A Definitive Victory Like someone who knows the outcome of a big game before he watches the tape, Christians don’t have to worry about the future. Jesus Christ has triumphed!
God is both … Transcendent and Immanent “ The teaching that God, by nature, is beyond this world and beyond the comprehension of human beings.” “ A trait of God which refers to his intimate union with and total presence to his creation…”
The Existence of God Human beings search for meaning in their lives. We ask questions and look to different things to satisfy our search.
Only when we find God will we find true happiness. “ You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” St. Augustine
Where can we find God? God can be found in his creation. He can be found in the world and in the human person.
Human beings are the peak of God’s creation on earth. We have been created in God’s image. We have a spiritual nature as well as a physical, which includes the ability to reason, an appreciation for truth and beauty, and a sense of moral goodness. This spiritual nature—our soul—shares in God’s own eternal nature.
Not everyone believes in God. Both atheists and agnostics fail to recognize God’s existence. Agnostics refuse to take a stand on whether God exists or not. Atheists believe that there is no God.
Divine Revelation Our human reason is capable of coming to the conclusion that God exists, and even that God is infinite. But the human mind is limited, and the true nature of God is beyond human understanding. We need the gift of God’s self-communication. This is called divine revelation .
By word and deed, God makes himself known to us. Divine Revelation is the story of God’s saving acts in human history. Salvation history is the story of God’s saving love for his people. From the time of our creation, God has shown us his goodness and love for us.
Through a series of covenants , God committed himself to human beings forever. A covenant is a solemn agreement or contract between God and his people. Noah Abraham Moses
After the great flood, God established a covenant with Noah, and promised never again to destroy the earth with a flood To Abraham, God promised a multitude of descendents. He would be their God, and they would be his chosen people. Through Moses, God gave his people the Ten Commandments—the Law—and a fuller sense of what they must do to abide by his covenant with them.
God revealed to Moses that his name was The Hebrew word, YHWH is translated as “I Am Who Am,” and led to Israel’s understanding that this is the one, living and true God. Y H W H
In many ways, God revealed himself to Israel as abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. God made Israel a holy nation, he freed them from slavery in Egypt and Babylon, gave them the Promised Land, and guided them with prophets and the Law.
Scripture, Tradition, and the Deposit of Faith God’s revelation reached its climax in the coming of Jesus Christ.
Jesus commanded his apostles to spread the Good News—to go out and make disciples of all nations.
Jesus’ followers obeyed his command. Strengthened by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they spread the Good News, first orally and then in writing. The apostles also appointed successors, called bishops, who would see to it that the faith would continue to be handed on. Through apostolic succession, the popes and bishops of the Church continue to spread the Good News today.
Through both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the Church hands on the faith given to the apostles by Jesus Christ. Sacred Scripture is the inspired Word of God recorded in the Bible. The Canon of the Bible refers to the official list of books recognized as God’s Word by the Church. The Bible is comprised of the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament has 46 books, including the Pentateuch, historical books, wisdom literature, and the prophetic books. The New Testament has 27 books, including the four Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, 21 Epistles or letters, and the Book of Revelation.
The four Gospels give us our information about the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus. The Gospels were formed in three main stages: 1. The life and teaching of Jesus 2. Oral Tradition 3. The written Gospels
Through both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition , the Church hands on the faith given to the apostles by Jesus Christ. Sacred Tradition refers to the living transmission of the Catholic faith through the teaching, life, and worship of the Church.
The official teaching authority of the Church is called the Magisterium . As successors of the apostles, the pope and bishops of the Church hand on the truth of the Catholic faith to us. The Magisterium preserves the body of saving truths and core beliefs of Catholicism, which is called the Deposit of Faith . A dogma is a truth central to this teaching that Catholics are obliged to believe.
Faith: Our Response to Revelation By faith , we give our assent to God as the revealer. We submit our intellect and our will to God.
Like hope and charity (love), faith is one of the theological virtues. A virtue is an habitual disposition to do good. They make it possible for us to live a morally good life. The theological virtues are infused into our souls as God’s gift to us. Conferred by our baptism, faith enables us to believe in God and to respond positively to what he gives us as a recipe for happiness.
Religion is our set of beliefs, practices, and values that binds us in a relationship with God and other believers. Faith is personal (“I believe”), but it is also communal—something we share with a community of believers, as part of the Church.
Two important models of faith for us are Abraham from the Old Testament and Mary from the New. They both set an example for us about saying “yes” to God and doing his will in our lives.
The Catholic Church and Faith Jesus ushered in the Kingdom of God. By his death, Resurrection, and Ascension, he accomplished the salvation of the world. While here on earth, Jesus established the Church to continue his mission of bringing all people to eternal salvation.
“ You are Peter; and on this rock I will build my Church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it. I give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth, will be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:18-19) In Matthew chapter 16, we read how Jesus appointed Peter to be the first leader of his Church on earth—the first pope.
St. Paul tells us that the Church is the Body of Christ . As the Body of Christ , each member of the Church uses his or her unique gifts to bring Christ into the world.
The Marks of the Church: ONE HOLY CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC
One Unity is the essence of the Church. We are unified by our one Profession of Faith, and our common worship in the Sacraments.
Holy By Baptism, we are joined to Christ, and we receive his Holy Spirit.
Catholic “ Catholic” means “universal.” The Church is open to all people, and embraces all that is true. Christ is present in the Church, so it contains the fullness of the means of salvation.
Apostolic The Church has its roots in the apostles – the men to whom Jesus entrusted the spread of the Gospel. Their authority has been directly passed down for generations in the Church. This is called Apostolic Succession.
Several of these proofs are based on a basic principle that we all understand: That everything has a beginning – every effect has a cause. For anything to exist, it all must have been created by someone or something that, is, itself its own cause for existence—God.
We all have experiences that lead us to conclude the existence of God if we pay attention. We have desires and aspirations that can not be explained without taking our divine creator into account. Spiritual qualities like love and justice, as well as our own freedom and intelligence, must have an origin beyond material reality. Experience
Not only do we have the testimony of trusted people whom we love and admire that leads us to believe in God, but we must also consider the witness of the holy martyrs. These are heroic people who lived and died for their belief in God, when they had nothing to gain by claiming a false belief. Witness