There are really two ultimate questions in life.
1st – “Do you have a personal relationship with God?” And once you answer that,
2nd – “Is there another way to God?”
We are in the Gospel by Mark 3.31-35.
Jesus stops and looks around at those seated at His feet one day as He taught.
And in that moment, and in the words captured by the Holy Spirit in God’s Word – is the setting for the two ultimate questions. Each of us needs to answer these questions. Only when these two questions are answered, can we make sense of the world we live in today.
Last week we had the 1st question answered by Jesus, “Do you have a personal relationship with God?”
This week the second vital question, “Is there another way to God?”
Today there are supposed to be well over a billion Christians on the planet. The majority of that billion are part of a church that calls itself the Holy Roman Catholic Church. It says that it is built upon the foundation of Christ and His apostles. The key to understanding where a church stands in relationship to the Gospel is to examine the role of Jesus Christ in that church’s doctrine. That is what we will do this morning. We will honestly examine one of the best-known doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church – the Role of Mary. And as we do so from scripture, you decide whether or not the Lord is honored and Hid Word obeyed by that church.
Please open again with me to Mark 3.31-35. As we turn there, let me ask you —
o Who is presented as perhaps the most honored woman in the Bible? Mary. Say it with me – MARY
o Who was chosen out of all the women in the whole world to raise God’s Son? MARY.
o Who is the greatest living, breathing example in God’s Word of the Proverbs 31 woman in ordinary everyday life? MARY.
o Without exception, who is probably the most beloved and best-known woman in the world, from the Bible? MARY.
But even as we all say that, the veneration of Mary is not in God’s Word. The elevation of Mary to a co-mediator role is not in God’s Word. The example we see around the world of what may be called “Mary worship” is not in God’s Word.
And all of the false teaching about Mary that goes on starts with the three primary teachings about Mary – never found in the Scriptures.
• The Immaculate conception (“in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.”);
• The Perpetual Virginity (stated in the 5th Ecumenical Council at Constantinople in AD 553 “holy and glorious Mary, mother of God and ever-virgin…”);
• The Bodily Assumption. (“We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.” With these words, Pope Pius XII formally declared, in 1950, the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven to be a dogma of the Catholic Church.”)
None of these three dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church are found in God’s Word.
JESUS NEVER TAUGHT ANY FORM OF VENERATION OR ELEVATION OF MARY.
Let’s be perfectly clear: It is a form of idolatry to bestow on Mary honor, titles or attributes that in effect give her a coequal status in the redemptive work of her Son or elevate her as a special object of veneration. Nonetheless, Christ loved and honored His mother as a mother. He fulfilled the fifth commandment as perfectly as He fulfilled them all. And part of the responsibility of honoring one’s parents is the duty to see that they are cared for in their old age. Christ did not neglect that duty.