05 December, 2009

Extent of atoning grace and its affect discussed with "Bourn Again"

(Cristoiglesia) "So, out of necessity and in preparation to the blessed mother’s obedience she was saved by Christ at her conception."

(Bourn Again) Wait, so Jesus' death on the cross broke the bounds of time and saved people BEFORE He actually died?

(Cristoiglesia) Throughout biblical history people have been saved by grace through their faith.

(Bourn Again) I would think this as plausible, of course, since God can do all things, BUT I know He did not because of sin sacrifices. If Christ death applied before he died, then why did God make sin sacrifices?

(Cristoiglesia) The “hattat” was a prefigurement of Christ’s sacrifice. If you read the account of the crucifixion you will see that Jesus is sacrificed outside of the City. The “hattat” had to be sacrificed outside of the encampment. You will also notice that it had to be eaten in the Tabernacle. Sounds exactly like a prefigurement of the Eucharist. So sin sacrifices had little to do with salvation and everything to do with the sacrifice and great feast of the Messiah.

(Bourn Again)More so, this would mean Mary was forced to become a Christian.

(Cristoiglesia) No, God possesses middle knowledge which means he knew what the blessed mother would do given a specific set of circumstances. He knew that she would be willing to be the God bearer. (See Molinism)

(Bourn Again) Despite this Catholic teaching, God's gift comes AFTER people believe.

(Cristoiglesia) Sometimes they are believers first but not always. Young children, mentally ill, mentally deficient and perhaps others may be saved by God’s grace despite their inability or opportunity to do so.

(Bourn Again) We have free will. "But the fact is that God dwells outside of time where everything is in the eternal present without future or past." True, but the saving power lies within time. That's why people aren't saved or damned after death. This is obvious because of the placement of sin sacrifices. Why would God force people to do this to purge them of sin when they could just accept Jesus?

Here's a clue. Mary didn't consider herself immaculet (Luke :47).

(Cristoiglesia) No, certainly not. Salvation occurs at the moment of death and is dependent on the state of our soul at death. At that time we have passed into the eternal present and left the constraints of time behind. (2 Cor 5:8) Contrary to the heretical teaching of some Calvinist influenced sects there is no assurance of salvation by making a one time emotional or reasonable assention to faith. Salvific faith requires endurance as St. Paul said we must approach our faith with fear and trembling:

Phil 2:12: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is the last and complete sin sacrifice. So according to Scripture the blessed mother of God is not forced but instead God knew of her will in response to being the God bearer.

The verse you provided does not say that the blessed mother of God was unaware of her sinless state but that her sinlessness was the result of God’s grace in preparation of her role in salvation. God saved her in an extraordinary way at conception while the rest of us are saved at our physical death. I either case, she was saved by the atonement of the cross. Look at verse 48, it states clearly of God’s middle knowledge and the blessed mothers awareness of God’s knowledge. In verse 49 she acknowledges the miraculous nature of what God has done to prepare her. Verse 50 confirms my teaching to you that the reach of Jesus’ atoning work is for humanity past and present and extending for all times. But, the blessed mother of God was the first to benefit from Christ’s sacrifice.

Luke 1:46-50

46And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,

49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.

50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.

(Bourn Again) Personally, I'm not much for origional sin in the first place. I think that when the Bible talks of original sin, it speaks of the inclination to temptation. But honestly, I'm haven't studied much on this and you and/or someone else could probably sway me with a few well placed verses.

(Cristoiglesia) Certainly the inclination to sin is the result of original sin as is our lack of physical immortality and original holiness. The Sacrament of Baptism turns ones inclinations back towards God and from sin.

(Bourn Again)You constantly say that God can not be in the presence of sin, which He can't, but obviously not in the sense you mean. Jesus constantly stayed with sinners on Earth.

(Cristoiglesia) I do not know what “sense” of meaning you perceive but what I am saying is that God chooses not to be in sins presence. He separates Himself from sin and it is destroyed in His presence. If I gave you the impression that I was saying that sin had some power over Him then you have perceived my meaning incorrectly. God is a consuming fire over sin. So, what you should understand us that Jesus being fully God on earth tolerated sin and took on sin for our redemption. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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