Gracefully Truthful


Read His Words Before Ours!

Ephesians 1:7-8 
Galatians 1:6-10
Romans 10:9-10 
Psalm 73:23-28 

Many have said people can believe in the biblical view of God,
while still ascribing to the Catholic faith.  

In preparing for this Journey Study, I set out to examine this claim for myself.
A difficult task, I might add.  

I began with the Twelve Articles of Catholic Faith, which are central to the Catholic faith. These mirror the Apostle’s Creed, a summary statement of apostolic beliefs.   

The 12 Articles 
A triune God who created the universe. 
Jesus as Divine Savior; He is fully God. 
Jesus was born of a virgin, conceived through the Holy Spirit, proving He is fully human and fully God.
He was crucified under the word of Pontius Pilot, a Roman governor of Judea. He died and was buried. 
Jesus then descended into Hell and rose from the dead three days later. 
Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven, mediating for us. 

Jesus will return to earth to judge the living and the dead.
They believe in the Holy Spirit.
They believe in the catholic Church (meaning one global church) and communion of Saints. 
The forgiveness of sins. 
The resurrection of the body. 
And finally, in everlasting life.  

While these 12 are core doctrine for Catholic and Christian beliefs,
the difference lies in definitions.   

Forgiveness of Sin
According to Catholic doctrine, Christ’s death “afforded grace for the forgiveness of sin.”
But it wasn’t actually “enough”, we still need to “work” to be “good enough” for that forgiveness to be extended to us.
Catholicism says “original sin” is removed only through baptism, which is a bit like the “Door to Forgiveness” being opened for you. To walk through it, however, you must participate in the “Sacrament of Penance.” This mainly happens through Confession with a Catholic priest. The priest is said to be the mediator between God and humankind, able to extend God’s forgiveness to us on His behalf.  

To a Catholic, Christ’s work on the cross was insufficient to forgive sin without these works of baptism and confession to a priest on our part.

Christian doctrine also holds to Baptism and Confession,
but with different definitions.  

Ephesians 1:7-8 makes it clear:
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, 
according to the riches of His grace, that He richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding.”

Through His blood.
By His grace.
Nothing more, nothing less.
We don’t need to work for forgiveness,
it’s freely given through Christ’s complete sacrifice.  

Our Catholic friends are constantly working to cover up the bad things they’ve done through penance, instead of walking into the guaranteed forgiveness the cross and shed blood of Christ brings.  

With constant work comes a constant question,
“Am I good enough for forgiveness?”

Eternal Life
Death, for a Catholic, continues to beg the question, “Am I good enough?’.
At death, if their soul is deemed holy by God, they go to Heaven.
If the soul is evil, they go directly to hell.
If the soul is neither holy nor wicked, they go to purgatory until the soul is cleansed of any sin (through others praying to Mary on their behalf) before going to Heaven.

In the Catholic faith, Mary is the mediator between us and Jesus, as we pray to her, and she prays to Jesus for us.  

However, Scripture teaches two precious truths:
There is only one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ! 1 Timothy 2:5
We are given access, through Christ’s precious blood, to boldly and directly enter His throne room of grace. (Hebrews 4:16)

When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, he tore the veil in the temple.
That veil separated the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God resided, from the rest of the temple. Only a priest could enter the Holy of Holies to intercede for forgiveness on the peoples’ behalf. If the priest entered in with sin in his life, he would be struck dead.  

But Jesus, who is the only sinless one,
came to earth to make God accessible to us through Himself.  

Jesus came to take the place of the priests as mediator.
He is our perfect mediator because He is the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
Mary was a great woman, but being human means that we are sinful.
She was never intended to be the mediator between us and Jesus. 

The Gospel
The gospel says Jesus’ shed blood and resurrection plus our acceptance equals salvation. Romans 10:9-10 

But Catholicism says the gospel plus work equals potential salvation.  

For all of the good, solid doctrine Christianity shares with Catholicism,
when we start adding things to the gospel, it’s no longer the gospel.  

Good Enough?
If we’re honest, it’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves.
It’s one I’ve been asking myself a lot lately.

Good enough to go to Heaven?
Good enough to bypass purgatory?
Good enough for God’s forgiveness?  

If we’re honest, it’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves.
It’s one I’ve been asking myself a lot lately.  

In truth, Sisters, we can trust that neither are we good enough, nor do we need to be!

Because our God is more than good enough. 
It’s not by baptism that our “original sin” is removed.
It’s not by attending mass without missing.
It’s not by confessing sins to a priest, or any other requirement.
Salvation is found, and forgiveness atoned for, by confessing with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Romans 10:9)

Our eternity is secure.
Nothing can ever snatch us from His hand once we’ve crossed the line of salvation for ourselves. (John 10:28)

The full gospel, nothing more, nothing less, is solid enough to hold our souls for eternity.
Jesus + Nothing = Everything!
Have you trusted Him?!

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5 years ago

Great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and doing the hard work to research deeper.

Rebecca Adams
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Thanks for reading, friend!

Tags :
baptism,believe,Catholic faith,definitions,differences,forgiveness,God,Heaven,Jesus,life,Return,Sin,works
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