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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The superiority of the Spirit over the written Word - John Chrysostom

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Are you suggesting that the communion bread is somehow transformed into the literal, physical body of the Lord Jesus Christ?



Brother, my humble opinion is that it is a mystery and to "sin against" the Body and Blood of the Lord is serious. That is why Paul the apostle even said that some have died and are sick.

I personally take communion with reverence and the fear of the Lord, looking and proclaiming the second coming of the Son of God and the resurrection of our bodies.


1 Corinthians 11:27 New International Version (NIV)

27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.



Quote:
We also need to be careful not to look far back in history and judge these men of God based on the gospel light that we are currently standing in, without taking into consideration the sometimes overwhelming general spiritual darkness of the times that some of them were living in - and they were rising above the error of their day and grasping and reclaiming precious truth. They didn't get it all at once, but they did bring us some. Each his own measure. And let us have patience, grace and understanding for them where they fell short, knowing that we stand on the shoulders of many mighty saints of God and we too can still hold on to false beliefs and be dogmatic about things we ought not - even in spite of our advantages.



Very well said.


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 2016/12/16 15:42Profile
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 Calvins's sentiments on the Death of the famous Anabaptist leader Michael Sattler

RE : ///We are glad to have messages by John Calvin on SermonIndex, alonside Anabaptists, in heaven we will realize that perhaps more of use understand less then we thought. I already admit that I see very dimly and just "in part" (1 Corinthians 13). May our eyes be on Jesus Christ Himself, not on men who are frail and even fail.///

Here is What Calvin had to Say about the death of the famous Anabaptist leader Michael Sattler

John Calvin Treatise against the anabaptist and against the libertines translated by Benjamin Wirt Farley p.157
John Calvin wrote
// Now in order to give a favorable pretext to their doctrine, they have published along with their resolution the history of the Death of a certain Michael (footnote says Sattler)an accomplice and member of their sect.In fact ,they are in the habit of making a powerful defense out of the fact that some have been killed for holding views which would not retract,although if they had they might have escaped death and ransomed their life. Indeed,it is an effective means of authorizing a doctrine for a man to abandon his life courageously and freely in order to confirm his belief. For when we are told what the prophets,apostles,and other martyrs endured in order to maintain the truth of Gode,we are so much the more strengthened to adhere to the faith we hold,which they sealed by their blood.
I acknowledge,therefore,that we must not vilify the death of God's servants,since their courage and constancy is no small aid in supporting our weakness. But since we can be thoroughly deceived by this unless we have another criterion,we must return to the foundation without which we should be unable to make sound judgments or be certain about the matter.
Certainly a mans death, whoever he might be,is never so precious that it can or ought to prejudice Gods truth in any thing, or be so beneficial as to approve of erroneous and perverse doctrines.Therefore let us hold to this:that although a sound and solid doctrine,being founded on reason,is confirmed later by the death of its adherents and confessors by whom it is maintained,nevertheless,the death of the whole world cannot prove a lie.
Indeed what seperates the martyrs of God from the devil's deciples is that the martyrs die for a righteous cause. Therefore in the same way that it is laudable and courageous to suffer death when necessity calls for it in order to bear witness to the truth,so also it is insane obstinancy to suffer for a wicked cause.So much so that whoever suffers for it the most is all the more reprimanded. In fact, when we let ourselves be carried away by this pretext, we lose complete judgment and esteem.//

 2016/12/16 15:44Profile
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 Re: Calvins's sentiments on the Death of the famous Anabaptist leader Michael S

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Here is What Calvin had to Say about the death of the famous Anabaptist leader Michael Sattler



There always is more context as the letter you showed after the fact and the facts before the execution. here is an article answering this from a fairly good persecutive (meaning that I believe it is quite factual):

--


It is hard to tell from the research that I have seen exactly how many people were executed during Calvin's time in Geneva. I would have to say that the modern day opponents of Calvin like to give the impression that executions happened every day. There is a number that is oft-repeated but rarely footnoted of 57 executions during 4 years "at the height of Calvin's power". I am unable to locate the source of this number, and a more moderate anti-Calvin source, Calvin: A Biography, by Bernard Cottret, puts the number at 38.

In considering these executions, is important to note that Calvin never held any formal power outside the Church during his time in Geneva. The government of the church in Geneva was Presbyterian ¡— it had a pastor and a consistory, or board of ruling elders. Contrary to popular portrayal, the government of the church was not the government of the city. The government of the city was called "the Council". The consistory handled moral matters, and the maximum penalty it could impose was excommunication. However, for many years they could not even excommunicate someone without the prior approval of the Council. The maximum penalty that the Council could impose was death, however, even the Council's decisions could be appealed to another body called "The Council of Two Hundred", so named because it consisted of two hundred citizens of Geneva. Calvin himself was not a citizen of Geneva during the upheaval in Geneva, and thus was disqualified from voting, holding public office, or even serving on the Council of Two Hundred until very late in his life, and at least four years after he achieved "the height of his power" to which so many Calvin detractors refer. Thus, it is with this understanding, the understanding that Calvin held no formal secular power, and that any power he did have was subject to the review of two different citizen's councils that we turn to the discussion of the executions in Geneva.

Of the 38 executions accounted for in Calvin: A Biography, by Bernard Cottret, Calvin himself writes about 23, and the justification given is that they spread the plague by witchcraft. This is often given as mocking proof that Calvin really must have been an ignorant tyrant — after all, we know that witchcraft isn't real, etc. But if you read the primary source, the actual letter to Myconius of Basel (March 27, 1545), you see that witchcraft, if it was a charge, was in addition to the charge of committing other malicious acts:
"A conspiracy of men and women has lately been discovered, who, for the space of three years, had spread the plague through the city by what mischievous device I know not. After fifteen women have been burnt, some men have even been punished more severely, some have committed suicide in prison, and while twenty-five are still kept prisoners, — the conspirators do not cease, notwithstanding, to smear the door-locks of the dwelling-houses with their poisonous ointment. You see in the midst of what perils we are tossed about. The Lord hath hitherto preserved our dwelling, though it has more than once been attempted. It is well that we know ourselves to be under His care."

When you read this quote, you see that these people were accused of actually trying to spread the plague, not by casting spells, but by smearing "the door-locks of the dwelling-houses with their poisonous ointment". Once again this seems innocuous, but it is possible that their "ointment" was spreading the disease if it contained blood or bodily fluid from someone infected with the disease. Even if it didn't work, the people putting the ointment on the door handles apparently thought it would. Thus, at the very least these inept bioterrorists would be guilty of what we call "conspiracy to commit murder". This is in addition to the charge of witchcraft, itself a capital crime in the Old Testament, which Calvin thought was directly applicable in Geneva.

Of the other executions, several are named to be executions for serial adultery, also a capital crime in the Old Testament. Contrary to what is commonly implied, this was not a group of all women or all poor people who were executed. Among the executed was a prominent Genevese banker who went to his death proclaiming the justice of the judgment — Geneva did not discriminate on the basis of sex or class, as it often implied. It is debatable whether or not adultery should ever be or have been a capital offense. Many people who think that it should not be one today think that it should not have been a capital offense in ancient Israel either. Thus, they reject the Old Testament law as unjust even when it was originally given. This is an error we should be careful to avoid as we debate whether or not these executions were just.

So the bulk of the executions were for conspiracy to commit murder and for adultery. In addition to these, there was one girl who was executed for striking her mother — another capital crime in the Old Testament which could be, at least in ancient Israel, justly enforced by the penalty of death in certain instances. We are not told by history whether Calvin approved of this execution, but if he did, it was because he believed that it was the proper application of Old Testament law. Of the other executions, history has only given us details of two — the beheading of Jacques Gruet and the burning of Michael Servetus. Gruet was executed for heresy and sedition. He attached an anonymous note to Calvin's pulpit threatening to kill Calvin and overthrow the government of Geneva if they did not flee the city. He was arrested, tortured for 30 days, and, upon confession, beheaded. History does not tell us whether Calvin approved of the torture; if he did he was wrong to do so. The execution, for conspiring to overthrow the government, may have been justified given the danger to the citizenry that such a conspiracy entailed. Either way, Calvin did not have the authority in Geneva to arrest, torture, or execute anyone. Those were the decisions, not of Calvin or the church Consistory, but of the Council and of the Council of 200.

This brings us to Servetus. He was arrested for heresy, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by the Council. After escaping from prison when he was on trial for heresy in Lyons, Servetus traveled to Geneva on his way to Italy. According to Schaff's Church History, Servetus stayed at Geneva for about a month, taking few pains to conceal his identity. After attending services in Calvin's church one Sunday, Servetus was arrested on charges of heresy. Calvin believed that it was just and right for heretics to be put to death. In this regard, he was not different from Servetus who also believed that heretics, specifically the heretic John Calvin, should be put to death by the Genevese Council.

During the trial it was Calvin's job as expert witness to prove that Servetus was a heretic. Calvin's expert reason and clear thinking triumphed when Servetus chose to hurl insults at Calvin rather than offer a defense. It is important to note that at this time the Council was not controlled by friends of Calvin but by his enemies, the patriots and libertines. This is probably why Servetus felt that he did not have to offer a substantive defense against charges of heresy. We have a written record of the debate because each was required to write their statements and responses for review by the churches of four other prominent protestant cities.

During the time that the other cities were reviewing the debate Lyons requested extradition, but Servetus pleaded to stay in Geneva and protested that he would accept the judgment of the Genevese Council rather than be sent back to Lyons. He had reason to believe that the libertines on the council were on his side, given their intense hatred of Calvin. However, in the end, after receiving recommendations of guilt from the four cities, and in light of the publicity the trial had generated throughout Europe, the libertines and the patriots on the Council decided that Servetus was not worth saving. In a show of bravado intended to send a message that they could be just as "tough on crime" as John Calvin was, they sentenced Servetus to death by burning. When Servetus heard, he could not believe it. Despite Calvin's intercession on behalf of Servetus that he be put to death humanely, the Council refused and Servetus was burned on October 27, 1553.

Calvin went to his deathbed believing that the execution was just because Servetus was a blasphemer and a heretic — a murderer of souls. I stand with Calvin in believing that the state is charged to uphold the law of God, however, I differ with him as to the best way that the state can do this. I believe that Constantine proved once and for all the negative consequences inherent whenever the state enforces orthodoxy — all you get is fake believers scared to air their dissent openly. Calvin was wrong to suppose that heresy should be punished by the state and by death. Even if Calvin was right that heresy was "spiritual murder", the proper solution would have been excommunication and no more.

from: http://reformedanswers.org/answer.asp/file/39726


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 2016/12/16 15:54Profile
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  Michael Sattler not Michael Servetus

Greg did you bother to read what was written before you responded ?

RE ///There always is more context as the letter you showed after the fact and the facts before the execution. here is an article answering this from a fairly good persecutive (meaning that I believe it is quite factual):///

I was directly quoting Calvin and he was Speaking about Michael Sattler the Anabaptist leader not Michael Servatus the heratic.

What I posted was John Calvin's Words! They are from this book that I own :

John Calvin Treatise against the anabaptist and against the libertines translated by Benjamin Wirt Farley p.157

 2016/12/16 16:06Profile
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I was directly quoting Calvin and he was Speaking about Michael Sattler the Anabaptist leader not Michael Servatus the heratic.




Dear brother,

Yes I apologize I did misunderstand who it was he was referring to.

Calvin was clearly not right in that martyrdom is towards the Lord and not a sect or group and people of many different denominations and groups were true martyrs towards the Lord.

I believe overall Calvin is misunderstood because of the system of religious government they were in, in the city of Geneva. I personally do not claim to know much in this regard, therefore posting an article that contains more factual information I felt would help give some back drop and help. We have had people claim that John Calvin killed many people in cold blood on this very forum and I wanted to just make people more informed.

What you are shared is important brother and helps us understand the tension there was between the anabaptists and himself.


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 2016/12/16 16:14Profile









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"The “real presence” of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Lord’s Supper is a doctrine of Roman Catholicism (and some other Christian denominations) that teaches that, instead of being symbolic rites, communion and baptism are opportunities for the real presence of God to appear. In the case of communion, they believe once the priest has blessed the wine and the bread, the wine becomes Jesus’ blood and the bread becomes His flesh. They cannot explain how, but they believe this transformation (called transubstantiation) allows God to spiritually nourish the partaker to better serve Him and to be Christ to the lost world.

This concept is hard even for Roman Catholics to fully explain. They believe that Jesus instituted communion as a way of allowing believers to participate in the ongoing sacrifice of the cross. Once the bread and wine are blessed, Christ’s crucifixion is presented again to those in attendance. The ceremony somehow perpetuates the ever-present crucifixion. Even when the service (or Mass) is completed, the leftover bread is kept and venerated in thanks to God for providing the transformation and the nourishment.

There are two major problems with this line of thought. First, there is no way that a ceremony can recreate Jesus’ crucifixion. Several places in the New Testament claim Jesus’ death was “once for all” (Romans 6:10; Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18). There is no mention that the act of the crucifixion, which occurred within the confines of a linear timeline, is somehow free of that timeline to be as eternal as God Himself. The results of that act are certainly timeless, as it was that act that allowed even those before Jesus’ time to be saved. But we have no way of participating in an act that occurred nearly two thousand years ago, except in the symbolic sense.

That is the great controversy of the belief of the real presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. But on a practical level, the bread does not become flesh. The wine does not become blood. And no amount of belief is going to make it so. The more urgent issue is the false belief that God’s blessing and nourishment come through that bread and wine. Roman Catholicism teaches that liturgy (taken from the Greek for “work”) is the conduit through which God provides blessing and salvation. Essentially, in addition to placing the priest between the congregants and God, they also place the bread and wine between themselves and God. They believe they are blessed because of their obedience in taking communion, and that blessing literally streams from God through the bread and wine and into their souls.

This is not what Jesus taught. He said, “I am the bread of life” and “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:48, 63). Jesus is the bread of life, but He is also the Word (John 1:1). The bread that nourishes is the Word of God (Matthew 4:4), not a wafer somehow transformed into the flesh of Jesus. The idea that we have to go through a human ceremony to receive that spiritual nourishment is the type of belief Jesus came to abolish. His death tore the veil in the temple, giving us the ability to have a direct relationship with God (Hebrews 4:16). That veil was not replaced by the act of blessing and eating bread and wine."

 2016/12/16 16:15
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The ceremony somehow perpetuates the ever-present crucifixion.



Brother.

You are right to state that our Lord's death was once for all: Jesus’ death was “once for all” (Romans 6:10; Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18)

And I do not defend the Roman Catholic position as I am not even fully aware of it and what they exactly believe beyond what you wrote.

I do believe communion is clearly more then symbolic and I am comfortable with this as were many early Church believers and writers all around and after the original Apostles.

As you alluded to, the timelessness of the Lord's death and the wounds He still has in heaven (Revelation 5:6) make it possible to "communion" and remember the Lord in this way till He comes. I do not declare to understand it at all. To me it is a mystery as prayer itself is a mystery also.

As I also shared before in the posts in this thread, there is sickness or death for someone who eats the Lord's Supper unworthily, so it is a "holy" thing and we should treat it as so. Towards "the real presence of Christ" I do not agree with Roman Catholic belief of a "re-crucifying" of the Lord, though I am very ignorant of the details of their belief. But I do believe it is more then a symbol. Surely we can believe there is a middle ground or some room on either side of extremes in this position?


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 Re:

RE : /// Yes I apologize I did misunderstand who it was he was referring to.///

I except your apology.

RE : ///I believe overall Calvin is misunderstood because of the system of religious government they were in, ..///

The issue that I have with Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingly etc. Is the lack of compassion and lack of regard for anyone that they disagreed even slightly with theologically.


edit : spell

 2016/12/16 16:47Profile









 Re:

Greg you wrote:

"But I do believe it is more then a symbol. Surely we can believe there is a middle ground or some room on either side of extremes in this position?"

Do not believe that it is more than symbolic in the sense you are suggesting . In my opinion the catholic version of communion is utterly deviant and blasphemous to the core. The very premise of their communion is so vile that one cannot build a bridge from what the Bible teaches to what they teach.

Grew up catholic and have some understanding of what their religion teaches and practices. Many of my relatives are catholic, attend mass, take their communion and are practicing pagans to this day because they are trust in their sacraments to save them rather faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And I do pray for them.

 2016/12/16 17:08









 Re:

I'm also concerned about this topic and would like to share a few thoughts without making it more complicated.

If we believe that God's Word is "God breathed " and infallible then what can be superior?
It gets very dangerous if the Bible is not the ultimate authority anymore.

The Apostles layed the foundation. The Early Church was not perfect but we can learn a lot from them.
After about 200 years things started to change, then Constantine became Emperor and politics came into it.
From then on we have to be very careful whose teaching we believe!

Yes God has appointed teachers and we learn from Godly men like Ravenhill, Paul Washer, Zac Poonan or from the early
Baptists and many others.
Personally I have also mentioned Zinsendorf a few times. I don't know much about his theology but I can see what God did through him.
Zinzendorf was appalled at the divisions between churches and hungered to unite the different factions. Finally the Holy Spirit moved through the room. Differences dissolved. All embraced one another in forgiveness and a spirit of love. Christ became central to their thinking.
Christ became the center ! Then, and only then could they move foreward.

Godly teachers should point us to prayer, God's Word, and most of all to the Lord Himself. Unity is only in Him
And "the Lamb that was slain should get the full reward for his suffering"

Blessings

 2016/12/16 19:02





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