Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ephesians 4:4-6 part 8

" . . . one faith, one baptism . . . (Ephesians 4:4-6)

The words of Jesus and the apostles can be taken one of two ways. Either they were terribly insensitive and radically exclusive, or they were uniquely sober, forthright and exquisitely sensitive to the only two possible destinies of humanity.

Since the beginning of creation, men and women, sensing a need to be cleansed of their sins, have asked, "What must I do to be saved?" And God has every time answered the same way.


For example, we read in Moses here and here the requirement for a sacrificial atonement. With regard to blood and redemption from Egypt, what does this passage suggest?  Some people do not know the 'lintel" is the top of a doorway. Try to imagine yourself striking the top of the doorway and then the two sides of the doorway with the bloodied branch. What pattern are you making with the blood? Now read this passage in the prophet Isaiah and in St. John's gospel.

What relationship do you see among these various texts you just read?

Moving to the New Testament, note the words of Jesus here: John 8:23-24 and John 14:6; St. Peter here: Acts 4:2 and Acts 2:36-41, and St. Paul here: Romans 1:16 and Philippians 2:5-11.

What do those passages teach?

God's message that you and I can find with Him reconciliation, forgiveness of sins and eternal life only in Christ is central to the entire Bible. And it is central to the teaching of the Church. Note these two examples from the Catechism of the Catholic Church here and here.

The gospel is unapologetically exclusive of all other faiths but Christ, all other doctrines but Christ, all other 'roads" but Christ. It will not be Buddha, or Muhammad, or Moses, or Hari Krishna sitting on the throne of God. It will be Jesus Christ.

That being true, then what should be our response -- both to God and to others?

Next time we will look at baptism, and how that Sacrament plays out in our relationship with Jesus and salvation.

No comments: