A vital part of the believers’ progressive (practical) sanctification is to do the commandants given by Christ in Luke 9:23—denying one’s self, taking up the cross, and following Christ.        

Luke 9:23-25: “And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose It, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?”

Context. Note the context in the previous passages (Luke 9:18-22), which is the identification of Christ (see the parallel account in Matt. 16:13-18):

And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?’ 19 They answered and said, ‘John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20 And He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” 21 But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised on the third day.”

Jesus’ first questions to the “disciples” was regarding who “who do the people say that I am?” (they gave inadequate answers). Then, Jesus asked them specifically: “Who do you say that I am?” It was the most faulty, fearful yet devoted, disciple of them all, who correctly answered and confessed: “The Christ of God.” However, Peter’s full confession is recorded in the parallel account in Matt. 16:16: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Although Peter (like many of us) totally misunderstood Jesus’ mission (esp. Matt. 16:21-23), and made countless mistakes in both word and action, he rightfully saw Jesus as Lord, the Son of God (God in the flesh), the Messiah of Israel. As with all Christians, throughout Peter’s life, he had victories and failures (even after the resurrection; cf. Gal. 2:11), but he grew spiritually and doctrinally until the point of his death. Recalling, Jesus had prophesied of Peter’s death in John 21:14-19, “signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, follow Me!” (v. 19)—and he did just that – the rest of his life unto his death.

From the start of Peter’s journey as an apostle of Christ, to his death, in spite of his many mistakes in his Christian life, Jesus was his Lord and Savior. Although, his ongoing sanctification and understanding of the work and mission of Christ was developmental and progressive and at times faltered, his faith in the Christ as “the Son of the living God” was unwavering.

What I find interesting is that immediately after Peter’s high Christological Confession (“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:18), Jesus foretold that He must “be killed” (Luke 9:22) Peter “criticized” the Lord Jesus for saying He must die: “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” Jesus, then, responds in Luke 9:23, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Matt. 16:23 adds, “Get behind me Satan”).

Jesus indicates to His disciples (who heard Jesus’ rebuke) that true discipleship can not be realized unless one is willing to forsake it all. This would mean fully trusting Him in all things. Job demonstrated this kind of trust when he said, “Though He slay me, I will trust in Him” (Job 13:15).

Peter eventually grew in knowledge and understanding of the Savior and His mission. This is apparent in John 6 regarding Jesus’ seemingly difficult statements of eating His flesh and drinking His blood (John 6:54). In response to this, “many of His disciples left” (v. 66), which prompted Jesus to ask (v. 67) “the twelve, ‘You do not want to leave also, do you?’ 68 Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 And we have already believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.’”

 

Denying oneself involves humility before the Lord.

Peter makes this point in 1 Pet. 5:6-7: “Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you” (NASB). In verse 6, the verb tapeinoō (“be humble”) is in the aorist imperative—, which indicates an urgent command, as in Be humble right now!—“under the mighty hand of God.” Keep in mind, the OT writers frequently used God’s hand as a symbol of discipline (Exod. 3:19; 6:1; Job 30:21; Ps. 32:4) and deliverance (Deut. 9:26; 32:32; Ezek. 20:34).

But how are we to be humble ourselves under the mighty hand God. The means of doing this is found in verse 7: “By casting all your cares [‘anxiety, worry’] on Him” (NET). The verb epiripsantes is the aorist participle of epiriptō (“to throw, cast upon”). So the verb would literally be translated as, “casting” (ESV, Holmen) or “having cast” (NASB 2020), or better “By casting” (NET). Unfortunately, translations such as the NIV (even the 2011 updated) make the participle independent of verse 6 by translating the participle as “Cast,” the beginning of a new sentence: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (NIV).

In other words, the very means of obeying the urgent commandment in verse 6 (“be humble under the mighty hand of God”) is found in the action of the participle: “By casting all your anxiety [or ‘worry’[1]] on Him—because He cares.”

Luke 9:23: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Although following Christ is a commandant (present imperative), the two preceding verbs arnēsasthō (“let him deny”) and aratō (“let him take up”) are in the aorist imperative—thus, as seen above, a commandment that stresses urgency— “Do it now!” commandment! Commenting on the parallel passage in Matt. 16:24, Calvin says of the phrase, “And let him take up his cross”:

As God trains his people in a peculiar manner, in order that they may be conformed to the image his Son, we need not wonder that this rule is strictly addressed to them. . . . (Calvin, Commentary of Matthew).

9:24 “For whoever wishes to save his life [psuchēn, “soul”] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Nothing is more important in this life than to live for and serve the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Amen? As seen, Peter came to understand this clearly: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (John 6:68). We as Christians have nowhere else to go except to the Lord Jesus—who has given us the words of eternal Life: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (see also 1 John 5:20). In our stressful, unpredictable lives all we can do is ask: “Lord, to whom shall we go?”

9:25 “For what good does it do a person if he gains the whole world, but loses or forfeits himself?” For us, nothing, but Christ matters. Without the Son, the soul will perish: “The one who has the Son has the life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 John 5:12; cf. John 3:36).

9:26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Contextually, this statement was in the present state of the looming event of His death. However, there seems to be wider application (whether the latter phrase is referring to the final Eschaton [Second Coming] or, as many see it, the Transfiguration in vv. 28-36). The term translated, “ashamed” is from epaischunomai. Note the prefix of the verb, epi (“on, upon”) with aischunō (“to dishonor, disgrace”).

This verb shows the personal aspect of the disgrace or dishonor. Paul is “not ashamed [same term] of the gospel” (Rom. 1:16). Christian teachers even more, should not be ashamed of the Son of God and His work; or that He alone is the only means of salvation. True believers who love the Lord should never be ashamed of proclaiming the Trinity and justification through faith alone.


Notes

[1] The term anxious/worry is from the Greek word merimna, which carries the meaning of being “drawn in opposite directions; pulled apart from both sides.”

 

 

 

In a previous article, we briefly discussed the Lord’s Supper, in substance, importance, and instruction, which is outlined in 1 Corinthians 11. We also examined Paul’s definition of what an unworthy practice of the Lord’s Supper is. Here we will examine the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, which in a general sense they refer to as the Eucharist (Greek, “thanksgiving”—thus, the action of thanksgiving to God).

 

The action of receiving the elements (i.e., the actual eating and drinking of the bread and wine) of the sacrament of the Eucharist is called the “Holy Communion”. However, as you will see, the Roman practice of the so-called Holy Communion is anything but a “Holy” Eucharist to God. It is a blasphemous practice that

1) rejects the biblical view that the “once for all time” atoning sacrifice of Christ alone was sufficient for salvation and was the very ground of justification (apart from man-works) and

2) the Roman doctrine of Transubstantiation, as explicated hereafter, deforms and dismembers the incarnation of Christ.

 

Transubstantiation

Rome holds to a distinctive doctrine called, Transubstantiation. In short, this Roman Catholic  theological position is where the  priests who preside at the Eucharist (or Lord’s Supper”), “consecrate the bread and the wine so [that these elements actually] become the Body and Blood of the Lord…. By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [hereafter, CCC], 1411, 13).

 

So according to Catholicism, when Jesus said, “This is My body” (Matt. 26:26), and “This is My blood” (v. 28), and “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19), He instituted the so-called Mass,[1] and gave the apostles, and thus, all future Catholic priests, the power to change ontologically (transubstantiate) the bread and wine into Jesus’ literal Flesh and Blood and Divinity of Christ (New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism  [hereafter, BC], vol. 2, Q. 354, cf. also Q. 355; CCC Article 3, para 1413; Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651). [2] But note, this so-called changing of the bread and wine into the actual and literal flesh and blood and deity of Jesus did not, Rome argues, involve a change in appearance or taste. The BC (Q. 348) states: “After the substance of the bread and wine had been changed into Our Lord’s body and blood, they remained only the appearances of bread and wine.”

 
Theological Heresies of the Transubstantial Eucharist

 Rome’s doctrine of the transubstantial Eucharist, a) presents a perpetual re-sacrificing of Christ, and b) it deforms and confuses the incarnation of Christ.  

First, the notion of the Eucharist as an ongoing sacrifice clearly,   

 

  • Rejects any idea of a “once for all time” or “finished” atoning sacrifice accomplished by His perfect life and cross work.

 

  • Rejects the sufficiency of the glorious cross work of Christ for both the forgiveness of sins and the averting of wrath due to us because of our sin.

 

  • Rejects the notion that sinners are justified though the death of the Son and not according to works.  

 

Note for example, the repetitious way Rome uses the terms such as “sacrifice,” “re-presents,” “propitiation” defining the effects of the Eucharist:    

“The Mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross because in the Mass the victim is the same, and the principal priest is the same, Jesus Christ” (BC, vol. 2, Q. 360).

“The Eucharist is also a sacrifice” (CCC, 1365).

“The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross” (CCC, 1366).

“The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice,” (CCC, 1367).

 

The Eucharist, according to Rome, is propitiatory (i.e., forgiving sins and removing the wrath of God): “This sacrifice [Eucharist] is truly propitiatory” (CCC, 1367). “The Church intends the Mass to be regarded as a ‘true and proper sacrifice’” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, “Sacrifice of the Mass”; emphasis added).

Clearly, Rome sees the Eucharist as a “sacrifice,” which is offered through the hands of the priests: “The sacrifice of Christ the only Mediator, which in the Eucharist is offered through the priests’ hands” (CCC, 1369, also cf. 1414).

The Roman system of the transubstantial Eucharist is an insufficient sacrifice that is offered continuously by sinful Roman priests. This, clearly controverts and attacks the biblical presentation of the once for all time atoning accomplishment of Christ, as He Himself affirmed—“It is finished.” The Roman “Christ” is not able to save a sinner in and of Himself by grace alone through faith alone—apart from human efforts. Nor is the redemptive work of Christ in Romanism the very ground of the believer’s justification.

Biblically, a sinner is “declared” righteous before God not through works such as water baptism, nor through the sinful hands of the Roman priests in their representing the sacrifice of Christ at the Mass; rather it is through faith alone. Paul rightly says: “just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works” (Rom. 4:6) “Through the [one time] obedience [atoning work] of the One the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19). Neither the church, Mary, Roman priests, nor anything or anyone can mediate between God and man. Only the two-natured person (God-man), Jesus Christ is able to be the Mediator:

“For there is one God, and one Mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time” (1 Tim. 2:5-6).   

 

To emphasize the infinitely completed redemptive propitiatory work of the Christ, the author of Hebrews uses the Greek term ephapax (ἐφάπαξ) which means “once for all” (from epi, “upon” + hapax, “once, one”). Thus (lexically), “Taking place once and to the exclusion of any further occurrence, once for all, once and never again (BDAG), or “upon one occasion only” (Thayer).

The author of Hebrews (and Paul in Rom. 6:10) teaches that the sacrifice of Christ as the eternal priest was ephapax (“once for all time”)—for all other OT priestly systems (Aaronic and Levitical) were lesser, imperfect, and obsolete (Heb. 7:11, 23-28). Note the following passages:   

“who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did ephapax [‘once for all time’] when He offered up Himself (Heb. 7:27).

“and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place ephapax [‘once for all time’] having obtained eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12).

“By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ephapax [‘once for all time’!].11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 13 waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Heb. 10:10-14). 

The ephapax [“once for all time”] and Paul’s doctrine of justification through faith alone, shows in and of itself that the Roman Mass where the Eucharist is a repetitive propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ is an offensive attack on Christ and His one-time finished atoning work.        

   

Reject the biblical teaching of the incarnation of the Son. The second theological heresy of Rome’s doctrine of Transubstantiation is the deformation of the incarnation of Christ. The Roman Church happily agrees that Jesus became flesh. However, in Romanism, the “flesh” that Jesus became is anything, but normal human flesh and likeness. Because, as Rome teaches, the elements in the Eucharist (bread and wine) actually transubstantiates (viz. changes into the non-figurative literal flesh and blood of Christ). Hence, wherever in the world Catholics are receiving the Eucharist (“Holy Communion”) at the Mass, the literal body and blood is being sacrificed at the hand of the priests. This clearly implies that Jesus’ physical body is ubiquitous—namely, its able to be in multiple places simultaneously!

A ubiquitous anomalous human nature sharply counters the biblical teaching that the eternal Word became the perfect representation of man—not a “hyper-flesh” ubiquitous fleshly body: “The Word became flesh…. being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man” (John 1:14; Phil. 2:7-8).

Rome’s doctrine of the transubstantial Eucharist is an idolatrous practice that mocks and rejects both the substitutionary work of Christ as the alone means of justification and manipulates the biblical view of the incarnation of the Son—who “emptied Himself, taking the form [real nature] of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [not in the likeness of a unusual ubiquitous man]. Being found in appearance as a [normal] man” (Phil. 2:7-8).          

Those who partake in the Roman Eucharist are

1) proclaiming the Jesus of Rome who did not take the nature of normal humanity, and

2) proclaiming the impotent Jesus of Rome whose atoning work was neither sufficient nor perfectly completed. Thus, they would be celebrating that which Paul condemned as anathema (cursed) in Galatians 1:8, 9 (viz. the faith + works system of the Judaizers).

Christians, in stark contrast, proclaim the Jesus of the NT: “Through the obedience of the One [Christ] the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19); “having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God”! (Heb. 10:12; cf. Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9).      

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Sola Gratia, Solo Christo, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria

 

See Matthew 16:18: The Plastic Rock of Rome   

 

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NOTES

[1] In Catholicism, the Mass is a celebration of the Eucharist, where Catholics participate together in “Holy Communion.”     

[2] Cf. CCC Article 3, para 1413: “his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity.”

 In support of their erroneous doctrine of Transubstantiation, Catholics appeal to John 6:53-54. However, Jesus had already defined what He meant here back in verse 35, where Jesus refers to Himself as the “Bread of Life” – “he who comes to Me will not hunger [thus, coming to Him is equivalent to ‘eating His flesh’], and he who believes in Me will never thirst [thus, believing in Him is equivalent to ‘drinking His blood’].” Further, unlike the Synoptics, the Gospel John never even records Jesus’ institution of the Last Supper. Further, the historical time frame of the institution of the Lord’s Super would have been not until John 13, which was a different context than that of chapter 6, and at least a year later! In his Commentary on John, Calvin pointed out, “Indeed, it would have been inept and unreasonable to preach about the Lord’s Supper before He had instituted it.”               

 

Spanish version here

The Roman Catholic Church greatly opposes many essential biblical teachings include Purgatory (which is a flat out denial of the sufficiency and infallible work of Christ alone); service-worship of Mary (as well as other false Marian doctrines); and esp. Rome’s denial of justification through “faith alone.”

It is unfortunate that many Christian leaders, who are either afraid and/or unaware of the basic teachings of Rome, stay utterly silent on the issue; or, even worst, they endorse the Catholic Church as a legitimate true Christian church! 

 

See Matt 16 18: The Plastic Rock of Rome- On my YouTube page  

 

The “Rock” of Matthew 16:18

“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

he Biblical Identification of the “Rock” in Matt. 16:18: “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Just as the foundation of the LDS Church raises and falls on Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the Romish Catholic Church rises and falls on the idolatric false teaching of Papal Succession— based on her inaccurate a-patristic view of Matt. 16:18.

As with atrocious false doctrine of Rome’s Transubstantiation – where the bread and wine ontologically changes to the literal flesh, blood, and divinity of Christ (cf. CCC article 3, para 1413), which denies and deforms the biblical teaching of the incarnation of the Son, Rome teaches that Papal Succession in a real and literal way, . The Christian confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God is the Rock of faith upon which the Christian church has been built—and not upon the man Peter. Note these three points:

1. The Context is NOT Peter, rather, the identification of Jesus Christ (“Who do You say that I am” v. 13).

2. Peter’s Confession (“You are the Christ”) was of a divine origin, thus, not of himself: “And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 16:17; cf. Eph. 1:4-5; 2:8-9; Phil. 1:29).

3. Both exegetically and the general consensus of the early church affirms that the identification of the Rock in Matt. 16:18, was the faith that Peter confessed and not the man Peter.

 

Before examining this text in detail, we must consider three important points in Jesus’ response to Peter.

 

Conversely, Rome asserts that the “rock” upon which Jesus will build His church is the Apostle Peter, not his confession. This erroneous interpretation can be shown as (a) exegetically false and (b) historically problematic.

The phrase in question reads: lit., “I also and to you say that you are Peter and upon this the rock I will build My [the] church.” (κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω ὅτι σὺ εἶ Πέτρος, καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν). Note the following exegetical points: 

CONTEXT. The context, which surrounds Jesus’ statement to Peter in verse 18, Starts In Verses 13-15 with Jesus’ question to His disciples regarding His identity: “But who do you say that I am?” It is Peter’s response (v. 16), that is, his confession of who Jesus is (“the Messiah, the Son of the living God”) that prompts Jesus’ statement to Peter. The two personal pronouns, σοι  (soi, “to you”) and σὺ (su, “you”), as in, “I say to you, you are Peter,” are singular second person personal pronouns.

Note: Jesus is directly addressing Peter. Thus, Jesus said to him, not about him. Whereas the pronoun ταύτῃ (tautē, “this” as in, “upon THIS the Rock”) is a demonstrative pronoun. Although demonstratives do not have “person,” a demonstrative pronoun can indicate an indirect reference, that is, a third person significance [3], as in this passage. Thus, Peter is direct reference to whom Jesus is addressing [4] and “THIS [ταύτῃ] the Rock” is the indirect reference, upon which Christ will build His church. Hence, the text differentiates between Peter, to whom Jesus is directly addressing and the “Rock,” to which is indirectly addressed (“upon this rock”).

If Jesus had meant what modern-day Catholics assert, why even use the demonstrative pronoun? Jesus could have clearly affirmed that Peter was the Rock by simply saying, “And upon you the Rock” (ἐπὶ σὲ, or ἐπὶ σοι, the Rock). But Jesus did not. Rather, He directly addressed Peter using two second person singular personal pronouns, and indirectly addressed the Rock as something other that Peter.     

HISTORICALLY. First, no patristic writer for the first two hundred years of the church saw Matt. 16:18 as    so first h on eMany Catholics selectively quote (snippet) Patristics as agreeing with Rom’s view. (esp., Origen, Cyprian, and Eusebius, Augustine – citing only his early teachings; none of these held to Rome’s view). Further, most Roman Catholics are not aware of the historical research done by Roman Catholic Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick regarding the early church’s view of Matthew 16:18. Archbishop Peter Kenrick prepared a paper on this subject, which was to be delivered to Vatican I (1870). However, it was never delivered, but it was published later, along with other insights.[5]

He points out the 5 interpretations of Matt. 16:18, to which Fathers of antiquity held:         

  1. All Christians were the living stones, held by very few Fathers-. Origen who is a common source of patristic exegetical tradition: states “‘If we also say “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” then we also become Peter . . . for whoever assimilates to Christ, becomes rock. Does Christ give the keys of the kingdom to Peter alone, whereas other blessed people cannot receive them?’” (Origen, Commentary on Matthew).
  2. All the apostles, 8 Fathers (Cyprian et al).
  3. Christ as the Rock, 16 Fathers (Eusebius, early Augustine). Eusebius of Caesarea (D. 263-339), in his view (“rock” as Christ), He links this interpretation with the parallel rock and foundation statements of 1 Corinthians 3:11 and 10:4.
  4. Peter as the Rock, 17 Fathers. 
  5. The Rock upon which the Church was built was the Faith that Peter confessed, 44 Fathers, including the most important Fathers (e.g., Basil of Seleucia [448]; Cyril of Alexandria; Chrysostom, Ambrose, Hilary,[6] Jerome, and Augustine again. Note, that Augustine (later in life) Augustine stated:

Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter’s confession. What is Peter’s confession? ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ There’s the rock for you, there’s the foundation, there’s where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer (Retractations).[7]

Thus, only 20% of the Fathers held to Rome’s now canonized “infallible” “Petrine Rock” interpretation of Matthew 16:18. That is far from being the norm of the early church. Kendrick concluded: “If we are bound to follow the majority of the fathers in this thing, then we are bound to hold for certain that the “rock” should be understood the faith professed by Peter, not Peter professing the faith.”[8]

As Roman Catholic apologist, H. Burn-Murdock actually admitted: “None of the writings of the first two centuries describe St. Peter as a bishop of Rome.”[9] In fact, no one before Callistus (c. A.D. 218-223) used Matthew 16:18 to support the primacy of the Roman bishop (i.e., “Pope” as Rome call it)—no one.

What has been demonstrated over and over is that Roman Catholics do not engage in critical exegesis when interpreting Scripture, nor do they objectively examine the patristic (church Fathers) record, not because Catholics lack the ability, but because they do not need to—for Rome has already provided the “infallible” interpretation for them. Thus, for the Catholic: Rome’s interpretations are correct, because Rome says they are. However, the following points seriously challenge Rome’s position of the so-called Primacy of Peter and him being the first Pope of Rome:

1) There is no biblical evidence indicating that Peter had supremacy over all the other apostles.

2) Peter never once considered that he was Pope, Pontiff; Vicar of Christ, Holy Father, or Head of the whole Christian Church, nor did any of the other apostles make such as claim.

3) Peter outwardly denied the Lord (out of fear) and Peter was rebuked by the Apostle Paul for being prejudice against the Gentiles (cf. Gal. 2:11-12).

4) At the first church council in Jerusalem (not Rome), it was James and not Peter who was the leading speaker and decision maker, for James authoritatively declared Acts 15:19- – “It is MY judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles.” Moreover, the letter that was sent out regarding the judgment never mentions Peter (cf. v. 23).

5) At the end of Romans, Paul sends his greetings to at least 26 people—but Peter is not even mentioned! Why? Surely, if Peter had “recognized supremacy” over Rome and all the apostles, we would expect Paul to have greeted him first!

6) Peter was a married man, unlike the Roman Popes (cf, Matt. 8:14; 1 Cor. 9:5).

These are but a few of the many valid objections to Rome’s position. Simply, there is no place in the NT where Peter acted as “Pope,” or as the “supreme head” of the apostles and the church. Quite the opposite is true. Paul says that the Christian church “Having been built [aorist participle] on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20). The Christian confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God is the very ROCK of faith upon which the Christian church has been built—and not upon the man Peter.


CONCLUSION

The Catholic Church categorically rejects essential biblical doctrines such as justification through faith alone, the cross work of Christ as the alone means and ground of justification (salvation), the perfect incarnational humanity of God the Son (due to Rome’s teaching of Transubstantiation), etc. And, of course, they reject the sufficiency of Scripture alone. Rome’s golden doctrine of Purgatory is nothing more than a flat out denial of the sufficiency and infallible work of Christ alone.

Any Christian who has done even a cursory and objective examination of the “official teachings” of the Roman Catholic Church, will see plainly and in fact that he or she must see Catholics as the object of evangelism.

 

“But it is due to Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and Redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written: “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:30-31; cf. Jer. 9:23).

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Notes 

[1] In 1870 (at Vatican I) Pope Pius IX proclaimed: “I am tradition” and hence, the Roman Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope (Ex Cathedra) emerged.

[2] In contrast to the teachings of Rome, salvation, faith, belief, repentance, etc. are grace-gifts granted by God alone. Hence, man does not cooperate or participate in God’s sole work of redemption, as Rome teaches. Salvation is God working alone—namely, monergistic, that is, an auto-soteric (self-salvation) system (contra John 1:13; 6:37-40; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Cor. 30-31; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 2:13).

[3] Demonstrative pronouns (“this, that”) can express an indirect significance as with a third person pronoun, thus expressing a thing (“this”) other than a direct reference.  

[4] Πέτρος, piece of rock; πέτρᾳ, large stone, rock, mass. 

[5] Cf. An Inside View at Vatican I, ed. Leonard Woolsey Bacon (New York: American Tract Society, 1871).

[6] Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity (Book II): “Thus our one immovable foundation, our one blissful rock of faith, is the confession from Peter’s mouth, Thou art the Son of the living God” (On the Trinity).

[7] Augustine wrote The Retractations late in his life to correct points expressed in his own writings. Here, Augustine corrects his earlier opinion that Peter was the rock of Matthew 16:18.  According to Augustine the rock is Christ or Peter’s confession which pointed to the person of Christ

[8] Speech of Archbishop Kenrick, 109, An inside view of the vatican council, edited by Leonard Woolsey Bacon.

[9] H. Burn-Murdock, The Development of the Papacy (1954), 130f.