Friday, December 24, 2010
Wow. Did you know that it wasn’t really Jesus who saved you completely? Did you know that it’s also about you and your response that saves you? Don’t you believe it. The pope is trying to tell you that it takes your response, your work, as well as God’s grace to give you the help necessary to get you to heaven. That is a lie straight from hell that devalues the complete and saving act of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we are celebrating. It directly contradicts numerous verses in the Bible, the word of God, including:
"For by grace you are saved through faith; and this is not from you, it is a gift of God, not of works, so no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
We cannot make a positive response to Christ without faith in him and that faith is a gift from God. Our response is not based on our individual good will, it is based on the gift that only God can give--faith in his son who alone has saved all who come to believe that Christ alone saved them completely.
Yes, this child eventually grew up to go to the cross and shed his blood to save all those God has chosen for salvation. But the pope is preaching something different, a semi-Pelagian gospel that requires the combination of our works with Christ's works to get to heaven. But God's word tells us our salvation is by God's grace alone through Christ.
In fact, Jesus himself tells us through the Bible, that God alone saves us through him. Jesus’ fellow Jews asked him “What must we do to do the work that God requires (for eternal life)?”
Jesus’ answer was clear: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:28-29) Jesus should know, since he is the one who was sent by God the Father and he is also God in the flesh.
The above verses in God's word show us how deadly wrong the pope is. Our salvation is not a matter of us helping God to save us by the “freedom of our wills,” our salvation is the work of God –more specifically—the work of God who gives us the grace to believe that his only Son saved us completely. Our response does not save us, it is simply the sign that God gives us to show that he has saved us. We can know that we are saved when we begin to put our full trust in Jesus for eternal life and put no trust in ourselves, our actions or our responses.
Jesus tells us that no one comes to him by his so-called freewill—here’s how he puts it:
John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.
John 15:16 It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you…
John 6:64 No one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by my Father.
Luke 10:22 ...no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 17:2 Thou has given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou has given him.
Ephesians 1:11 In him, we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.
All of these verses directly oppose and contradict the pope’s so-called gospel of man helping God with his salvation. Read the pope’s words for your self (see below) taken directly from the homily script provided by the Vatican’s website.
Excerpt from the pope’s midnight Mass message of 12-24-10:
..the angels’ message on that holy night also spoke of men: “Peace among men with whom he is pleased”. The Latin translation of the angels’ song that we use in the liturgy, taken from Saint Jerome, is slightly different: “peace to men of good will”. The expression “men of good will” has become an important part of the Church’s vocabulary in recent decades. But which is the correct translation? We must read both texts together; only in this way do we truly understand the angels’ song. It would be a false interpretation to see this exclusively as the action of God, as if he had not called man to a free response of love. But it would be equally mistaken to adopt a moralizing interpretation as if man were so to speak able to redeem himself by his good will. Both elements belong together: grace and freedom, God’s prior love for us, without which we could not love him, and the response that he awaits from us, the response that he asks for so palpably through the birth of his son. We cannot divide up into independent entities the interplay of grace and freedom, or the interplay of call and response. The two are inseparably woven together. So this part of the angels’ message is both promise and call at the same time. God has anticipated us with the gift of his Son. God anticipates us again and again in unexpected ways. He does not cease to search for us, to raise us up as often as we might need. He does not abandon the lost sheep in the wilderness into which it had strayed. God does not allow himself to be confounded by our sin. Again and again he begins afresh with us. But he is still waiting for us to join him in love. He loves us, so that we too may become people who love, so that there may be peace on earth. –Pope Benedict XVI
One of these days the pope is also going to have to explain why Jesus tells us to pray that God the Father's will (thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven) be done and not our own. For instance, we don't pray "thy and my will be done" do we?
For now, the pope has again proved by his own words that he remains under the curse of condemnation to hell that Paul warned of in Galatians 1: 8-9 for all who preach a false gospel.