How does one obtain the true word of God?


#1

Hello,

I am new to this forum.

I am curious as to how many of the readers of this forum believe truth is obtained.

Thanks,
SKE


#2

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. During his ministry he preached for 3 yrs, suffered died, and buried, and was raise from the dead on the 3rd day. He ascened into Heaven and sits at the Right Hand of God, the Father.

He established a Church and built it Upon Peter. Jesus give authority to his apostles, and the Apostles pass their authority to their successors. This Church exist today as the Catholic Church.

1 Tim 3:16 states, the Pillar and Bulwark of Truth is the Church, and this Church is Catholic or unversal.

The Pope is the successor of Peter, and the Bishops are the successor of the Apostles.

This has been proven through history of Christian Church…


#3

Welcome to the forum. I was raised with Christian morals, taught Scripture, the Catechism. As an adult I read Scripture daily, as well as the Catechism. I enjoy listening to different opinions, seeking the truth. It’s gotten to the point when I hear something that doesn’t sound right I research, all sides. I’ve always found the Catholic Church to have the true message. When something sounds wrong, it generally is, although I have been confused before.


#4

Hi SKE,

Welcome among us.

God is Truth. And if he reveals Himself to us, then we have an opportunity to know Truth. As it turns out, He has sent His Son to us, who is the way, the life, and the truth. He is God’s Word, and when we are united to Him through faith and baptism, we have the truth in us.

Verbum


#5

On the tongue.


#6

You should be more specific and clear someone could misinterrupt your statement.


#7

My mistake, I’m feeling ornery.

Reason (and a wheelbarrow of grace) lead me into the Catholic church. Now I have no reason to go anywhere else for the word of God, because no one else has the Word of God.


#8

Thanks for all of your replies. Not sure what the “tongue” comment meant… :slight_smile:

Most of the replies seem to rely on history as an authoritative answer. Certainly, one can prove that Christ lived, that Peter and the apostles lived and that those during Christ’s time wrote the Bible. This does not, however, prove that their teachings were of God – or that God exists for that matter.

Under this logic many religions could be found to be true if historical evidence is the basis.

Thoughts?


#9

Welcome to Catholic Forums SKE.

The TRUTH was given by Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate, to His Apostles and His Church. This Truth was passed down through the next several generations by The Church before it began to be written down. This TRUTH has continued to be passed down through Sacred Tradition until the Church declared the Canon of the New Testament.

The Holy Scripture of the New Testament was declared by and as a result of the Decree of Pope St. Damasus 1 at the Council of Rome in 382 A.D.

The Decree of Pope St. Damasus I, Council of Rome. 382 A.D…

ST. DAMASUS 1, POPE, THE DECREE OF DAMASUS:

***It is likewise decreed: Now, indeed, we must treat of the divine Scriptures: what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she must shun. ***
***The list of the Scriptures of the New and Eternal Testament, which the holy and Catholic Church receives: of the Gospels, one book according to Matthew, one book according to Mark, one book according to Luke, one book according to John. The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, fourteen in number: one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Ephesians, two to the Thessalonians, one to the Galatians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to Timothy, one to Titus one to Philemon, one to the Hebrews. Likewise, one book of the Apocalypse of John. And the Acts of the Apostles, one book. Likewise, the canonical Epistles, seven in number: of the Apostle Peter, two Epistles; of the Apostle James, one Epistle; of the Apostle John, one Epistle; of the other John, a Presbyter, two Epistles; of the Apostle Jude the Zealot, one Epistle. Thus concludes the canon of the New Testament. ***
Likewise it is decreed: After the announcement of all of these prophetic and evangelic or as well as apostolic writings which we have listed above as Scriptures, on which, by the grace of God, the Catholic Church is founded, we have considered that it ought to be announced that although all the Catholic Churches spread abroad through the world comprise but one bridal chamber of Christ, nevertheless, the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other Churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall have bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall have loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

The Council of Hippo in 393 reaffirmed the canon put forth by Pope Damasus I…

AD 393: Council of Hippo. “It has been decided that besides the canonical Scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of divine Scripture.” (canon 36 A.D. 393).

The Third Council of Carthage reaffirmed anew, the Canon put forth by Pope Damasus I…

AD 397: Council of Carthage III. "It has been decided that nothing except the canonical Scriptures should be read in the Church under the name of the divine Scriptures. But the canonical " (canon 47 A.D. 397).

The Church, and those who broke away from her in the 16th century, continue to use the Catholic Canon of the Scriptures of the New Testament to this very day.


#10

The Eucharist. If you believe in “A” God, it’s easy to find the true one. Read the Old Testament books forterlling of Jesus, written hundreds of years prior to His life.


#11

A very compelling argument for Christ indeed!

However, is this the only way to know. Again, each reply relies on historical evidence. What if I didn’t believe in God? Is there not a way to communicate with Him through prayer to obtain an answer?


#12

Perhaps these writings from the ECF might help as a historical source.

Ignatius of Antioch

“Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church at Ephesus in Asia . . . predestined from eternity for a glory that is lasting and unchanging, united and chosen through true suffering by the will of the Father in Jesus Christ our God” (Letter to the Ephesians 1 [A.D. 110]).

“For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God’s plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit” (ibid., 18:2).

“[T]o the Church beloved and enlightened after the love of Jesus Christ, our God, by the will of him that has willed everything which is” (Letter to the Romans 1 [A.D. 110]).

Aristides

“[Christians] are they who, above every people of the earth, have found the truth, for they acknowledge God, the Creator and maker of all things, in the only-begotten Son and in the Holy Spirit” (Apology 16 [A.D. 140]).

Tatian the Syrian

“We are not playing the fool, you Greeks, nor do we talk nonsense, when we report that God was born in the form of a man” (Address to the Greeks 21 [A.D. 170]).

Melito of Sardis

“It is no way necessary in dealing with persons of intelligence to adduce the actions of Christ after his baptism as proof that his soul and his body, his human nature, were like ours, real and not phantasmal. The activities of Christ after his baptism, and especially his miracles, gave indication and assurance to the world of the deity hidden in his flesh. Being God and likewise perfect man, he gave positive indications of his two natures: of his deity, by the miracles during the three years following after his baptism, of his humanity, in the thirty years which came before his baptism, during which, by reason of his condition according to the flesh, he concealed the signs of his deity, although he was the true God existing before the ages” (Fragment in Anastasius of Sinai’s The Guide 13 [A.D. 177]).

Irenaeus

"For the Church, although dispersed throughout the whole world even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and from their disciples the faith in one God, Father Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them; and in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became flesh for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who announced through the prophets the dispensations and the comings, and the birth from a Virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the bodily ascension into heaven of the beloved Christ Jesus our Lord, and his coming from heaven in the glory of the Father to reestablish all things; and the raising up again of all flesh of all humanity, in order that to Jesus Christ our Lord and God and Savior and King, in accord with the approval of the invisible Father, every knee shall bend of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth . . . " (Against Heresies 1:10:1 [A.D. 189]).

“Nevertheless, what cannot be said of anyone else who ever lived, that he is himself in his own right God and Lord . . . may be seen by all who have attained to even a small portion of the truth” (ibid., 3:19:1).

Clement of Alexandria

“The Word, then, the Christ, is the cause both of our ancient beginning—for he was in God—and of our well-being. And now this same Word has appeared as man. He alone is both God and man, and the source of all our good things” (Exhortation to the Greeks 1:7:1 [A.D. 190]).

“Despised as to appearance but in reality adored, [Jesus is] the expiator, the Savior, the soother, the divine Word, he that is quite evidently true God, he that is put on a level with the Lord of the universe because he was his Son” (ibid., 10:110:1).


#13

However, is this the only way to know. Again, each reply relies on historical evidence. What if I didn’t believe in God? Is there not a way to communicate with Him through prayer to obtain an answer?

Welcome to the forums, SKE!

I think we need to differentiate here. The Catholic Church teaches on the one hand that the existence of God can be deduced by reason from the world we see around us (=Creation), as it is the first revelation of God.

On the other hand, however, she also teaches that faith is a gift from God. It is one thing to think Christianity and the account the Catholic Church gives of it is intellectually sound and quite another to be actually able to believe in God. One can be reached by sound reasoning, study and observation (also of history - we believe in a God Who has entered history, after all!). The other comes directly from God - provided of course that the person is open and willing to accept this gift.


#14

SKU, you ask:

Again, each reply relies on historical evidence. What if I didn’t believe in God? Is there not a way to communicate with Him through prayer to obtain an answer?

Yes, there is a way. We do communicate with God through prayer, and God communicates with us. Other religions are not entirely invalid; but they originate in man, as man’s attempt to explain the world, human life, and the intuitions and impulses toward the divine. Christianity is unique in that it is not created by man, as man’s attempt to understand God, but revealed by God, so that man may know God.

Unlike other religions, that are made by men who seek to understand life but do not know God, our God is understood, and known, to be a loving, personal God who desires to have a relationship with us, and who reaches down to us in Christ to make himself accessible to us.

Our interior impulses to seek God come from God himself, who created us for himself and gave us those impulses so that we would seek him. Even before the impulse, however, God is calling to us. He calls us first, and we respond.

Our response to God is called faith, and it is in faith that we turn to God in prayer, and communicate with him, and he with us. In faith we take the hand of Christ, who lifts us up to God in prayer.

The love of God created us; the love of God calls out to us; and when we respond to God in Christ, he in his love draws us to Himself. That is the life of faith and prayer.


#15

RCCONVERT wrote:

“…our God is understood, and known, to be a loving, personal God who desires to have a relationship with us, and who reaches down to us in Christ to make himself accessible to us.”

I too believe that God is a loving God and wants to communicate to us and have a relationship with us. If there is a God then I believe he wants us to follow him and he wants us to know the truth. To me, the best source of light and truth is God himself. The first response for me is to inquire of God what is truth or not and which churches, if any, are true or not. If He truely lives and loves me would he not answer a sincere inquiry?


#16

This is pretty much what happened to me. I received several answers to my sincere inquiries. The first answer came in my twenties while I was at prayer and I had a mystical experience that left me with no doubt of God existence and of His love for me. The second answer came some months later while I was reading Psalm 22 and God gave me the gift of faith in Jesus Christ. The third answer came still more months later while I was reading Justin Martyr’s First Apology, chapters 61, 65-67, and God gave me the gift of faith that the Catholic Church is the Church established by Jesus Christ.


#17

SKU, you said, If He truly lives and loves me would he not answer a sincere inquiry?

Yes, He would, and does, and is. The mere fact that you are here asking these questions means that He is speaking to you, and you are hearing Him and responding. Our God is real, SKU, and He has changed our lives - radically, wonderfully, profoundly.

Our faith is not just a series of ideas, propositions or doctrines (though those are integral to it). Truly our faith is a powerfully lived, experiential relationship with God who called us into being for the purpose of loving us and sharing his life with us, who longs that we would love Him and give our lives to Him in return.

Your existence is no accident, SKU. You were called into being by a God who loves you and desires you to exist, who knows you and who wants you to know Him, in Christ, who is the face of God our Father revealed to us in love.


#18

SKU, you also said, The first response for me is to inquire of God what is truth or not and which churches, if any, are true or not.

Here is truth: God created the world, the heavens, the earth, called existence into being from His eternal being because He is so great, limitless, such an overflowering, all-powerful wellspring of love that He poured Himself out into creation as, like an artist, an expression of His glorious self. The purpose of creation is to show forth and tell the invisible glory of God. Creation itself is the original Church, the original Temple, created and destined by God for the love and worship of God.

He created man in His own image and likeness, so there would be someone there to see it and share it with Him, and give glory to God, love and worship Him in return. In the beginning, He even walked in the garden, with Adam and Eve.

Adam and Eve were created sinless and innocent, and in God’s loving generosity He also gave them free will to freely know, love, and worship God. But they were inexperienced, and when tempted by an evil being also created by God, who previously had used its freewill to turn away from God, they also turned away from knowledge of God to knowledge of worldly good and evil, apart from God.

But God already had known that would happen, from all eternity, and He had a plan. All subsequent history from that time to the coming of Christ was about how God worked in history, through the slow evolving in understanding of the human race and in particular the preparation of the people of Israel, until the time was right for God Himself to enter history in bodily form, so He could reach out to his people, touch them, teach them, heal them, show them Himself, whom they could not see before, and restore them to life with Him.

His coming in Christ, his death and resurrection, was the undoing of sin and the beginning of the restoration of His people, and of His Church – only not now in its original, natural form, but in truly supernatural, glorified form, for now His people and His Church are destined also to be resurrected, to be glorified, so as to be filled with His life forever, and live with Him forever.

Christ while on earth founded one Church, not many. Many other churches have spun off that one Church. But that one Church that He founded in person and destined from all eternity remains, and always will remain, in the Catholic Church. He said of it that it would grow from a tiny seed into a mighty tree, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and it has. It is truly a worldwide communion, a single Body under a single Head.

And He lives in it, in its midst, and in us. We encounter Him, touch Him and receive Him into ourselves every time we go to mass. For God in Christ is still descending to earth for us, and always will. He made us for Himself, desires us for Himself, poured Himself out for us on the cross, and continues to pour Himself out in the mass, changing bread and wine into His own Body and Blood.

God is not only our life. He Himself has become our food, has given us Himself and continues to give Himself to us, that we may live on Him who is our life, who is the source of life itself, who has become our Life.


#19

That is a pretty weak answer since history cannot “prove” anything - from the virgin birth to the resurrection, it is all *purely and totally *a matter of faith.

Certainly, one can prove that Christ lived, that Peter and the apostles lived and that those during Christ’s time wrote the Bible.

That is not true at all. Historical analysis can make a *very *strong case that those things are accurate but again, faith is required.

This does not, however, prove that their teachings were of God – or that God exists for that matter.

That is correct - faith is the only thing which supports such beliefs.

Under this logic many religions could be found to be true if historical evidence is the basis.

Not really - history deals with strict rules of study and analysis based on evidence. By its very nature, the supernatural realm, which is the focus of religion, is outside of human experience and thus beyond the focus of history. It is impossible to use history to prove such things as the resurrection, the virgin birth, the miracles, or the concept that Christ died for our sins. All those things are outside of history and human experience and depend totally on faith.


#20

No one else? I wouldn’t go that far.


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