The permission of his Maker Gen , without which he would have been a thief! What right had Israel to "borrow" of the Egyptians' jewels and raiment Exo ? None, unless Jehovah had authorized it Exo What right had Israel to slay so many lambs for sacrifice? None, except that God commanded it. What right had Israel to kill off all the Canaanites? None, save as Jehovah had bidden them. What right has the husband to require submission from his wife? None, unless God had appointed it. And so we might go on. Human responsibility is based upon divine sovereignty. One more example of the exercise of God's absolute sovereignty.
God placed His elect upon a different footing from Adam or Israel. He placed His elect upon an unconditional footing. In the Everlasting Covenant Jesus Christ was appointed their Head, took their responsibilities upon Himself, and wrought out a righteousness for them which is perfect, indefeasible, and eternal.
Christ was placed upon a conditional footing, for He was "made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law," only with this infinite difference; the others failed; He did not and could not. And who placed Christ upon that conditional footing? The Triune God. It was sovereign will that appointed Him, sovereign love that sent Him, sovereign authority that assigned Him His work. Certain conditions were set before the Mediator. He was to be made in the likeness of sin's flesh; He was to magnify the law and make it honourable; He was to bear all the sins of all God's people in His own body on the tree; He was to make full atonement for them; He was to endure the outpoured wrath of God; He was to die and be buried.
On the fulfillment of those conditions, He was promised a reward: Isaiah He was to be the Firstborn among many brethren; He was to have a people who should share His glory. Blessed be His name for ever, He fulfilled those conditions, and because He did so, the Father stands pledged, on solemn oath, to preserve through time and bless throughout eternity every one of those for whom His incarnate Son mediated.
Because He took their place, they now share His. His righteousness is theirs, His standing before God is theirs, His life is theirs. There is not a single condition for them to meet, not a single responsibility for them to discharge in order to attain their eternal bliss. Here then is the sovereignty of God openly displayed before all, displayed in the different ways in which He has dealt with His creatures. Part of the angels, Adam, and Israel, were placed upon a conditional footing, continuance in blessing being made dependent upon their obedience and fidelity to God.
But in sharp contrast from them, the "little flock" Luke , have been given an unconditional, an immutable standing in God's covenant, God's counsels, God's Son; their blessing being made dependent upon what Christ did for them. The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His" 2 Tim The foundation on which God's elect stand is a perfect one: nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it Eccl Here, then, is the highest and grandest display of the absolute sovereignty of God.
The Immutability of God Immutability is one of the divine perfections which is not sufficiently pondered. It is one of the excellencies of the Creator which distinguishes Him from all His creatures. God is perpetually the same: subject to no change in His being, attributes, or determinations. Therefore God is compared to a "Rock" Deut , etc. Because God has no beginning and no ending, He can know no change.
He is everlastingly "the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" James First, God is immutable in His essence. His nature and being are infinite, and so, subject to no mutations. There never was a time when He was not; there never will come a time when He shall cease to be.
God has neither evolved, grown, nor improved. All that He is today, He has ever been, and ever will be. He cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse. Altogether unaffected by anything outside Himself, improvement or deterioration is impossible. He is perpetually the same. He is altogether uninfluenced by the flight of time. There is no wrinkle upon the brow of eternity. Therefore His power can never diminish nor His glory ever fade. Secondly, God is immutable in His attributes.
Whatever the attributes of God were before the universe was called into existence, they are precisely the same now, and will remain so for ever. Necessarily so; for they are the very perfections, the essential qualities of His being. Semper idem always the same is written across every one of them. His power is unabated, His wisdom undiminished, His holiness unsullied. The attributes of God can no more change than Deity can cease to be. His veracity is immutable, for His Word is "for ever His love is eternal: "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" Jer and "Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end" John His mercy ceases not, for it is "everlasting" Psa Thirdly, God is immutable in His counsel.
His will never varies. Our first reply is, Then do the Scriptures contradict themselves? No, that cannot be. Numbers is plain enough: "God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent. When speaking of Himself, God frequently accommodates His language to our limited capacities. He describes Himself as clothed with bodily members, as eyes, ears, hands, etc.
He speaks of Himself as "waking" Psa , as "rising up early" Jer ; yet He neither slumbers nor sleeps. When He institutes a change in His dealings with men, He describes His course of conduct as "repenting. Yes, God is immutable in His counsel. It must be so, for "He is in one mind, and who can turn from Him?
Change and decay in all around we see, May He who changeth not abide with thee. God's purpose never alters. One of two things causes a man to change his mind and reverse his plans: want of foresight to anticipate everything, or lack of power to execute them. But as God is both omniscient and omnipotent there is never any need for Him to revise His decrees. Therefore do we read of "the immutability of His counsel" Heb Herein we may perceive the infinite distance which separates the highest creature from the Creator.
Creaturehood and mutability are correlative terms. If the creature was not mutable by nature it would not be a creature; it would be God. By nature we tend toward nothingness, since we came from nothing. Nothing stays our annihilation but the will and sustaining power of God. None can sustain himself a single moment. We are entirely dependent on the Creator for every breath we draw. We gladly own with the Psalmist, Thou "holdeth our soul in life" Psa The realization of this ought to make us lie down under a sense of our own nothingness in the presence of Him in Whom "we live, and move, and have our being" Acts As fallen creatures we are not only mutable, but everything in us is opposed to God.
As such we are "wandering stars" Jude 13 , out of our proper orbit. Fallen man is inconstant.
The words of Jacob concerning Reuben apply with full force to all of Adam's descendants: "unstable as water" Gen Thus it is not only a mark of piety, but also the part of wisdom to heed that injunction, "cease ye from man" Isa No human being is to be depended on. If I disobey God, then I deserve to be deceived and disappointed by my fellows. People who like you today may hate you tomorrow. Human nature cannot be relied upon; but God can! However unstable I may be, however fickle my friends may prove, God changes not. If He varied as we do; if He willed one thing today and another tomorrow; if He were controlled by caprice, who could confide in Him?
But, all praise to His glorious name, He is ever the same. His purpose is fixed; His will is stable; His word is sure. Here then is a Rock on which we may fix our feet, while the mighty torrent is sweeping away everything around us. The permanence of God's character guarantees the fulfillment of His promises: "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee" Isa Herein is encouragement to prayer. Who would put up a petition to an earthly prince that was so mutable as to grant a petition one day, and deny it another?
Should someone ask, But what is the use of praying to One whose will is already fixed? We answer, Because He so requires it. What blessings has God promised without our seeking them? To ask for anything contrary to His will is not prayer, but rank rebellion. Herein is terror for the wicked. Those who defy Him, who break His laws, who have no concern for His glory, but who live their lives as though He existed not, must not suppose that, when at the last they shall cry to Him for mercy, He will alter His will, revoke His word, and rescind His awful threatenings.
No, He has declared, "Therefore will I also deal in fury: Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them" Eze God will not deny Himself to gratify their lusts. God is holy, unchangingly so. Therefore God hates sin, eternally hates it. Hence the eternality of the punishment of all who die in their sins. It insures the execution of His threatenings, as well as the performance of His promises; and destroys the hope which the guilty fondly cherish, that He will be all lenity to His frail and erring creatures, and that they will be much more lightly dealt with than the declarations of His own Word would lead us to expect.
We oppose to these deceitful and presumptuous speculations the solemn truth, that God is unchanging in veracity and purpose, in faithfulness and justice" John Dick, He only is independently, infinitely, immutably holy. He is absolute Purity, unsullied even by the shadow of sin. Holiness is the very excellency of the divine nature: the great God is "glorious in holiness" Exo Therefore do we read, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity" Hab As God's power is the opposite of the native weakness of the creature, as His wisdom is in complete contrast from the least defect of understanding or folly, so His holiness is the very antithesis of all moral blemish or defilement.
Of old God appointed singers in Israel "that should praise the beauty of holiness" 2 Chron It is this, supremely, which renders Him lovely to those who are delivered from sin's dominion. A chief emphasis is placed upon this perfection of God: "God is oftener styled Holy than Almighty, and set forth by this part of His dignity more than by any other. This is more fixed on as an epithet to His name than any other.
You never find it expressed 'His mighty name' or 'His wise name' but His great name, and most of all, His holy name. This is the greatest title of honor; in this latter doth the majesty and venerableness of His name appear" S. This perfection, as none other, is solemnly celebrated before the Throne of Heaven, the seraphim crying, "Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts" Isa God swears by His "holiness" because that is a fuller expression of Himself than any thing else. It is an attribute of attributes" J.
Howe, Should this be sullied, all the rest would lose their honor; as at the same instant the sun should lose its light, it would lose its heat, its strength, its generative and quickening virtue. As sincerity is the luster of every grace in a Christian, so is purity the splendor of every attribute in the Godhead.
His justice is a holy justice, His wisdom a holy wisdom, His power a 'holy arm' Psa His truth or promise a 'holy promise' Psa His name, which signifies all His attributes in conjunction is 'holy'" Psa S. God's holiness is manifested in His works.
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Nothing but that which is excellent can proceed from Him. Holiness is the rule of all His actions. At the beginning He pronounced all that He made "very good" Gen , which He could not have done had there been anything imperfect or unholy in them. Man was made "upright" Eccl , in the image and likeness of his Creator. The angels that fell were created holy, for we are told that they "kept not their first estate [habitation]" Jude 6. Of Satan it is written, "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that the wast created, till iniquity was found in thee" Eze God's holiness is manifested in His law.
That law forbids sin in all of its modifications: in its most refined as well as its grossest forms, the intent of the mind as well as the pollution of the body, the secret desire as well as the overt act. Therefore do we read, "The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good" Rom Yes, "the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. God's holiness is manifested at the cross. Wondrously and yet most solemnly does the atonement display God's infinite holiness and abhorrence of sin. How hateful sin must be to God for Him to punish it to its utmost deserts when it was imputed to His Son!
This He Himself acknowledges in Psalm Because God is holy He hates all sin. He loves everything which is in conformity to His laws, and loathes everything which is contrary to it. It follows, therefore, that He must necessarily punish sin.
Life of Grace and the Hope of Glory - Oxford Scholarship
Sin can no more exist without demanding His punishment than without requiring His hatred of it. God has often forgiven sinners, but He never forgives sin; and the sinner is only forgiven on the ground of Another having born his punishment: for "without shedding of blood is no remission" Heb For one sin God banished our first parents from Eden.
For one sin all the posterity of Canaan, a son of Ham, fell under a curse which remains over them to this day Gen For one sin Moses was excluded from Canaan, Elisha's servant smitten with leprosy, Ananias and Sapphira cut off out of the land of the living. Herein we find proof for the divine inspiration of the Scriptures. The unregenerate do not really believe in the holiness of God.
Their conception of His character is altogether one-sided. They fondly hope that His mercy will override everything else. They think only of a "god" patterned after their own evil hearts. Hence their continuance in a course of mad folly. Such is the holiness ascribed to the divine nature and character in Scripture that it clearly demonstrates their superhuman origin. The character attributed to the "gods" of the ancients and of modern heathendom is the very reverse of that immaculate purity which pertains to the true God.
The fact is that nothing makes more manifest the terrible depravity of man's heart and his emnity against the living God than to have set before him One who is infinitely and immutably holy. His own idea of sin is practically limited to what the world calls "crime. And even where sin is owned at all, excuses and extenuations are made for it. The "god" which the vast majority of professing Christians "love" is looked upon very much like an indulgent old man, who himself has no relish for folly, but leniently winks at the "indiscretions" of youth.
But the Word says, "Thou hatest all workers of iniquity" Psa And again, "God is angry with the wicked every day" Psa But men refuse to believe in this God, and gnash their teeth when His hatred of sin is faithfully pressed upon their attention. No, sinful man was no more likely to devise a holy God than to create the Lake of Fire in which he will be tormented for ever and ever.
Because God is holy, acceptance with Him on the ground of creature doings is utterly impossible. A fallen creature could sooner create a world than produce that which would meet the approval of infinite Purity. Can darkness dwell with Light? Can the Immaculate One take pleasure in "filthy rags" Isa ? The best that sinful man brings forth is defiled.
A corrupt tree cannot bear good fruit. God would deny Himself, vilify His perfections, were He to account as righteous and holy that which is not so in itself; and nothing is so which has the least stain upon it contrary to the nature of God. Every poor sinner who has fled to Him for refuge stands "accepted in the Beloved" Eph Because God is holy the utmost reverence becomes our approaches unto Him. Yes, "at His footstool," in the lowest posture of humility, prostrate before Him.
When Moses would approach unto the burning bush, God said, "Take off thy shoes from off thy feet" Exo He is to be served "with fear" Psa 1. Of Israel His demand was, "I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified" Lev The more our hearts are awed by His ineffable holiness, the more acceptable will be our approaches unto Him.
Because God is holy we should desire to be conformed to Him. His commandment is, "Be ye holy, for I am holy" 1 Peter We are not bidden to be omnipotent or omniscient as God is, but we are to be holy, and that "in all manner of conversation [deportment]" 1 Peter We do not so glorify God by elevated admirations, or eloquent expressions, or pompous services for Him as when we aspire to a conversing with Him with unstained spirits, and live to Him in living like Him" S.
Then as God alone is the Source and Fount of holiness, let us earnestly seek holiness from Him; let our daily prayer be that He may "sanctify us wholly; and our whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" 1 Thess The Power of God We cannot have a right conception of God unless we think of Him as all-powerful, as well as all-wise. He who cannot do what he will and perform all his pleasure cannot be God. As God hath a will to resolve what He deems good, so has He power to execute His will. As holiness is the beauty of all God's attributes, so power is that which gives life and action to all the perfections of the divine nature.
Healing: God’s Gift of Mercy and Grace
How vain would be the eternal counsels, if power did not step in to execute them. Without power His mercy would be but feeble pity, His promises an empty sound, His threatenings a mere scarecrow. God's power is like Himself--infinite, eternal, incomprehensible; it can neither be checked, restrained, nor frustrated by the creature" Stephen Charnock. We poor mortals may speak often and yet fail to be heard. He speaks but once and the thunder of His power is heard on a thousand hills. Yea, He sent out His arrows, and scattered them; He shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at Thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of Thy nostrils Psa This was openly displayed when God became incarnate and tabernacled among men.
To the leper He said, "I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed" Matt To one who had lain in the grave four days He cried, "Lazarus, come forth," and the dead came forth. The stormy wind and the angry waves were hushed at a single word from Him. A legion of demons could not resist His authoritative command. Not a creature in the entire universe has an atom of power save what God delegates.
But God's power is not acquired, nor does it depend upon any recognition by any other authority. It belongs to Him inherently. The mightiest of men cannot add so much as a shadow of increased power to the Omnipotent One. He sits on no buttressed throne and leans on no assisting arm. His court is not maintained by His courtiers, not does it borrow its splendor from His creatures. He is Himself the great central source and Originator of all power" C. Not only does all creation bear witness to the great power of God, but also to His entire independency of all created things.
Listen to His own challenge: "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? How completely is the pride of man laid in the dust! God and power are so inseparable that they are reciprocated. As His essence is immense, not to be confined in place; as it is eternal, not to be measured in time; so it is almighty, not to be limited in regard of action" S. Who is able to count all the monuments of His power? Even that which is displayed of His might in the visible creation is utterly beyond our powers of comprehension, still less are we able to conceive of omnipotence itself.
There is infinitely more power lodged in the nature of God than is expressed in all His works. Remarkably is this brought out--"And there was the hiding of His power" Hab It is scarcely possible to imagine anything more grandiloquent than the imagery of this whole chapter, yet nothing in it surpasses the nobility of this statement. The prophet in vision beheld the mighty God scattering the hills and overturning the mountains, which one would think afforded an amazing demonstration of His power.
Nay, says our verse, that is rather the "hiding" than the displaying of His power. What is meant? This: so inconceivable, so immense, so uncontrollable is the power of Deity, that the fearful convulsions which He works in nature conceal more than they reveal of His infinite might! It is very beautiful to link together the following passages: He "treadeth upon the waves of the sea" Job , which expresses God's uncontrollable power. He "walketh upon the wings of the wind" Psa , which signifies the amazing swiftness of His operations. This last expression is very remarkable.
It is not that He "flieth," or "runneth," but that He "walketh" and that, on the very "wings of the wind"--on the most impetuous of the elements, tossed into utmost rage, and sweeping along with almost inconceivable rapidity, yet they are under His feet, beneath His perfect control! Let us now consider God's power in creation. The north and the south Thou hast created them" Psa , Before man can work he must have both tools and materials, but God began with nothing, and by His word alone out of nothing made all things.
The intellect cannot grasp it. Primevil matter heard His voice. Well may we exclaim, "Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is Thy hand, and high is Thy right hand" Psa Amazing to relate, they were produced without materials. They sprung from emptiness itself. The stately fabric of universal nature emerged out of nothing. What instruments were used by the Supreme Architect to fashion the parts with such exquisite niceness, and give so beautiful a polish to the whole?
How was it all connected into one finely-proportioned and nobly finished structure? A bare fiat accomplished all. Let them be, said God. He added no more; and at once the marvellous edifice arose, adorned with every beauty, displaying innumerable perfections, and declaring amidst enraptured seraphs its great Creator's praise. Consider God's power in preservation. No creature has power to preserve itself. Both man and beast would perish if there were not herbs for food; herbs would wither and die if the earth were not refreshed with fruitful showers.
Therefore is God called the Preserver of "man and beast" Psa , "upholding all things by the word of His power" Heb What a marvel of divine power is the prenatal life of every human being! That an infant can live at all, and for so many months, in such cramped and filthy quarters, and that without breathing, is unaccountable without the power of God. Truly He "holdeth our soul in life" Psa The preservation of the earth from the violence of the sea is another plain instance of God's might.
How is that raging element kept pent within those limits wherein He first lodged it, continuing its channel, without overflowing the earth and dashing in pieces the lower part of the creation? The natural situation of the water is to be above the earth, because it is lighter, and immediately under the air, because it is heavier.
Who restrains the natural quality of it? Certainly man does not, and cannot. It is the fiat of its Creator which alone bridles it: "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed" Job What a standing monument to the power of God is the preservation of the world! Consider God's power in government.
Take His restraining of the malice of Satan. He is filled with hatred against God, and with fiendish enmity against men, particularly the saints. He that envied Adam in paradise envies us the pleasure of enjoying any of God's blessings. Could he have his will, he would treat all the same way he treated Job: he would send fire from heaven on the fruits of the earth, destroy the cattle, cause a wind to overthrow our houses, and cover our bodies with boils. But, little as men may realize it, God bridles him to a large extent, prevents him from carrying out his evil designs, and confines him within His ordinations.
So too God restrains the natural corruption of men. He suffers sufficient outbreakings of sin to show what fearful havoc has been wrought by man's apostasy from his Maker, but who can conceive the frightful lengths to which men would go were God to remove His curbing hand? This is the nature of every descendant of Adam. Then what unbridled licentiousness and headstrong folly would triumph in the world, if the power of God did not interpose to lock down the floodgates of it!
See Psalm , 4. Consider God's power in judgment. When He smites, none can resist Him: see Ezekiel How terribly this was exemplified at the Flood! God opened the windows of heaven and broke up the great fountains of the deep, and excepting those in the ark the entire human race, helpless before the storm of His wrath, was swept away. A shower of fire and brimstone from heaven, and the cities of the plain were exterminated. Pharaoh and all his hosts were impotent when God blew upon them at the Red Sea. What a terrific word is that in Romans "What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.
Well may all tremble before such a God! To treat with impudence One who can crush us more easily than we can a moth, is a suicidal policy. To openly defy Him who is clothed with omnipotence, who can rend us in pieces or cast us into Hell any moment He pleases, is the very height of insanity. To put it on its lowest ground, it is but the part of wisdom to heed His command, "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little" Psa Well may the enlightened soul adore such a God!
The wondrous and infinite perfections of such a Being call for fervent worship. If men of might and renown claim the admiration of the world, how much more should the power of the Almighty fill us with wonderment and homage. Well may the saint trust such a God! He is worthy of implicit confidence. Nothing is too hard for Him. If God were stinted in might and had a limit to His strength we might well despair. But seeing that He is clothed with omnipotence, no prayer is too hard for Him to answer, no need too great for Him to supply, no passion too strong for Him to subdue; no temptation too powerful for Him to deliver from, no misery too deep for Him to relieve.
Amen" Eph , The Faithfulness of God Unfaithfulness is one of the most outstanding sins of these evil days. In the business world, a man's word is, with exceedingly rare exceptions, no longer his bond. In the social world, marital infidelity abounds on every hand, the sacred bonds of wedlock being broken with as little regard as the discarding of an old garment. In the ecclesiastical realm thousands who have solemnly covenanted to preach the truth make no scruple to attack and deny it.
Nor can reader or writer claim complete immunity from this fearful sin. In how many ways have we been unfaithful to Christ, and to the light and privileges which God has entrusted to us! How refreshing, then, how unspeakably blessed, to lift our eyes above this scene of ruin, and behold One who is faithful--faithful in all things, faithful at all times.
This quality is essential to His being; without it He would not be God. For God to be unfaithful would be to act contrary to His nature, which is impossible: "If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful; He cannot deny Himself" 2 Tim Faithfulness is one of the glorious perfections of His being. So too when God became incarnate it was said, "Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins" Isa Everything about God is great, vast, incomparable. He never forgets, never fails, never falters, never forfeits His word. To every declaration of promise or prophecy the Lord has exactly adhered, every engagement of covenant or threatening He will make good, for "God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it?
Therefore does the believer exclaim, "His compassions fail not, they are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness" Lam , Because he, Moses was angry. Moses misrepresented God to His people.
Comments ( 296 )
God is love, merciful and forgiving. Moses had been instructed to only speak to the rock, not strike it. Moses disobeyed, so God had to punish Moses. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. I am sorry! But I feel in my heart and would like your opinion. I will stop at this point.
Since Moses died before the children entered the Promised land. He did not or could not have enter New jerusalem. But he will be raised from the dead along with all in Christ living or dead to meet Jesus in the air as he comes to rule. Like the Israelites, we also fall away into sin, we backslide but God is promising restoration through repentance. Moses was given the opportunity to become a great nation Ex Moses smashed the first set of tablets in rage. God called Moses back up the mountain. Thanks for the insight.
It is only when study HIS word in dept that we find these hidden messages. So when you seek HIS truth you get rewarded with special understanding and blessings. I used to read the Bible in one year for many years and learned nothing. It was when I prayed , studied and mediated on His word that I received. I believe that the big challenge Moses faced, as many of us Christians do, is moving from a place of salvation to the place of transformation.
This is a process, a metamorphosis…shedding the Egypt in us and taking on the beauty of Messiah. I love the phrasing of your comment, and understand that is our being converted and the renewing of our minds which help us walk in the Way of our Master. Amazing and graceful prayer indeed…Lord!
Please answer this mortal prayers in Jesus name. I see this as Moses seeking to understand God better. Moses needed to have a better understanding of God. He asked who God was sending rather than arguing with God. I think that could be a possibility. I am not implying that mine is all that great. John A. If it was there would be no reason to test Abraham in binding of Abraham. Amen…He already knows our hearts, but He tests our obedience.. Thus, Faithful Abraham! If we understand that God is all-knowing Ps , 1Jn God knew what Moses would ask thus confirming his faithfulness.
Only God Himself was good enough for Moses. Contd from previous post.. God knows each one of His children by name. He tests our faith to the uttermost but we know He always provides a way out. Praise the Lord. God did what Moses has asked but why God did not allow Moses to bring the Israel people to enter the promised land?
As The Living Bible translates Romans 19 Adam caused many to be sinners because he disobeyed God, and Christ caused many to be made acceptable to God because he obeyed. It seems Moses may have had an understanding of this. Only God would be able to forgive them. Moses understood that. He knew that his people are stiff necks, stubborn and they needed the grace of God. This part of Exodus has always fascinated me.
The conversations between Moses and God, The covenant dinner with the 70 elders. It is expressed throughout the OT. Theologians have conceptualized this into the the doctrine of original sin and the separation of man from God. Yet there are countless examples throughout the old and new Testaments where men have seen God and lived.
In fact when Jesus came many people saw him and lived. I would like your views on this Dr. Randal, hi. It is a lot easier with Jesus since we are dealing here with incarnation, but OT texts are more difficult to interpret as you mentioned. I recommend this book for your attention. I believe He wants to hold these discussions with us. For instance, killing at will, and all manner of unheard of immoralities? That seems too broad and extreme of an example, but each of us can take things that touch our life on a case by case basis. If we are children of God, then we should do what God does.
That is how humanity should treat others. El Shaddai! I would like to get more information about your program. What I am interested in doing individual studies in certain areas. Primarily seeking study guide books or individual topical studies. God prepared for the coming of his Son over the centuries.
He awakened in the hearts of the pagans a dim expectation of this coming and he prepared for it specifically through the Old Testament, culminating with John the Baptist who was the last and greatest of the prophets. We relive this long period of expectancy in the annual liturgical celebration of the season of Advent. At Christmas the glory of heaven is shown forth in the weakness of a baby; the circumcision of Jesus is a sign of his belonging to the Hebrew people and is a prefiguration of our Baptism; the Epiphany is the manifestation of the Messiah King of Israel to all the nations; at the presentation in the temple, Simeon and Anna symbolise all the anticipation of Israel awaiting its encounter with its Savior; the flight into Egypt and the massacre of the innocents proclaim that the entire life of Christ will be under the sign of persecution; the departure from Egypt recalls the exodus and presents Jesus as the new Moses and the true and definitive liberator.
In the course of his hidden life in Nazareth Jesus stayed in the silence of an ordinary existence. This allows us to enter into fellowship with him in the holiness to be found in a daily life marked by prayer, simplicity, work and family love. His obedience to Mary and to Joseph, his foster father, is an image of his filial obedience to the Father. Mary and Joseph accepted with faith the mystery of Jesus even though they did not always understand it. The baptism of Jesus is a prefiguring of our baptism.
The temptations of Jesus in the desert recapitulate the temptation of Adam in Paradise and the temptations of Israel in the desert. Satan tempts Jesus in regard to his obedience to the mission given him by the Father. Christ, the new Adam, resists and his victory proclaims that of his passion which is the supreme obedience of his filial love.
The Church unites herself to this mystery in a special way in the liturgical season of Lent. Who is invited to come into the Kingdom of God proclaimed and brought about by Jesus? All are invited by Jesus to enter the Kingdom of God. Even the worst of sinners is called to convert and to accept the boundless mercy of the Father. Already here on earth, the Kingdom belongs to those who accept it with a humble heart. To them the mysteries of the Kingdom are revealed. Jesus accompanied his words with signs and miracles to bear witness to the fact that the Kingdom is present in him, the Messiah.
Although he healed some people, he did not come to abolish all evils here below but rather to free us especially from the slavery of sin. Jesus chose the twelve , the future witnesses of his Resurrection, and made them sharers of his mission and of his authority to teach, to absolve from sins, and to build up and govern the Church. At the established time Jesus chose to go up to Jerusalem to suffer his passion and death, and to rise from the dead.
As the Messiah King who shows forth the coming of the Kingdom, he entered into his city mounted on a donkey. Hosanna save us! The liturgy of the Church opens Holy Week by celebrating this entry into Jerusalem. The Paschal Mystery of Jesus, which comprises his passion, death, resurrection, and glorification, stands at the center of the Christian faith because God's saving plan was accomplished once for all by the redemptive death of his Son Jesus Christ. Some of the leaders of Israel accused Jesus of acting against the law, the temple in Jerusalem, and in particular against faith in the one God because he proclaimed himself to be the Son of God.
For this reason they handed him over to Pilate so that he might condemn him to death. Jesus did not abolish the Law given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai but he fulfilled it by giving it its definitive interpretation. He himself was the divine Legislator who fully carried out this Law. Jesus was accused of hostility to the temple. However, he also foretold its destruction in connection with his own death and he presented himself as the definitive dwelling place of God among men. Jesus never contradicted faith in the one God, not even when he performed the stupendous divine work which fulfilled the messianic promises and revealed himself as equal to God, namely the pardoning of sins.
However, the call of Jesus to believe in him and to be converted makes it possible to understand the tragic misunderstanding of the Sanhedrin which judged Jesus to be worthy of death as a blasphemer. The passion and death of Jesus cannot be imputed indiscriminately either to all the Jews that were living at that time or to their descendants.
Every single sinner, that is, every human being is really the cause and the instrument of the sufferings of the Redeemer; and the greater blame in this respect falls on those above all who are Christians and who the more often fall into sin or delight in their vices. To reconcile to himself all who were destined to die because of sin God took the loving initiative of sending his Son that he might give himself up for sinners. The entire life of Christ was a free offering to the Father to carry out his plan of salvation. His suffering and death showed how his humanity was the free and perfect instrument of that divine love which desires the salvation of all people.
Jesus freely offered his life as an expiatory sacrifice, that is, he made reparation for our sins with the full obedience of his love unto death. The paschal sacrifice of Christ, therefore, redeems humanity in a way that is unique, perfect, and definitive; and it opens up for them communion with God. By calling his disciples to take up their cross and follow him Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who are to be its first beneficiaries.
Christ underwent a real death and a true burial. However, the power of God preserved his body from corruption. It was the state of all those, righteous and evil, who died before Christ. With his soul united to his divine Person Jesus went down to the just in hell who were awaiting their Redeemer so they could enter at last into the vision of God. The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ and represents along with his cross an essential part of the Paschal Mystery.
Along with the essential sign of the empty tomb, the Resurrection of Jesus is witnessed to by the women who first encountered Christ and proclaimed him to the apostles. The apostles could not have invented the story of the resurrection since it seemed impossible to them.
As a matter of fact, Jesus himself upbraided them for their unbelief. While being an historical event, verifiable and attested by signs and testimonies, the Resurrection, insofar as it is the entrance of Christ's humanity into the glory of God, transcends and surpasses history as a mystery of faith.
For this reason the risen Christ did not manifest himself to the world but to his disciples, making them his witnesses to the people. The Resurrection of Christ was not a return to earthly life.
The Life of Grace and the Hope of Glory
His risen body is that which was crucified and bears the marks of his passion. However it also participates in the divine life, with the characteristics of a glorified body. Because of this the risen Jesus was utterly free to appear to his disciples how and where he wished and under various aspects.
The Resurrection of Christ is a transcendent work of God. The Resurrection is the climax of the Incarnation. It confirms the divinity of Christ and all the things which he did and taught. It fulfills all the divine promises made for us. Furthermore the risen Christ, the conqueror of sin and death, is the principle of our justification and our Resurrection. It procures for us now the grace of filial adoption which is a real share in the life of the only begotten Son.
At the end of time he will raise up our bodies. After forty days during which Jesus showed himself to the apostles with ordinary human features which veiled his glory as the Risen One, Christ ascended into heaven and was seated at the right hand of the Father. He is the Lord who now in his humanity reigns in the everlasting glory of the Son of God and constantly intercedes for us before the Father.
He sends us his Spirit and he gives us the hope of one day reaching the place he has prepared for us. As the Lord of the cosmos and of history, the Head of his Church, the glorified Christ mysteriously remains on earth where his kingdom is already present in seed and in its beginning in the Church. One day he will return in glory but we do not know the time. After the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world the glorious coming of Christ will take place.
Then will come the definitive triumph of God in the parousia and the Last Judgment. Thus the Kingdom of God will be realized. Christ will judge with the power he has gained as the Redeemer of the world who came to bring salvation to all. The secrets of hearts will be brought to light as well as the conduct of each one toward God and toward his neighbor. Everyone, according to how he has lived, will either be filled with life or damned for eternity. I Believe in the Holy Spirit.
In the indivisible Trinity, the Son and the Spirit are distinct but inseparable. The Spirit is invisible but we know him through his actions, when he reveals the Word to us and when he acts in the Church. There are many symbols of the Holy Spirit: living water which springs from the wounded Heart of Christ and which quenches the thirst of the baptized; anointing with oil, which is the sacramental sign of Confirmation; fire which transforms what it touches; the cloud, dark or luminous, in which the divine glory is revealed; the imposition of hands by which the Holy Spirit is given; the dove which descended on Christ at his baptism and remained with him.
The Spirit brings the prophecies of the Old Testament to their complete fulfillment in Christ whose mystery he reveals in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit brought to fulfillment in Mary all the waiting and the preparation of the Old Testament for the coming of Christ. In a singular way he filled her with grace and made her virginity fruitful so that she could give birth to the Son of God made flesh. What is the relationship between the Spirit and Christ Jesus in his earthly mission? Beginning with his Incarnation, the Son of God was consecrated in his humanity as the Messiah by means of the anointing of the Spirit.
He revealed the Spirit in his teaching, fulfilled the promises made to the Fathers, and bestowed him upon the Church at its birth when he breathed on the apostles after the Resurrection. Fifty days after the Resurrection at Pentecost the glorified Jesus Christ poured out the Spirit in abundance and revealed him as a divine Person so that the Holy Trinity was fully manifest. The mission of Christ and of the Spirit became the mission of the Church which is sent to proclaim and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity.
The Spirit builds, animates and sanctifies the Church. As the Spirit of Love, he restores to the baptized the divine likeness that was lost through sin and causes them to live in Christ the very life of the Holy Trinity. Christ communicates his Spirit and the grace of God through the sacraments to all the members of the Church, who thus bear the fruits of the new life of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is also the Master of prayer. The Church in the Plan of God. The word Church refers to the people whom God calls and gathers together from every part of the earth. They form the assembly of those who through faith and Baptism have become children of God, members of Christ, and temples of the Holy Spirit. In Sacred Scripture we find many images which bring out various complementary aspects of the mystery of the Church.
The Old Testament favors those images that are bound to the people of God. The New Testament offers images that are linked to Christ as the Head of this people which is his Body. Other images are drawn from pastoral life sheepfold, flock, sheep , from agriculture field, olive grove, vineyard , from construction dwelling place, stone, temple , and from family life spouse, mother, family. The Church finds her origin and fulfillment in the eternal plan of God. She was prepared for in the Old Covenant with the election of Israel, the sign of the future gathering of all the nations.
Founded by the words and actions of Jesus Christ, fulfilled by his redeeming death and Resurrection, the Church has been manifested as the mystery of salvation by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. She will be perfected in the glory of heaven as the assembly of all the redeemed of the earth. The mission of the Church is to proclaim and establish the Kingdom of God begun by Jesus Christ among all peoples. The Church constitutes on earth the seed and beginning of this salvific Kingdom. The Church is a mystery in as much as in her visible reality there is present and active a divine spiritual reality which can only be seen with the eyes of faith.
This means that she is the sign and instrument both of the reconciliation and communion of all of humanity with God and of the unity of the entire human race. The Church: people of God, body of Christ, temple of the Spirit. One becomes a member of this people through faith in Christ and Baptism.
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This people has for its origin God the Father; for its head Jesus Christ; for its hallmark the dignity and freedom of the sons of God; for its law the new commandment of love; for its mission to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world; and for its destiny the Kingdom of God, already begun on earth. In what way does the people of God share in the three functions of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King? The people of God participate in Christ's priestly office insofar as the baptized are consecrated by the Holy Spirit to offer spiritual sacrifices.
The people of God share in his kingly office by means of service, imitating Jesus Christ who as King of the universe made himself the servant of all, especially the poor and the suffering. The risen Christ unites his faithful people to himself in an intimate way by means of the Holy Spirit. In this way, those who believe in Christ, in as much as they are close to him especially in the Eucharist, are united among themselves in charity.
They form one body, the Church, whose unity is experienced in the diversity of its members and its functions. The Church lives from him, in him and for him. The Lord has loved the Church and has joined her to himself in an everlasting covenant. She is so called because the Holy Spirit resides in the body which is the Church, in her Head and in her members. He also builds up the Church in charity by the Word of God, the sacraments, the virtues, and charisms. Charisms are special gifts of the Holy Spirit which are bestowed on individuals for the good of others, the needs of the world, and in particular for the building up of the Church.
The discernment of charisms is the responsibility of the Magisterium. The Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The Church is one because she has as her source and exemplar the unity of the Trinity of Persons in one God. As her Founder and Head, Jesus Christ re-established the unity of all people in one body. As her soul, the Holy Spirit unites all the faithful in communion with Christ.
The Church has but one faith, one sacramental life, one apostolic succession, one common hope, and one and the same charity. The one Church of Christ, as a society constituted and organized in the world, subsists in subsistit in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him.
Only through this Church can one obtain the fullness of the means of salvation since the Lord has entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone whose head is Peter. In the churches and ecclesial communities which are separated from full communion with the Catholic Church, many elements of sanctification and truth can be found. All of these blessings come from Christ and lead to Catholic unity. Members of these churches and communities are incorporated into Christ by Baptism and we so we recognize them as brothers. The desire to restore the unity of all Christians is a gift from Christ and a call of the Spirit.
This desire involves the entire Church and it is pursued by conversion of heart, prayer, fraternal knowledge of each other and theological dialogue. The Church is holy insofar as the Most Holy God is her author. Christ has given himself for her to sanctify her and make her a source of sanctification. The Holy Spirit gives her life with charity. In the Church one finds the fullness of the means of salvation. Holiness is the vocation of each of her members and the purpose of all her activities.
The Church counts among her members the Virgin Mary and numerous Saints who are her models and intercessors. The holiness of the Church is the fountain of sanctification for her children who here on earth recognize themselves as sinners ever in need of conversion and purification. The Church proclaims the fullness and the totality of the faith; she bears and administers the fullness of the means of salvation; she is sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race.
Every particular Church that is, a diocese or eparchy is catholic. All human beings in various ways belong to or are ordered to the Catholic unity of the people of God. Fully incorporated into the Catholic Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, are joined to the Church by the bonds of the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government and communion. The baptized who do not enjoy full Catholic unity are in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church recognizes a particular link with the Jewish people in the fact that God chose them before all others to receive his Word. The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to the revelation of God in the Old Covenant. What is the bond that exists between the Catholic Church and non-Christian religions? There is a bond between all peoples which comes especially from the common origin and end of the entire human race.
The Catholic Church recognizes that whatever is good or true in other religions comes from God and is a reflection of his truth. As such it can prepare for the acceptance of the Gospel and act as a stimulus toward the unity of humanity in the Church of Christ. This means that all salvation comes from Christ, the Head, through the Church which is his body. Hence they cannot be saved who, knowing the Church as founded by Christ and necessary for salvation, would refuse to enter her or remain in her.
At the same time, thanks to Christ and to his Church, those who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ and his Church but sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, try to do his will as it is known through the dictates of conscience can attain eternal salvation. The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, continues the mission of Christ himself in the course of history. Christians must, therefore, proclaim to everyone the Good News borne by Christ; and, following his path, they must be ready for self-sacrifice, even unto martyrdom.
She is apostolic in her teaching which is the same as that of the Apostles. She is apostolic by reason of her structure insofar as she is taught, sanctified, and guided until Christ returns by the Apostles through their successors who are the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter. Jesus, the One sent by the Father, called to himself twelve of his disciples and appointed them as his Apostles, making them the chosen witnesses of his Resurrection and the foundation of his Church. Apostolic succession is the transmission by means of the sacrament of Holy Orders of the mission and power of the Apostles to their successors, the bishops.
Thanks to this transmission the Church remains in communion of faith and life with her origin, while through the centuries she carries on her apostolate for the spread of the Kingdom of Christ on earth. The Faithful: hierarchy, laity, consecrated life. There exists a true equality among them in their dignity as children of God. The other members of the Church are called the laity. In both the hierarchy and the laity there are certain of the faithful who are consecrated in a special manner to God by the profession of the evangelical counsels: chastity or celibacy, poverty, and obedience.
Christ instituted an ecclesiastical hierarchy with the mission of feeding the people of God in his name and for this purpose gave it authority. The hierarchy is formed of sacred ministers,; bishops, priests, and deacons. Thanks to the sacrament of Orders, bishops and priests act in the exercise of their ministry in the name and person of Christ the Head. Deacons minister to the people of God in the diakonia service of word, liturgy, and charity.
Every bishop exercises his ministry as a member of the episcopal college in communion with the Pope and shares with him in the care of the universal Church. Priests exercise their ministry in the presbyterate of the local Church in communion with their own bishop and under his direction. Ecclesial ministry also has a personal character in as much as each minister, in virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, is responsible before Christ who called him personally and conferred on him his mission.
He is the vicar of Christ, the head of the College of bishops and pastor of the universal Church over which he has by divine institution full, supreme, immediate, and universal power. The college of bishops in union with the Pope, and never without him, also exercises supreme and full authority over the Church. Since they are authentic witnesses of the apostolic faith and are invested with the authority of Christ, the bishops in union with the Pope have the duty of proclaiming the Gospel faithfully and authoritatively to all.
By means of a supernatural sense of faith, the people of God unfailingly adhere to the faith under the guidance of the living Magisterium of the Church. Infallibility is exercised when the Roman Pontiff, in virtue of his office as the Supreme Pastor of the Church, or the College of Bishops, in union with the Pope especially when joined together in an Ecumenical Council, proclaim by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.
Infallibility is also exercised when the Pope and Bishops in their ordinary Magisterium are in agreement in proposing a doctrine as definitive. Every one of the faithful must adhere to such teaching with the obedience of faith. Bishops sanctify the Church by dispensing the grace of Christ by their ministry of the word and the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, and also by their prayers, their example and their work.
Every bishop, insofar as he is a member of the college of bishops, bears collegially the care for all particular Churches and for the entire Church along with all the other bishops who are united to the Pope. A bishop to whom a particular Church has been entrusted governs that Church with the authority of his own sacred power which is ordinary and immediate and exercised in the name of Christ, the Good Shepherd, in communion with the entire Church and under the guidance of the Successor of Peter.
The lay faithful have as their own vocation to seek the Kingdom of God by illuminating and ordering temporal affairs according to the plan of God. They carry out in this way their call to holiness and to the apostolate, a call given to all the baptized. In this way, even the laity, dedicated to Christ and consecrated by the Holy Spirit, offer to God the world itself.
They participate in it by welcoming evermore in faith the Word of Christ and proclaiming it to the world by the witness of their lives, their words, their evangelizing action, and by catechesis. This evangelizing action acquires a particular efficacy because it is accomplished in the ordinary circumstances of the world.
The laity participate in the kingly function of Christ because they have received from him the power to overcome sin in themselves and in the world by self-denial and the holiness of their lives. They exercise various ministries at the service of the community and they imbue temporal activities and the institutions of society with moral values. The consecrated life is a state of life recognized by the Church.
It is a free response to a special call from Christ by which those consecrated give themselves completely to God and strive for the perfection of charity moved by the Holy Spirit. This consecration is characterized by the practice of the evangelical counsels. I believe in the communion of saints. This expression indicates first of all the common sharing of all the members of the Church in holy things sancta : the faith, the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, the charisms, and the other spiritual gifts.
This expression also refers to the communion between holy persons sancti ; that is, between those who by grace are united to the dead and risen Christ. Some are pilgrims on the earth; others, having passed from this life, are undergoing purification and are helped also by our prayers. Others already enjoy the glory of God and intercede for us. All of these together form in Christ one family, the Church, to the praise and glory of the Trinity. Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church. Even after her Assumption into heaven, she continues to intercede for her children, to be a model of faith and charity for all, and to exercise over them a salutary influence deriving from the superabundant merits of Christ.
The faithful see in Mary an image and an anticipation of the resurrection that awaits them and they invoke her as advocate, helper, benefactress and mediatrix. It is a singular kind of devotion which differs essentially from the cult of adoration given only to the Most Holy Trinity. This special veneration directed to Mary finds particular expression in the liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and in Marian prayers such as the holy Rosary which is a compendium of the whole Gospel.
Looking upon Mary, who is completely holy and already glorified in body and soul, the Church contemplates in her what she herself is called to be on earth and what she will be in the homeland of heaven. The first and chief sacrament for the forgiveness of sins is Baptism. For those sins committed after Baptism, Christ instituted the sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance through which a baptized person is reconciled with God and with the Church.
The resurrection of the flesh is the literal formulation in the Apostles Creed for the resurrection of the body. We believe in God the Creator of the flesh; we believe in the Word made flesh in order to redeem flesh; and we believe in the resurrection of flesh which is the fulfillment of both the creation and the redemption of the flesh.
This means that the definitive state of man will not be one in which his spiritual soul is separated from his body. Even our mortal bodies will one day come to life again. After death, which is the separation of the body and the soul, the body becomes corrupt while the soul, which is immortal, goes to meet the judgment of God and awaits its reunion with the body when it will rise transformed at the time of the return of the Lord.
How the resurrection of the body will come about exceeds the possibilities of our imagination and understanding. Dying in Christ Jesus means to die in the state of God's grace without any mortal sin. A believer in Christ, following his example, is thus able to transform his own death into an act of obedience and love for the Father. Eternal life is that life which begins immediately after death. It will have no end. It will be preceded for each person by a particular judgment at the hands of Christ who is the Judge of the living and the dead.
This particular judgement will be confirmed in the final judgment. It is the judgment of immediate retribution which each one after death will receive from God in his immortal soul in accord with his faith and his works. This retribution consists in entrance into the happiness of heaven, immediately or after an appropriate purification, or entry into the eternal damnation of hell. Those who die in the grace of God and have no need of further purification are gathered around Jesus and Mary, the angels and the saints.
They live in a communion of love with the Most Blessed Trinity and they intercede for us. Thanks to his mercy, we too, men that we are, have received the inalienable promise of eternal life. Because of the communion of saints, the faithful who are still pilgrims on earth are able to help the souls in purgatory by offering prayers in suffrage for them, especially the Eucharistic sacrifice.
They also help them by almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance. Hell consists in the eternal damnation of those who die in mortal sin through their own free choice. The principal suffering of hell is eternal separation from God in whom alone we can have the life and happiness for which we were created and for which we long. Therefore, it is the human person who freely excludes himself from communion with God if at the moment of death he persists in mortal sin and refuses the merciful love of God.
After the last judgment, the resurrected body will share in the retribution which the soul received at the particular judgment. The Celebration of the Christian Mystery. Section One The Sacramental Economy. The liturgy is the celebration of the mystery of Christ and in particular his paschal mystery. Through the exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ the liturgy manifests in signs and brings about the sanctification of humankind.
The public worship which is due to God is offered by the Mystical Body of Christ, that is, by its head and by its members. The liturgy as the sacred action par excellence is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed and it is likewise the font from which all her power flows. Through the liturgy Christ continues the work of our redemption in, with and through his Church. The Paschal Mystery in the Age of the Church. At the same time, the Church blesses the Father by her worship, praise, and thanksgiving and begs him for the gift of his Son and the Holy Spirit.
In the liturgy of the Church, it is his own paschal mystery that Christ signifies and makes present. By giving the Holy Spirit to his apostles he entrusted to them and their successors the power to make present the work of salvation through the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments, in which he himself acts to communicate his grace to the faithful of all times and places throughout the world. The very closest cooperation is at work in the liturgy between the Holy Spirit and the Church. The Holy Spirit prepares the Church to encounter her Lord.
He recalls and manifests Christ to the faith of the assembly. He makes the mystery of Christ really present. He unites the Church to the life and mission of Christ and makes the gift of communion bear fruit in the Church. The sacraments, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, are efficacious signs of grace perceptible to the senses. Through them divine life is bestowed upon us. Christ has entrusted the sacraments to his Church. It is a promise and guarantee of divine protection. By virtue of this seal the Christian is configured to Christ, participates in a variety of ways in his priesthood and takes his part in the Church according to different states and functions.
He is, therefore, set apart for divine worship and the service of the Church. Because this character is indelible the sacraments that impress it on the soul are received only once in life. The sacraments not only presuppose faith but with words and ritual elements they nourish, strengthen, and express it.
By celebrating the sacraments, the Church professes the faith that comes from the apostles. The efficacy of the sacraments does not depend upon the personal holiness of the minister. However, the fruits of the sacraments do depend on the dispositions of the one who receives them. For believers in Christ the sacraments, even if they are not all given to each of the faithful, are necessary for salvation because they confer sacramental grace, forgiveness of sins, adoption as children of God, conformation to Christ the Lord and membership in the Church.
The Holy Spirit heals and transforms those who receive the sacraments. Sacramental grace is the grace of the Holy Spirit which is given by Christ and is proper to each sacrament. This grace helps the faithful in their journey toward holiness and so assists the Church as well to grow in charity and in her witness to the world.
The Sacramental Celebration of the Paschal Mystery. As our High Priest he celebrates with his body, which is the Church in heaven and on earth. When we celebrate the mystery of our salvation in the sacraments we participate in this eternal liturgy. The Church on earth celebrates the liturgy as a priestly people in which each one acts according to his proper function in the unity of the Holy Spirit. The baptized offer themselves in a spiritual sacrifice; the ordained ministers celebrate according to the Order they received for the service of all the members of the Church; the bishops and priests act in the Person of Christ the Head.
The celebration of the liturgy is interwoven with signs and symbols whose meaning is rooted in creation and in human culture. It is determined by the events of the Old Testament and is fully revealed in the Person and work of Christ. Some come from created things light, water, fire, bread, wine, oil ; others come from social life washing, anointing, breaking of bread.