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1 Question When we say that something is monergistic, what do we mean? When we say that something is synergistic, what do we mean? Is salvation monergistic.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Question When we say that something is monergistic, what do we mean? When we say that something is synergistic, what do we mean? Is salvation monergistic."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Question When we say that something is monergistic, what do we mean? When we say that something is synergistic, what do we mean? Is salvation monergistic or is it synergistic?

2 2 This Week i. Examine the distinctions between Roman Catholic ideas of salvation and the Protestant view ii. Take note of the differences between the RC concept of “Justification” and the Protestant view iii. Thank God for His assurance that He has provided every requirement to secure our salvation. Lesson Plan

3 3 I. Introduction a. This series is not about the Protestant Reformation, but no discussion on the topic of forgiveness would be complete without some mention of the differences between Roman Catholic theology and Protestant theology in this area. b. Since so many of us in this room have friends and family who are either nominal or practicing Roman Catholics, it is important to us that we understand the distinctions between Roman Catholic theology and that of Protestantism on these important matters.

4 4 I. Introduction c. In order to understand the Roman Catholic position and how it differs from that of Protestantism, there are four significant concepts that we must survey. 1. Justification, leading to salvation 2. Penance and indulgences 3. Beatific Vision 4. Purgatory

5 5 I. Introduction d. The aim of this side-bar is not to make us subject matter experts on the Reformation but rather to sharpen our own understanding of what it is that we believe about the person and work of Jesus Christ and the magnificent grace of God which saves us.

6 6 II. Justification a. No Christian of any type would dispute the biblical fact that sinful man is in need of a personal savior and that Jesus Christ is that Savior who effectively dealt with man's sin problem on the cross of Calvary. b. However, the dispute arises as one parses the terms relating to the actual work accomplished by Christ on the cross, and, one of the chief points of divergence is the word justification.

7 7 II. Justification c. From the Protestant perspective, justification is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins. It is a legal action in that God declares the sinner righteous -- as though he has satisfied the Law of God. d. The law is not relaxed or set aside, but is declared to be fulfilled in the strictest sense; and so the person justified is declared to be entitled to all the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law.

8 8 II. Justification e. Justification is not the forgiveness of a man without righteousness, but a declaration that he possesses a righteousness which perfectly and forever satisfies the law, namely, Christ's righteousness Rom 4:6-8 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. KJV f. The sole condition on which this righteousness is imputed or credited to the believer is faith in or on the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is called a "condition," not because it possesses any merit.

9 9 II. Justification g. Faith is the instrument, the only instrument by which the soul appropriates or apprehends Christ and his righteousness (Rom 1:17; Rom 3:25,26; 4:20,22; Phil 3:8-11; Gal 2:16). For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. KJV h. This justification is based entirely on the sacrifice of Christ by His shed blood: Rom 5:9 "...having now been justified by His blood..." Justification is a gift of grace that comes through faith Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. KJV

10 10 II. Justification i.The contrast of "to justify" is not "to be a sinner" but is "to accuse" or "to condemn" and the, contrast of "justification" is "condemnation". John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. KJV j.Christians receive Jesus and put their faith-filled trust in what Jesus did on the cross and in so doing are justified by God. 1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. KJV

11 11 II. Justification k. The Bible states that justification is not by works because our righteous deeds are filthy rags before God (Is 64:6). Therefore, we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. KJV l. Those who are justified are saved and salvation is a free gift, something we cannot earn. However, Roman Catholic doctrine denies justification by faith alone in the work of Christ.

12 12 III. The Roman Catholic View a. It is important for us to understand that these theological terms are not just semantics or some minor dispute over wordsmithing, but rather, these are crucial distinctions that rise or fall on one's understanding of the very person and work of Jesus Christ. b. A few years after the start of the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church began in earnest to craft a response to Martin Luther and those separatists who had become a force to be reckoned with. This was the work of the Council of Trent.

13 13 III. The Roman Catholic View "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 own 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).

14 14 III. The Roman Catholic View c. When the Roman Catholic Church negates justification by faith alone, it necessarily implies that we must do something for justification, for if it is not by faith alone, then it must be by faith plus something. d. At this point many Catholic apologists appeal to James 2:24 to make their case, but the context of James is speaking of dead faith as opposed to living, saving faith. "You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone."

15 15 III. The Roman Catholic View e. James states that if you "say" you have faith but have no works, that faith cannot save you because it is a dead faith (v. 17). In other words, mere intellectual acknowledgement of Christ is a dead faith that produces no regeneration and no change in a person's life. f. On this point all agree, this dead faith does not justify. Rather, it is only that real and believing faith in Christ that results in justification. When someone is truly justified, he is truly saved and regenerate. God cannot justify one who is not born again.

16 16 III. The Roman Catholic View g. Therefore, we see the results of true saving faith as they are manifested in the changed life of the one justified by faith alone. Real faith produces good works but it isn't these works that save you. h. Good works are the effect of salvation, not the cause of it in any way and they certainly do not help anyone keep their salvation. Of course, Catholicism denies that it is works that save us -- and rightly so.

17 17 III. The Roman Catholic View i. But, Catholicism contradicts itself when it teaches that certain things must be done by people in order to be justified and to keep that justification. Whether or not Catholicism calls these works acts of faith or not is immaterial. j.Of the acts to be performed by Catholics for justification, baptism is the first requirement. ".. 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).

18 18 III. The Roman Catholic View "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).

19 19 III. The Roman Catholic View k. According to Roman Catholicism even faith and baptism aren't sufficient in themselves for one to be saved. It says that baptism is only the first sacrament of forgiveness. Good works, according to Roman Catholicism, are also required and are rewarded with going to heaven: "We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere 'to the end' and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ," (CCC, par. 1821).

20 20 III. The Roman Catholic View l. Catholic theology asserts that works are a predecessor to justification in direct contradiction to what the Bible plainly declares. Romans 3:28 "...that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law,". m. Anything we do in hopes of getting or maintaining our righteousness before God becomes our work. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), par. 2010,"Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification."

21 21 III. The Roman Catholic View n. Catholic theologians attempt to get around this apparent dilemma that grace is unmerited but it is obtained through our merits by the following statement:..."Sanctifying grace is the gratuitous gift of his life that God makes to us; it is infused by the Holy Spirit into the soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it" (CCC, par. 2023). o. This is the heart of the matter. Roman Catholic theology asserts that God's grace is granted through baptism and infused into a person by the Holy Spirit. This then enables him or her to do good works which then are rewarded with heaven.

22 22 III. The Roman Catholic View p. The Protestant view is that Salvation is given to Christians by God and assured by God because it rests in what God has done and not in anything we have done -- that is why salvation is by faith and not works. q. If heaven is our reward, resting upon our works, then our salvation is not secure and we would ultimately end up trying to be good enough to get to heaven. That is precisely what happens among practicing Roman Catholics.

23 23 III. The Roman Catholic View r. Such a scheme leads only to bondage to the Law and results in a lack of assurance of salvation; a constant worry about not good enough, and a continual subjection to the Church's teachings and requirements about what one must do to be saved. s. The natural effect of such a teaching is that one can lose his salvation over and over again and that one must perform the necessary requirements of the Catholic Church to stay saved.

24 24 III. The Roman Catholic View t. It is at this point that Catholic theologians work themselves into a philosophical and logical corner which requires the introduction of the concepts of Penance, Indulgences and Purgatory in order to be consistent.

25 a.Rest in what the Holy Spirit says to us: Gal 3:1-5 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing — if it really was for nothing? 5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? NIV 25 IV. Application

26 b.Compose a prayer of thanksgiving to God that he has met every requirement to assure your salvation on your behalf. 26 IV. Application


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