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Chapter Summary (6-10)
ELUMBA, FIONA B.
IE S.Y. 2011-2012
DOM REMBERT TUMBALI Subject Professor
CHAPTER 6 God, the Father Almighty
He is OUR CREATOR! He made everything your eyes behold. I believe in God": this first affirmation of the Apostles' Creed is also the most fundamental. The whole Creed speaks of God, and when it also speaks of man and of the world it does so in relation to God. The other articles of the Creed all depend on the first, just as the remaining Commandments make the first explicit. The other articles help us to know God better as he revealed himself progressively to men. "The faithful first profess their belief in God. God revealed himself to his people Israel by making his name known to them. God revealed himself progressively and under different names to his people, but the revelation that proved to be the fundamental one for both the Old and the New Covenants was the revelation of the divine name to Moses in the theophany of the burning bush, on the threshold of the Exodus and of the covenant on Sinai. God calls Moses from the midst of a bush that burns without being consumed: "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."9 God is the God of the fathers, the One who had called and guided the patriarchs in their wanderings. He is the faithful and compassionate God who remembers them and his promises; he comes to free their descendants from slavery. He is the God who, from beyond space and time, can do this and wills to do it, the God who will put his almighty power to work for this plan. God's work in history reveals the Trinity. The Christian life is a communion with all three persons. Whoever glorifies the Father glorifies also the Son and Spirit. Of all God's attributes, the Creed speaks only of his almighty power. This power is universal, loving, and mysterious (known only by faith). We begin our profession of faith by saying: "I believe." As confessed in the Creed, celebrated in the liturgy, and lived in observance of God's commandments and in prayer, we must first ask what "to believe" means. Faith is man's response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to man, at the same time bringing man a superabundant light as he searches for the ultimate meaning of his life.
CHAPTER 7 Creator of Heaven and Earth
We all ask, at one time or another, “Where does everything come from?” We ask: “What is the purpose of it all? What is the meaning of our life and of death?” Christian doctrine affirms that “the most perfect answer to these questionings is to be found in God alone, who created us in His own image . . . and this answer is given in the revelation of Christ His Son who became one of us” . Created in God's image and called to know and love him, the person who seeks God discovers certain ways of coming to know him. These are also called proofs for the existence of God, not in the sense of proofs in the natural sciences, but rather in the sense of "converging and convincing arguments," which allow us to attain certainty about the truth. The creation is the manifestation of God’s unconditional love to all people in which he share His own divine life and goodness. God, as the Creator of all things, is absolute. He is the beginning, the Uncreated. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen 1:1). This sentence shows three truths. First, God gave a beginning to all that exists. Second, he alone is Creator. Third, everything depends on God. John's Gospel says that all things were made through God's Word "and without him nothing was made" (1:1-3). The Church also confesses the Holy Spirit's creative action. He is "the giver of life." The Old Testament suggests and the New Testament reveals this creative activity of both the Son and the Spirit. Because God saw his creation as "good," every creature has its own truth and goodness. Therefore, man must respect God's creation and avoid any action which would have disastrous consequences for the human race and its environment.
CHAPTER 8 The Fall from Glory
Man and woman were created in the image of God and by their very existence bring Glory to God. God created Adam and Eve in His own image. They were to produce children and mankind to rule God’s creation and demonstrate in their own lives and in their rule over creation the greatness of God and so bring Glory to God. Sin inundated human history and even entered God's Covenant with Israel. Even after Christ's death, sin was present in the Christian community. There is a universality of sin. We do not exactly know how this "original sin" is transmitted. Adam and Eve were supposed to transmit original holiness and justice to everyone. In their "fallen state" they could only pass on a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. Therefore, original sin differs from other sins. It is contracted not committed. By original sin, we are deprived of original holiness and justice. Human nature is not totally corrupted but is wounded in its natural powers. It is subject to ignorance, sin, and death, and has an inclination to evil. Baptism erases original sin and turns the person back to Christ. The great transaction of the cross provides a payment for sins committed which enables God to forgive our sins and wipe the record of our sins clean. The cross separates us from our condemnation in Adam. But God goes even further than forgiving us of our sins and separating us from Adam. Because we are forgiven and separated from Adam, God also imputes the righteousness of Christ to us so that God accepts us as perfectly holy in His sight. In Christ we are enabled to meet God’s standard of righteousness and we no longer fall short of God’s standard. We are no longer in need but have our need fulfilled in Christ. Jesus Christ is our sufficient righteousness before a Holy God. This is the glorious doctrine of God’s justification of the sinner in Christ. We have a righteousness that comes from God that is freely given to us in Jesus Christ.
CHAPTER 9 God Promises a Savior
“Promise” is one of the key words of love. The Old Testament story of God’s love for His people centers on His promise of salvation. His love encompasses all nations in spite of their sinfulness and divisions. His plan is to gather them all in one holy people. And he begins to actualize his plan with the call of Abraham and the threefold promise of land, of descendants, and of a mission. These three elements show that God is not limited by place or time, but acts on a universal scale, covering all peoples on the face of the earth. The God who saves is to be found where suffering and brokenness are most severe, and where the need for His grace is greatest. Salvation is not a material thing, but a spiritual reality gradually unfolding through God’s promise. His promise of Salvation is found in all three parts of the OT which are the Law (Torah), the Prophets, and the Writings (the Wisdom books and Psalms. The Law reveals God’s undying love for His people and His attempt to liberate us despite our infidelities. He sends us the commandments, offering it as a vocation and as a way of life. The Prophets reveals the present situation as viewed by God. They are God’s instrument of calling to repent and to dedicate our life to God. They serve as our eye-opener and guiding life in fulfilling God’s plan for us. The Writings is an account which reminds us how to be faithful to God in the conduct of our day-to-day activities. It provides moral wisdom. It also narrates the story of Job and his struggle against evil. The Psalms are songs and poems of praise which express total commitment to God. God’s love for His people as manifested on His promise of salvation is narrated in the Old Testament. Alongside with the New Testament, they serve as the major source of all three basic dimension of the catholic Faith: doctrine, morals and worship.
CHAPTER 10 Jesus Christ: Mission and Person
The center of our Christian Faith is Jesus Christ. To know Christ means being committed to Him and being His disciple. It is important to know the account of God’s life on Earth since it is the way to know who He is, what He did and continues to do. Thus, the Gospel is an integral part of our attempt to know Jesus our Lord. Mary's virginity is a sign of her own faith. As both virgin and mother, Mary is a perfect symbol for the Church who receives God's Word in faith and brings forth children in the Spirit. Christ's whole life is a mystery of redemption, which comes primarily through his death on the cross. This mystery is at work in his poor birth, his hidden life of obedience, his purifying word, his miracles and exorcisms, and in his Resurrection. In all his words and deeds, Jesus aimed at restoring fallen man to his original vocation. "When Christ became incarnate, he procured for us a ‘short cut' to salvation. What we lost in Adam, we might recover in Christ Jesus. God’s reason for becoming human is for our salvation. He saves us by making it possible for us to work throughout our lives against sin, the root of all the evils and shortcomings. He calls us to uphold justice and peace. As manifested in the New Testament, Jesus Christ is truly human, truly Divine, and One who id undivided.