Keep the context of this epistle in mind as you study "Walking by the Spirit" - This epistle to the Galatians is unlike most of Paul's other epistles because it lacks a commendation section and instead has a severe admonitory tone. Many of the readers had obviously succumbed to the teaching of the Judaizers who taught that one must rigorously follow the Old Testament law in addition to Christ in order to be pleasing to God. These false teachers added that one must add circumcision and therefore in essence were teaching that one needed to add law to the grace of Christ which was not the true Gospel.
Sep 16th, By Bryan Cross Category: Concerning the Church, the Westminster Confession of Faith reads: The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel not confined to one nation, as before under the lawconsists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: It has only denominations, congregations, believers and their children.
This was the error of assuming that unity of type is sufficient for unity of composition. In actuality, things of the same type do not by that very fact compose a unified whole.
For example, all the crosses that presently exist all have something in common; they are each the same type of thing, i. But they do not form a unified whole composed of each individual cross around the world.
This crucifixfor example, in the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, is not a part of a unified whole consisting of all the crucifixes in the world. All crucifixes are things of the same specific type, but that does not in itself make them parts that compose a unified whole spread out around the world.
Similarly, all the apples in the world have something in common — each one is an apple. They each have the same nature or type. But they do not compose a unified whole of which each apple is a part. And other examples can be multiplied ad infinitum.
But if there is an actual whole, then in order to remove the whole and leave the parts, we would need to change the world. For example, in order to remove me and leave all my parts, you would have to change the world, by reconfiguring my parts such that I was dead. But in the case of the alleged entity composed of all the apples in the world, we can take away this whole without needing to change anything about the location, arrangement or motion of any apple in the world.
And this shows that in actuality there is no such entity, that is, there is no whole composed of all the apples in the world. Instead, we would know that the term refers to what is in actuality merely a plurality of things, each sharing unity of type.
When we apply this test to the Catholic Church, by contrast, we find that in order to remove the whole and leave the parts, we have to change the world.
Reformed Protestantism recognizes that local churches, in order to be visible, must be hierarchical. No one would say that the fact of there being believers in a city ipso facto constitutes a local visible church. What are the implications of Protestantism having no visible catholic Church?
If Protestantism has no visible catholic Catholic, then given Protestantism, the catholic Church is only invisible. This entails that the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church is the set of all the elect.
This is the route of those Protestants who deny that Christ founded a visible Church. But this position runs contrary to Scripture, because we know from Scripture that there will be tares within the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, until the angels remove them at the end.
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