of God. Because Jesus was the righteous one (the unblemished Lamb of God, perfectly sinless) he is the only one who could take away the sins of the world with his sacrificial death on the cross. When we become truly born again we put our faith in Jesus and commit to repent of our sins. When you’re born again you aren’t perfect, but you absolutely do not want to sin and you do your best not to. However, if you stumble and sin you can confess directly to God in prayer. He is the only one who knows your heart and can forgive you. Born again believers don’t habitually sin. They also avoid circumstances that could lead to sin.
I know as a Roman Catholic I found confession to be like a revolving door where I would repeat the same sinful habits, confess them to a priest, say a few repetitive prayers for penance and think that my slate was wiped clean. Then I would continue this cycle all over again. The point is I did not repent because I didn’t truly commit to God to turn away from the sinful habits I confessed.
“If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.” (1 John 1:9) (NAB) (1414)
“Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between the soul and spirit, joints and marrow and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13) (NAB) (1381) Only God knows your heart and can forgive you if you are truly sorry and repent! How can a human priest forgive your sins if he doesn’t know your heart?
Again, because of what Jesus did on the cross, there now is no mediator between man and God except Jesus.
Confession of sins to a priest instead of God was instituted by Pope Innocent III in the Lateran Council in 1215 A.D.4 This begs the question why Christians could confess to God directly in prayer (as in Holy Scripture) for over a thousand years but starting in 1215 A.D. confession had to be made to a priest (which is unbiblical).
One of the major problems of Roman Catholicism is having to confess to a priest. According to official Roman Catholic doctrine missing mass on Sunday or any “Holy Day of Obligation” is a “mortal” sin. And if you die before this sin is confessed to a priest you will spend eternity in hell! This is just one common example, and as a Roman Catholic I saw very few Catholics go to confession on a weekly or even a monthly basis. So according to the Roman Catholic Church unless you have the chance to confess your sins to a priest right before you die there is a pretty good chance of spending eternity in hell!
Dr. Zachello, a former Roman Catholic priest described how he felt about confession in a pamphlet by Keith Green entitled “Salvation According to Rome.” “People were coming to me kneeling down in front of me, confessing their sins to me. And I, with the sign of the cross, was promising that I had the power to forgive their sins. I, a sinner, a man, was taking God’s place. It was God’s laws they were breaking, not mine. To God, therefore, they must make confession; and to God alone they must pray for forgiveness.”5
“And even though our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) (NAB) (1308) This should be a strong wake-up call for those that don’t know the truth contained in Holy Scripture! The true gospel in Holy Scripture was veiled to me for over forty years and I thank God my eyes were opened before it was too late!
“My people perish for want (lack) of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) (NAB) (988) NLT translation: “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.” In this passage God is putting guilt on the priests because God’s people are being destroyed because they don’t know God due to a lack of knowledge. This makes it clear why reading the truth in Holy Scripture for yourself is so important. The primary way God communicates to you is through Holy Scripture. That’s how you get to know God, his character, how much he loves you and what he requires of you. The bottom line is he doesn’t want you to perish for a lack of knowledge and for not knowing him personally as your Lord and Savior.
Jesus said: “Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” (Luke 11:52) (NAB) (1166) NLT translation: “How terrible it will be for you experts in religious law! For you hide the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.” Jesus was scolding the religious leaders for keeping the key of knowledge from the people so they could know God and not perish. This applied to me when I used to keep all the religious laws (legalism) but never had the key of knowledge to be saved and know God personally through the true Gospel of Jesus Christ in Holy Scripture. The key of knowledge is the gospel in Holy Scripture.
The Bible was once forbidden to Roman Catholic laymen when it was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by the Council of Toulouse in 1229 A.D.!4
“for they received the word with all willingness and examined the scriptures daily to determine whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11) (NAB) (1246) The Bereans heard the word of God preached by the Apostle Paul but then studied Holy Scripture to see if what he taught them was true doctrine. One reason why there’s so much unbiblical man-made religious tradition along with numerous religious systems, denominations, and cults is because most people haven’t seen for themselves whether doctrines are true according to Holy Scripture. If only Roman Catholics would study the scriptures like the Bereans “to determine whether these things were so.”
“I write you these things about those who would deceive you. As for you, the anointing (Holy Spirit) that you received from him remains in you, so that you do not need anyone to teach you.” (1 John 2:27) (NAB) (1415) As a Roman Catholic I was told that I cannot interpret the scriptures for myself because I would not understand them. That’s one reason I never tried to read the Bible as a Roman Catholic. I was told that I must go by the church’s interpretation through the teaching authority, the Magisterium, which I was taught is the infallible interpreter of scripture. (Catechism 890-891) Again, the Pope condemned Galileo for his true scientific theory which states that the earth revolves around the sun. The Pope said this contradicted scripture. Obviously the “infallible interpreter of scripture” was wrong.
“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God. And we speak them not with words taught by HUMAN wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.” (1 Corinthians 2:12) (NAB) (1285) When you become born again the Bible is much more understandable because you have the Holy Spirit helping you understand it!
Both the Roman Catholic and Protestant Bibles have several different translations to keep up with our ever-changing language. However, they are basically the same because they both come from the original languages of Holy Scripture. The major difference is that the Roman Catholic Church added a collection of books and passages known as the “Apocrypha” to their Old Testament during the sixteenth century.
The apocrypha does not present itself as being inspired by God. For example, the anonymous author of 2 Maccabees admits his book is NOT an original work but is an abridgment of someone else’s writings! (See 2 Maccabees 2:23) (NAB) (505)
The author concludes this book saying, “If it is well written and to the point, that is what I wanted; if it is poorly done and mediocre, that is the best I could do.” (2 Maccabees 15:38) (NAB) (523) This clearly proved to me that this is NOT the inspired words of God! Holy Scripture: “Know first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the Holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God.” (2 Peter 1:20-21) (NAB) (1410)
To top it all off the author of 1 Maccabees admits that he is not a prophet when he says: “There had not been such a great distress in Israel since the time the prophets ceased to appear among the people.” (1 Maccabees 9:27) (NAB) (488)
Jesus and the New Testament writers quoted virtually all of the books of the Old Testament yet none of them made even a single quote from the entire apocrypha! The early church never accepted the apocrypha as inspired by God and many Christian leaders spoke strongly against adding the apocrypha to the Bible, including the writer of the Roman Catholic Bible (Latin Vulgate), Saint Jerome.2 & 5 He was right!
Holy Scripture: "Every command that I enjoin on you, you shall be careful to observe, neither ADDING to it nor subtracting from it.” (Deuteronomy 13:1) (NAB) (172) Also in Holy Scripture: “ADD NOTHING to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be exposed as a deceiver.” (Proverbs 30:6) (NAB) (687) The bottom line: adding the apocrypha to the Roman Catholic Bible was wrong because Holy Scripture says you don’t ADD to God’s word.
Again, even the Roman Catholic Church didn’t declare most of the apocrypha to be inspired by God until the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century. The purpose of this council was to counteract the Protestant Church Reformation. This council added the apocrypha to the Roman Catholic Bible in an attempt to help support some Roman Catholic doctrines such as “purgatory,” which is not in Holy Scripture.
Again, the Bible was once forbidden to Roman Catholic laymen when it was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by the Council of Toulouse in 1229 A.D.!4
“Purgatory” is NOT in Holy Scripture. Even the new Catholic Encyclopedia admits this. However, the Roman Catholic Church defends this doctrine with the apocrypha, specifically the same book mentioned above (2 Maccabees 12:39-46) (NAB) (519). For a more detailed examination I strongly recommend that you read “The Gospel According to Rome” by James G. McCarthy, who was raised as a Roman Catholic. He has served as a missionary and is now a Bible teacher.
Many priests and seminary students have left the Roman Catholic Church. One reason cited was the unbiblical doctrine of Purgatory. A key question asked by one grieving Roman Catholic was “How many masses must be paid for and said before my loved one can be freed from Purgatory?”7
JESUS said: “So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16) (NAB) (1431) Jesus was referring to our spiritual temperature and “lukewarm” was a good description of myself. I went to mass every Sunday, went to confession, communion, was confirmed, got married in the Roman Catholic Church, prayed, gave to charity, tried to be a good person, doing more good than bad. I thought this made everything acceptable to God---how wrong I was! I was basically just going through the motions with all the rituals and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. I didn’t know the truth of what God desires of me until I read Holy Scripture! I didn’t know God wanted me to invite Jesus’ into my heart for a personal relationship making him my personal Lord and Savior with a commitment to repent.
JESUS said: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20) (NAB) (1431) Once again to become born again you invite Jesus into your heart and life to become your personal Lord and Savior. Jesus makes it very clear by using the words above that he desires a personal relationship with born again believers. People normally invite family and friends that have a more personal relationship over to dine in their homes.
This is the Roman Catholic Church’s “curse” placed on anyone who does not believe in the tradition and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.5 A 1995 Gallup poll reported that only 30 percent of U.S. Roman Catholics believed in the real presence of Christ in the Euchrist.11 That means according to Roman Catholic tradition 70 percent are cursed by their own church and may not even know it!
The Council of Trent issued over 100 anathemas to anyone then or in the future who doesn’t believe or follow its man-made tradition.5 For example, Cannon 4 states that the sacraments are necessary for salvation and if anyone doesn’t believe this “let him be anathema.”
Again, Jesus told the thief on the cross “today you will be with me in paradise.” He didn’t tell him he had to be baptized or go through any sacraments or “purgatory” first. (See Luke 23:43) (NAB) (1183-1184)
The original first century Apostolic Christian Church is well documented in the Bible. There were no such things as “Roman Catholic” and “Protestant.” The term “catholic” (with a little “c” is from the Greek word for “universal”) is not in the Bible but was used later in history to indicate whether a church shared the same beliefs as another (like denominations do today). Protestants have always been “catholics” and are like the first century Apostolic Christian Church of the Bible. The term “Protestant” is used to distinguish it from the Roman Catholic Church. It may sound strange but Protestant Christians are more “catholic” than Roman Catholics because Protestants are more like the original Apostolic Christian Church of the Bible which had none of the added man-made tradition of today’s Roman Catholic Church.
Around 324 A.D. tradition, (man-made doctrines, rules, precepts, etc.) began to creep into church teachings and continued to be added over the centuries. Finally, many Roman Catholics said enough is enough and wanted to reform the tradition-laden church and go back to Holy Scripture alone like the early Apostolic Christian Church.
A Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian by the name of Dr. Martin Luther was studying Holy Scripture and teaching as a professor at the Roman Catholic University in Wittenberg. He was also a very dedicated Augustinian monk and made all of the traditional sacrifices.
After learning Latin and studying Holy Scripture for himself he realized that many of the Roman Catholic teachings contradicted Holy Scripture. He also learned of all the corruption going on in the Roman Catholic Church in Rome first hand and protested against it. He specifically protested against the Vatican selling “indulgences” (pardons from purgatory) to help finance the construction of the pope’s palace (St. Peter’s Basilica). Dr. Luther protested this by nailing the famous “Ninety-Five Theses” to the Castle Church at Wittenberg. These were the 95 reasons he gave to show why selling indulgences was wrong.
Dr. Martin Luther was one of many Roman Catholic Priests and Theologians that led the Protestant church reformation. The purpose of the reformation was to get rid of the corruption, unbiblical man-made tradition, and reform the church back to the original Apostolic Christian Church of Holy Scripture.7 In other words, the reformation didn’t change the church of Holy Scripture, but instead undid the changes (unbiblical tradition) the Roman Catholic Church added over the centuries.
There have always been calls for church reformation from before the Protestant church reformation in the 1500’s to the present day. For example, John Huss, a Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian, was burned at the stake in 1415 A.D. for insisting that Holy Scripture was the only rule of faith.7 Roman Catholic Priests and Theologians are still being affected today. For example, in January 1997 a Roman Catholic Priest/Theologian was excommunicated for challenging the Pope’s authority and several core church teachings.15
In the suggested reading list at the end of these study notes you will find books that explain why many priests don’t speak out. One of the main reasons cited is because they have a lot of years invested and don’t want to lose their retirement and have no skills to fall back on.
Also, several newspaper, magazine and television reports have appeared over the past few years concerning Roman Catholics desiring church reformation on man-made teachings such as celibacy for clergy, birth control, and many other traditional doctrines and rules. The CBS Evening News on February 16, 1997 had a story on the nation-wide appeal of Roman Catholics to reform the Roman Catholic Church doctrines.
Many doctrines such as birth control and confession to a priest (required or suffer eternity in hell) are widely ignored by Roman Catholics who often openly admit to a “pick and choose” attitude concerning Roman Catholic teachings. Only 33 percent of Roman Catholics born after 1961 attend mass regularly compared with 64 percent of those born before. This is according to a 1995 study by the Catholic Pluralism Project at Purdue University.14 This means according to Roman Catholic doctrine 67 percent of young Roman Catholic adults and 36 percent of older adults will be spending eternity in hell because it is a mortal sin for a Roman Catholic to miss mass. On top of that many of those who do attend regularly don’t go to confession or adhere to other Roman Catholic doctrines. And, again many Roman Catholics are cursed by their own church and don’t even know it because of over 100 “anathemas” declared in Cannon Law by the Vatican to anyone who doesn’t believe its teachings.5
As a Roman Catholic I was often told that the reason for the Protestant church reformation was because the King of England wanted to get a divorce. Some have confused King James with King Henry VIII. First of all King James was not the one who wanted a divorce. The English translation of the Bible (King James Version) was named after him because he was the one who commissioned the scholars to translate the Bible into English so everyone could read Holy Scripture for himself or herself. The one who wanted a divorce was King Henry VIII of England. The truth is the church reformation started long before this with Dr. Martin Luther and other Roman Catholics. In fact, King Henry VIII actually supported the Pope against Martin Luther and the church reformation! Pope Leo called King Henry VIII the “defender of the faith” for attacking Martin Luther’s reformation efforts.22 It was later that King Henry VIII left the Roman Catholic Church to get divorced.12
I was born into the Roman Catholic faith like my parents, grandparents, ancestors and most other Roman Catholics. So like them, I never really knew anything different. This is not only common to Catholicism but also to Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other world religions.
As a Roman Catholic I never read the Bible, never saw anyone bring one to church or catechism classes. I commonly heard Roman Catholics say they don’t read the Bible because they wouldn’t understand it. I rarely read anything that was not of Roman Catholic origin so I never knew the truth and was kept in the dark about the true gospel of Jesus according to Holy Scripture. Now that I have read the Bible for myself and know the truth I can apply it to my life and enjoy God’s peace and joy.
God knew the future and put a lot of the applications for today in the Bible so we could know the truth and reject false teachings. I hope I have shown some of the overwhelming evidence of this. That’s why I prepared these study notes from the Roman Catholic Bible, so Roman Catholics with less time available would have no problem verifying for themselves the truth contained in Holy Scripture. This in turn will hopefully lead to a deeper study of God’s Word and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You are not leaving anything; you’re moving closer to God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
I was especially alarmed to read about salvation in Holy Scripture and read that Jesus said I must be born again to go to heaven. I now know that being sprinkled with holy water as a baby did not make me born again. I heard the term “born again” before in public but never really understood what it meant. Yet my final destination for eternity depends on knowing and accepting this truth directly from Jesus in Holy Scripture!
The Reverend Dr. Billy Graham is well respected by world and religious leaders and Roman Catholics. In fact, Pope John Paul II grabbed Billy Graham’s hand and said, “We are brothers.”30
Dr. Graham gave a crusade in San Antonio, Texas April 3-6, 1997. This crusade was supported by Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick F. Flores of the archdiocese of San Antonio. The archbishop urged Roman Catholics over the radio to come to the crusade and said “With all the bad news in the world, Good News is coming when Billy Graham brings his message of hope to San Antonio.” He also told fellow Roman Catholics, “I hope you’ll bring your families and friends to hear Billy Graham.”19
A Roman Catholic Hispanic man heard Archbishop Flores’ request and attended the crusade. He came forward at the “altar call” and said, “I came because Archbishop Flores told us that we need to hear Billy Graham. And the Archbishop said that we need Jesus in our hearts. I came to receive Jesus into my heart.”19
The Billy Graham San Antonio crusade was broadcast nation-wide during the first week of September 1997. In this crusade Billy Graham illustrated that many people, even in the clergy are not born again. He said that a Roman Catholic priest (a Monsignor) told him about when he was riding on public transportation when a lady punched him on the back to get his attention. The Monsignor turned around and the lady asked him if he had been born again. The Monsignor reacted just like me; he had heard the term “born again” but never really understood what it meant. After that the Monsignor got into Holy Scripture and found out what he had to do to become born again. He told Billy Graham he became born again and his life has never been the same ever since.
The Roman Catholic Church also actively supported the Billy Graham crusade in May 1998 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The May 8, 1998 Albuquerque Journal reported: “With the archbishop’s blessing, Roman Catholic parishioners are joining fellow Christians to hear the Grahams preach.”25 In fact the Archdiocese of Santa Fe was a member of the local executive committee for the crusade. Many Roman Catholic churches and its members were active members of the crusade as ushers and choir members, etc. Archbishop Michael Sheehan even sent letters to Albuquerque area churches to encourage attendance by Roman Catholics.25 This was great because this gave Roman Catholics a chance to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel. I was a counselor supervisor during this crusade and I got to witness many people including Roman Catholics become born again.
Many Roman Catholics have told me that in all honesty they dreaded going to mass because it was boring and they didn’t get much out of it. They went often times to “do their duty” by fulfilling their “obligation” to attend mass and thus avoid a mortal sin and a guilty feeling. To many Roman Catholics God seems to be very distant. He also seems to be more of an angry judge with Mary as an advocate to help us get God’s help. How sad! Now that I’m truly born again I love the personal relationship I have with Jesus and look forward to going to Bible-teaching church services. I now also have an intense hunger for God’s Word, especially after missing out for over forty years.
Much of the Roman Catholic laity is also discovering the truth of Holy Scripture. An engineer by the name of Alfredo Velasquez said he felt a spiritual emptiness that was not filled by the Roman Catholic Church. So he left for a Christian church where he found the personal relationship he sought with Jesus Christ and has never regretted his decision.20
Many former Roman Catholics have had this intense hunger including former U.S. Congressman Bill Redmond of New Mexico. “I found that even though I’d been raised a Catholic I didn’t know much about the Scriptures,” he recalls.18 After learning the truth Bill Redmond became a Christian Church Pastor.
Jesus said: “Enter through the NARROW gate; for the gate is WIDE and road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter though it are MANY. How NARROW the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are FEW.” (Matthew 7:13-14) (NAB) (1071)
I now know that my family and I will be part of the FEW that will be entering the NARROW gate because we became truly born again according to Holy Scripture.
A key point is that the vast majority of people who claim to be Christians have not been born again. This is true of Roman Catholics and Protestants alike. It's not a denomination or any particular church that can save you; it's the personal decision and commitment only you can make to God. And only God knows your heart.
It is very clear to me that the Roman Catholic Church has become a huge bureaucracy with all its man-made tradition continually being added to its teachings over the centuries. Because of the doctrine of infallibility there’s no way of correcting obvious contradictions to Holy Scripture and other errors. This fact has turned the simplicity of the Gospel into a religious system of unbiblical man-made rituals and rules called “tradition.” This tradition tends to keep most Roman Catholics from knowing the Bible and its true Gospel which could “save” them. I’m not talking about the written tradition found in Holy Scripture. The problem is with the unwritten, unbiblical man-made tradition that has been added after Holy Scripture was written under the inspiration of God.
There’s no such thing in the Bible as purgatory or praying the dead into heaven. Also, you can NOT earn your own way to heaven by good works such as being a good person or offsetting the bad things with good things you’ve done in your life as many Roman Catholics believe. This is very clear in Holy Scripture: “all our good deeds are like polluted rags;” (Isaiah 64:5) (NAB) (841). In other words our good deeds can never be good enough to earn our way to heaven. Again, good works do not save you but may be one of the results of a saving faith. So according to Holy Scripture you can do all the good works in the world and still not be saved.
I believe it’s important to repeat the first Bible verse I gave in these study notes. Holy Scripture: “For by GRACE you have been SAVED through FAITH, and this is NOT from you; it is the GIFT of God; it is NOT FROM WORKS, so no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) (NAB) (1331)
The bottom line is as a Roman Catholic I had put my faith in the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings when I should have put my faith in Jesus Christ and Holy Scripture’s teachings. Christians are under the authority of God’s Word in Holy Scripture while Roman Catholics are under the authority of the Pope.
Saint Peter and the other Apostles were questioned by the Jewish High Priest in the Sanhedrin why he and the other Apostles disobeyed the religious leaders by teaching in the Temple. HOLY SCRIPTURE: “But Peter and the apostles said in reply, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” (Acts 5:29) (NAB) (1229-1230)
I learned a lot from Holy Scripture. One of the major points I found throughout Holy Scripture is that God wants our obedience, not our sacrifices! (see 1 Samuel 15:22) (NAB) (257) Also, Jesus said: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) (NAB) (1211) As an example, God highly values his name as evidenced by the Third Commandment. As a Roman Catholic I found it fairly common for many Roman Catholics to habitually use the Lord’s name in vain. Jesus was once asked what the greatest commandment was. Jesus said: “you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) (NAB) (1099) When you are truly born again God becomes “Number One” in your life, ahead of family, friends, materialism, power, career, etc.
I didn’t know until I read Holy Scripture that number one on God’s list of things he hates is pride! (see Proverbs 16:5,18,19) (NAB) (672-673) That’s because it usually leads to sin. Holy Scripture: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:6-8) (NAB) (1399)
Roman Catholic doctrine puts man-made tradition and Holy Scripture on EQUAL footing because it says that TOGETHER they are the word of God!
Vatican II stated: “Both sacred tradition and sacred scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the SAME sense of loyalty and reverance.”7 Also, “Sacred tradition and sacred scripture form ONE sacred deposit of the word of God, which is committed to the Church.” (Dei Verbum, #10) (NAB) (ix)
However, tradition is man-made religious rules which Jesus clearly spoke against. Holy Scripture alone is the word of God. Jesus said: “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.” (John 8:31-32) (NAB) (1202)
DON’T PASS UP YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO BE SAVED---IT COULD BE YOUR LAST CHANCE!
I learned a lot during my studies. If you read Holy Scripture you will find that Christianity is not a religion, but a personal relationship with Jesus. God is a loving Father and a perfect judge who is too holy to look upon sin. Sin is a barrier between God and us and sin has to be accounted for. Holy Scripture: “it is your crimes that separate you from your God, it is your sins that make him hide his face so that he will not hear you.” (Isaiah 59:2) (NAB) (836) Because we can never achieve the perfectly sinless standard of God he sent his only son who lived a perfectly sinless life in our place and paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. Jesus offers you his perfection as a free gift; all we have to do is accept it by becoming truly born again. That’s how much God loves us! He gives us the free will to accept or reject the good news of this Gospel! When you truly repent and become born again you are making a decision and commitment to do it God’s way instead of your own way. In other words we are not trusting in what we can do for ourselves but trusting in what Jesus has already done for us.
I also learned in my studies that God placed an empty place in each person’s heart that could only be filled by God. That’s why spending your life searching for power, fame and riches turns out to be very unfulfilling. Just look at all the rich, famous, powerful people who had it all but ended up miserable or killed themselves by suicide or drug overdoses. The Bible says: “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Mark 8:36) (NAB) (1129)
God promises you joy and peace if you’ll only receive Him by becoming born again. See the following Holy Scripture: (Romans 14:17) (NAB) 1278); (Romans 15:13) (NAB) 1279); (Galatians 5:22-23) (NAB) (1328); (John 15:11) (NAB) (1212)
JESUS said: "I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) (NAB) (1205)
YOU ARE LITERALLY A HEARTBEAT AWAY FROM WHERE YOU WILL BE SPENDING ETERNITY!
A heart attack or a drunk driver could kill you today or tomorrow. Is there any good reason why you can’t receive Jesus Christ right now? He wants you to come as you are; you don’t need to clean up anything first; he’ll help you with that after you receive Him. DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE!
1. Admit you’re a sinner and need God’s forgiveness. (1 John 1:9) (NAB) (1414)
2. Commit to turn away from sinful ways and toward God (repent); you won’t do it alone since God will help you after you receive Him. (Acts 3:19) (NAB) (1227)
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the dead. (Romans 5:8) (NAB) (1268); (Romans 10:9) (NAB) (1274)
4. Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ into your heart and life by receiving Him as your personal Lord (Master of your life) and Savior (from sin). (Revelation 3:20) (NAB) (1431); (Ephesians 3:17) (NAB) (1333); (John 1:12-13) (NAB) (1189)
A SUGGESTED PRAYER TO RECEIVE JESUS
Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins. I want to turn from my sins with Your help. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my personal Lord and Savior.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
God knows your heart (Hebrews 4:12-13) (NAB) (1381) and if you said this prayer and meant it sincerely with all your heart, you have been saved and “born again.” These are not “magic” words to save you; it’s the SINCERE DECISION AND COMMITMENT YOU MAKE TO GOD IN THIS PRAYER that saves you. The proof is in the change in your life (repentance).
To deepen your relationship with God you should read the Bible, pray daily, and attend a healthy well-balanced, Bible-teaching church. There are many of these churches (denominational and nondenominational) around the world.
There are many ministries, books, videos and web sites available specifically to help Roman Catholics. One ministry I strongly recommend is called "Good News For Catholics." You can reach them at www.gnfc.org. Their web site has a lot of free downloadable material. This ministry also has books, videos and web links to other ministries to help Roman Catholics. Another good ministry is "Proclaiming The Gospel" Ministry at www.pro-gospel.org which has a very detailed web site.
Hopefully these notes will help encourage you to read the Bible. I strongly recommend you start with the Gospel of John. It is easy to understand and can easily be read in one evening. Always pray before you read the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you’re about to read. (1 Corinthians 2:9-12) (NAB) (1285)
One of the newest Bible translations and easiest to understand is the “New Living Translation (NLT).” It is written in today’s language which makes it much easier to understand and yet it is an accurate translation of the original languages. This translation is highly endorsed by Christian leaders including the Reverend Dr. Billy Graham. I highly recommend the “New Believer’s Bible” which is written in this New Living Translation. It includes helpful study notes and is ideal for anyone reading the Bible for the first time.
God said in Holy Scripture: “When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, and I will change your lot;” (Jeremiah 29:13-14) (NAB) (877)
May God richly bless you as you seek to draw near to Him!
1. The Holy Bible, The New American Bible (NAB) With Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms (The New Catholic Translation), Catholic Bible Press (#9050N), 1987.
2. “The Gospel According To Rome,” James G. McCarthy, Harvest House Publishers, 1995. (This book is written by a former Roman Catholic. He was a missionary and is now a Bible teacher. I strongly recommend it to both Roman Catholics and former Roman Catholics. It gives both sides of the story and it’s highly endorsed by several former Roman Catholic Priests and Nuns. It’s available in paperback in both English and Spanish and can be purchased or ordered at most Christian bookstores. It is also available through "Good News For Catholics" ministry at www.gnfc.org).
3. “Once A Catholic,” Tony Coffey, Harvest House Publishers, 1993. (Written by a former Roman Catholic.)
4. “Roman Catholicism,” Dr. Loraine Boettner, The P & R Publishing Company, 1962. (Used in these study notes primarily for historical information such as Vatican councils, dates, etc.)
5. “Escape From Purgatory,” Joseph R. Schofield, Jr., Matthew 10:32 Ministries, ltd., co., 1994. (Written by a former Roman Catholic Catechism teacher in Albuquerque, NM.)
6. The Holy Bible, The New Living Translation, Tyndale Charitable Trust, 1996.
7. Video: Catholicism: Crisis of Faith, Lumen Productions. (Produced by a former Roman Catholic. It’s a professionally made documentary with present and former Roman Catholic Priests, Nuns, Catechism book writers, lay people, etc.) Available through "Good News For Catholics" ministry at www.gnfc.org
8. Time Magazine, May 24, 1976.
9. Robert Nowell, “British archbishop: ‘Celibacy isn’t divine law,’” Albuquerque Journal, September 21, 1996.
10. Associated Press, “Catholics in U.S. Back Key Reforms,” Albuquerque Journal, June 1, 1996.
11. Albuquerque Journal, Section C, Page 7, September 21, 1996.
12. “Martin Luther,” Mike Fearon, Bethany House Publishers, 1986.
13. Associated Press, “Former Bishop To Marry Woman He Ran Away With,” Albuquerque Journal , October 9, 1996.
14. Associated Press, “Bishops Offer Ideas to Draw Young Adults to Church,” Albuquerque Journal, November 13, 1996.
15. “No Female Priests, Vatican Reiterates,” Albuquerque Journal, January 25, 1997.
16. “Archbishop Seeks Reform In the Papacy,” New York Times, June 30, 1996.
17. “Catholics Try Polls,” Albuquerque Journal, May 24, 1997.
18. “Redmond’s Seriousness Born of Need,” Albuquerque Journal, June 22, 1997.
19. “Liberty at the Alamo,” Decision magazine, June 1997.
20. “Leaving the Catholic Flock,” Albuquerque Journal, June 14, 1997.
21. Good Morning America television show, April 23, 1998.
22. “Martin Luther,” Edwin P. Booth, Barbour and Company, Inc. MCMXCV
23. “Catholics Ponder Return to Meatless Fridays,” Albuquerque Journal, November 12, 1997.
24. ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, January 18, 1998.
25. “Catholics Playing Role in Festival,” Albuquerque Journal, May 8, 1998.
26. “Christianity in Crisis,” Hank Hanegraaff, President of the Christian Research Institute, Harvest House Publishers, 1993.
27. “Vatican Opens Archives, Inquisition Papers Available to Scholars,” Associated Press, Albuquerque Journal, January 23, 1998.
28. “Two bishops endorse unity of Christians,” Albuquerque Journal, November 29, 1998.
29. “Divorce rules don’t faze some Catholics, priests,” Albuquerque Journal, May 3, 1997.
30. “America’s Pastor,” Albuquerque Journal, May 3, 1998.
31. “Catholics Make Mass Changes,” Albuquerque Journal, April 4, 2004.
32. “New Translation of Catholic Mass Makes Its Debut,” New York Times, November 27, 2011.
About The Author
J.D. Martinez, M.B.A., is a retired USAF Officer who was a devout Roman Catholic for over forty years. He was an altar boy, attended Roman Catholic parochial school, catechism classes and received all the sacraments up through Holy Matrimony. After a near-death experience he wanted to seek the truth and get right with God. After years of Bible Studies and reading Holy Scripture for himself from cover to cover several times he clearly found the truth he was seeking and became a born again Christian. He now wishes to share his personal study notes with everyone.
Copyright 1998-2012 by J.D. Martinez. All rights reserved. Roman Catholic Bible Study Personal NotesTM may be reproduced only in its entirety, without editing as long as it's distributed without any charge and with copyright and information included. No advertising may be added.
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