Question: I would like to know, what is a Bible Christian? My Great, Great, Great Grandparents were Bible Christians and I have no idea what you do. Thank you for your time.
Answer: Because of the name of this web site you may believe that we are the same as your Great, Great, Great Grandparents who were called Bible Christians, and your assumption is probably true. Years ago (and possibly in some places now) Roman Catholics called those who are Evangelical protestant believers, Bible Christians. It really is not that bad of a name to be called, if you think about it. I am not ashamed to be called that name, nor should anyone else be. Although we didn’t have it in mind when we chose the name of our website (we chose our name because it was one of the few domain names available that accurately described the content of our site), the connection with this ideal of the protestant movement fits well.
However, it seems that some Roman Catholics, although not all of them, think that Bible believing Christians put too much stock in the Bible. They even point out that a slogan of the protestant movement or reformation was “Sola Scriptura,” which means “only the Bible” or “the Bible sufficiently” (see 2 Timothy 3:16). This saying means that the final authority on earth for Christians is the teachings of the Bible. This is in contrast to the traditions of the Church and has been the subject of debate for sometime. That being said, I should clarify some things that are misunderstood by some members of the Roman Catholic Church about “Bible Believing” Christians.
It is not that we see no need for certain traditions of the Church, nor for the need of leadership. Every body of believers holds to certain traditions that may or may not be found in the Bible. Every body of believers believes in certain forms of government or leadership in the Church. What I am trying to point out is that there are areas of agreement in the body of Christ, whether a person is a born again Roman Catholic or a born again Evangelical. So I would like to emphasize what we have in common from Scripture. I encourage you to look at our article on the Holy Catholic Church and the study on Ephesians if you haven’t yet, but to summarize what we agree upon:
I would like to give to you: “The Apostles’ Creed,” which is also found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and it goes like this: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into [Hades]. The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy *Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen. *The word “Catholic” refers not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the Universal Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is what the word “Catholic” means. (In Scripture it is just simply called “the Church.”)
Now let us break the Apostles’ Creed down and look at the verses of Scripture that the Apostles’ Creed was taken from. “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth,” Saint Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said: “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:1-6)
In Genesis it says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:11)
“and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:” St. Paul said: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the Church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight-if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I Paul, became a minister.” (Colossians 1:13-23)
“Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,” St. Matthew said: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.'” (Matthew 1:18-23)
“suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into [Hades]. The third day He arose again from the dead.” St. Paul said: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
When it says “Hades” (some versions of the Apostles’ Creed have “hell”) it is referring to where Jesus descended into, a place where the dead went to before Christ died on the cross, so the better word is “Hades,” as the NKJV has. There were two compartments in this place the Scriptures teach, you can find this in Luke 16:19-31. We know Jesus went into the Paradise side of Hades (for a more detailed study on this go to our article Is There a Real Hell?) As He was dying on the cross Jesus said to the repentant thief, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43b)
“He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
St. Peter says, “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear: For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.'” (Acts 2:32-35)
St. Paul says: “Therefore He says: ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men. (Now this, ‘He ascended”-what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) (Ephesians 4:8-10)
“.that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
“far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:17-23)
“whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.” St. John says: “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15) “I believe in the Holy Spirit, St. Paul says: “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raise Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:9-11)
Jesus says through St. Matthew: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
“The Holy Catholic Church,” St. Paul taught: “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you.
Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas,’ or ‘I am of Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:10-13) “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13) [Let me encourage you to read our article The Holy Catholic Church.]
“The communion of saints,” Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. ‘I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?’
Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven-not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:47-58)
St. Paul said: “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
“the forgiveness of sins,” St. Paul taught: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
St. Peter said: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)
St. Paul also said: “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach; that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.'” (Romans 10:8-11)
“The resurrection of the body,” St. Paul said: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Jesus said: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for your, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 1-6)
“and life everlasting” St. John said: “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:10-13)
St. Peter said: “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:17-18)
This has only been a summary of what we believe. If you haven’t done so yet, I pray that you will repent of your sins and receive Christ as your personal Savior.
Thank you for the question,
Gary T. Panell
For more information email me at [email protected]