- Mary was sinless. Was she? Romans 3:23 says, “all have sinned,” and Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” In Luke 1:47, Mary called God her Savior.
- Mary remained a virgin after Jesus’ birth. Did she? Matthew 1:24-25 says, Joseph “knew her not” until she brought forth her firstborn son.
- Mary had no children other than Jesus. Is that so? Matthew 13:55-56 says, Jesus had four brothers and sisters. Also read Psalm 69:8.
- Mary was esteemed above other women. Was she? Luke 1:26-28 says, Mary was “highly favored” and blessed among women … not above them.
- Praying through Mary and saints wins favor with God. Does it? Read 1 Timothy 2:5. Since Jesus is the one and only Mediator between God and man, we are told to pray in His name to the Father; so why disobey? (Eph. 5:20; Col. 3:17). Moreover, God is the only one who is “present everywhere” to hear us when we pray (Psa. 139:7-12).
- Statues of Mary and saints are pleasing to God. Are they? Exodus 20:4-5 says, “Make no graven image or likeness of anything on earth or Heaven, and do not bow down to them.”
- Mary was chosen of God to bear Jesus because she was more deserving of the honor. Is that true? In Matthew 12:46-50 Jesus said, “Anyone who does the will of My Father in Heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.” So God chose Mary because she was the one who was willing to do “His will” (Lk. 1:38; Jn. 6:40).
- The assumption of Mary – this assumption is not Scriptural – it’s only an assumption.
A church leader has the authority from God to canonize or pronounce a deceased person “a saint.” Do they? (1 Sam. 16:7) Man looks on the outward appearance, only God can look on the heart (Jer. 17:9-10).
All who put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their God and sin-bearing Savior are called “saints,” defined as those who are sanctified or set apart by God, for God. Read the openings and closings of Paul’s Epistles from Romans through Colossians to see how Paul greets and salutes “the believers,” calling them “saints” or “brethren.” Even though not all those believers were faithful servants of God, they were all called “saints” (Eph. 1:1).
Priests are for today. Are they? Read Exodus Chapters 20-24 and 28-29; also Numbers Chapter 3, which tells how God gave the “covenant of the Law” and the “Levitical Priesthood” for “His chosen people,” Israel. God gave their Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. Israel’s Law was given to teach them how sinful they were; hence, the priesthood was established to provide a way for man to offer up to God the blood of goats, bulls, etc. These offerings covered their sins until Jesus, the perfect “Lamb of God,” shed His sinless blood on the Cross to take away the sin of the world (Heb. 10:3-4; Jn. 1:29).
God made the two following blood covenants with Israel for dealing with their sin:
The first required the blood of slain animals to cover sin, which was according to their Mt. Sinai Law.
The second and final covenant required the shedding of the blood of the Lord Jesus (the God-Man) to take away the sin of the world. After the Lord Jesus died for man’s sin and ascended into Heaven, He sat down at the right hand of God the Father, as High Priest, to make intercession for all believers until we go to be with Him (Heb. 7:24-25; Mk. 16:19-20; Rom. 8:34).
At that point, the “covenant of the Law” and the “animal-blood covenant” were done away with, for the animal blood only covered sin – it did not, nor could it remove sin. The Law and its curse ended at the Cross where Jesus was made a curse for all who trust Him as their God and sin-bearing Savior (Gal. 3:10-14, 21-29; Col. 2:13-14).
Read Hebrews 7:22 and go through the end of Chapter 8. This passage of Scripture tells how the priesthood of humans ended when Jesus Christ became Israel’s High Priest in Heaven. Hebrews, Chapters 3-10, tell all about the priesthood.
In Acts, the “salvation of God,” by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, was offered first to “the Jews.” Since many of them, including their religious leaders, did not believe the Lord Jesus Christ was their God, Savior, and King, God finally set them and their promised earthly kingdom aside until later (Acts 13:38-50; 18:6; 28:28).
Upon setting Israel aside as a nation, God sent the Apostle Paul forth to preach God’s “Grace Gospel” according to the “Mystery,” to both Jew and Gentile alike (Ephesians, Chapters 1-3). As long as this “Grace Gospel” of Ephesians 2:8-9 and Galatians 1:6-12 are being preached, Israel is no more “special” to God than any other nation.
Paul’s “Grace Gospel” will continue to be preached until Jesus catches us up-up into the air to be with Him (1 Thess. 4:13-18) – “us” being all those who believe Paul’s “Grace Gospel.”
It is then God will start dealing with “His people,” Israel, once again (Rom. 11:25). Note how God sent the Apostle Peter to be the “Apostle to the Circumcision,” represented by the Jews, and sent the Apostle Paul to be the “Apostle to the Uncircumcision,” who are Gentiles (Gal. 2:7-21).
In Paul’s Epistles (Romans through Philemon), there is no mention of priests because their service to God had ceased, and God’s servants were the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, who preach the “Grace Gospel” to all the world (Eph. 4:11-13). Note: The “Grace Gospel” is for us in this time in which we are living.
After Jesus died for our sins and arose from the dead, there is no mention of believers in Christ “confessing their sins” to priests. Rather, we are told in Romans 10:9-13 how a believer in Christ becomes saved. You are to confess with your mouth (not your sins); instead, confess that you have put “your faith” in the Lord Jesus Christ as your God and Savior and that you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. By confessing that Jesus is your Savior, you are admitting that you know you are a sinner and are not ashamed that you have put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as your sin-bearing Savior. For all who truly believe in Him, will not be ashamed (vs. 11).
Finally, all believers are to be prayerful readers of God’s Word (2 Tim. 2:15) so that they might learn how to live for Him and to tell others about the death of Jesus Christ, Who fully pays the penalty for their sins… if they will only trust in Him as their Savior (2 Cor. 5:18-21).
Those who do not trust Him as their Savior and God are condemned to burn in “the lake of fire” forever (Rev. 20:10-15 – this passage refers to the judgment of unbelievers only).
Please take the time to explore for yourself these important Scriptures: Matthew 6:7; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; Matthew 8:14-15; Colossians 2:20-22; Jeremiah 7:15-20; Jeremiah 44:16-23; and Mark 7:7-9.