This is where the "religion verses relationship" argument comes in. Religion is practicing what you TRULY believe in. What you actually do in your life. Your life is your religion. A true relationship with Jesus is defined by doing His will. If a person does not practice godliness - he has NO relationship with the Lord. True religion reflects a true relationship with Him. No religion, no relationship. You can't have one without the other. That would make you a hypocrite.
During my drifting years, I met my wife and she persuaded me to go to Protestant churches with her. Part of that was Bible study. I came at scripture from an unbiased - just let me read it and see what it says - kind of view. Listening to sermons, reading and studying scripture - after a few years time - I really began to see Protestants glossing over and leaving out parts of scripture. So I began looking between the verses the Protestants focus on all the time, and I found Catholic doctrine.
Presently I go to a Baptist Church with my family. On some Sundays the preacher - either consciously or unconsciously - leaves out, conveniently skips over, or glosses over a key point which would say: "these passages teach Catholic Doctrine".
The point being - if you want true intimacy with Jesus Christ, you must embrace the sacraments.
You must be Intimate with (know) God through Christ Jesus to have Eternal Life.
[John 17] 3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
The word "know" in scripture refers to intimacy.
I struggled with the true me for years trying to find who I really was. When I found myself, it kind of shocked me. I found the defining point of the true me was being baptized as an infant. It is always right there behind all that I am. I found the true me reflected in the drop of water I was baptized with. Once I embraced that, I found peace.
[John 6] 53 Jesus says: "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
Protestants most of the time ignore or gloss over these verses. Most reject the real presence of Jesus in the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper.
[1 Corinthians 10] 16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?
[1 Corinthians 11] 27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
I don't know how Jesus will deal with people who reject His presence in the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper, because His word is clear. And the only Church which truly acknowledges His real presence in the bread and wine is the Catholic Church.
To embrace His real presence in the Eucharist is the next step of intimacy. Opening your heart and mind to His actual presence in the bread and wine - I kiss the bread before I eat it - because it is Jesus.
One who has never experienced this, cannot know what I am talking about. I don't know what Protestants - who profess an intense relationship with Him - yet reject intimacy - I don't know what they are afraid of. I have touched and stepped into the fire of His love and He has made me one with it.
I hope you understand.
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