Good morning Cathy,
I am so very impressed with you! I wish more believers were just like you in going to the Scriptures to seek and study and sift through all that is being said. I applaud and commend you.
No, I was reading through the contexts of all the verses you quoted. Then looking through the verses most Catholics cite for purgatory. Then looking at them side by side, then all together the whole of both Christian and Catholic teaching and the whole of the Bible
You may already know this, but what you are doing by that practice is called “Biblical Hermeneutics”. It is the very thing that the Apostle Paul charges Timothy to do, when in 2 Timothy 2:15, he charges him to “rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The learned Apostle Paul was even scrutinized in his own teaching by the “more noble Bereans” in Acts 17:11, which showed great character in that they prioritized and sifted everything they heard through the interpretations of man by the Word of God, which was God-Breathed and Inspired by Him, using imperfect men across thousands of years and regions as His instruments. Only God could make such order and design out of this improbable clay and bring us this Living Word that speaks to us today and reveals Him and His plan for mankind generally and specifically.
Saint Peter gives us this charge in 1 Peter 3:15 – 22 of being “ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
In those same verses, Peter makes mention in verse 19 of Christ going to preach “unto the spirits in prison” which is what I referred to both in the prophesy of it (Isaiah 26:19-21) and Christ’s fulfillment of it (Matthew 27:50-53 & Ephesians 4:7-10). Verse 22 tells us exactly where the bodily resurrected Christ is presently after His ascension. John 3:13 confirms this, Jesus says it Himself in John 20:17. Luke writes of it in Acts 2:31-36. But look carefully at Acts 2:31.
Here it is translated in the KJV. (Remember the NT was written originally in Koine Greek which is a “dead” language, in the sense that is no longer spoken conversationally in the modern world. The same is true with the original Hebrew/Chaldean in which the OT was written.)
[Act 2:31 KJV] 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Look at those words “left in hell”. The koine Greek word there is [hades] ᾅδης which is synonymous with the Hebrew word “Sheol” translate as the general “grave” and place of departed souls. The Latin is ᾅδης [Hades]. This is the compartment of which many think of as purgatory, so yes, I do believe there was a purgatory, but we already see what the scriptures say Christ did in the verses above. His spirit did descend into it and preached Himself as the fulfillment of all the prophesied promises to the “captives” in Abraham’s bosom who believed in the measure of faith they were given in the times before Christ was born as The Messiah they had waited for. Those believing were let out of their graves (Sheoul) and celebrated Jesus. Jesus also used the OT scriptures to clarify His mission to the two men on the post-resurrection walk to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-23).
In Revelations 1:18 Jesus declares that He now holds “the keys of hell and of death.” His humanity He retains for ever, and that is why when we see Him face to face, we will still be able to see his stigmata as evidence of what He did for us to redeem us for all eternity. He was the perfect man, tempted in every way as we are, yet never sinned. (See Hebrews 4:15) Verse 14-16 of that same passage says Jesus IS our high priest and that we can, in Him, approach in our newborn again spirit (vs. 16) “…God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
God secures us in Himself, just as it says in John 6:39.
Jesus writes His seal on the hearts of those who accept Him as savior. He co-signs for the debt for all of our sins past, present and future with His own blood and marks it “Paid in Full” when we accept Him as Savior.
We are justified by His death and resurrection and not by our own self-effort works. We are made free in Him. Look at John 8:32-38. Look at verse 36.
36 “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. [John 8:36 NKJV]
[Gal 5:1 KJV] 1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
So, then you may ask, if this is so, why are we still tempted to sin, and why do we confess?
We confess anything we do that break the harmony of fellowship with Him in our spirit. We recognize where we act not in accordance with our new nature, but allow the old nature to attempt to defeat us and make it so we are ashamed. God desires harmony with our heart and mind. We ask forgiveness for it and recognize what we do according to the old nature was wrong and God lifts the burden of it from our shoulders and reminds us of His forgiveness, just as a parent would by forgiving a repentant child who disobeyed what they knew their parent told them not to do. Fellowship between parent and child is restored in that moment, but the naughty child, even in their disobedience, did not cease being the parent’s child. Romans 8:15 &23 (also in Galatians 4:5 & Ephesians 1:5) speaks of our being an adopted child. An adopted child is chosen by their prospective parents. In ancient law, an adopted child could never be disowned, even though a natural born child could be.
Deuteronomy 8:5 says “You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, [so] the LORD your God chastens you.”
God convicts us of sin, even after we are saved by our faith and His Grace.
Paul says [1Co 9:27 NKJV] “But I discipline my body and bring [it] into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
We must present a consistent message to the outside world.
James 1:12 says “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
Hebrews 12:7-11 sums this up:
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined–and everyone undergoes discipline–then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
This is the working out of our salvation. Our learning curve as we are parented into the perfecting of our faith.
This is my belief and why I believe it. I would very much love to hear your thoughts and perspectives even if we may disagree on it. I will respectfully and patiently hear you out, and never hold a disagreement as the same as being disagreeable. What we are doing here is “reasoning together”. (Isaiah 1:18)
This is me lovingly sharing with you what I am told to do in 1 Peter 3:15.
Are we still friends? 😉❤ [Hugs]
We do agree on many things, and most importantly we agree on Jesus!
Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
I was born in war.
Fighting from my first breath.