Pope Francis is often in the news these days. Reading about him may cause people to reflect on their own spiritual condition, and that’s a good thing. A young woman even asked me, “Are you Catholic or Christian?
I said, “I am a Christian. But Catholics consider themselves Christians as well.”
She said, “No, I’m Catholic. I’m not a Christian. It’s different.”
I said, “Yes, there are differences, but both Catholics and Christians agree with the five most important truths about Jesus Christ and Christianity.”
[BTW I remember years ago when church-goers were either Catholic or Protestant. It seems many young people these days are unfamiliar with the word Protestant.]
So I explained to this young person what the five most important truths are:
- The Virgin Birth – Jesus was born of a virgin.
- The Blood Atonement – Jesus’ death on the cross was full payment for our sins.
- The Resurrection – Jesus rose bodily from the dead on the third day.
- The Trinity – The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three Persons in one God.
- The Deity of Christ – Jesus is not only the Son of God, He is God the Son.
With these five most important truths, both Catholics and Christians (or Protestants) agree.
So what’s the difference? In a nutshell:
- Christians believe the Bible is the only foundation for their faith.
- Roman Catholics have a three-fold foundation for their faith: (according to the official Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1995 edition, page 34).
- The Sacred Scriptures (Bible)
- The Sacred Traditions
- The Magisterium of the Church (authority of the Pope and Bishops)
* * *
- Just a few of the Scriptures showing the deity of Christ: John 1, Colossians 1, Hebrews 1 and Revelation 1.
- It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
- All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
- SONG: GOD IS READY – Words & Music by Kathleen; Robin Poem by Elizabeth Cheney, circa 1931
[This life is temporary. This life is short. When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever. Where will the “real you” live? Will you live for all eternity separated from God? Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven? Learn more so you can make your most important decision: http://www.godlife.com/gospel/ and http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
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