Biblical Exposition

St. Cyprian of Carthage (beheaded 257 AD) one hundred and fifty years before the New Testament writings were collected into one book called “The Bible”:

“The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ He says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven.’

“And again He says to him after His resurrection: ‘Feed my sheep.’ On him He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair.

“So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the Apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?”

To read the whole article and see all the pictures, click here or on the pictures above.

For my DVD “Peter, Keeper of the Keys” and my book “Upon this Rock: Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church”, click here http://www.SteveRaysStory.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my talk on “Peter: the Rock, the Keys & the Chair” Hope you enjoy it and find it helpful!

{ 2 comments }

A while ago I wrote the Study Guide for Catholic Scripture Study — on Genesis. This section I wrote was so exciting and ironic I had to share it, especially since this is Christmas when God became Man. Here is a small section of what I wrote:

Satan.jpgBut why didn’t God prevent Adam and Eve from sinning? Didn’t this disobedience ruin everything? Didn’t Satan win a great victory over God? Yes and no. It marred the creation of God for the immediate moment, but God always uses evil to bring about a greater good—remember, he is God!

The Catechism asks the same question: “But why did God not prevent the first man from sinning? St. Leo the Great responds, ‘Christ’s inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than those the demon’s envy had taken away.’ And St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, ‘There is nothing to prevent human nature’s being raised up to something greater, even after sin; God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good. Thus St. Paul says, “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more”; and the [Easter] Exsultet sings, “O happy fault [of Adam],. . . which gained for us so great a Redeemer!”’” (CCC 412).

Saints1.jpgBecause of the fall God would now become Man, the Ultimate Man who would crush the serpent’s head. And because God became Man, he could now raise Man up to truly be like God! (cf. CCC 460). Peter reminds us that we could now be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Satan had lied, but because of God’s greatness, he actually fulfilled the empty lie of Satan in a more spectacular manner than could have been imagined. I suspect Satan is more furious than ever — his grand scheme backfired and man actually became what he had promised in his lie.

 Satan had tempted the first humans with the promise of being like God; now God, because of the fall and his infinite love has dramatically “upped the ante” and actually made it possible for us to really be like God!

What an ironic twist to a seemingly sad, but now magnificent story! Could any science fiction writer tell a more remarkable story—truth is stranger than fiction, and in this case much more cosmic, profound, and eternally real!

Meditate on THAT and have a blessed day!

{ 10 comments }

Salvation by Faith Alone?

by Steve Ray on February 15, 2017

Since the days of Martin Luther it has been popular to reduce salvation to a sound bite. Salvation is not by works but by “faith alone.”

However, the Bible seems to have another idea. In my book CROSSING THE TIBER I mention a few passages from Scripture to give a more biblical perspective.

Here is a section from page 100 in my book:

“One last comment, even though it will be discussed in more detail later: there is no attempt here to pit baptism against faith, or belief against baptism.  Things are rarely that simple.  Faith and baptism are two sides of the same coin.  Are we saved by faith or by baptism?  Are we saved by believing or by the Spirit?  These are false dichotomies that should have no place in our thinking.

screen-capture“How does one receive salvation, justification, new birth and eternal life?

By believing in Christ (Jn 3:16; Acts 16:31)?
By repentance (Acts 2:38; 2 Pet 3:9)?
By baptism (Jn 3:5; 1 Pet 3:21; Titus 3:5)?
By the work of the Spirit (Jn 3:5; 2 Cor 3:6)?
By declaring with our mouths (Lu 12:8; Rom 10:9)?
By coming to a knowledge of the Truth (1 Tim 2:4; Heb 10:26)?

By maintaining the faith (Col 1:22-23; Mt 24:13)?
By works (John 5:28-29; Rom 2:6, 7; James 2:24)?
By grace (Acts 15:11; Eph 2:8)?
By his blood (Rom 5:9; Heb 9:22)?
By His righteousness (Rom 5:17; 2 Pet 1:1)?
By His cross (Eph 2:16; Col 2:14)?

“Can we cut any one of these out of the list and proclaim it alone as the means of salvation?  Can we be saved without faith? without God?s grace? without repentance? without baptism? without the Spirit?  These are all involved and necessary; not one of them can be dismissed as a means of obtaining eternal life. 

Neither can one be emphasized to the exclusion of another.  They are all involved in salvation and entry into the Church.  The Catholic Church does not divide these various elements of salvation up, overemphasizing some while ignoring others; rather she holds them all in their fullness.”

{ 8 comments }

Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love Our Spouses in Heaven?

February 14, 2017

Happy St. Valentine’s Day. This is for my mom. My dad died almost six years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will not be married” in heaven. I wrote the following to comfort my Mom… Mom, I know it is important to you since […]

Read the full article →

Riddles & Laughter in the Bible: Relevant Radio Interview with Steve Ray starts 4:30 minutes in

February 1, 2017
Read the full article →

Beatitudes are Sunday Readings: Enjoy Fun, Amazing Homily on Location in Galilee

January 28, 2017

Fr. Scott Courtney LOVES the Beatitudes as you will see. Watch his 10-minute Homily at the Mount of Beatitudes while our chaplain in Israel. Enjoy!

Read the full article →

Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds?

January 8, 2017

With upon us, I thought I would post my article this Christmas season with bits of interesting information and details about Christmas, the Gospels and Epiphany. Join us in Bethlehem for Christmas this year from December 26-January 4 or any of six times in 2015. Visit www.SteveGoes.com. Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds?  A […]

Read the full article →

Did Jesus Contradict the Old Testament’s Prohibition on Drinking Blood?

January 7, 2017

Leonard Alt debates an anti-Catholic named Phil. He writes: I have a choice: I can listen to the Evangelicals who confuse the blood of animals, with the blood of Christ and choose not to eat the Flesh and drink the Blood of Christ, or, I can listen to Jesus who said; “Whoever eats my flesh […]

Read the full article →

The Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church: Article by Steve Ray

January 2, 2017

The Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church, by Steve Ray The word “Eucharist” was used early in the Church to describe the Body and Blood of Christ under the forms of bread and wine. Eucharist comes from the Greek word for “thanks” (eucharistia), describing Christ’s actions: “And when he had given thanks, he broke […]

Read the full article →

Denzinger Timeline of the Controversy over Communion for the Divorced and ‘Remarried’ in Adultery and Pope Francis

December 27, 2016

This is an amazing resource compiled by Andrew Guernsey. It provides all the source material on the subject of Communion for Divorced and civilly “remarried.” It starts with the Old Testament and then the New Testament before moving historically through the Fathers, Popes, Councils and more. A thorough resource for all the source documents upon […]

Read the full article →

Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live about Mary, Joseph, Jesus & Christmas

December 22, 2016

To listen to the show on-line click here. For other listening options like podcasts, click here. These are the questions I answered tonight about Christmas, Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus, Joseph & Mary, the gospel accounts and more. *************************************************** 1. Tell us about the four Gospels and why they tell different stories. 2. How does […]

Read the full article →

Everything on Sale on Steve Ray’s Web Store! Enjoy!

December 18, 2016

Save 20% On Your Entire Order! We are happy to announce a 20% site-wide sale on all products on our web store. For a limited time, spend $20 and get 20% off your entire order. This offer is valid for through Dec. 31, 2016. Start Shopping

Read the full article →

“You are Peter” in Jesus’ language of Aramaic

December 1, 2016

In Caesarea Philippi, the site where Jesus renamed Simon as “Peter” or Kepha (Matt 16:13-20), it is interesting to hear what Jesus REALLY said. I thought you would find this interesting. So, what did it sound like at Caesarea Philippi when Jesus renamed Simon and made him the rock of the Church: “And I tell […]

Read the full article →

Vine, Branches & Fire: Where Will You End up?

November 23, 2016

I was out cutting vines out of the trees and thought of the words of Jesus.

Read the full article →

Mass with 2 Protestants and 1 Crucifix

November 10, 2016

A while ago we went to Mass with two Protestants.  As we walked in the door — there it was, as big as life — a CRUCIFIX with the Body of Our Lord hanging over the altar. I knew what the Protestants were thinking — I used to think the same — “CATHOLICS ARE WRONG, JESUS IS […]

Read the full article →

Laughter in the Bible: A Quiz

November 9, 2016

1. Which couple laughed at the incredibility of God’s promise to them? 2. Which son brought laughter to his mother? 3. Which king was laughed at when he invited people from all over Israel to celebrate the Passover? 4. Who advised that laughter should change to mourning? 5. Who referred to himself as laughingstock? 6 […]

Read the full article →