Roman Catholic - Doctrine of Salvation

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ROMAN CATHOLIC DOCTRINE OF SALVATION

 

I. THE BASIS OF SALVATION

1a Roman Teaching: salvation is based in a system of sacraments

1b A sacrament is a holy ordinance, instituted by Christ, to be practiced by the Saint through the Holy Church, and which bestows saving merit

2b Since the sacraments must be administered through the Church, one’s only hope of salvation is to pursue these sacraments

3b Thus when they speak of faith in Christ they are referring to a salvation of based on practicing the sacraments of the Church

Rom. 3:28 "By faith"... The faith, to which the apostle here attributes man's justification, is not a presumptuous assurance of our being justified; but a firm and lively belief of all that God has revealed or promised. Heb. 11. A faith working through charity in Jesus Christ. Gal. 5. 6. In short, a faith which takes in hope, love, repentance, and the use of the sacraments. And the works which he here excludes, are only the works of the law: that is, such as are done by the law of nature, or that of Moses, antecedent to the faith of Christ: but by no means, such as follow faith, and proceed from it. “ (notes from the Douai Bible)

2a Roman Teaching: the purpose of Sacraments

1b Stated

1c Remove the consequences of mortal sin

1d Mortal sin is sin which is so severely violates the commandments of God and the Church that it kills the soul sending the individual to hell

2d The Sacraments thus are designed to remove that sin and keep that man from going to hell (but gives no assurance of heaven)

1e Mortal sin not covered after becoming a Catholic will send you to hell

“A serious, grave or mortal sin is the knowing and willful violation of God's law in a serious matter, for example, idolatry, adultery, murder, slander. These are all things gravely contrary to the love we owe God and, because of Him, our neighbor. As Jesus taught, when condemning even looking at a woman lustfully, sin can be both interior (choices of the will alone) or exterior (choices of the will carried into action). A man who willfully desires to fornicate, steal, murder or some other grave sin, has already seriously offended God by choosing interiorly what God has prohibited.

Mortal sin is called mortal because it is the "spiritual" death of the soul (separation from God). If we are in the state of grace it loses this supernatural life for us. If we die without repenting we will lose Him for eternity. However, by turning our hearts back to Him and receiving the Sacrament of Penance we are restored to His friendship. Catholics are not allowed to receive Communion if they have unconfessed mortal sins.” Ewtn website: http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/mortal_versus_venial.htm

2e Excommunication cuts the Catholic off from covering that sin – extreme unction or last rights makes sure that all mortal sins are covered

2c Remove the consequences of venial sin

1d Venial sins are minor and inconsequential which are forgivable by God and thus do not keep a man from heaven

“Venial sins are slight sins. They do not break our friendship with God, although they injure it. They involve disobedience of the law of God in slight (venial) matters. If we gossip and destroy a person's reputation it would be a mortal sin. However, normally gossip is about trivial matters and only venially sinful. Additionally, something that is otherwise a mortal sin (e.g. slander) may be in a particular case only a venial sin. The person may have acted without reflection or under force of habit. Thus, not fully intending the action their guilt before God is reduced. It is always good to remember, especially those who are trying to be faithful but sometimes fall, that for mortal sin it must not only be 1) serious matter, but 2) the person must know it is serious and then 3) freely commit it.” Ewtn website - http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/mortal_versus_venial.htm

2d The sacraments help to cover these sins as well and thus alleviate some the punishment to come

3a The Teaching of Scripture

1b The Scriptures speak of differing degrees of the severity of sin

1c This addresses the present consequences and punishment of sin

1d For example a lie about stealing a cookie will have less present consequences than the murder of one’s neighbor

2d For example: when an individual knows something is sin and does it, the consequences are far greater than if he sins and is not aware it is sin

2c The Bible teaches

1d That all sin, even the smallest of sin, is sufficient to send a person to hell

James 2:10-12, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, "Do not commit adultery,"* also said, "Do not murder."* Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.”

Rom 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

2d It only took the eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree to cause man to die (Gen. 2:17) – this we would consider insignificant to murder, adultery and etc.

2b The Scriptures Teach that Sacraments or ordinances were never intended to have a part in the salvation process

1c Eph. 2:8-9 makes it clear that salvation can not be obtained through any human effort, religious or otherwise

1d “Saved through faith” (8) – faith in Christ work of salvation alone

2d “That not of yourselves” (8) – not of anything we can do

3d “It is a gift of God” (8) – a gift can not be earned otherwise it is wages

4d “Not of works” (9) – not of anything that involves human effort religious or otherwise: no one will be able to boast they got to heaven by their own efforts

5d “For we are His workmanship” (10) – our salvation is totally the work of God

2c Baptism does not save anyone one

1d If baptism saves then Jesus was saved when he was baptized by John the Baptist but we know He was sinless and had no need for salvation

2d Salvation by faith in Christ alone stands a part from baptism

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Rom 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

1 John 5:1, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.”

Rom 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

3d Communion was designed to be a memorial not saving grace

1 Cor 11:23-25, “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."

II. THE PATH OF SALVATION

1a There are seven sacraments recognized by the Catholic Church

1b They believe that these sacraments are a necessary and essential part of salvation – at least the first five

2b Their support for these sacraments comes from two sources

1c Baptism and Eucharist - Scriptures

2c Confirmation, Extreme Unction, Marriage, and Orders - Writings of the Fathers

3b It should be noted:

1c That these seven covers every important event in the individuals life, thus giving the church great control and influence over them

2c That these seven were never laid down as such until 1100 AD and never incorporated as doctrine until 1439

2a The seven are as follows – first 5 are necessary

1b Baptism

1c It produces a baptismal regeneration and secures auto­matically the forgiveness of all past

"Unless a man be born again"... By these words our Saviour hath declared the necessity of baptism; and by the word water it is evident that the application of it is necessary with the words. Douay Notes on John 3:5

"There is no more an oblation for sin"... Where there is a full remission of sins, as in baptism, there is no more occasion for a sin offering to be made for such sins already remitted; and as for sins committed afterwards, they can only be remitted in virtue of the one oblation of Christ's death. Douay Notes Heb. 10:7

2c It thus becomes necessary for salvation for though a man becomes a Catholic at age 20, and follows all the other sacraments, his past sins will send him to hell

3c Even a newly born infant who dies before baptism does not go to heaven

1d This idea has changed some: baby dies before birth goes to a place of unconsciousness

2d They even offer prenatal baptism of the baby's life is in some form of danger

2b Confirmation

1c Having been baptized one must receive the Holy Spirit

2c This is done when the hands of the bishop are laid on the 'believer" (I Cor. 12:13)

3b Eucharist or the Mass

1c An hour long service of rituals it is designed to:

1d Re-enact the experiences of Christ from the Last Supper straight through to the ascension, this is done in a set routine or movements, hand gestures, etc., (Beotner pg 170)

2d They claim the only difference between this and the actual sacrifice is that the cross was bloody and mass is not

"Offer himself often"... Christ shall never more offer himself in sacrifice, in that violent, painful, and bloody manner, nor can there be any occasion for it: since by that one sacrifice upon the cross, he has furnished the full ransom, redemption, and remedy for all the sins of the world. But this hinders not that he may offer himself daily in the sacred mysteries in an unbloody manner, for the daily application of that one sacrifice of redemption to our souls.” Foot notes from Douay Bible on Heb. 10:25

3d This contradicts the clear declaration of Hebrews l0:l0-l8 that indicates Christ death on the cross paid for all sin forever

Heb 10:10-18, “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Christ's Death Perfects the Sanctified And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord : I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.”

2c The Bread and the Cup are taken at this time and it is believed it is the actual body and blood of our Lord

1d However, I Cor. 11:24-25 indicates it is a “memorial” not a sacrifice

2d To believe this to believe in cannibalism as the Catholic must take of the bread and the wine which are considered the “actual body and blood of the Lord”

4b Penance

1c The Christian must confess all his mortal sins to the priest

2c The priest than absolves those sins and he only

3c The Bible says Jesus is the one forgives us our sins

1 John 1:9-10, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

5b Extreme Unction

1c The anointing of an individual by a priest with holy oil and a prayer

2c This guarantees a good catholic all his mortal sins are gone and he is now going to miss hell

3c Primarily for those who are unconscious

6b Marriage

1c Only to be done in the RCC by a priest – important since it is a sacrament and the reasons why divorce is such a serious sin – annulments not divorces

2c If one partner is not catholic they are to sign a statement that they will raise their children Catholic

7b Orders (Priest and Nuns): one gains merit by giving up all to serve the church and becoming celibate

III. THE LIMITATION OF SALVATION

1a Limitations

1b The Roman Doctrine

1c Although the sacraments remove the ultimate penalty and punishment for sin and hell, the Christian still must face retribution for all the sins he has ever committed either in this world or the world to come

2c Facing this inevitable punishment, the Christian is given three alternatives

1d #1: Pay it all in purgatory: the more you have sinned the longer the time spent in purgatory before he can progress into heaven – this purgatory is similar to hell except in duration

2d #2: Pay it partially now

1e Pay for high and low masses to be said for or have a relative do so when one has died – people pray for you

2e Buy indulgences through work of money

1f These are the vast store of merits found in heaven which came from the suffering of Christ and the good works of Mary and the Saints which were over the amount needed to offset the penalty they owed God

2f When indulgences are purchased, their good works can be used to offset ones punishments

3e To do acts of penance to God such as:

1f Saying hail Mary's and prayers with the rosary (See Matt. 6:7)

2f Kissing certain statues and relics (Picture of tree)

"A graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing"... All such images, or likenesses, are forbidden by this commandment, as are made to be adored and served; according to that which immediately follows, thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them. That is, all such as are designed for idols or image-gods, or are worshipped with divine honour. But otherwise images, pictures, or representations, even in the house of God, and in the very sanctuary so far from being forbidden, are expressly authorized by the word of God” Douay Notes on Exodus 20:4

3f Inflicting wounds and punishments and abstaining in life such as in monastery or fastings - (locked in a room for years)

3d #3: Pay it all now: if one is able to do enough good works while here on the earth from which one becomes a Saint; only a few have arrived at this point

4d #4: Pay it all through a living relative: after you die get a relative to pay for it

2b The Scripture Teaching

1c Contrary to the hope of every Christian

2 Cor 5:6-8, “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

Phil 1:21-24, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”

Rev 14:13, “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."

2c Contrary to the fact that at salvation all of our sins are removed; past, present, and future

Rom 5:1-2, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Rom 5:8-10, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”

Rom 8:33-39, “Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 Thes 5:9-10, “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”

3c Contrary to salvation by grace through faith alone