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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.


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About zeland

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  1. Dear David - My first question is, what is a venial sin? A venial sin is a small sin that does not cause the death of the soul. A :sin not unto death" as John calls it. See ! John 5 16-17 - "16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death." A mortal sin is a grave offense against God, and causes the death of the soul. See St. Paul's statement for examples of mortal sins. "1 Corinthians 6:9 King James Version (KJV) 9" Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind," 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God". Also, what point are you trying to make with the above 1 John 1:9 Quote?
  2. Dear Deade, Thanks for your reply. If no one is in heaven (and I do not dispute your claim), then where are the souls of the of those who have died. They are not in heaven, they are not in hell, and they are not alive on earth, so where are they. Also, your scriptures do not answer the basic question - if our soul is not in a state of 100% absolute moral perfection, and therefore we are not yet perfect, but we must be perfect to enter heaven – what happens? how do we become perfect?
  3. A strange question “Is there any sin in heaven”? Some time ago I was listening to a religious discussion on TV, and the question, “Is there any sin in heaven”, was asked. Unfortunately, I did not hear the end of the discussion. I thought, however, this was a rather strange question, one that I had never thought about. If we were to ask the average Christian this question I suppose he would say “No”, and I believe he would be correct, based on what the scriptures say. According to the Bible, there are no imperfections of any kind in heaven, “And there shall not enter into it anything defiled” (Revelation 21:27). In other words, no imperfections in heaven, nothing impure, unclean, etc. Likewise in Habakkuk 1:13 – “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate iniquity” Also, in Matthew 5:48 we read – “Be ye perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Suppose I died tomorrow, I feel that I am justified in the Lord’s sight, and should go to heaven, but am I in a state of absolute moral perfection? Am I absolutely free from any attachment to sin or worldly pleasures? Again if we ask our Christian friend (or ourselves for that matter) this same question: are any of us in the state of absolute moral perfection? I think that most people would hesitate to say yes. To my way of thinking, saying yes would certainly, considering our fallen human nature, be most presumptuous on our part. Even if we were bold enough to make such a statement, can we really be sure we are perfect in God’s sight? St. Paul gives us the answer – he says no! “…indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me justified. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God” (1 Corinthians 4:3-5). So what happens then when we die then if our soul is not in a state of 100% absolute moral perfection? If we are not yet perfect, but we must be perfect to enter heaven – what happens?
  4. Dear Dave, Thanks for your reply. Your statement: "a "man" cannot be in two places (much less two million), at the same time" is incorrect. God can be in as many places (physically) at one time as he wants. When we receive the Eucharist we receive the living, resurrected, heavenly, glorified body of Christ. Do you deny Christ this power? Many of the great saints had the gift of bi-location. most notably of these was Padre Pio of Italy. Please read the following story which comes to us, not from the Church, but from the US military in 1943. I have provided two links to this story. Just tyoe into a search engine the phrase "Padre Pio in the air". Below I have provided two links. http://www.sanpadrepio.com/Flymonk.htm http://www.ewtn.com/Padrepio/mystic/bilocation.htm There also have been many Eucharistic miracles where the host turned into the actual flesh of Christ. The most recent miracle was in 1996 in Buenos Aires Argentina. See:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXkVlTXTVBs (8 minutes) This video is about a scientific investigation of the 1996 miracle. The second video is about the scientific investigation of a similar miracle that happened in Lanciano Italy. I provide this link, because it is referred to in the first video. [h=1][/h]
  5. I expected a more intelligent answer. Would you like to try again? Thanks
  6. In Revelation 22:18-19, we read the following precept: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Can someone show me the scriptural passage that exempts Martin Luther from the above injunction?
  7. As a followup to Williams statement about the apostles lack of understanding. This was not the case. Jesus explained all things to his disciples (Mark 4: 34) As I said, if it was only bread, then the last supper was invalid, because they had to eat a real lamb. (Ex. 12: 3-9, 14, 17 & 24). Also, if it was only bread, then Paul's statement in 1 Cor. 11: 23-29 makes no sense. Can you explain that? There is nothing in scripture that says Christ was talking symbolically. Some try to use verse 6:63, one verse, to negate the entire bread of life discourse. Verse 63, along with verse 62, refutes the idea of cannibalism which the Jews incorrectly assumed. As a side point, consider this question - can Jesus bi-locate? zeland
  8. 1 - Are all sins of equal weight in God's eyes? Hint see 1 John 5:16-19 and Luke 12:47-48 2 - Did the apostles learn and understand everything Christ taught them? See Mark 4: 34 3 - Will everyone in heaven have the same level (degree) of happiness? Do those in hell suffer equally, or more or less, according to their deeds? Please explain the reasons for your answers. 4 - What is an Old Testament “Type”? Can you give several examples of this? 6 - The New Testament fulfillment of any Old Testament type must always be ________Fill In_______than the Old Testament type. 7 - At the last supper, how many cups of wine were to be drunk? 8 - How did the Last Supper differ from the usual Passover meal? 9 - When did the Last Supper end? 10 - What would a Jewish scholar observe or what comment would he make about the Last Supper? 11 - In regards to the crucifixion, when did Christ’s sacrifice begin? When did His sacrifice end – or did It? 12 – Just before He died on the cross, Christ said, “It is finished”. What does the word “it” refer to? How does your answer correlate with Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19? 13 – In Luke 22:19, Christ said “…Do his in remembrance of Me”. In Exodus 12: 14, 17, & 24; we find a similar command from God. How are these statements related and what is the significance of this connection? 14 - What is the meaning of 2 Peter 1:20-21, and 2 Peter 3:16, and how does that affect our understanding of scripture. 15 - In the letter of James (2:24), the apostle says that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Explain the relationship between these two concepts in regards to our salvation. 16 - In the previous question, how does the statement of the apostle James reflect upon Martin Luther’s idea of salvation by “faith alone”? 17 - The bible, as we have it today, where did it come from? In other words, when and where was it assembled, and who chose the books? Also, what did the Emperor Diocletian (284 AD to 305 AD) have to do with it? 18 - In John 20: 19, what is the significance of the statement: “…. As the Father has sent me, so I send you! What is Christ doing here? 19 - What is the significance of the statement in John 20: 22, “He breathed on them”? 20- What is the connection between Leviticus 4: 20, 26, 31, 35; Leviticus 5: 5, 10, 13, 18, and John 20: 21-23 21 - What is the overall intent of John 20: 19-23? 22- -Verses 1:10-11, of the book of Malachi, talk about a “new sacrifice”, "from the rising of the sun to its setting". Explain what these two statements mean. 23 - How is Malachi 1:10-11, Christ's Crucifixion, and Hebrews 8:1-3 related? 24 - Christ died at Calvary 2,000 years ago. How, or by what means, are the merits of his sacrifice applied to us today? 25 - In I Corinthians 5: 6-7 Paul says: “…. Therefore, let us keep (celebrate) the feast”. What does Paul mean by this, and what specific New Testament verses does his statement refer back to? See Exodus 12:8 for a hint. 26 - What is the relationship between Exodus 12:8; 12:14, 17, and 24; Malachi 1: 10-11, Luke 22:19 and Hebrews 8:1-3 27 - What is the sacrifice that takes place in heaven? 29 - At the last supper, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his apostles. He said, “This is by body”…. Protestant theology states that Jesus’ words were to be taken only figuratively. If this were true, however, then that Passover celebration would have been invalid. How? See Exodus 12: 8 again for a hint. 30 - In Matthew 12:32, we read: “And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come”. This would seem to indicate that some sins could be forgiven in the next life. Please give a detailed explanation about this. Hint - see the following related scripture passages: Matthew 5: 25-26; Luke 12: 58-59; Matthew 12:36; Matthew 5:48; Revelation 21:27; 1 Corinthians 3: 11-15; 2 Samuel 1: 12. 31 – In the previous question, what is the sin, which will not be forgiven either in this life, or in the next? 32 – Hebrews 11:35 refers to a story in the Old Testament. What is that story about, and where is it located?
  9. I would believe that Jesus was talking literally. Jesus I God, and I would accept everything He says as absolute truth. I might not understand how such a miracle would take place, but I would accept what He said as absolute truth! Wouldn't you? zeland
  10. zeland

    Hello! My name is zeland.

    Dear Cornelius, Thank you for your question. A very vague or loose general form of Protestantism. I was never raised with any religious training., but there was one specific event that started me on the road to Christianity and eventually to Catholicism. Many years ago someone ask me a question that I had no answer to. They ask: "The Bible, as we have it today, where did it come from, and what did the Emperor Diocletian have to do with it? . In other words, who assembled it; who choose the books - names dates and places. I spent four or five weeks in the library researching the answer to that question. zeland
  11. Dear William and others Thank you for your comments. From the comments posted, I think we need to go back to my first question: “Does Christ have the power to change bread and wine into his own body and blood”? I assumed that everyone accepted that fact, but now I am not sure. So I would be interested in knowing your, and everyone else’s answer to it. A simple yes, or no will suffice. So let me ask state question again. “Does Christ have the power to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood, while still retaining the outward appearance of bread and wine – YES or NO? Now please note, we are not discussing whether he willed to do that. We are only concerned, at this point, about Him having the power to do so. An alternate way of asking the question would be: Does Christ have the power to bi-locate – be in two places at once - YES or NO? Zeland
  12. zeland

    Hello! My name is zeland.

    Hello, My name is zeland, and I am a convert to Catholicism. My main interests are Aviation, Astronomy, and star parties. In the area of religion, I enjoy scripture and theological discussions and questions. My main interest is this area is Bible & Church history, and apologetics.
  13. “Where was the lamb at the last supper” – the roasted lamb? There is probably no more controversial topic between Catholics and Protestants than that of the Holy Eucharist. When Christ, at the last supper, said, “This is My Body – this is My Blood”, was He talking only symbolically or did He really mean that the bread and wine were to be miraculous transformed into His real Flesh and Blood, while still retaining the outward appearance of bread and wine? The Catholic response to this question is, a resounding, YES, and this has been the constant teaching of the Church, from apostolic times till now. Ever since the words of consecration were first spoken at the last supper, the apostles and their successors have believed in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. This post is the first of three parts which are based on a letter I wrote to a Protestant friend in response to a previous conversation we had about what our Lord meant, at the last supper. So I thought I would share some of the ideas we discussed, with this forum. The discussion with my friend gave rise to the following question – “Where was the lamb at the last supper” – the roasted lamb? The answer to this question will lead us to the first of three scriptural proofs, which show that Christ was talking literally. To begin our discussion, we should ask two questions just for clarity. Does Christ have the power to change bread and wine into his own body and blood? And secondly, if He does, did He will to do so? I think most people would agree that Christ does have such power. If He created the entire universe out of nothing, He can certainly change bread and wine into His own Body and Blood. So lets concentrate on the second question; was Christ talking literally when he said: “This is My Body”? At the Last Supper, Christ was celebrating the Passover with his apostles. Now before going any further, we should refresh our memories concerning the requirements of the original Jewish Passover meal, the night before the Exodus. The people had to procure and eat a REAL lamb (for nourishment for the journey out of Egypt) - Exodus 12:8 (the Paschal lamb had to be eaten). Suppose a family didn’t like lamb, and decided to bake a cake in the shape of a lamb and symbolically eat that. What would have happened? The next morning, their first-born would be dead. The instructions for that first Passover were very specific: they had to eat a REAL lamb. Also, the Jews were commanded (three times) to do this, each year, as a perpetual remembrance of that event (Exodus 12: 14, 17, & 24). Consider now the question I mentioned at the beginning of this post: “Where was the lamb at the last supper” – the roasted lamb? In none of the gospel narratives is a Passover lamb (animal) mentioned during the Last Supper. Why? No Jewish Passover would have been a REAL Passover unless a REAL Passover lamb was eaten. If no real lamb was eaten, that Thursday night, then the Passover would have been invalid, and in violation of the requirements of Exodus 12: 14, 17, and 24. How do we explain this apparent difficulty? If the Protestant view is correct, then all the apostles ate was a piece of bread, but, as pointed out above, if that was the case, then the Passover celebration was invalid because no real lamb was eaten. Remember – bread is not lamb! Now do you think our lord would have participated in an invalid Passover? NO! So again, how do we solve this dilemma – or what conclusion are we to draw from this? Well, some might say that there was an animal type lamb there, but it just wasn’t recorded. Scripture, however, easily refutes this idea. Let us look at both John the Baptist, and St. Paul. John refers to Christ as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1: 29). In 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 Paul is more specific, and states: “Christ is the Paschal Lamb who has been sacrificed.” Therefore, let us keep the feast… In other words, Jesus is now the new Passover Lamb for all time. He is the lamb that was to be eaten at the last supper, and when he said to the apostles: This is My Body, they received the actual body of Christ - the living, heavenly, resurrected, glorified body of our Lord (not dead, earthly, flesh, in the cannibalistic way the Jews who walked away were thinking). Paul confirms this again in 1 Corinthians 10:16, where he says: “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a partaking of the body of Christ?) There is one other point we must stress. Notice again, that Paul tells us that Jesus is our Pascal lamb who has been sacrificed - OK, but then Paul adds an additional requirement to Christ’s sacrifice when he says: “…Therefore, let us keep the feast…” What does this mean? It means that we must eat the lamb. “… let us keep the feast…” is a direct reference back to Christ’s command in John 6: 53-54 -“Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have eternal life”. So, just as the directions for the original Passover were very specific (they had to eat a real lamb), so too the directions for the New Testament equivalent of the Passover (the Eucharist at Mass) are very specific: we have to eat the Lamp – the real Lamb – Christ. Remember that the Old Testament is basically a prefigurement of the New Testament. Many Old Testament events or situations dealt with physical life and death, and prefigured similar events or situations in the New Testament, which deal with spiritual life and death. So just as the Israelite’s had to eat a real lamb for physical health, so too, we must eat the lamb for spiritual health. For a more in-depth discussion of this topic see Dr. Scott Hahn’s talk: “The 4th Cup” God bless.

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