AN ANALYSIS OF ROMANS 14:17
- Dear All,
There was a posting in SOCM Forum Digest No: 3067; Message No.3 on Sept.8, 2009 with the title "Kingdom of God/Heaven". Let us have an analysis of the first Bible Quotation in it.
ROMANS 14:17 - "FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT A MATTER OF EATING AND DRINKING BUT RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE AND JOY IN HOLY SPIRIT."
Let us break this into two portions. (A) For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, (B) but Righteousness, Peace and Joy in Holy Spirit.
St. Paul wrote this letter approximately on AD 57 to Roman Christians who were converted from Judaism as well as from Pagan Religions. These Christians had so many disputes among them. The Jew converted Christians wanted to stick on to their previous traditions and customs like circumcision, abstain from eating pig meat and so on, whereas, Gentile converted Christians wanted to stick on to theirs too.
This has induced a feud among them. St. Paul came to know about this rift. So once he decided to go to Rome, after completion of his third
missionary journey, he wrote this letter (Romans) to give a introduction on himself and give an advice to the Roman Christians before his arrival at Rome. But St. Paul reached Rome, only two years after writing this letter (Romans). In this letter -ROMANS, he was addressing the people whom he never met before. According to the Biblical Scholars, this Book is not representing a generic representation of the Christian doctrine. It is meant for a specific time, for a specific purpose and for a specific people. This is the background history.
Now let me write the particular quotation of ROMANS, which is�under discussion (shown in italics) along with the two preceding verses:
14:15 If you hurt your brother because of something you eat, then you are no longer acting for LOVE. Do not let the food that you eat RUIN the person for whom Christ died
14:16 - Do not let what you regard as good get a bad name.
14:17- God's Kingdom is not a matter of EATING and DRINKING, but of the RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE and JOY which the HOLY SPIRIT gives.
Here St. Paul was trying to reconcile both the factions of Roman Christians, so that they can live in peace and harmony. St. Paul was emphasizing the significance of RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE and JOY which are the manifestations of LOVE, since Jesus Christ has sacrificed himself in the Cross of Calvary, because of his LOVE towards mankind.
Now let us refer 1Corinthians 13:1-3.
Here too St. Paul was highlighting the importance of LOVE, which supersedes the six Spiritual Qualities, mentioned below:
(1) Possessing the Language of Angeles (See Gifts from Holy Spirit, Item No: 8)�
(2) Possessing Prophetic Powers (See “Gifts from Holy Spirit”, Item No: 6)
(3) The capacity to understand all mysteries and all knowledge (See Gifts from Holy Spirit, Item No: 2)
(4) Having all the Faith needed to move mountains (See
Gifts from Holy Spirit, Item No: 3)
(5) Having the magnanimity of giving away all one's wealth to poor (See Fruit of Holy Spirit, Item No: 6)
(6) Willingness to surrender even the physical body to be burned for God.
One should understand the class and caliber of St. Paul. He is a GREAT
PHILOSOPHER of all times. His philosophies are of high profile, which ordinary people can't understand in one sitting.
Nonetheless, it is appropriate to mention about Gifts & Fruits of
Holy Spirit as mentioned by St. Paul here:
NINE GIFTS FROM HOLY SPIRIT: 1CORINTHIANS 12: 8-10
(1) The Word of Wisdom
(2) The Word of Knowledge
(4) Powers of Healing
(5) Power to work Miracles
(6) Prophetic Insight
(7) Ability to recognize and distinguish between True Spirits and False Spirits
(8) Ability to speak in strange tongues
(9) Ability to interpret such tongues
NINE FRUITS OF HOLY SPIRIT: GALATIANS 5: 22-23
(4) Patience / Long Suffering
(6) Goodness / Benevolence / Generosity
(8) Gentleness /Meekness / Mildness
(9) Self Control /Temperance
It should be noted that St. Paul is mentioning LOVE as the first item
of the Nine Fruits of Holy Spirit. In a nutshell, St. Paul was trying to convince that for a Christian, LOVE is the Paramount Quality, irrespective of other qualities. It doesn't mean that the other Fruits of Holy Spirit have to be ignored. Rather, a person who has the
Eight Fruits of Holy Spirit (Item No: 2 through Item No: 9) will
automatically possess LOVE. This is a Closed Cycle. The advocates of the New School of Thoughts give propaganda to undermine our HOLY QURBANA and LENTS and FASTINGS. Notwithstanding, we must stick to all the teachings and regulations of our Early Church Fathers. They have set up these teachings and regulations for us; after fully studying the teaching of Jesus, His Apostles and Bible; that are passed over to us from generation to generation through mouth too.
Accordingly, we have to observe all our Lents (Noyambs) and receive Holy Communion. We must have strong faith. We must help the poor. We must be ready to sacrifice even our physical body for the Glory of God.
The advocates of the New School of Thoughts, misinterprets Romans 14:17 for their convenience as below:
1. The concept of Holy Qurbana (Eating the consecrated Bread as the Flesh of Jesus and Drinking the consecrated Wine as the Blood of Jesus) is a myth - is not a mandatory requirement to go Heaven. We can have "Thiru Athazham", just as a Commemoration.
2. The Canonical Lents (Noyumbs) which we observe are not Biblical. Only fasting is biblical.
3. Anoint with Holy Spirit is the only imperative requirement to
go to Heaven.
But if we ask the advocates of the New School of Thoughts to interpret 1Corinthians 13:1-3, I don't know what explanation they will give!
Whether they will say that a person having those Six Spiritual Qualities mentioned earlier will go to hell? I wonder!
Let us see the aforementioned Point No. (1) HOLY QURBANA
There are three Theological Doctrines from Orthodox to Pentecost on this subject as mentioned below:
(a) Transubstantiation: The belief of Orthodox Churches and Catholic
Church that during Holy Qurbana / Holy Communion/Eucharist, the consecrated Bread and Wine transform to the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. (Note: We SOC belief in Transubstantiation.)
(b) Consubstantiation: The belief of Marthoma Church, CSI/Anglican etc. that Body and Blood of Jesus Christ coexist in the Bread and Wine consecrated at Communion with the natural elements of which the Bread and Wine are made.
(c) Commemoration: "Thiru Athazham" - The belief of the Pentecost that the Bread and Wine are neither transformed nor coexisted as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, rather, it is a mere Commemoration of Jesus Christ's Last Supper.
Transubstantiation: - Points to support our faith of Transubstantiation.
Mathew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; and Luke 22: 19-20.
Jesus words are same, in above three quotations this is MY BODY, this is MY BLOOD, Take and Eat it, and Drink it. He did not say this represents my body or this is a symbol of my body; but "This is my Body". He did not say take this bread and it will become my Body to those who receive it with faith or take this bread and the act of
taking it will help you to have spiritual communion with me. The plain meaning of His words is "This bread which I hold in My Hands is my Body by virtue of My Creative Words. Take it and eat it. Same way the Wine that I hold in My hand is My Blood. Drink it". This is
the only way we can comprehend it. Our Lord created the earth, heaven and all its inhabitants with His Creative Word only. Jesus took the Bread and broke it and said - This is my Body, take it and eat it. So we believe it and take it.
In this context, you may refer the teachings of St. Paul in 1 Cor.10:16 and 11:29 also.
We cannot explain how the bread and wine become His Body and Blood. This is analogous our human inability to explain, how the Divine
and human are merged as ONE in the Child in the manger at Bethlehem. We cannot explain the Real Presence of God-made man either at Bethlehem or on Alter. The consecrated bread and wine become the Body and the Blood of Our Lord , when the priest according to the command of Jesus and exercising the powers of Jesus priesthood ( power
of Holy Spirit) has consecrated the bread and wine as did Jesus that which is on the Alter is true Body and Blood of our risen Lord.
Read John. 6:48-58.
Jesus is repeatedly emphasizing it. Note John 6:53-56:-
6:53- Jesus said to them, I am telling you the truth: if
you do not eat the flesh of Son of Man and drink His Blood, you will not have life in yourself.
6:54- Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal
life, and I will raise him to life on the last day.
6:55- For my Flesh is the real food; my Blood is the real
6:56- Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood lives in me,
and I live in him.
Jesus said it so clearly that we cannot reach the Kingdom of God without eating His Flesh and without drinking His Blood.
Now, if we are not able to get the real Flesh and real Blood of Jesus
through our Holy Qurbana, which is the other source from where can we get it? We can't find any other resource mentioned in the Bible regarding this subject. If Jesus has asked us to receive it, He will definitely give us in the same way as He said, BECAUSE HE IS TRUSTWORTHY.
In Syriac, the word "Sauma" is used. The actual meaning of it is "Fasting".
That means the real Lent is Fasting or along with Fasting.
Lent was ordained by God to Adam. Gen.2:17
Along with Lent we should (A) Pray-Ez.8:23; Dan.9:3 (B) Confess- 1Sam.7:6; Neh.9:1-2 (C)Weep and mourn-Joel 2:12 (D) Meek Deut. 9:18
The promise for real Fasting:- Isa.58:8-12; Mathew 6:18
How to fast:- (A) Not for show-Mathew 6:16-18 (B) Must do in
the name of God- Zach. 7:5 (C) With Contrition Ps. 35:13; 69:10
Some fasting occasion in the Bible:-(A) God's judgment time
-Joel1:14; 2:12(B) during the calamity of the Nation -2Samuel1:12(C) during the calamity of the Church �Luke 5:33-35(D) During personal adversity-2 Samuel 12:16(E)When danger is at hand- Esther 4:16; Jonah 3:5-8(F)When ministers of Church are ordained-Acts 13:3; 14:22.
Who all did Fasting the Bible:-(A) Jesus- Mathew4:2 (B) Moses- Exo.34:28 (C) Elija-1 King 19:8 (D) King David-2 Samuel12:16 (E)Nehemiah- Neh. 1:4 (F) Esther- Est.4:16 (G) Daniel- Dan. 9:3 (H) Disciples of John the Baptist- Mathew 9:14 (I) Hanna Luke 2:37 (J) Corneliose- Acts 10:30 (K) Early Christians- Act 13:2 (L) Jesus Disciples- 2 Cor. 6:5 (M) St. Paul- Acts 27:21 (N) Israelites- Judges20:26; Ezra 8:2 Jeremiah 36:9
God will reject the fasting of the hypocrites-Isa.58:3,4,5;
There was Fixed Fasting in Early Church.
Eusebius, St. Augustine, St. Basil and St.Cyril of Alexandria have recorded that the 40 days Lent was there even before the Synod of Nicaea. Apostles used to observance this 40 days Lent. Tertullian has recorded the fasting on Wednesday and Friday.
Our Canonical Lents:
2) The Great lent 40 days The 40 days completes in 48 days because we do not fast on Saturdays and Sundays.
3) Apostles June 26-29
4) Our Lady- Aug10-15
5) Christmas Dec. 15-25
6) Every Wednesdays and Fridays (except the fifty days of Pentecost.)
(3.) HOLY SPIRIT.
We receive Holy Spirit at the time of our Baptism, during the anointing with Holy Mooron. Holy Spirit comes on the Baptized Person to teach him/her, to sanctify him/her, and to strengthen him/her to be Jesus soldier and servant. Henceforth, we should grow in Holy Spirit with fasting, prayer, repentance/confession, study and practice of Word of God (Holy Bible) and receiving Holy Communion. We should pray to God to give us the Fruits of Holy Spirit. Whereas, God will give the Gifts of Holy Spirit to His Chosen People for His
Conclusion: During the peak of our Sacred Ettu Noyambu if a person is posting a mail with the title "Kingdom of God is not a matter of Eating and Drinking but Righteousness, Peace and Joy in Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17)", this posting can not be considered innocent. We can find a veiled attack on our "Holy Qurbana" or/and in our Lent in this posting.
If any of our (SOC) Rev. Fathers are reading this message and find any mistake in it, please correct me.
- Dear Leena Mathew
Thank you for your analysis of Romans14:17.However I don't think there was any intention for the posting to insult /hurt 8 day fasting of feast of St.Mary. There were so many messages/postings especially during this year( Past) Holy week which are not supposed be there for debate/discussion in this forun considering the importance of Holy Passion week.
You wrote about holy Qurbana and do you know that people after partaking/receiving Holy Qurbana the same day attack verbally the Parish priests or same day behave very badly to other fellow humanbeings or attack them verbally.Even in Parsh committee meetings they attack/ abuse each other.
The important thing is that orthodox christians/syrian christians do not accept the catholic theory of transubstantiation of Holy Qurbana.
In syriac orthodox liturgy after the invocation of the Holy Spirit there is second blessing of the bread and vine."MayHoly Spirit abide here,make this the life giving body+the Redeeming Body+The true Body+ of our God Jesus Christ" and Perfect this Chalice into the blood of New Covenent+the redeeming blood+and true blood+and the true blood of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ".The catholic church do not have this special prayer for Invocation of the Holy spirit during their mass/eucharist.
--- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Leena Mathew wrote:
> Dear All,
> There was a posting in SOCM Forum Digest No: 3067; Message No.3 on Sept.8, 2009 with the title "Kingdom of God/Heaven". Let us have an analysis of the first Bible Quotation in it.
> ROMANS 14:17 - "FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT A MATTER OF EATING AND DRINKING BUT RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE AND JOY IN HOLY SPIRIT."
- Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only eternal begotten son of God the Father. We confess and we live, we will die and we will live ater death for ever in His Kingdom in our true faith in the Holy Trinity. But Jeus is the 'son' of carpenter Joseph and the son of Mary the carpenter's 'wife' for those who do not truly believe in our Saviour. As such, for them,the Holiest of the Holy Sacrements, our Holy Qurbono which is truly His Living Body and His Living Blood may be simply bread and wine And we are not concered about the belief of others who are not true believers. But we are concerned about our faith by which we see only the Body and Blood of our Saviour in the Holy Qurbono
With prayers and greetings
V T John ID 3085
- Dear V. T. John
Theological Intertpretation of Transubstantiation is not either given or povided.The word litterally mean Physical change of substance.I did not say that the doctrine is wrong. What I wrote was the Living sacrifice significance of Holy qurbana between syriac orthodox and roman catholic church are not the same.Jesus was a perfect/true man at the same time a perfect/true God.
Misinterpreting/misreading of facts create confusion.What exactly I had written was Through the work of Holy Spirit the bread and wine become the Body of Christ and blood of Christ.
--- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, V T John Nalunnakal wrote:
> Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only eternal begotten son of God the Father. We confess and we live, we will die and we will live ater death for ever in His Kingdom in our true faith in the Holy Trinity. But Jeus is the 'son' of carpenter Joseph and the son of Mary the carpenter's 'wife' for those who do not truly believe in our Saviour. As such, for them,the Holiest of the Holy Sacrements, our Holy Qurbono which is truly His Living Body and His Living Blood may be simply bread and wine And we are not concered about the belief of others who are not true believers. But we are concerned about our faith by which we see only the Body and Blood of our Saviour in the Holy Qurbono
> With prayers and greetings
> V T John ID 3085