Essential Christian confessions. "The Augsburg Confessions".

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Dirtman

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Article VII. Of the Church.
1 Also they teach that one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered.

2 And to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and 3 the administration of the Sacraments. Nor is it necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike. 4 As Paul says: One faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, etc. Eph. 4:5-6
 
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Hi Athanasius. Thanks for the response. [Btw, Saint Athanasius, your profile icon, was a great and holy man of God. Good Choice! Btw, St. Athanasius, like St. Cyril, St. Chrysostom, and other Greek Fathers also taught there is a Christian/NT Priesthood. Please see St. Chrysostom on the Priesthood here: https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1922.htm]

Now, about Priestly Office, I consider the below verse to be the clearest statement that NT Ministers exercise a Priesthood in the Church. In Rom 15:16, St. Paul says that he, a Presbyter, ministers or officiates as a Priest no less than the Jewish Priests in the Temple used to do; but he does in Christ: "to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." (Rom 15:16, NASB).
[Strong's Concordance on the above passage in Greek: "
in the priestly service
ἱερουργοῦντα (hierourgounta)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's 2418: To minister in holy things. From a compound of hieron and the base of ergon; to be a temple-worker, i.e. Officiate as a priest." https://biblehub.com/romans/15-16.htm] Any thoughts on this passage?

Regarding Jude 1:11, here is a Bible Hub Commentary: "And perished in the gainsaying of Core [i.e. Korah; old spelling/translation]. The term which is very fitly rendered "gainsaying" by the English Version here ("contradiction" in the Rhemish Version; "treason" in Tyndale, Cranmer, and the Genevan) denotes properly an opposition expressing itself in words. It is, therefore, aptly applied to the rebellion of Korah and his company, who "gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you," etc. (Numbers 16:3). The analogy between the two cases, consequently, is limited by some to the assertion of an unregulated liberty, the assumption of a self-invented holiness, or the adoption of a worship which was alien to God. It lies in the broader idea of a contemptuous and determined assertion of self against divinely appointed ordinances." https://biblehub.com/jude/1-11.htm

So the idea was that Korah was inventing his own religion by being rebellious, not accepting the religion of God which required a specially consecrated Priesthood and Sacrifice such as that exercised in those days by Moses and Aaron.

The persons to whom the Apostle Jude compares them were turning the grace of God into licentiousness: "They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." (Jude 1:4). They too were being rebellious against God's Ordinances/Commandments, in the Early Church.

As to Baptismal Regeneration, here is Wiki: "Baptismal regeneration is the name given to doctrines held by the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox churches, Oriental Orthodox churches, Anglican, Lutheran and many Protestant denominations which maintain that salvation is intimately linked to the act of baptism, without necessarily holding that salvation is impossible apart from it ...

Lutheran scholars concluded that in the Scripture: we see that baptism is not a mere symbol of what God does for us. It is not just a ceremony done to connect someone outwardly to a church. God is at work through baptism. He is connecting us to Christ's death and resurrection. All of his mercy and grace are directed at the person being baptized. The Holy Spirit is giving the new life of faith in Jesus. The results are amazing: buried and raised with Christ; clothed with Christ; washed clean of sin; a forgiven, believing child of God; an heir of eternal life."

Taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptismal_regeneration#Lutheranism

Baptismal Regeneration is not necessarily incompatible with Justification by Grace through Faith - but holds that Justification by Grace through Faith ordinarily happens in Baptism. Acts 22:16 says "be baptized and wash away your sins".

God Bless
 

Dirtman

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I know it's not about Baptism. It's about God's grace and how it's imparted. And baptism ain't it.
There is already a thread about baptism. And you have jumped far ahead. I dont intend to derail this into an ignorant argument about what a thing is from scripture that are not about that thing. Scripture determines what a thing is. To know what a thing is, use scripture about that thing. Doing other wise is as asinine as attempting to define what a boat is from a writings about trains.
Sorry, I hate be harsh. Opening the Bible should not engage our bias, and what ever postmodernist western evangelicalistic rhetoric we have been propagandized with.
 

Athanasius377

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In the Old Covenant, God prophesied: "And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites,” says the LORD. " (Isa 66:21). Once more, the same conclusion follows. In Mal 1:11, God foretold the Ministerial Priesthood of the New Covenant would bring Him incense and pure offerings, not in Israel, but in every Gentile Nation, i.e. in the Christian Church: "My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD Almighty.
Again , lets put this back into context to figure out what is being said:

Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the LORD.
18 “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. 21 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD.

22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth
that I make
shall remain before me, says the LORD,
so shall your offspring and your name remain.
23 From new moon to new moon,
and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
declares the LORD.


The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Is 66:17–23). (2016). Crossway Bibles.

This is a vision of the Eschaton, the new Heavens and New Earth. And yes, even among the gentiles Priests and Levites will be chosen. How do we know this is about true worship in the eschaton? Read what are these priest's offering? All your brothers from all nations. This passage is clearly after the remnant of Jews have recognized Jesus as the Messiah and are engaging in pure worship. Again, this text is not about a NT priesthood.

Lets check out Mal 1:11 and put it back into context:

6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ 7 By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised. 8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts. 9 And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts. 10 Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. 12 But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. 13 But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. 14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Mal 1:6–14). (2016). Crossway Bibles.

Once again, this text has nothing to do with a NT priesthood. Rather it is about the the priests in the Temple offering sacrifice but not really offering sacrifice. Meaning the animals were lame, blind, blemished in some way as not to really represent a sacrifice in any appreciable way. Rather a wrote action devoid of faith and fear of the Lord. In v11 begins the conclusion and rebuke of such practices. And yes, it does point to the eschaton when worship will be pure. So they are related insofar as they refer to the eschaton but not to any future NT priesthood.
 

Athanasius377

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In Rom 15:16, St. Paul seems to be referring to this prophecy, in speaking of the Offering of the Gentiles, and saying he ministers as a Priest: "to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." (Rom 15:16, NASB). All that shows the Ministerial Priesthood continues in the New Covenant; not any longer the Aaronic, but the Melchizedek Priesthood of Jesus Christ. Why indeed did Christ, the High Priest, tell His Apostles to offer His Body and Blood under the forms of bread and wine, as He Himself did? Because, just like He Himself was the Great High Priest, they were ordained Priests under Him.

Strong's Concordance on the above passage in Greek: "
in the priestly service
ἱερουργοῦντα (hierourgounta)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's 2418: To minister in holy things. From a compound of hieron and the base of ergon; to be a temple-worker, i.e. Officiate as a priest." https://biblehub.com/romans/15-16.htm

Again, lets put this back into context and see whats going on here.

14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. 15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,

“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”



The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Ro 15:14–21). (2016). Crossway Bibles.

Here Paul is reminding the Roman Christians that the church of Rome lies within his apostolic authority. And yes, there is a sense in which the word ἱερουργοῦντα means priestly service but Paul is speaking meteorically here made clear by his reference that the Gentiles themselves are the sacrifice. So once again, not referring to a NT priesthood. Does
 

Athanasius377

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The Early Church understood this: Deacons are the New Levites, Presbyters the New Priests and the Bishops the High Priests.
Lets see what scripture has to say about the matter,

5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Tt 1:5–9). (2016). Crossway Bibles.

Lets get some definitions from BDAG:

Elder, or πρεσβυτέρους, presbyteros according to BDAG:
② an official (cp. Lat. senator), elder, presbyter (BDAG 3rd ed., p. 862)

ἐπίσκοπον or Episcopon
② In the Gr-Rom. world ἐ. freq. refers to one who has a definite function or fixed office of guardianship and related activity within a group . . . The term was taken over in Christian communities in ref. to one who served as overseer or supervisor, with special interest in guarding the apostolic tradition. ibid p.379

So the two terms have separate meanings but they are used interchangeably in the New Testament. They are the same office. Its only after the close of the NT that the two split off and become different offices.

The word Priest does appear in the NT but appart from Paul's metephorical use the word is never used to describe a NT minister.
 

Athanasius377

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Here are some citations from the Church Fathers of the First Three Centuries after Christ about the Episcopacy/Presbyterate.

"
As the following quotations illustrate, the early Church Fathers recognized all three offices and regarded them as essential to the Church’s structure. Especially significant are the letters of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, who traveled from his home city to Rome, where he was executed around A.D. 110. On the way he wrote letters to the churches he passed. Each of these churches possessed the same threefold ministry. Without this threefold ministry, Ignatius said, a group cannot be called a church.

Here are examples of what early Christian writers had to say on the subject of bishops, priests, and deacons:

Ignatius of Antioch
“Now, therefore, it has been my privilege to see you in the person of your God-inspired bishop, Damas; and in the persons of your worthy presbyters, Bassus and Apollonius; and my fellow-servant, the deacon, Zotion. What a delight is his company! For he is subject to the bishop as to the grace of God, and to the presbytery as to the law of Jesus Christ” (Letter to the Magnesians 2 [A.D. 110]).

“Take care to do all things in harmony with God, with the bishop presiding in the place of God, and with the presbyters in the place of the council of the apostles, and with the deacons, who are most dear to me, entrusted with the business of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father from the beginning and is at last made manifest” (ibid., 6:1).

“Take care, therefore, to be confirmed in the decrees of the Lord and of the apostles, in order that in everything you do, you may prosper in body and in soul, in faith and in love, in Son and in Father and in Spirit, in beginning and in end, together with your most reverend bishop; and with that fittingly woven spiritual crown, the presbytery; and with the deacons, men of God” (ibid., 13:1–2).

“It is necessary, therefore—and such is your practice that you do nothing without the bishop, and that you be subject also to the presbytery, as to the apostles of Jesus Christ our hope, in whom we shall be found, if we live in him. It is necessary also that the deacons, the dispensers of the mysteries [sacraments] of Jesus Christ, be in every way pleasing to all men” (Letter to the Trallians 2:1–3 [A.D. 110]).

“In like manner let everyone respect the deacons as they would respect Jesus Christ, and just as they respect the bishop as a type of the Father, and the presbyters as the council of God and college of the apostles. Without these, it cannot be called a church” (ibid., 3:1–2).

“He that is within the sanctuary is pure; but he that is outside the sanctuary is not pure. In other words, anyone who acts without the bishop and the presbytery and the deacons does not have a clear conscience” (ibid., 7:2).

“I cried out while I was in your midst, I spoke with a loud voice, the voice of God: ‘Give heed to the bishop and the presbytery and the deacons.’ Some suspect me of saying this because I had previous knowledge of the division certain persons had caused; but he for whom I am in chains is my witness that I had no knowledge of this from any man. It was the Spirit who kept preaching these words, ‘Do nothing without the bishop, keep your body as the temple of God, love unity, flee from divisions, be imitators of Jesus Christ, as he was imitator of the Father’” (Letter to the Philadelphians 7:1–2 [A.D. 110]).

Ignatius of Antioch does make a distinction between Presbyter and Overseer as the offices in his part of the world are separate at this time which will become the norm. Though this was not universal even in Rome. In fact Ignatius's letter to the Romans never mentions a bishop in the city of Rome. Rather strange, eh?

And yet an even earlier document the Didache ca 75AD doesn't mention Presbyters at all.

1 Appoint, therefore, for yourselves, bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men meek, and not lovers of money, and truthful and proved; for they also render to you the service20 of prophets and teachers. 2 Despise them not therefore, for they are your honoured ones, together with the prophets and teachers. 3 And reprove one another, not in anger, but in peace, as ye have it in the Gospel; but to every one that acts amiss22 against another, let no one speak, nor let him hear aught from you until he repent. 4 But your prayers and alms and all your deeds so do, as ye have it in the Gospel of our Lord.

Roberts, A., Donaldson, J., & Coxe, A. C., eds. (1886). The Lord’s Teaching through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations. In Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: Lactantius, Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Homily, and Liturgies (Vol. 7, p. 381). Christian Literature Company.

Returning back to Rome, there doesn't appear to be a functioning monarchial episcapte by the time Clement composes he letter to the Corinthians in 67ad or 81 ad depending on when you think he wrote it. Rome appears to be run by a plurality of Episcopoi. Even though Clement in most papal lists is the third pope.

The apostles have preached the gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus12 Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments,14 then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit,16 to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture in a certain place, “I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons2 in faith.”

Clement of Rome. (1897). The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. In A. Menzies (Ed.), & J. Keith (Trans.), The Gospel of Peter, the Diatessaron of Tatian, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Visio Pauli, the Apocalypses of the Virgil and Sedrach, the Testament of Abraham, the Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena, the Narrative of Zosimus, the Apology of Aristides, the Epistles of Clement (Complete Text), Origen’s Commentary on John, Books I-X, and Commentary on Matthew, Books I, II, and X-XIV (Vol. 9, pp. 241–242). Christian Literature Company.

I am Anglican and so I accept the three fold ministry as a necessary deveopment--- but not one that is a commanded by God but rather one of a couple of forms church polity. The other being a plurality of prebyeters. The idea is that there wasn't a threefold ministry that Rome insists is there and then on penll must accept under pain of mortal sin. That's reading modern Roman polity back into history where it doesn't belong.
 

ResidentAlien

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If "articles" and "statements" of faith are so important why didn't Jesus teach us to create them? Why didn't He leave us examples of how to do it correctly? Jesus never made any speeches on The 21 Steps to Becoming an Effective Christian.

Rather, He left us His apostles and the Holy Spirit. Even the completed canon didn't come until a few centuries later. I can't find any teaching in God's word on making confessions or articles of faith; either by the apostles or anyone else. You have to go outside His inspired word to find it.
 

Nehemiah6

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I can't find any teaching in God's word on making confessions or articles of faith; either by the apostles or anyone else. You have to go outside His inspired word to find it.
Actually there are several "confessions" (or "professions") in the NT, generally in the epistles of Paul.

4There is one Body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Eph 4:4-6)

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Tim 1:15)

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Tim 2:5-6)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Tim 3:16)
 
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Hi Athanasius. Thanks for your response. Here is another Biblical text where, St. John the Apostle, who introduces himself as "John the Presbyter" in his Epistles (2 Jn 1; 3 Jn 1), says he is a Priest: "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (Rev 1:6) The OT Cross-Reference, which now applies to the Gentile Church, is to Exodus 19:6: "And unto Me you shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you are to speak to the Israelites." It is manifest imo that Christian Presbyters have succeeded to the Jewish Priests.

Good to know you are Anglican. I respect the Anglican Church and some of the good things English Christian Missionaries like William Carey did in my country India. I'm an Ecumenical Christian. But the Anti-Priesthood claims don't check out imo.

Btw, did you read what Church Father St. John Chrysostom says on the Christian Priesthood. Let me quote from Book 3: "For if any one will consider how great a thing it is for one, being a man, and compassed with flesh and blood, to be enabled to draw near to that blessed and pure nature, he will then clearly see what great honor the grace of the Spirit has vouchsafed to priests; since by their agency these rites are celebrated, and others nowise inferior to these both in respect of our dignity and our salvation. For they who inhabit the earth and make their abode there are entrusted with the administration of things which are in Heaven, and have received an authority which God has not given to angels or archangels. For it has not been said to them, "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven." Matthew 18:18 They who rule on earth have indeed authority to bind, but only the body: whereas this binding lays hold of the soul and penetrates the heavens; and what priests do here below God ratifies above, and the Master confirms the sentence of his servants. For indeed what is it but all manner of heavenly authority which He has given them when He says, "Whose sins ye remit they are remitted, and whose sins ye retain they are retained"? John 20:23 What authority could be greater than this?" (Book 3, Para 5).

So this Early Church Father speaks of Christian Presbyters as Priests and applies Mat 18:18 and Jn 20:23 as given to them.

Now, to your responses:

1. As to Isa 66:17-23: You said, "And yes, even among the gentiles Priests and Levites will be chosen."

Well, yes, but that has already been done by Christ. Are you saying Christ will do it when He comes back a Second Time? He did it by ordaining His Apostles as the First Bishops of His Church and giving them His Body and Blood to offer.

Do Anglicans and Lutherans believe in the Real Presence of Christ. Please enlighten me as I'm not 100% sure. Thanks.

"By the end of the 2nd century, the church’s bishops were called priests (Latin: sacerdos)." https://www.britannica.com/topic/priest-Christianity Wasn't St. John a Bishop? Yet, he says he is a Priest too, in Revelation.

2. On Mal 1:11: You said, "And yes, it does point to the eschaton when worship will be pure."

Well, the New Covenant is an Everlasting Covenant. There will be no more newer New Covenant/New Testament, just like there will be no more books of the Bible. Christ already instituted this pure offering as the Holy Eucharist.

Even the Didache, which you quoted, and which the Apostles handed down to the Churches for Baptized Gentile Converts, says this explicitly, quoting this passage in Malachi: "But every Lord's day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations." https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0714.htm

Other early Church Fathers like St. Justin Martyr and St. Irenaeus also quote this passage, especially when trying to prove to the Jews that Jesus Christ fulfills the Messianic Prophecies and is the True Messiah of Israel.

Will get back to other verses later in a subsequent post. God Bless.
 

ResidentAlien

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Actually there are several "confessions" (or "professions") in the NT, generally in the epistles of Paul.

4There is one Body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Eph 4:4-6)

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Tim 1:15)

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Tim 2:5-6)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Tim 3:16)
Those aren't confessions or professions as used in many churches today, they're inspired scriptures of God. If a group wants to use God's inspired scriptures that's one thing. But that's not what confessions and statements of faith usually are. They're theological statements used to state a groups interpretation of the scriptures. Some say "I follow Paul, or Luther; others say I follow Apollos, Calvin. Or still others I follow Wesley.
 

Dirtman

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Article VIII. What the Church Is.
1 Although the Church properly is the congregation of saints and true believers, nevertheless, since in this life many hypocrites and evil persons are mingled therewith, it is lawful to use Sacraments administered by evil men, according to the saying of Christ: The Scribes and 2 the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, etc. Matt. 23:2. Both the Sacraments and Word are effectual by reason of the institution and commandment of Christ, notwithstanding they be administered by evil men.

3 They condemn the Donatists, and such like, who denied it to be lawful to use the ministry of evil men in the Church, and who thought the ministry of evil men to be unprofitable and of none effect
 

Athanasius377

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Hi Athanasius. Thanks for your response. Here is another Biblical text where, St. John the Apostle, who introduces himself as "John the Presbyter" in his Epistles (2 Jn 1; 3 Jn 1), says he is a Priest: "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (Rev 1:6) The OT Cross-Reference, which now applies to the Gentile Church, is to Exodus 19:6: "And unto Me you shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you are to speak to the Israelites." It is manifest imo that Christian Presbyters have succeeded to the Jewish Priests.

Good evening Xavier,

Thanks for the response. I appreciate the dialoge and like I tell my catecumens, know what you believe and why you believe it. And the best way to test your assertions and arguemnts is when interacting with someone else. Thats where the rubber meets the road as they say.

The word in both cases in 2 and 3 john is the word πρεσβύτερος, or Presbyter. The word means simply "elder". BTW, we still call our priests "Presbyters" to this very day in order to avoid confusion with the Roman office. The word for priest is ἱερεὺς, or hiereus. They are not synonyms. As to Exodus 19:6 the phrase ממלכת כהנים is an Hapax Legomenon meaning the phrase only appears once in the entire OT so it’s meaning is disputed. Yet if we look at the the LXX translation:
Exodus 19:6 (LES): And you yourselves will be to me a royal priesthood and a holy nation.

Cf with
1 Peter 2:9 (ESV): But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
The referent is the churches (and The Church catholic).
1 Peter 1:1 (ESV): To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, . . .
It is my contention that it makes far more sense and truer to the plain meaning of the text that Exo 19.6 is type and shadow of the priesthood of all believers. In fact is is quoted as a direct reference in the NASB. Especially since the LXX is almost quoted word for word which as you know is the OT of the NT church. At least some version of the LXX. Just don’t push me too much in the Hebrew as my Hebrew is frankly terrible. Lol.

So let me be clear what I am arguing against. Not there is not a NT priesthood but that all believers or elect as Peter says are of this royal priesthood. Not just some class of believers who were ordained and thus receiving a special mark on the soul as I believe Trent states.

Yet you are correct regarding Chrysostom and other ECF in that they believe differently than myself . And yet I admire these fathers for their great insight and personal holiness. I’ve always said the Chysostoms Homilies should be required reading for every Christian. And yet I recognize that he doesn’t sound like an Anglican. Then again he doesn’t sound like a Roman Catholic either. Fun fact. John Calvin quoted Chysostom perhaps the most out of all the ECF.

That said, as much as I criticize the RCC I also admire many things about her. She’s throughly Trinitarian, places a high premium on personal holiness and has been one the greatest missionary churches ever to have existed.

As to the Real Presence , yes we as traditional Anglicans affirm and teach the Real Presence. However , that is not the RCC teaching. Rather as you know the official teaching is transubstantiation. Which we reject. We teach and our Book of Common Prayer teaches a spiritual presence that is Real. We reject that there is a corporal presence as Christ is in Heaven at the Right side of the Father. We reject a strict memorial meal which is Zwingli not Calvin. Calvin taught the Real Presence. And yet we also reject the Lutheran doctrine of Unionism sometime errantly called Consubstantialism. We also reject that the Presbyter is a priest offering any sacrifice but rather the sacrifice being offered is the congregation by the congregation not a priest.

I hope that helps. And you’re right. Anglican churchmen were giants in times past. Ridley, Cranmer, JC Ryle and the like is our heritage and now we are undergoing a great pruning at least here in the west. There are still great churchmen by God’s Grace through our Lord. Yet there are many silly folks and downright apostates so I hope you remember us in your prayers as much as we remember the Church of Rome. We pray that you will revoke the anathema against the Gospel according to Trent. And I hope you pray for us to as a church to find once again our love for our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Post scriptum. I should have broken this into two posts. Forgive my verbosity but I was on a roll lol.

God bless
A.