Is Justification by Faith Alone?
The most common point that many Catholics make is that being justified by faith alone is not based on scripture, quoting “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). This scripture is misused and misrepresented, and the root of this teaching is found, not only in the Catechism but also the canons of the Council of Trent.
The Church of Rome teaches that justification can only be gained through baptism into the Roman Catholic Church and not simply by faith.
” . . . Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that ‘we too might walk in newness of life,'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 977).
“Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who justifies us. It has for its goal the glory of God and of Christ and the gift of eternal life. It is the most excellent work of God’s mercy,” (CCC, par. 2020).
Such statements are reinforced in the canons of the Council of Trent:
- “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his will; let him be anathema,” (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).
- “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema,” (Canon 14).
For Rome human effort in addition to God’s grace is a requirement for salvation. James 2:24 is used to justify the necessity of human tradition by the authority of the pope over the authority of the scriptures themselves. To the Catholic, the word anathema implies that they are to be excommunicated.
One single verse used cannot be used to validate the claims that Rome makes. Without explaining the entire context and chapter of James 2 clearly, if we read the context of James 2, we will find that he is talking about false faith vs. true faith. The Roman Catholic Church has distorted what James is saying to teach that works are necessary, through the sacraments, for salvation.
Canon 4 “If anyone shall say that the sacraments are not necessary for salvation, but are superfluous, and that, although all are not necessary for every individual, without them or without the desire of them, through faith alone men obtain from God the grace of justification; let him be anathema.”
The Catholic Church also teaches that the mass is an essential part of salvation as it is the ongoing work of the cross. Vatican II stated: “As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which ‘Christ our Pasch is sacrificed’ (1 Cor. 5:7) is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 1, 3, p. 324).
Rome’s definition of Justification is contrary to the scriptures. The Bible teaches that faith justifies us without the need for sacraments or works on our part; rather it is faith that results in God’s continual working in us, this is in context with the whole of James chapter 2, faith produces works. Faith alone provokes us to do good works (Hebrews 10:23-25).
The scriptures’ teaching about faith and works needs to be clearly and correctly understood and must be believed and preached as clearly taught in the New Testament. The dispensation of grace is given to the believer because of his faith (Ephesians 2:8-10) and not because of sacraments that result in receiving grace, The person receives salvation simply by trusting alone, and that is what justifies him. So that through the once and for all redemptive sacrifice of Christ there is no longer necessary any other sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:18).
The root of the foundation of Rome’s doctrine of justification is found in medieval Catholicism, and Rome’s belief system lies in a state of darkness and death.
Papal Rome truly apostatised from the Gospel and apostolic teaching for the past 1700 years of its history. With this there is no faithful and good Christian that would ever have the confidence in assurance of salvation, matters of justification must stand on scriptural authority alone, that is consistent with the authority that is the very word of God, it is justification that can only comply with scriptural principles as the word itself is the only bedrock and the only foundation that truth is built upon, Justification is given by receiving the full extent of the Gospel, as taught by the book of Romans, Romans chapters 3,4 and 5, Titus 3:5 that says “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
The doctrine of Justification by faith alone has been at the heart of every evangelical conservative Christian, who believes that the message of the Gospel alone is the only basis of salvation, that can be received, and it bears weight throughout the history of the primitive church and after the Reformation the history of evangelicalism, it is within evangelical belief that it is the Holy Spirit that teaches the Church, the reality of justification is by faith, it is accepted as truth and a living experience, God is relational and justification is by Gods imputed righteousness, it is God himself who declares us righteous, this right is not given to us by any pope or priest, nor by the edicts and demands of any ecclesiastical authority.
To observe any traditions placed upon us by popery or manmade traditions, by any Church decree is to reject the very nature of Scripture and undermine the purity of doctrine, it is biblical belief that surround regeneration, repentance, saving grace and prayers of the church have all been understood and accepted through Justification through faith in Christ alone, it is the law that takes away any hope of salvation that would place us under curse of death, it is through justification that gives us the remedy of sin, justification provides us with a renewed heart, and it gives us recognition that we have been through Christ alone adopted to become sons of God, Justification gives us the ability to a renewed life of daily prayer, repentance, and good works.
It is God who gives us his justifying actions, in this the Father placed sin upon Christ, Christ becoming sin took on himself the fullness of God’s wrath, provides us with the knowledge of Gods justifying grace, without a right understanding of justification we will never truly have an understanding of true faith, we can be led to believe that justifying faith is dependent upon human effort and commitment through religious ceremonies, duties or works, the problems that this causes it takes away any ability to know fully that in Christ we are made right by God, but we lose all hope and confidence that saving grace is less sufficient, if we do not accept faith on the basis of what Christ did on the cross, God has required no more sacrifice for sins that would make the Catholic Mass irrelevant.
To the mind of the Catholics what is stated here would be deemed to be heretical, to the evangelical it is the Catholics who are under bondage to a legalistic religion that would remove any one’s ability to know the author and finisher of biblical faith, any acceptance of Rome’s definition of Justification is to pervert the doctrine of justification according to the Bible, that the Roman Catholic Churches belief system in this regard cannot be acceptable to any Bible-believing evangelical.
Without the doctrine of Justification, the Church cannot stand on the gospel for that matter, there are three positions that are part of Gods authority, and these are divinely inspired, the divine authority of sacred scripture and the wrath of God toward sinful conduct and Christ substitutionary atonement.
Scripture itself has definite character; this is through prophecy and God speaking divinely through man speech by clear revelation, 2 Timothy 3:16, it is outside of justification, man is regulated by the law of God, in braking is commandments all men will have to give an account to God, this was specific to the Jews as they were given the law by Moses, gentiles were also under the same condemnation because they have no law Romans 2:14, as far as it goes with Gods relationship to man, divine revelation is universal to Jew and Gentile, the keeping of the ten commandments would place us outside of salvation because none of us can keep it, this is why a secondary law was put in place that was named the law of Christ.
It was through Justification that the righteousness of God is in Christ mentioned in Gal 3:8 It is in Christ we have the righteousness of God, upon believing we then know who God is through personal conviction, it is by Him we are made acceptable that we no longer are placed with the unbelievers, the law is satisfied, and Gods justice is finished in this God has emphasised his mercy.
To reject the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement is to reject the gospel itself, it is to reject Christ’s offering of his sacrifice, atonement, and Justification by faith in itself and the sufficiency of the cross placing a person under eternal separation from God, this is what the so-called authority in the Imperialistic Church of Rome does ever so efficiently, a Catholic who remains in the church of Rome cannot be truly in Christ, his faith is built on an institution rooted firmly on a false foundation and not going to the chief cornerstone to build his life upon.
This makes the whole subject of justification truly neglected that we fall in danger of compromise with Romanism that is not built upon a solid and firm foundation but mishandles the word of God to justify man’s religious and human reasoning built on human ritualism, man’s wisdom and man’s philosophy.
If a person cannot be justified by faith alone in the finished atoning sacrifice, he cannot be justified and is not made right by God; his faith relies upon man’s effort that he is led to believe that man has the authority to justify himself through a process of works.
The law does not make exemptions of allowances for any of the commandments under it that are broken, the contravention of the law means that a person cannot be redeemable if he remains outside of Christ and this is not granted through the Church, but it is after during salvation where a person is redeemed then it is after Christ he enters through into commune with the church we know to be the Body of Christ where no unbeliever may dwell in fellowship and commune, the unjustified must remain outside the church as God does not allow mixture 2 Cor 6:14 – 18, Amos 3:3, Due 22:10, Titus 2:14 the Bible does not permit the bride of Christ to have a marriage supper with the unjustified.
Justification is promoted exclusivity because it is rooted in a firm foundation of faith that can only belong to Christ who the only one able to justify us, and so we stand on faith alone.
Romans 1:16 says salvation can only be given through the gospel alone without it, it would be impossible to be justified and if we include additions to the gospel we lose the whole primary focus of salvation making it impossible for any of us to know Christ and even to have any assurance of God’s forgiveness, this means he still has a real problem and dilemma because he puts his faith in the devices and inventions of man this takes away any understanding of the relationship between the Law and God, this also takes away a person’s ability to know who God is because it replaces Christ with religious processes contained in the Catholic sacraments.
It is the law, atonement, God’s mercy and his forgiveness through simplicity that is hard for any of us to understand, it is within the area of Justification and faith God does remain a mystery, and that is what should make a person interested in the area of what constitutes true faith always drawing the believer to God.
Justification does take on two forms the justification of the righteous and the justification of sinners, to those who have been made righteous it gives the righteous freedom to come directly to God no longer being separated from God we can go to him for rest and commune with him, for the sinner it reminds us that we are fallen in nature from creation, it reminds us of who God is the creator of heaven and earth and that we have been saved from the law, receiving eternal life through Christ.
Justification provokes us to live obediently to Christ and his commandments, it is by faith we have been perfected being justified, it does not make hold to sinless perfection but rather our desire should be a changed attitude towards sin a change of mind, it is not about stopping Sin, Justification should give us the position that we should want to sin less and where we do sin it should grieve us.
With Justification works and wages are not a requirement for salvation, it is through a new covenant in the law, the father through the son has given us eternal life that is promised, it may be pointed out that if a person in this regard works in himself a sinful life in the law death is received Ezekiel 18:20, the Bible already tells us that within the law Paul says in Romans 4:13 – 15 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
It is faith in Christ Justification came and after faith we are provoked into keeping the law of life and Christ’s commandments, has placed us above the Law of Moses known to us as the law of sin and death, Romans 8:2, being justified alone by Christ himself we are now set free from sin’s power that is the law 1 Cor 15:56, this view of justification is not an attempt to justify antinomianism this is far from it, what the scriptures teach is that the law in itself cannot provide us with Justification and so is replaced by Christ Hebrews 8:13 that the first covenant and the law given to the children of Israel has no longer any use and is replaced by Christ because the Law reminds us of sin’s we have committed but in Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Justification is the result of faith obedience to God’s word is the result of justification by faith this excludes ritualism and anything that is tied to religious duties this is nothing more than legalism and bondage, faith provokes us to submit ourselves to God’s will.
We are justified to do so because of the sacrifice of Christ this is why works do not measure our salvation, works is not a requirement for entry into heaven, but rather works are accounted for by our rewards when we get to the Kingdom Revelation 22:12.
The Bible does teach on the other hand rewards that are given to the unbeliever Isaiah 3:11 the wicked can only work in the flesh as a result he only receives payment according to his works Romans 6:23 to the unbeliever the law demands compensation with the unbelieving Jew and Gentile God is bound by his law as the only way he can deal with sin, is to address the one who commits to sinful conduct.
If we are not justified by faith alone then the curse of the Law remains and so does his wrath because every sin is deserving of Gods Judgement and this also includes the one who commits to sinful conduct, Rome teaches that justification by faith alone is separate from religious obligations are not enough, the different statements are made to try and put a stop to anyone knowing God, this was no different the Scribes and Pharisee until the day our Lord died, and the curtain of the temple was torn in two Matthew 27:51 meaning that God has himself removed any separation from man, this is scriptural proof that God does want us to know him on a personal level.
Hebrews 10:19 says “Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,” and Romans 5:2 through whom we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Is a clear example that we can have faith alone and we are then justified by Christ alone, in this we go directly to Christ, our high priest for confession without the need for an earthly priest Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, set your minds on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.
The Bible teaches Romans 4:2-8 2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath of which to glory; but not before God. 3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Faith is for fullness and through faith we are made right by God and in his sight we are then justified bound to his promise, it is by faith we have the fulfilment of scripture because of what Christ did and it is Christ who is codified to the law because Matthew 5:18 states For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. The physical codification of the law in was already fulfilled in Christ Matthew 5:17 – 20 it does not say that the law was done away with, it is in Christ we can keep his commandments because Christ is in the heart of the law presented to us in physical form, every sin is then placed on him, every act and desire of the flesh and as a result we no longer want to live in the world, this does not make us sinless, it is that we desire to sin less, it is then by faith we have been made perfect and justified James 2:22 even our very works because of faith are made perfect God has very much reflected his grace in all this.
We can live obediently in Christ, it is at times we do so often fail to live obediently; this is symptomatic of living in a corruptible body causing us to struggle against sin Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. The point is it is what you do with sin that counts even Paul recognised it in Romans 7:24 the point of the scripture is that if you’re not struggling against the flesh then is the time you should worry but if you are worried then you’re not lost and separated from God as he wants us to be concerned with how we live our lives.
When it boils down to the law it can only do two things, it can either justify you or condemn you, the law can only justify the righteous who are the people who belong to Christ and on the other hand it is those who remain in their unbelief of his death and resurrection are the very people who the law would place them under condemnation, and every sinner is judged, Justification can only be revived through only the preaching of the Gospel message to the hearer it can be extremely repulsive or received with great joy.
The Gospel cannot be separated from the Law, Law reveals the nature of sin the gospel in itself is the remedy the Gospel cannot go without the Law and the Law cannot go without the Gospel, the Gospel alone is what gives the knowledge of Justification that we accept the message by faith solely, we have within it Gods divine wisdom and his assurance. (John 5:13, John 3:16 and John 3:36)
The assurance in the Bible is one area that can never be offered in the Roman Catholic Church and also in most religions from the Mormonism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses to Islam, it is the gospel alone that gives us an intimate connection with God, apart from Justification, there are people who the gospel provides forgiveness, redemption and reconciliation it is also the same gospel that works God’s wrath on the one who rejects it, 2 Corinthians 2:15 it is the Gospel were we stand alone that will make or break us, we accept it by faith, or we reject it resulting in death if we do not stand on the gospel alone this is the only blessed hope.
Romans 1:16 says the Gospel is the only means of salvation, Romans 1:16 is showing Gods rejection of the RCC and any other religious institution that does not stand on this teaching, this would place all Roman Catholics who do not come out of this system outside the true faith and teachings of Paul and the Apostles, anything that is attached or added to the gospel be it the LDS, WTBS, Rome or the Russian, eastern and western Orthodox church, etc. by putting faith in those religious institutions and what they teach, this is showing a direct rejection of the teaching of Christ himself and cannot be justified, this means they hold to anti-biblical religious traditions, superficial and a deviation of the scriptures, these are anathema to Christ and the Heavenly Father.
It was where sin originated from our first parents rebellion that was Adam and Eve that resulted in the fall, we had broken our covenant with God by wilful disobedience that led us to inherit the sins of our fathers by nature we have been born into corruption reviling within us our desire to sin makes us guilty and automatically cut off from God until we come to the full knowledge of salvation through the gospel and through revelation of the gospel in our lives we receive the full recompense of sin, it is justification that comes from the spirit of God that we have been automatically accepted that had been shown the extent of Gods desire that no man should be parish but through faith being justified that is made right with God we have been assured our salvation.
A sin offering is what was contained in the Gospel that eternal promise that says in John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand, it is ashamed that most Catholics do not look at this verse because of the doctrine of intention, Catholics can never know salvation or the forgiveness of sin, and they can only take every Roman Catholic away from receiving justification through taking the Eucharist, the whole point of their religious system that is built upon the legalism in the spirit and nature of the scribes and Pharisees, this is down to a total disregard for what Jesus said, it is because of religious institutions like the Catholic Church would explain why Catholics or religious people of one form or another see that tradition becomes the authority that is placed above the word of God itself, for them religious tradition bears more Wight.
A wilful rejection of scriptural authority is will worship, the RCC and other religions are an example of that, the Bible says Colossians 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
A prime example is the Catholic Church does not proclaim that Christ is the head the church, it states in the Catholic Catechism 882 402 “For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.” This statement takes away assurance because it removes the ability that anyone can go directly to Christ to have his salvation assured and capacity to receive any justification simply by having faith in trusting Christ, if the Bible tells us to trust no man why would the pope be excluded from this Psalm 146:3 there is no salvation in any man, the pope being a man has no authority to offer you atonement, absolution and any part of God’s salvation plan in this the pope has no right given to whom he wills, as he has no divine right what so ever, he may have power over the whole Catholic Church that was invented by man to control and abuse man, but Pope has no power over the true Church of Jesus Christ of this the Roman Catholic Church cannot be part of.
There are strong biblical arguments for the faith that provide us justification because man’s seed is corrupted in the corruption his heart was only evil continually, we were once under the ‘curse’ separated by the law, and our condemnation was already decided, we see this in the account of Noah, Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, This was also shown to us in the New Testament, Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. Peter 3:20 states: Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. It was what the flood resulted in God’s mercy was given to us to justify us through a redemptive sacrifice, if the sacrifice of Christ was ever continuing then there is no redemption because the work of his suffering had not atoned for all sin, the old testament plays an important part in the development of human history that leads to the Christ child being born the baby that came from the woman is immaculate and not the mother herself.
God’s revelation of who Jesus is was already revealed to us by the prophets, patriarchs and the writers of the law to even King David himself, this was never about the woman but it was the seed of the woman, the seed was to produce a male heir to the throne of grace, it is because of Jesus we can enter into the holiest place because of the Blood of Jesus Hebrews 4:16 it is Jesus who sits on the throne of Grace, Justification is recognised by the Father because sin was accounted for by the son.
Justification is not achieved by anyone living person because of what the Bible says in Psalm 143:2 says And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. The mercy that is given to us is not deserved God has shown us his loving-kindness because he is willing to blot out our transgressions it is by faith we know Gods character that he can save us, Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for my sake, and will not remember thy sins.
What history shows us after the Apostles have died, and that part of history is past, proves that what any other successive man who claims to hold to divine authority on matters of faith are indeed led by the flesh they are imposing that the Holy Spirit leads them, it is their actions that show us the opposite to what they claim this is nothing more than his authority, the Pope has no divine authority what so ever, the Pope never conforms to God’s word and it is history that shows us that we are better off for remaining within the bounds of scripture and not going beyond the written word.
The Bible teaches us the merits of Christ we had received Justification by grace through faith alone as demonstrated by the church that existed long before the Roman Catholic church was created, it is by their example and the witness today of professing believers that have lived through the seductions of the world and its temptations, these are the ones who testify that Justification by faith provides refreshment and nourishment to the soul, we have in this his strength to overcome trials in our lives that affirm God has been working through us.
We already have and can trust that the doctrine that is to be believed is that it is Christ alone who provides the forgiveness of sins and eternal life this is sufficient for anyone who truly belongs to Christ, this is the simplicity of Christ and no more that needs to be added to the doctrine’s of justification and faith, this is the way it should remain unless our beliefs have become polluted and corrupted by complex institutions 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. It is Rome who preaches another Jesus, nor holds purely to scriptures and in doing, so Roman Catholicism and any religion that does not hold to the salvation that has been offered through the sacrifice of Christ is a rejection of the Gospel.
The biblical teaching of Justification is written with clarity this has been given to us in the Bible by a written statement by Paul and James.
Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that faith justifies a man without the deeds of the law.
James 2:24 As you can see, a man is justified by his deeds and not by faith alone.
These two may appear to be a contradiction, but this is not the case because the two scriptures are from the Holy Spirit to understand the real meaning we have study this in its correct context, James 2:24 is James making a distinction between justification as a relational issue with God rather than being justified because of how much you know about God it is the result of faith that provides the works to show we are justified to do them, Paul was emphasising faith is needed for any justification to be received in a spiritual sense.
Justification is written in great lengths for our benefit Paul wants to be clear on the subject, as we read his letters to the Romans and Galatians this is about a sinner’s justification because of his acceptance of the gospel message that is witnessed by God himself, this is why he said it is by the deeds of the law no land can be justified because the Law is what brings death because it is what gives us the knowledge of sin when speaking to the Jews.
With Gentiles we have the natural law, the divine moral law that was already built within our conscious mind the knowledge of God and Evil that was there at the time of the fall of man mentioned in the Book of Genesis, we know that from reading scripture we can with confidence believe that justification is by grace through faith this is opposed to justification by works, in other words, you are required to do your part to receive God’s righteousness, forgiveness, and salvation.
Faith and Grace are two expressions that result in Justification, When it comes to the Gospel, faith is needed, it is with the resurrection of Christ in this we trust in God’s word at face value, this is not to say we don’t research its historical claims and authenticity, we know from history the Bible has proven itself that it can be reliable, it is through faith that we have the ability to receive God’s forgiveness and with Grace God’s forgiveness is freely given by God’s mercy on the basis that we accept faith is in Christ alone.
There is no doubt that Justification is by grace, Abraham is an example of that he only believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness Romans 4:3, the same would apply to us, if the expression Justification is by grace then it is reasonable to accept that the object of Justification is that it is God who justifies the ungodly Romans 4:5, this is to be taken on the basis of faith.
Justification can only be one of two things God’s doing or by privilege it is explained in this by James Buchanan titled “The Doctrine of Justification” P264 “That which is denoted by it includes absolution and acceptance, the full pardon of sin, admission into God’s favour, and a title to eternal life. It denotes an act of God which justifieth:’ ’He is near that justifieth me; – and it denotes a privilege of his people; for ‘being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of glory of God.’ In each of these aspects, some important truths have been revealed concerning it.
Considered as an act of God, who ‘Justifies the ungodly,’ it is not a subjective operation production a moral change in our personal character, although it is invariably accompanied by renewing and sanctifying grace; but an act which is external to us, and which effects an immediate and personal change in our relation to God, – Just such as is consequent on the sentence of a judge, by which anyone is absolved from a charge of guilt, – or the act of adoption, by which anyone is invested with the privileges of legal sonship.
The act of holiness is the result of Justification and saving grace and not the cause of justification, works of holiness is and ongoing and in some cases a slow progression of works that we have gained after we have been justified by faith that is God working in us Ephesians 2:10, we are not required to do anything on our part it is God who produces the fruit in our lives that it is through Christ working in us that gives results that we are provoked by God to live and act according to his word, the evidence of salvation is in Justification by faith alone Hebrews 10:23-25 before we did anything it was by faith we had simply changed our minds and not our lives it is God who changes our lives 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Careful study of Justification will show us the difference between Gods view of justification and man’s view of Justification. Quoted from “A Handbook on Christian Doctrine for Non-theological students P148, the Bible is clear in its claims that the remission of sins and the justification of a soul before God are entirely by our Lord’s atoning sacrifice. This, if properly held, is in direct conflict with any view which attributes the pardon of sin solely to an external rite of the mechanical working of a sacrament. The extreme ex opera operato claim for the sacraments is inconsistent with the teaching of scripture.
The modern plea that God can overlook sin because He is a God of love and unable to refuse any but the most extreme rebels of humanity is not consistent with an actual scriptural exegesis, nor indeed, if the full implicates are considered, with a true doctrine of love itself. A more strictly accurate translation of the Greek equivalent for our word ‘forgive’ would be the word ‘remit.’ If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to remit our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,’ that is, He has a righteous basis on which He can be consistent with His justice and yet cancel the guilt of sin. The word ‘forgive’ should never be used loosely, but as far as possible always in this association with a righteous basis for the forgiveness.
Justification may be defined as ‘An act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone. In short, justification means our ‘being accounted righteous before God.’ It does not mean that God pronounces the ungodly to be godly, (this would be to enact falsehood), but He states that, though man is utterly unworthy, He is willing to account him as holy on the ground of Christ’s infinitely acceptable work on his behalf.
In other words, the relationship to God which man lost by the fall is restored to him.
As has well pointed out by Christian writers, the divisive factors are removed.
1. Justification is an act of grace to the sinner whereby a guilty sinner is declared free. (Contrast sanctification, which is progressive).
- Justification as regards the nature of the act, it is not of an act of power (i.e., It does not produce any subjective change in the individual). Nor is it a mere act of a sovereign, such as pardoning a criminal. Rather it is a forensic act, the act of a Judge, wherein the sinner is declared free from the claims of justice and entitled to receive the reward due to righteousness.The meritorious ground of justification is not faith (emphasis mine: faith is not considered as a virtue if it were then it would be based on ignorance), but it is the sacrifice of Christ, associated with His perfect obedience to the law and enduring the penalty of the law on our behalf.
- Justification is a status of righteousness is imputed to the Christian. So far as the legal position is concerned, it is inherited of Christ, which may be treated inherently his own.
- Faith is the condition of justification. God does not impute righteousness to the sinner until (and unless) he receives the work of Christ.
Rome view of justification is man-centered and not Christ centered.
Romans Catholic doctrine confuses justification and sanctification it has a Pelagian mentality that man obtains Gods righteousness if he carries out his works, it is subtle because Rome teaches that man is fallen and does not have a good nature, they hold to grace being received only through the merits of Christ, but before you can get that far they contradict scripture as God only grants new life if you are baptised in the Roman Catholic Church.
CCC 1225 In his Passover Christ opened to all men the fountain of Baptism. He had already spoken of his Passion, which he was about to suffer in Jerusalem, as a “Baptism” with which he had to be baptized.22 The blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of the crucified Jesus are types of Baptism and the Eucharist, the sacraments of new life.23 From then on, it is possible “to be born of water and the Spirit”24 to enter the Kingdom of God.
Rome’s explanation in the Catechism is based on half truths it does not reflect on justification that is only based upon a finished sacrifice, but whereas the presence of our Lord appears through a never ending continual sacrifice, salvation is received through baptism into an active participation in the Eucharistic Adoration services, the new life is not based upon trusting only in scriptural authority but the new life comes from the adherence of religious duties, new life is regarded here as our renewed commitment to rituals and the traditions of the Catholic Church that is contained within the sacraments.
In order to enter the kingdom of God you must be baptised into the Catholic Church to be in full communion with Peter and his successor the Pope, this can be seen clearly in the Catechism “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church, which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence, they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.” (CCC 846)
Rome mixes in error in its teachings that is not built solidly up upon the authority of scripture but has in its mixing of truth and error the abuses that come with it, the institution we call the imperialistic Roman Catholic church is a curse to all those who bases its emphasis on human merit and not simply upon faith, Catholics that I speak to believe justification can only be received not only by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ but you keeping in with Catholic practices you do yourself this is not only by keeping sacraments but also the ten commandments.
There are clear distinctions between Catholic and Evangelical Protestant, Anabaptist and non-conformist beliefs at a fundamental level is very wide and must never be reconciled even if we would wish to have any unity with the Roman Catholic Church, it is simply because our fundamental roots are opposed this form of separation must be strongly emphasised and maintained at a grassroots level.
In reality and practice, the abuse in the RCC and its institutional practices thrive when they hold to different degrees of justification it can only then result in the teaching of purgatory.
The Catholic Catechism, 1030, says that Purgatory is for “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.”
This doctrine is rooted in the tradition of the Catholic Church and not found anywhere in scripture, the question is can we trust it, the Bible says not to add or take anything from his word, Proverbs 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reproves thee, and thou be found a liar.
Religions like Roman Catholicism reject a correct understanding of scripture about justification, faith, sanctification, forgiveness and to the detriment of taking away any knowledge of salvation what so ever. Rome’s attempt to remove any assurance is a direct assault on the truths of Jesus Christ, a rejection of the gospel and the authority of scripture.
A handbook on Christian Doctrine for Non-theological students, P151 Nothing is more needed today than that Christians should be fully aware of the supreme importance of a right conception of the place of Christ in human redemption. The doctrine of justification is the ground of our assurance of acceptance with God and also the source of all true spiritual liberty.
With consideration to the meaning of justification, it also reflects on our understanding of the doctrine of original sin, according to the book Roman Dogma and Scripture truth P132 “Certain general facts, however, stand out with unmistakable plainness. And, to begin with, account must be taken off the teaching of the Church of Rome regarding sin. Concerning the Fall, for example, she affirms. Indeed, that man lost, through sin, his original holiness and justice, but by this holiness and justice she means “a supernatural gift of holiness and original justice,” over and above the integrity of man’s nature As he came from the hand of God, and separable from it. “Our doctrine of original sin,” says Cardinal Newman, “is not the same as the Protestant doctrine. ‘Original sin’ with us cannot be called sin in the mere ordinary sense of the word ‘sin.’ . . .
Protestants hold that it is a disease, a radical change of nature, an active poison internally corrupting the soul. . . We hold nothing of the kind. . . . By original sin we mean something negative, viz., this only, the deprivation of that supernatural unmerited grace which Adam and Eve had their first formation.
Here then we have our standing point in considering the Roman conception of salvation. The fall was not a complete catastrophe, entailing the corruption of man’s whole nature. It meant only a withdrawal of supernatural grace from the soul.
Rome does not teach the complete spiritual bankruptcy of the unregenerate man. At any rate, the sinner’s recovery is represented as easier than it possibly could be on the Protestant conception of original sin, and the way it is accordingly paved for the whole Roman system of salvation including, baptismal regeneration (salvation through baptism) and the merit of good works.
The Roman doctrine of Justification differs profoundly from that which I have indicated as the doctrine of the New Testament. The Protestant view, as we have seen, is that justification is the act of God, counting the sinner as forgiven and accepted through Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic doctrine is that justification consists in the renovation of the mind through the infusion of sanctifying grace.
“That Justice which is called ours,” affirmed the Council of Trent, “because that we are justified from its being inherent in us, that the same is (the justice) of God because that is infused into us by God, through the merit of Christ.” This Imparted righteousness, which is bestowed through man’s faith, penitence, and good resolution, carries with it the power to earn by good works increase of grace and eternal life.
The Roman Church teaches that in good works there is the merit in the sight of God.
Now this doctrine first of all derogatory to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. All that is regards the death of Christ as securing for men is sanctifying grace. The basis of our salvation is not, exclusively at least the sacrifice of Calvary.
It also proceeds, as has already been indicated, on a false conception of a sinner’s condition before God. It fails to recognise the fact that no infusion of sanctifying grace can remove the guilt of past sin. Without the shedding of blood, there could be no remission for guilty men, and it is the blood of Jesus Christ alone that cleanseth us from all sin.
We must take this on board the Catholic teaching of how faith should be accepted deviates from what would be reasonable to believe in the nature of scripture and any application of the text to our lives by belief and conduct that is with simplicity and clarity shown to us in the New Testament, our personal trust in Christ who is our saviour, it is faith that we receive, rest and stand upon Christ alone as he has already paid the price on the account of the gospel alone.
It is down to us to believe in the life and death of Christ alone; it is in this we can know we truly follow Christ, Roman Dogma, and Scripture truth P136 “the Catholic Church holds faith to a lower and less vital order of endowment.
Roman Catholicism teaches “Not trust in Christ for personal salvation, but the faith of the creed, the faith in revealed truths, the faith of the Gospel, is the faith availing for justification.”
The Church of Rome sets her authorities documents on the subject here are some quotes to emphasise the Church of Rome’s position.
CANON 9: “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his will; let him be anathema.”
CANON 12: “If anyone shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified . . . let him be accursed.”
Canon 24: “If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.”
CANON 32.-If any one saith, that the good works of one that is justified are in such manner the gifts of God, as that they are not also the good merits of him that is justified; or, that the said justified, by the good works which he performs through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life,-if so be, however, that he depart in grace,-and also an increase of glory; let him be anathema.
The Roman Catholic Church would place curses on anyone that hold to the belief in justification by faith alone, Roman Dogma and Scripture truth P138 “It is instructive for us to notice the methods by which the Roman Catholic Church perverts the plain meaning of those Scriptures whose teaching is directly opposed to this distinctive doctrine. Let me give to examples.
Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that faith justifies a man without the deeds of the law. Here is the explanation was given by annotators of the Douay Bible. This is “a faith which takes in hope, love, repentance, and the use of the sacraments which he here excludes are only the works of the law, that is, such as are done by the law of nature and that of Moses, antecedent to the faith of Christ: by no means such as follow faith and proceed from it.”
In the book of Psalm 32:2Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. The same expositors, dealing with these words as they are quoted in the Epistle to the Romans, represent them to mean, “Blessed is the man who hath retained his baptismal innocence, which no grievous sin can be imputed to him. And, likewise, blessed is the man, who after fall into sin, hath done penance and leads a virtuous life, by frequenting the sacraments necessary for obtaining the grace to prevent a relapse, that sin is no more imputed to him.”
This is sure to handle the word of God deceitfully and to reveal and utter lack of an exegetical conscience.
It is the responsibility on each of us to ensure we have a correct understanding of essential doctrine that affects the root of our faith, as severe as it is if we do not use our ability to practice discernment when dealing with issues around the fundamentals of faith we will inevitably be carried away by demonic deception that is at the root of this whole matter, Rome uses scriptures quote cunningly to take us away from Christ.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Miguel Hayworth 2016-06-05