Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mary Is A Blessed Woman -- That Is ALL!!

Before we proceed; my request to my catholic friends is:
You have to start at a point where you believe that the Bible is the infallible "Word Of God".
You might wanna check
Lk 1:28 The angel Gabriel called Mary a blessed woman, a woman highly favored by God. Isaiah had prophesied by the Holy Spirit that a Virgin would be with Child and the Child would be named Immanuel, which means God is with us. Isaiah 7:14 The virgin was Mary and the child was Jesus, the Messiah that was to come to redeem the human race.
This prophecy was fulfilled in Mathew 1 where Mary was found with a Child in her womb conceived of the Holy Spirit. Mary and Joseph named the child Jesus (Joshua, Yeshua) who was to save his people from their sins. Jesus was Immanuel, that Jesus literally was "God With Us" is evident from the fact that led a perfectly holy life on earth was lead by the Holy Spirit in everything he did or desired, did mighty miracles among the Jews and gentiles and lived a life approved by God the Father to amazing perfection and humble submission. He fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies and he still is fulfilling prophecies today. Praise God.

"Jesus" is a derivative from the Hebrew "Joshua" and the Greek "Iesous". Joshua is Hebrew for deliverer or saviour. The gospel of Mathew says that Jesus would save his people from their sins. Mt 1:21. Lets dwell on that a little. Was Jesus supposed to save his people from their sins? Which means anybody whom Jesus saves (or rather is saving) would worship him because he is God. At least I do. Jesus deserves our worship because he is God. I repeat, "HE ALONE IS GOD." Did Mary need a saviour? We'll see.

Mat 2:11, 8:2, 9:18, 14:33, 18:26, 20:20, 28:9, 28:17, Mark 5:6, Luke 24:52, John 9:38, Heb 1:6 are instances where Jesus receives worship not only from men but other created beings like angels. The Son Of God is worthy of glory, honour and praise. He is the saviour; he is the only mediator between men and God. 1 Tim 2:5. So the bible says that Jesus is God and he alone is the mediator between God and men. This is mentioned without a shadow of a doubt.

Where does Mary fit in the scheme of things?

Lets address this question. What did the wise men do when they followed the star to meet Jesus. They did only what they set out to do. That is to worship the "Infant" Jesus and to offer to him their gifts. Mt 2:11. They didn't on their way back so much even think of worshipping Mary and we will do well to worship the Lord alone.

For the benefit of my catholic friends, Mary was just a vessel chosen by God, desperately in need of a Saviour like anyone of us. In her own words, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." Luke 1:38. That's all she is, the handmaid of the Lord. She is a blessed woman no doubt. But she is definitely not a Goddess. Such a practice only degrades Christianity to the level of most cultic heathen religions. In Luke 11 when Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray and was chasing out a dumb demon, we see in verse 27 that a woman lifted her voice and blessed Mary saying that she is blessed because she nursed Jesus. Absolutely right. Mary was blessed indeed; but what does Jesus say. Lk 11:28 Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Jesus was basically saying that if we do the will of God we are at least as good as or as much blessed as Mary, if not more.
Luke in his gospel records that Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest of all those born of men. Lk 7:28 John (not Mary) was the greatest of all men in the old covenant times. If Mary is to receive worship then we might as well worship John also. (That's just a human argument. We will do well by not worshipping anyone or anything else but worship the Lord alone.) My dear brothers and sisters, men and women are not supposed to receive worship. Receiving worship is only due to God not men, however great they might be. And check out what Jesus goes on to say. The least in the kingdom of God is greater than John the baptist. So if I am the least in the kingdom of God (The New Covenant) then I would be greater than John the baptist or more so greater than Mary; Praise God. That is amazing news. But no matter how great I become, that doesn't entitle me to receive worship and I am certain you agree that God, and he alone is worthy of our praise and worship. We will do well to worship the lord alone and not tempt him by worshipping his rivals.

Exo 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2 I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me.
Mary was a handmaid of the Lord to bring Jesus in flesh. There is no concept called "Mother Of God" in the bible. Mary also needed a saviour like any one of us. After Jesus was raised from the dead, he appeared to his disciples and then was resurrected. Acts 1:14 The disciples along with Mary and some other women then joined together to pray.
Pray? Mary prayed? Pray to whom?
The Lord Jesus of course.
Pray for whom?
The catholic community? Definitely not.
Then whom? Well! May be for herself, may be for the church of Jesus Christ, may be for Israel, may be for the emperor .... 1 Tim 2:1 - 2 (Like every believer is supposed to but definitely not in as a mediator) For the bible says that there is only one mediator between God and men, and that is Jesus. 1 Tim 2:5. We don't need anyone else to mediate on our behalf with God. Jesus does that for us. And we would do well to believe the word of God rather than believe a community, be it the largest religious community in the world.
Brothers and Sisters, the Bible is the infallible word of God. It is true to the letter and is inspired by his Holy Spirit. 2 Tim 3:16. The Bible says that our God is a jealous God. Like a husband who will bear no rivals, our God desires our whole being. Our God will not bear any other rivals. Be it Mary, an idol, some person, money or anything or anyone who will take his place in our lives. He is a loving God. Slow to anger and abounding in mercy. He loves us so much that he gave his only begotten Son so that you and I could be saved. Jesus bore our punishment so that by believing him and by surrendering to his Lordship we could have life eternal and fellowship with God. Our God is an awesome God. Lets humble ourselves and repent of the sin of idolatry. There is only one God. There is no other God; or Goddess. Jesus is coming soon and we wont have an opportunity to repent then. This is the time. Today is the day. Lets repent and he will have mercy on us.
My prayer for my brothers and sisters is that they would filled with the grace of God, that the Holy Spirit would convict them and change their hearts. That they would repent and receive the forgiveness of God, and lead a life that is pleasing to him. My beloved brothers and sisters; stay away from idols; be it Mary's. Jesus alone is mighty to save.
Come Lord Jesus! Amen!!!