LOVE - RELATIONSHIP
God desires an intimate loving relationship
True wisdom calls us to be humble before God.
We all need it.
Gives us an important teaching in Humility.
Judging others is a sin.
Teaches how even he could lose Salvation.
Believing in Him and being saved.
God identifies Himself as Love and as Truth. Love and Truth are like
two sides of the same coin. If we truly embrace one than we have the other.
If we reject one, then whether we realize it or not, we are rejecting the
God is a God of Love.
1 John 4:7-8
"Beloved, let us love
one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by
God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for
God is love."
God wants us to know him personally.
"The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a
new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…I will place
my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God,
and they shall be my people. No longer will they have need to teach
their friends and kinsmen how to know the LORD. All, from least to
greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing
and remember their sin no more."
God wants us to have a close personal relationship with Him. He wants
us to call Him "Abba."
"For you did not receive
a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of
adoption, through which we cry, 'Abba, Father!' The Spirit itself
bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children,
then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer
with him so that we may also be glorified with him."
We are called to grow in our knowledge of God, but this knowledge of
God is more than just a collection of intellectual information, that is
solely cognitive. It is meant to be lived out in our hearts and in
1 Corinthians 13:1-2
"If I speak in human
and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing
cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries
and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not
have love, I am nothing."
from the day we heard this, we do not cease praying for you and asking
that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual
wisdom and understanding to live in a manner worthy of the Lord,
so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing
in the knowledge of God…"
A true love for another human being
desires their spiritual well being more than one's own emotional and
physical comfort at having them close.
God is not just some cosmic force as in STAR WARS. He is a person
- actually three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
When we put God first in our lives we see that Christianity is not just
a set of rules, but a relationship. This relationship is based 100%
on the free gift of God’s Grace, God’s gift of Himself to us. Our
faith in Him is made possible by this Grace and it enables us to place
our trust in His Promises in His Word and Sacraments to which He is always
"For this reason I kneel before the
Father, … that he may grant you… to know the love of Christ that surpasses
Satan has knowledge and he can quote Scripture, but he does not have
Wisdom or Humility.
2 Peter 3:16
"In them (Paul’s letters)
there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable
distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures."
Christ’s Church does not teach error in Her Sacred Scriptures or in
Her definitive pronouncements. However, that does not mean that we
can be presumptuous about our understanding of them. And even
if we intellectually accent to them that does not mean that we fully embrace
them with our hearts. The Christian must always ask himself if he
is growing in Faith, Hope, and Charity. Is he dying to himself in
order to let God’s grace work through him to glorify God’s Holy
Jesus is humble.
"Take my yoke upon you
and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find
rest for your selves."
humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross."
He wants us to be humble.
"Blessed are the poor
in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven… Blessed are the meek, for
they will inherit the land."
mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with
his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the
rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly."
Mary is an example of how to follow Jesus.
"For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will
all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for
me, and holy is his name."
Saint Paul is also a good example to follow.
"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ."
We shouldn’t be proud of ourselves because of the truths that we see
and hold. The credit goes to God because it is only by His Grace
that we see what we do.
"Amen, I say to you,
many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not
see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
The truth we see is small compared to God’s infinite Truth. We
can know some truth with certainty and we trust in the truth, but we shouldn’t
trust in our mastery of the truth.
of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, 'Surely
we are not also blind, are we?' Jesus said to them, 'If
you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, "We
see," so your sin remains.' "
not put our faith in how smart we are, rather our faith and security are
found in God and His Promises. Anyone who thinks that he cannot be
deceived is deceived already.
The Bible warns against being proud.
1 Peter 5:5
opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble."
"He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud
in the imagination of their hearts…" RSV
Because we are human we are prone to misunderstand the Bible.
"…Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote
to you, speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them
there are some things hard to under-stand that the ignorant and unstable
distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures."
"But we know where he (Jesus) is from. When the Messiah
comes, no one will know where he is from."
Our faith should be in God and how He is faithful to His promises, and
our faith should not be in how strong our faith is.
"…if we persevere we shall also reign with
him. But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he
remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself."
"All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes, but it is the LORD
who proves hearts."
1 Corinthians 10:12
thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall."
Peter had made the mistake of over estimating his own faith. Jesus
chastised him for this in order that He might reconcile Peter back to Himself
" 'Simon, Simon, behold Satan
has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your
own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strength-en
your brothers.' He said to him, 'Lord, I am prepared
to go to prison and to die with you.' But he replied,
'I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows this day, you will deny three
times that you know me.' "
In John 21:9-19 we read about Peter’s encounter with
Christ at a charcoal fire. Now this word "charcoal" - ANTHRAKIA
in the Greek, Strong’s #439- is rarely used in Scripture. In fact
it is used only twice. This setting implies a growth in the virtue
of humility for Peter because it must have reminded him of that first charcoal
fire where he had wept bitterly after denying Christ, see Jn 18:18-27 and
" ... they saw a charcoal fire with fish
on it and bread. Jesus said to them, 'Bring some of the fish
you just caught... When they had finished breakfast, Jesus
said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me more than
these?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord, you know that I love
you.' He said to him, 'Feed my lambs.' He
then said to him a second time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love
me?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord, you know that I love
you.' He said to him, 'Tend my sheep.' He
said to him the third time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me?'
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, 'Do you
love me?' and he said to him, 'Lord, you know everything; you
know that I love you.' (Jesus) said to him, 'Feed my
Fulton J. Sheen in his book LIFE OF CHRIST pages 450-453 offers this
With Peter no longer placing his faith in his own faith and love
of Jesus , he grows in humility. Pleased with his response, Jesus
commissions him "Feed My sheep." By God’s all powerful Grace, Peter
becomes an instrument through which God will manifest His Glory and shepherd
"…He (Jesus) turned to the one who had denied Him three times and asked
a triple affirmation of love…
"The query was: ‘Do you love Me with that truly supernatural love,
the mark of a chief shepherd?’ Peter had once presumed on the
greatness of His love, telling His Master the night of the Last Supper,
that even though all others would be offended and scandalized in Him, yet
he would not deny. Peter was now addressed as Simon, son of John
- Simon being his original name. Our Lord thus reminded Peter of
his past as a natural man, but especially of his fall or denial.
He had been living by nature rather than grace. The title also had
another significance; it must have reminded Peter of his glorious confession
when Our Lord said to him, "Blessed art thou Simon, son of John," and made
him the Rock on which He would build His Church. In answer to the
question about love, Peter said:
"Yes, Lord, thou knowest well that I love thee.
And He said to him,
Feed My Lambs. John 21:15
"Peter now no longer claimed any superiority of affection over the other
followers of Our Lord, for the other six Apostles were standing about.
In the original Greek, the word which Our Blessed Lord used for love was
not the same as that which was used by Peter in answer. The word
that Peter used implied a rather natural emotion… The man who had
fallen most deeply and learned most thoroughly his own weakness was certainly
the best qualified for strengthening the weak and feeding the lambs…
"The original Greek word used by Our Lord in the second question implied
supernatural love, but Peter used the same word as before which signified
a natural love. In the third question, Our Lord used the same word
that Peter used for love the first time, namely, the word that meant only
a natural affection. It was as if the Divine Master was correcting
His own words in order to find one more congenial to Peter and his character.
Perhaps it was the adoption of Peter’s own word in the third question that
cut him and grieved him most… In the original Greek, the word which Peter
used when he said that Our Lord knew all things (in the third reply) implied
a knowledge by Divine vision. When Peter said the Lord knew that he loved
Him, the Greek word used meant only knowledge by direct observation. As
Peter went step by step down the ladder of humiliation, step by step the
Lord followed him with the assurance of the work for which he was destined."
"Our Lord said of Himself: ‘I am the Door.’ To Peter He had given
the keys and the function of the doorkeeper. The Savior’s function
as the visible Shepherd over the visible flock was drawing to an end.
He transferred that function to the head shepherd before withdrawing His
visible Presence to the Throne of Heaven where He would be the invisible
Head and Shepherd." (Emphasis added.)
Humility and Holiness are vital in our relationship with God.
Tertullian, who was born about 160 AD, was a Christian and he went to great
lengths to defend the true Christian faith. However, he failed to
use the truth that he had to help himself grow in humility, and consequently
left true Christianity in the year 205 AD to embrace the heretical sect
of Montanism. (Montanists claimed to have received new public revelations
We are called to judge doctrines as to whether they are true or not.
And we are called to judge moral issues as to whether or not they are God’s
way (or will.) We have to discern what choices we might make in choosing
a spouse or who will be our teacher. And in our efforts to spread
God’s Good News we might judge the outward manifestations of another person’s
beliefs, his words and/or his deeds -according to God’s Word- in order
that we might perceive the best evangelistic approach to take.
However, the Bible makes it clear that we are not to judge a person’s
heart and soul. That is God’s role (and to whomever He might confer
it, Lk 22:28-32 Mt 19:28.)
"Do not speak
evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or
judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. If
you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There
is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy.
Who then are you to judge your neighbor?"
"Why then do you judge your brother? Or you, why
do you look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the
judgment seat of God;"
"But I say
to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and
whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna."
"Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you
measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter
in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own
Luke 6:36-38 SAINT PAUL
"Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful.
Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you
will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give
and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken
down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure
with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."
We are not even our own judge as Saint Paul points out.
"…if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained
perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess
it, since I have indeed been taken posses-sion of by Christ (Jesus)."
1 Corinthians 4:3-5
"It does not concern me in the least that
I be judged by you or any human tribunal; I do not even pass judgment
on myself; I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not
thereby stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord.
Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the
Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will
manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise
The word "acquitted" is a translation of the
Greek word dikaiovw -DIKAIOO (Strong’s number
1344) which means justified.
Saint Paul does speak of the crown of righteousness which he will receive,
but this is spoken of only just before he is about to be martyred, after
he has "finished the race." He speaks this way in order to encourage
others to persevere in their faith and hope in Christ.
"I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only
to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance."
his earthly life comes to a end he speaks of the "crown" and he gives the
reason why he will receive it. It is because he has "kept the faith,"
but the implication is that if he had not persevered in his faith he would
have lost his crown, his salvation.
"… the one who perseveres to the end will be saved."
We are saved if we have Christ in our hearts, but we will lose our salvation
we lose our faith in Him. Christ holds us in his hand (Jn. 10:28)
and no one else can forcibly remove us, but we are still free to leave.
When we receive Christ we receive the gift of eternal life, but if we later
abandon our faith in Christ and reject He who is Life, then we also reject
His gift of eternal life.
When we are "baptized into Christ" (Rom. 6:3), we receive the gift of
adoptive sonship. The parable of the prodigal son teaches us that
if we disinherit ourselves then we become spiritually dead.
"…your brother was dead…"
1 John 5:16-17
"There is such a thing as deadly sin…All wrongdoing is sin, but
there is sin that is not deadly."
Salvation is an ongoing process.
my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present
but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear
and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you
both to desire and to work."
Just as the Bible speaks of being saved in the past tense of the verb
it also speaks of being saved in the present tense
and the future tense.
1 Corinthians 1:18
"The message of the cross is foolishness to
those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the
power of God."
1 Peter 3:21
"This prefigured baptism,
which saves you now."
if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves are found
to be sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? Of course not!"
"Many false prophets will arise and deceive many;
and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow
cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved." (Emphasis added.)
We know that Saint Paul is a Christian (Galatians 2:19-20), but even
he points out how he could lose his salvation if he were to turn from the
1 Corinthians 9:27
"…but I pommel my body
and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be
Protestants will contest that the word "disqualified"
refers to Paul loosing his extra merit and glory and does not refer to
Paul loosing his salvation. So, the key is to prove what this
The word "disqualified" is translated from the Greek word
(Strongs # 96.) Saint Paul makes the meaning of this word
clear in his second letter to the Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 13:5
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding
to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is
in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"
Here Saint Paul uses
the same Greek word "ADOKIMOS" (#96), except here, in English,
it is translated as "fail." The context is clear. It
refers to people who are spiritually lost and without the saving grace
of Jesus Christ.
So, the question we must ask is, "What is lost in 1 Cor 9:27 ?"
This word "ADOKIMOS" does not modify any reward that Saint
Paul might have received, rather it modifies Saint Paul himself.
1 Corinthians 9:27 " … lest … I myself should be
(ADOKIMOS)." Therefore, Paul is speaking in 1 Cor 9:27
above how he could lose his salvation.
Jesus warns us against judging ourselves or others in the Parable of
the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.
then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else. 'Two people went up to the temple area
to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The
Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, "O
God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest,
adulterous—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I
pay tithes on my whole income." But the tax collector stood
off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat
his breast and prayed, "O God, be merciful to me a sinner."
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone
who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will
be exalted.' "
The Pharisee credited God for his spiritual blessings by thanking Him
for them. However, God was displeased with him because he was
presumptuous about his own spirituality and he assumed God’s sovereign
role as judge.
To accept Jesus means more than to just accept a set of doctrines. The
essence of Jesus includes Love, Truth, Life, Existence, and Holiness. For
example, consider these verses.
1 John 4:7-8
us love one another, because love is of God; every-one who loves is begotten
by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God,
for God is love."
to him, 'I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.' "
"God replied, 'I am who am.' Then he
added, 'This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent
me to you.' "
"Jesus answered him,
'Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.' "
"The four living creatures, each of them with six
wings, were covered with eyes inside and out. Day and night they do not
stop exclaiming: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and who is, and who is to come.' "
The Name of Jesus is more than just an identifier, like say a social
security number might be. In the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day a
person’s name represented the very essence of who a person was or is. So
to believe in the Name of Jesus means to accept with one’s heart the very
essence of who Jesus is. It means more than just intellectually accepting
that the person Jesus is God’s son. The demons do that but they are
damned. We must do better.
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 evildoers.’ "
To believe in Jesus is to believe with one’s heart in Love, Truth and
Goodness. See Matthew 25:31-46. Even if a person "claims" to
be an atheist that doesn’t give us the right to judge his heart and soul.
We can judge that his doctrine will lead him to hell if he fully embraces
it. However, only God can look into his heart and judge whether or
not he truly does.
1 Samuel 16:7
"But the LORD said to Samuel:
'Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I
have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees
the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.’ "
"More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can
This in no way takes away from our need to evangelize or the world’s
need to hear the Good News. Satan with his lies is still trying to
get us to choose hate instead of Love and despair instead of Hope.
If we see a person commit a serious sin then we can judge the objective
act as evil, but only God can judge the actual guilt of his soul, because
only God can look into his heart. Only God knows to what extent Love
and Truth have been revealed to him and whether or not he is open to Jesus,
who is Truth and Love.
MARY MORAL ISSUES
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