Lucia's Blog: October 2015
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"IRRESISTIBLE GRACE"

"But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God....  And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified."  
Acts 20:24, 32


THE GRACE OF GOD VERSUS FALSE GRACE


I have revised my earlier study on "Irresistible Grace."  I would like to share it with you.  If you are interested, please give it careful consideration.

If a man has a life-threatening disease, you do him no favor by holding back the bad news.  Some cancers must be cut out. The Grace of God extends to us the true favor of offering us the remedy to the soul-threatening disease called "sin."  It is good news although it pricks our conscience and gives us pain. We do our friends no favors by watering down the demands of God's Grace.  Let's investigate the true Grace of God as a contrast to the cheap versions offered by the modern doctrines of men falsely called "Grace."

The abuse of the Bible word "Grace" frustrates me.  It is amazing how quickly some are willing to abandon some of the most basic Bible truths.  Granted, the letter to the Romans has some difficult passages, but can we not agree at least on the general teaching of the letter?  If we spend a lot of time reading and studying commentaries written by men and burying our noses in useless speculation regarding God's Grace, we are not going to learn anything worthwhile.  These commentaries are dangerous and harmful because they are not sound in doctrine.  They promote a form of denominationalism that allows a minimum of conviction.  The book of Romans is the most misunderstood book in the Bible. They put law in general (rule of action) at odds with the Grace of God as if obedience to the laws of God is irrelevant to receiving His favor.  The fact is that the message of this book is "the gospel is God's power to save."  (Romans 1:16-17).  The Gospel of Grace demands obedience! (Romans 1:5; 6:17-18, 16:25-26).

"Now to him that is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, but now is manifested, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known unto all the nations unto obedience of faith."  (Romans 16:25-26)

The purpose of our study will be to prove all things and hold fast that which is good (1 Thess. 5:21). While the Word of God clearly teaches that we are saved by grace (Acts 5:11; Eph. 2:5-8), we disagree in three crucial areas:  
  1. How is God's Grace received?  
  2. Is man saved by Grace only in the sense that man has no part to play?  
  3. Is it possible for one to fall from Grace?  

We must not ignore the definitions, descriptions and Bible applications involved in the doctrine of God's Grace. The twisted speculations of Calvinism are not worth defending.

Calvinism has undeniably influenced and dominated the Protestant world.  It is not easy to remove this influence along with its applications and cardinal points.  According to this prejudice, man is not able (utterly inept) to believe or obey God's Grace.   It is tragic that so little is understood about how to gain the favor of God.  It is equally tragic how the subject of God's Grace is distorted,  misrepresented and misinterpreted.  

Despite all this abuse, misuse, misrepresentation, and misinterpretation of God's Grace, the apostle Paul asserts the need for not receiving God's Grace in vain.  Man may receive or reject God's Grace.

 "And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain (for he saith, At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee, And in a day of salvation did I succor thee: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation)."   (2 Cor. 6:1-2).

 I would like to start first by giving a definition of salvation by faith and then discuss how it is offered according to God's Word.  Then we can end by correcting Calvinism.  


I.    SALVATION BY FAITH

Without a doubt, man will attain salvation by faith (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38).  However, the popular voices shamelessly add to the Word of God, saying that salvation is "by faith alone."  

  • The Subject of Salvation

Quoting New Testament Scriptures that say that salvation is "by faith" does not prove that man will be saved by "faith alone."  The Scriptures do not say, "faith alone."

The Word of God does not contradict itself.  Unfortunately, many teachers do not handle the Word of God well (2 Tim. 2:15).

The subject of salvation is not:  Is salvation by faith?  We agree that salvation is by faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26).  Right?  The real issue is:  Is salvation by faith alone?  

  • Bible Authority

To find the Truth, it is crucial that we accept the correct authority.  Who was given all authority to establish the Truth concerning man's salvation?  The religious leaders or Jesus?

Jesus, our Lord, has all authority (Matt. 28:18).  His authority is hammered throughout the New Testament as revealed by the apostles and inspired prophets (John 13:20; 14:26; 16:13; 20:30-31). The Word of Christ (His Law) constitutes the final (Jude 3) and complete (John 16:13) revelation of God to men (Heb. 1:1-2).  
  1. To reject Christ's Law is to reject or deny His authority (His Lordship). 
  2. To reject or deny His Lordship is to bring upon one God's wrath (judgment).  (John 12:48; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 John 9; Rev. 22:18-19).

The Word of God is:
  1. Truth (John 17:17).  
  2. It is infallible and immutable (1 Peter 1:24-25).  
  3. It equips men for all his spiritual needs (2 Tim. 3:16).  
Therefore, all the uninspired human ways, thinking, and reasoning must be rejected as wholly inadequate or inept to determine the will of God toward men (Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 14:12).

We must be willing to examine all Scriptures when searching for the Truth (Acts 17:11) to handle it right and be approved of God (2 Tim. 2:15).  We must not twist the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16) the way those who preach and teach "salvation by faith alone" do.

  • Salvation By What Works?
So, how are we saved?  There can be no salvation without obeying the Gospel, for there can be no salvation without forgiveness. Man has no hope of salvation because of his sins thus he deserves to be punished (Romans 3:10-18; 3:23; 6:23).  All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  Man cannot be forgiven without the blood of Christ which is offered to us by the Grace of God (Ephesians 2:9).  But Grace demands obedience to the Gospel!

So how is man counted to be righteous?  In Psalm 32:1-5 David tells us how blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven.  He then describes that forgiveness as the blessedness of the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity. The apostle Paul explains this beautiful Psalm in Romans 4:6-8.  
"Just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:  7 'Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.'"

This Scripture states that one's faith is counted to him for righteousness.  It does not say that Jesus' righteousness is imputed to him.  Some abuse these verses to say that Jesus' righteousness or perfect, life is imputed to us.  Again, how is man counted to be righteous? Romans 4:6-8 and Psalm 32:1-5 show us how.  God imputes righteousness (verse 6) when our sins are forgiven and covered so that sin is not imputed or counted (verses 7-8).  Such forgiveness of sins is granted only through Jesus' death and sacrifice.  You see one is counted to be righteous before God conditionally when he believes, that is, saving faith which is obedient faith (Romans 4:3,5,9,21-22).  Jesus' blood washes away (cleanses man) our sins when we obey the Gospel.  Thus our record before God shows that our sins are not imputed or counted against us any longer.  Thus we are counted to be righteous when our sins are forgiven because of Jesus' sacrificial death conditioned upon our obeying faith.  By doing this, we are no longer guilty because of our sins, so we are held to be righteous.  

So how is man saved by faith apart from works (Romans 4:4-5)?  You see works can mean different things in many contexts.  For instance in Galatians 3:20, the "works of the law" including circumcision (Romans 4:9-12) were works of the Old Testament Law.  The Jewish Pharisees had the mistaken idea that one was justified only by doing certain works of the Law of Moses, that they might earn righteousness as a "wage" or "debt."  They had little understanding of Mercy and Grace.  Now that Jesus had come, the Law of Moses (the Old Law) could not offer forgiveness (Grace) since it had only animal sacrifices in which sins were remembered every year (Hebrews 3-4).  For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (Hebrews 10:4).  Without the Grace of God that forgives sins, to be counted as righteous, one had to be sinless, that is, without sin.  
"For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, 'Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them."'  (Galatians 3:10).
All of us have sinned except Jesus our Lord and Savior (Romans 3:23, 9-18).  The Law could not declare anyone righteous or just or free from the guilt of sin even if he had only broken one law.  Justification or forgiveness by Law was impossible, for all have sinned.  But apart from the Law, God had revealed a plan of righteousness.  Justification, forgiveness, is free, for it is bestowed freely by the Grace of God and not by man's merit.  Justification or forgiveness is by faith when we accept Jesus as Lord, Savior, Prophet, and King.  Forgiveness or justification apart from the Law is only through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus or by Him.  Thus redemption is granted by what He did for us.  So what does it mean to "justify" a person?  It means to pronounce him just or righteous; to declare him not guilty.  Of course, if one keeps the Law perfectly, and never sins, he is justified and not guilty of doing anything wrong.  But if a man sins, he is guilty, and when God forgives him, there remains no charge against him, for he is free from the guilt of sin and is righteous as if he had never sinned!  So what is Grace?  Grace is favor, a benefit bestowed.  Since no one is worthy of the gifts of God, it is the gratuitous bestowal of a thing that someone needs.  Since we all have sinned, we need forgiveness and to be made righteous, which is possible only through God's Grace, no matter how many sins we might have.  No amount of works will set aside our need for the forgiveness of sins by GraceJesus redeems us from the slavery of sin and of course from the power of Satan, for He is our Redeemer.  Jesus came to earth to give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).  He died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6).  Thus He became that which is offered as an exchange for another as the price of His redemption (1 Tim. 2:6).  
"Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works."  (Titus 2:14).

The whole process of redemption is centered on Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:30).  Jesus is our Redeemer, for no one else could rescue us from the bondage of sin but Him.  He is also our ransom, for He was the price that was paid for our redemption.  In Jesus Christ, God graciously provides a way by which sinners can be justified (Romans 3:25-26).  The whole process of redemption grew out of God's compassion toward sinful men.  Men were under condemnation, for they had violated and disregarded God's Law and authority.  Although God's Law was broken again and again yet in Jesus Christ, God was justifying sinners, passing over the sins committed under the Old Law.  Justice demanded that the guilty be punished, and the Law demanded that those penalties committed under the Law be inflicted upon the guilty.  Jesus our Lord suffered the penalties of that Law that were violated, broken and disregarded.  And though He paid the penalty for our redemption from the bondage of sin and death, He cannot force anyone to accept the freedom He purchased for us.  Only those who believe in Jesus with an obedient faith can be justified.  The death of Christ made it possible for God to be righteous in passing over the sins committed before the coming of Christ.  The sacrifices they offered pointed to Christ.  His death made it possible for God to be just while justifying or forgiving sinners who believe in Christ.  The Law proved everyone was a sinner in need of forgiveness, for it made them aware of their guilt, but it couldn't remove their guilt (Romans 3:20; Galatians 3:11-12, 21-25).  Thus, justification by works means having a right standing before God, not by forgiveness but by living our whole life without sinning.  

There is no greater blessing than to be saved (declared innocent) despite our sins when we obey the Gospel of Christ.  Why?  Because faith in Christ is the only way to salvation (Acts 4:12).  Therefore, there is no salvation in anyone else but Christ! Our due reward is condemnation. That is what we deserve!  We all have sinned!  Therefore, we cannot expect to be declared guiltless (justified) before a righteous God without the Gospel of Christ, for the Gospel is that system of Grace that provides forgiveness that we do not deserve.  Grace is offered to all (Titus 2:11-12).  But to receive it, we must meet the conditions.  One of those basic conditions is a saving faith, not a dead faith (Romans 4:5, 21-25; Gal. 3:24-25; John 3:16).  Saving faith demands obedience, and to enter Christ, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins (Gal. 5:6; Heb. 10:29-11).  Our faith must obey to receive God's blessings (James 2:21-24; Heb. 11:8-10).  We are reconciled to God through Jesus' death and are saved by His resurrected life because He ever lives and makes intercession for us.  I must stress that being saved by His life does not imply that Jesus' sinless life is imputed on our account.  His sinless life is not credited to us.  We are made righteous through the obedience of Jesus that made Him a perfect sacrifice without spot or defect and through His obedience at the cross, for His obedience was essential to our salvation.  

The Gospel mentions different kinds of works, but there are kinds of works that do not save us yet there are other kinds of works that are essential to salvation.   And though some passages say that we are not saved by works of law, yet others do say that we are saved by works that we must obey to be saved.  The Protestant world disregards the importance of obedience, denying that the New Testament is a law.  They deny that obedience is essential to salvation.  Sadly, many who reject the Protestant errors, state that the New Testament is not a code of laws, but a group of love letters.  Those of us who insist on keeping commandments for salvation are accused of being "legalists."  And though the New Testament is not a system of justification by works of law, we must fulfill the Law of Christ!  The Law of Christ has law that we must fulfill!  Sin is a transgression of law.  To eliminate law is to make void our need for Grace and Jesus' death!  So are works essential aspects of the Gospel? Yes, for we must be doers of the Word and not just hearers. Works and faith go hand in hand!  By works a man is justified and not by faith alone.  God will judge us according to our works (Romans 2:6-10; 2 Cor. 5:10; John 6:28-29; Phil. 2:12; John 5:28-29; 1 John 2:17; 1 Thess. 1:3; Acts 9:6).  

Under the works of Law, there was no hope of salvation.  Why?  Because the Jews did not obey the Law.  If the had obeyed the Law, they would have obeyed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You see they did not accept the Lordship of Christ and obey His Gospel.  The Jews under the Law of Moses could not be justified by their tithing mint, anise, and cumin, nor by fasting twice a week (Gal. 3:10; Romans 11:6).  No matter how meticulous they might be in keeping the Sabbath, they were lost because they were guilty of sins, just like the Gentiles.  Paul stresses this subject in Romans 3:9. All men (Jew and Gentile) need the Gospel of Christ to be saved (Romans 1:16-17).  

Thus, salvation is by obedience to the terms that Jesus has revealed in His Gospel.  (2 Tess. 1:8; John 12:48).  There is no reason to boast or glory in the Gracious pardon of our merciful God even when we must meet His terms of pardonWhat is there to boast about?  There is no pride in knowing we are lost because of our lawlessness. Had He demanded that we climb the highest mountain to receive that gift, it would still be a gift!
"Where then is the glorying? It is excluded. By what manner of law? of works? Nay: but by a law of faith."  (Romans 3:27). 
  •  Salvation by Faith in Jesus
The man who is lost in sin does not deserve anything, let alone salvation (Romans 4:4).  It is not his "due" for the righteous deeds he has done since he is not righteous (Romans 3:10-20).  Because all men have sinned.  And since all men have sinned they deserve damnation (hell).  (Romans 5:12; Matt 6:23; Matt. 25:46). Hence, man needs Gods mercy, His Grace to be forgiven of his sins.

So, who can save us from God's wrath, fury (judgment and hell)?  (Luke 12:5; Romans 2:5-9).
  1. Jesus who provides the only Way to escape the wrath of God, eternal punishment (Acts 4:12).
  2. Jesus who paid the ransom that frees us from eternal damnation, punishment (1 Tim. 2:6).
  3. Jesus who suffered the death that brings us peace with God, reconciliation (Isaiah 53:5).
  4. Jesus who is the propitiation for our sins (the burnt offering of mercy for our lawless works, 1 John 2:2).
  5. Jesus who is the solution to our sins (Romans 3:23-26).  
Since,
  • All men have sinned, i.e., they have committed lawlessness (1 John 2:2).
  • All men can be justified (acquitted of guilt) by believing in Jesus (Rom. 3:24).
  • To believe in Jesus means to obey Him (Heb. 5:9).
  • Jesus is our burnt offering of mercy, the only sacrifice in which there is forgiveness of sins (propitiation).  (1 John 2:2; Rom. 3:25).
  • Man needs to have confidence in Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, faith in His blood (Romans 3:25) to attain God's mercy and forgiveness.
  • God is just because He justifies only the one who has faith (believes) in Jesus (Romans 3:26; John 3:16).

So, man is saved only by seeking Jesus in faith.  This faith in Jesus must be a living faith that leads us to obey from the heart (without questioning) the instructions of Jesus (Romans 5:1).  It is impossible for such faith to be mere mental assent without obedience (works).  (James 2:2).

  • So, What is Faith in Jesus Then?
  1. It is confidence in Jesus and obedience to all of His commandments (2 Thess. 1:8; Hebrews 5:9).  
  2. There is no salvation without faith in Jesus (Eph. 4:20; John 6:51; Acts 4:12).  
  3. Faith is central to salvation
  4. This living faith is accompanied by the works of faith (James 2:24-26).
  5. Salvation involves more than just believing, for faith alone, or just belief is not saving faith.
  6. Saving faith is obedient to God's Word and fulfills all that is necessary to receive salvation, for it is an active faith that turns away from sin into repentance.
  7. It is faith that is committed to living a life of faithfulness and devotion to the Lord.
  8. It is faith that steadfastly lives by the teachings of Jesus.

Salvation by faith in Jesus is founded on the Word of God (Romans 10:17) that leads the sinner to obey the Gospel of Christ (2 Thess. 1:8).  There is no justification without obedience to Christ, His Gospel.  Why?  Because
  1. The sinner needs to hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to have faith (Acts 8:35).
  2. The sinner needs to believe in Christ (Acts 16:31-34).
  3. The sinner needs to repent of his sins since Jesus will judge him one day (Acts 17:30-31).
  4. The sinner needs to confess his faith in Jesus (Jesus as Lord)  (Acts 8:37; Matt. 10:32).
  5. The sinner needs to obey the Gospel of our Lord and Savior and be baptized for the forgiveness of his sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:37-38).
  6. The sinner must persevere in the doctrine of Christ to live a pure, godly life and have an abundant life of good works (Col. 3:16; Eph. 2:10; 4:20-21).

It is a tragedy that false teachers have deceived so many into believing the heresy of salvation by "faith alone."  They teach that faith in Jesus is mental assent alone.  According to them, faith is the acceptance of the heart without the repentance and baptism that Peter demanded on Pentecost.  They say, "Salvation is not by works, but by faith, obeying the Gospel is one work. Therefore, this doctrine of obedience is legalism..."  What they willfully ignore is that the apostle Paul declares that God has prepared "works" that He wants us to carry out (Eph. 2:10).  
  • God is well pleased when we carry out the works of obedience (Rev. 2:2,5).  
  • Christ teaches us that salvation is not by obedience to the Law of Moses (for the Jews sinned under this Law) nor to any human system of morality invented by any man to live without sin since we all have sinned and are lost.  
  • Salvation is not by means of any work apart from the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ that teaches us that we must obey Him to be saved (2 Thess. 1:8; Acts 4:12).

  • Salvation by Grace Through Faith
God's Grace cannot be attained without the obedience of faith (Gal. 5:6).  Thus, the Gospel of Christ cannot be separated from the Grace of God with which He teaches all men (Titus 2:11-12).  So much so that the Gospel is called the "Gospel of the Grace of God."  (Acts 20:24).  Man cannot find favor (Grace) with God without obedience by faith in Christ.  To reject the Word of God is to reject "the word of His grace."  (Acts 20:32).

To be saved by faith is to attain the mercy of God by obedience to the Gospel of Grace.  All this has been possible through the blood and cruel death of Christ. 
We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God.  Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him."  (2 Cor. 5:20-21).  

II.    THE GRACE OF GOD

Considering the twisted way the modern teachers use the terms “faith” and “God's Grace,” let us clarify the Bible definition of Grace before we proceed with the study of these crucial issues.  Later we can contrast God’s Grace with the modern concept of  “irresistible grace.”  

  • Definition of Grace
Grace is the "kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved."  (Thayer's Greek Lexicon). This well defines God's saving Grace as found in the Scriptures.  In other words, the Grace of God is His unmerited favor toward sinful man.  His Grace comprises all of His unfolded provisions for the salvation of mankind.  These provisions are things that man cannot provide for himself.

The greatest act of the Grace of God is His Son's ultimate sacrifice:  
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life."  (John 3:16).

No man can die for himself, thus redeeming himself, and bring about his own salvation.  Why? 
  1. Because man's defiled (spotted) conscience can only be made pure by the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:19; 3:21; Heb. 9:14).  
  2. It was through Christ's death that He was able to do for man what he could not attain by himself.  This is what Grace is.  And man must respond to the Gospel of Grace if he wants to benefit from the blood of Christ.

The apostle Paul defines describes and thoroughly explains "the grace of God."  He points out two fundamental constituents of Grace:  
  1. The teaching or instruction of the Gospel of Christ.  (Titus 2:11-12) and
  2. Christ's sacrifice on the cross.  (Titus 2:14).

God gave His only begotten Son for the salvation of all men.  
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  (John 3:16).  

Paul also says that Christ gave himself for our redemption.  This was an act of Grace.  Thanks be to God for His indescribable Grace!!!
"Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds."  (Titus 2:14).

  • The Grace of God and The Gospel 
Before Paul began speaking of Christ's ultimate sacrifice, he declared,

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age."  (Titus 2:11-12).  
Take note that those who desire to receive the benefits of the Grace of God must obey His instructions found in the Gospel.  The Grace of God does not annul man's obedient faith, but rather it demands it.

In Acts 20:24, 32 we read that the grace of God is manifested to all men through the instruction or teaching possible only through the "Gospel."  Paul declared this to the elders of Ephesus when he affirmed, "the gospel of the grace of God."  (Acts 20:24).

"But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God....  And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified."  (Acts 20:24, 32).

This text teaches us clearly that the Grace of God is conferred or granted only through the Gospel and is inseparable from it.  For this reason, all who reject the Gospel reject the Grace.  At the same time, the one who perseveres in the Gospel of Christ persists or continues in the Grace of God.

To persevere in the Gospel is to persist or continue in the Grace.  It is the same thing.  Take note of what Paul and Barnabas urged the congregation in Antioch of Pisidia "to continue in the Grace of God," which means that they had begun to enjoy the favor of God as they listened to the Gospel that Paul preached and believed it. Paul intended to continue teaching the rest of his message as the Grace of God permitted.
"Now when the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God."  (Acts 13:43).
It is undeniable that the Grace of God and the Gospel are inseparable.  Why?  Because "we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus.”  (Acts 15:11).  Moreover, Paul declared in Romans 1:16, that the Gospel is "the power of God for salvation."  

As we can see from Acts 15:11 and Romans 1:16 the Grace of God and the Gospel are inseparable. Those who teach a certain "Grace" without connecting it to the demands of the Gospel are but false teachers that preach a false Grace!  

The Bible teaches the will of God to all men (Titus 2:11), but not everyone will be saved (Matt. 7:13-27).  It is through God's Grace that men receive instruction on how to live godly and holy so as to be saved.  The Grace of God is a gift that man must accept by responding to it with obedience to God's commands.  All men can easily understand the Gospel of the Grace of God.  On the contrary, Calvinism speaks a lot of the "enabling grace," but this is NOT the Grace of God, the one the Bible speaks of.  

And according to this same theology, God's Grace is miraculously and irresistibly bestowed upon man without any effort whatsoever on man's part, even without man's desire to receive it.  This false doctrine arises out of the false doctrine of total hereditary depravity, i.e., man has been utterly and hopelessly depraved since Adam's fall in the garden. Thus, it is impossible for man to even desire to be saved.  They also assert that man is depraved (corrupted) of all good and is not able to believe. This, of course, contradicts the Bible passages that teach that the Gospel must be preached to all men and that all men must obey it to be saved.  The Gospel of the Grace of God is not obscure and mysterious or something inexplicable.  On the contrary, the Gospel must be preached to all men (Matt. 28:19).

The apostles ordained by God carried out this commission that began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) where 3,000 souls obeyed the Gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 2:37-41).  The apostles preached the Gospel not only in Jerusalem but all Judea, Samaria and to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8).  All the cases of conversion in the book of Acts show the efficacy of the Gospel of the Grace of God.  Today as well, we are saved by the Grace of God when we obey the Gospel.  It is only by the Grace of God that we learn how to please God.  Obeying the Gospel of the Grace of God demands that we fulfill the terms of salvation as we have discussed above under the heading:  So, What is Faith in Jesus Then?


III.    GOD'S GRACE VS. THE FALSE "IRRESISTIBLE GRACE" OF CALVINISM
  • Calvinism has another "god" (one that is partial, cruel, unjust, has no love, and one that does not desire men to be saved).  
  • Likewise, they have another "Christ."  One who did not die for all men but only for a select group of people. 
  • Moreover, they also have another "Holy Spirit."  One who does not work through the Gospel as we see in the book of Acts of the Apostles.  According to Calvinist Pastors, the Holy Spirit works directly on the heart of sinners to change their character.
  • They also have another "church."
  • Another "religion" not mentioned in the Bible.  
It is no surprise that this "Grace" of Calvinism is not in the Bible.  They call it the "Enabling Grace." A concept that the Bible never mentions.

The Bible teaches us that the Grace of God is conditional (Galatians 5:4).  But Calvinism asserts that, 
  • God only gives His Grace to His elect (unconditional elect).  
  • And since His elect are born sinners and depraved (corrupted), without any hope of turning to Him, He sends them the Holy Spirit to enter their hearts and stirs them up to know the Truth. 
  • This feeling that awakens man to come to God (says Calvinism) cannot be frustrated since it will always prompt men to come to God.

The favored Scriptures used to make the argument for "unconditional election" are the following:

  1. John 6:37, 39, 44:  "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out... This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day...  No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."
  2. Romans 8:30:  "and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."

It is clear that the Calvinist, in order to defend himself, says that men not only can resist the Grace of God but that they must do it.  The truth is that God does touch the heart of man to convince him of his guilt to sin but He does it only through the Gospel (2 Thess. 2:13-14).  God entices us but He does not take away our will (Jeremiah 20:7)!

Let us consider John 6:37.  
  • What do you think Jesus was implying when He said, "All that the Father gives Me."  
  • How does the Father give it to Jesus?  Jesus provides us with the answer in verse 45, "And they shall all be taught of God. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me."  
So,
  • It is through the preaching or teaching of the Gospel that we are taught by God.  
  • It is the Gospel truth that compels us to obey the Father since the One who heard the Father (Jesus) tells us that all who hear the Father and learn from Him can come to Christ (God, the Father, gives them to Christ).

This also explains verse 39.  All who obey the Gospel will not be lost by physical death but rather Christ will raise him up on the last day.

Verse 44 makes mention of the word "draw."  So,
  • How is it that God draws man to Himself?  We are drawn to Him simply by Christ's death (John 12:32-33).  
  • The Gospel teaches us that Jesus Christ died, was buried and raised on the third day. 

Therefore,
  • It is only through the Gospel that we are drawn to the Father and given to Christ.  
  • The Gospel is all that we need for our salvation.  
  • We are not drawn by force as the Calvinist claims.
  • But rather we are drawn to God by our own enlightened will when we learn who God is and desire to obey Him from the heart.

This also explains Romans 8:30.  
  • Those who were called through the Gospel (2 Thess 2:14) as revealed by the Holy Spirit and recorded in Scripture and later obey it are the ones that are destined to be transformed into the likeness of Christ.  
  • We are not called by the Holy Spirit entering our heart to countermand miraculously our corrupted nature.

So, after analyzing these texts, what else does the Bible have to say about the Grace of God?  It is good to note that the Bible says that Grace can be accepted or rejected.  Consider the following Scriptures:

"You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did."  (Acts 7:51)
"See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled."  (Hebrews 12:15)
"and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life."  (John 5:40)

Calvinism ignores Acts 2:38 that tells a man what he needs to do to be saved.  On the day of Pentecost when those who heard Peter were pricked in their heart, they asked the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 
  • How did Peter answer?  
  • Did Peter say they did not have to do anything?  
  • Did Peter say to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues?  
  • Did he say that the "irresistible grace" was going to change their heart?  
  • Indeed, what did Peter say?  Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."  So, when are we going to hear this answer given by the Calvinists?

According to Calvinism, man cannot imitate the examples of the apostles in the book of Acts.  Why?  Because man, out of his own will, cannot just hear the Gospel, believe, repent, confess Christ as Lord and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.  I don't see any example in the book of Acts that supports or defends the position of Calvinism!

It is true that the Holy Spirit came from heaven (Acts 2:1-4).  But, 
  • What did He do?  He came upon the apostles, giving them power to speak other tongues (languages) that they had never learned or spoken before (a miracle). 
  • What was the purpose?  To convince the Jews that the message of the Gospel they were preaching was from God and not from men.

In Acts 8, we read of the work of the Holy Spirit.  But,
  • What exactly did the Holy Spirit do?  He gave miraculous power to the evangelist Philip to cast out uncleaned spirits and to heal the paralyzed and lame (Acts 8:7) so as to convince people to believe the Gospel of grace he was preaching (Acts 8:12).
"But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike."

The Holy Spirit was very much involved with the apostles in the preaching of the Gospel, BUT He never worked directly on the hearts of sinners to regenerate them, changing their character, so that they could believe in God.  This false concept was never expressed during the apostles' ministry.

So, 
  • Why did Jesus promise to send the Holy Spirit to them, the apostles?  To guide them in all Truth.
  • How is the sinner made alive?  Calvinism asserts that the Holy Spirit works directly on the heart of the sinner in order to change him and make him alive so that he can believe in God, love Him and do good works.
But the parable of the sower says otherwise, (Matt. 13; Luke 8).  This parable teaches us clearly that life is in the seed and that the seed is the Word of God (Luke 8:11).  Likewise, James 1:21 says,

"Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls."  
Moreover, 1 Peter 1:22-23 says,
"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God."

Calvinism asserts that since man is born corrupted (depraved of all good), God has to send the Holy Spirit to work directly on the heart to regenerate it and change his character, bringing him to repentance.  They claim that this Grace is "irresistible," that apart from the will of the sinner, this "irresistible Grace" changes him and gives him faith. Once having faith, the sinner can love and do good works.  They say that,
  • This Grace is "irresistible" since is the work of the Sovereign God. 
  • Where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual. 
  • Where faith is declared to be the work of God (John 6:28-29). 
  • Where God appoints people to eternal life (Acts 13:48).  
  • Where being born again is not by man's will but by God's (John 1:12-13).

All this is nothing more than human invention.  It is pure “doctrines of men” (Matt. 15:9).  Why?
  • Because there is no evidence of this false doctrine in the book of Acts of the apostles which is the book of conversions.  
  • Because there is not one example in the Bible that mentions God speaking to men directly in order to work directly on the heart of men to change or regenerate his character.
So,
  • What does the Bible have to say about those who were utterly corrupt?  
  • Did God send the Holy Spirit to them to work a miracle in their heart so that they could change their character?  NOT AT ALL!  He rather,
    • Sent a universal flood.  
    • Sent fire and brimstone.  
    • Sent plagues.  

Calvinists are filled with twisted doctrines to their own destruction.  They must learn to let the Bible interpret itself rather than inventing man-made doctrines!


CONCLUSION

The main purpose of this demonic doctrine of Calvinism is to deny man's free will with the purpose of removing his responsibility and accountability because of his sins.  Rather than accepting responsibility for their voluntarily committed sins, they prefer to blame Adam or their own parents for having inherited sin and for having been born with a sinful or corrupt nature.  What they don't take into account is that sin is an act that is committed (I John 3:4).  Sin is not inherited!  

In an effort to strip man of all responsibility and accountability to sin, they suggest that salvation is only a work of God and requires nothing of man whatsoever.  To support their false argument, they abuse God's Grace citing Eph. 2:8-10, ignoring the most fundamental concepts due to their Calvinistic prejudices about salvation in Christ.  

Augustine and Calvin taught the false doctrine of  "total hereditary depravity of man" since there is so much evil in the world.  According to them, the only explanation for so much evil in the world is that man is born corrupt or depraved of all good.  Hence, it was necessary to invent the other points or steps of Calvinism which are presented in the acrostic “TULIP.”  Consider them:

Total Depravity (also known as "Total Inability and Original Sin").
Unconditional Election.
Limited Atonement (also known as "Particular Atonement").
Irresistible Grace.
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as "Once Saved Always Saved").

These five categories do not comprise Calvinism in totality. They merely represent some of its main points.

They also affirm that GRACE by its definition is unconditional which for all practical purposes implies that we don't have to be concerned about whatever terms the Lord might have commanded.   If salvation by Grace means to ignore the Lordship of Jesus, then Jesus is no Lord! That doctrine is by its nature LICENTIOUS. Let's not take Grace for granted! We must keep on teaching true Grace to stop those who abuse it.  We cannot afford to be intimidated by false teachers! 

Are we going to give those who abuse GRACE and its teaching the pleasure of abandoning God's Grace?   Not for a moment!   We cannot depend on God's Grace to help us overcome SIN if we do not depend on OUR OWN OBEDIENCE to the teachings of GRACE (Titus 2:11-12).

All Christian must learn to grow in Grace to have power over sin.  We are commanded to grow in these qualities to make certain our calling and never stumble. This is the only way we are going to enter the gates of heaven, where our Lord Jesus is (2 Peter 1:5-11). This is such a great promise and confidence!  Thus we must keep working out our salvation with fear and trembling, since it is God who is working in us, to please Him and do His will.  This gives us such confidence even when we mess up!  (Philippians 2:12).

Like the apostle Paul, we all must press on.  We must live by God's divine standards.  We must allow GRACE to grow and work daily in us in order to have victory over SIN.

With God's Grace in mind, let's never forget that His grace has been manifested for our salvation. 
  • This Grace through the Gospel equips us with instruction, teaching that we should die to ungodliness and all worldly lusts, to live godly and holy.  
  • This Grace teaches and trains us in purity, free of every lawless deed.
  • This Grace through the Gospel helps us to appear before God a zealous people equipped for good works.  This is how our Father is glorified. (Titus 2:11-14).  
  • Jesus is our helper through His Gospel of Grace to overcome sin.  
  • He has already defeated him who had power over death, that is, Satan.  
  • Jesus is our deliverer from the slavery of sin through His Gospel of Grace.  
  • He gives us the help that we need, through the Gospel of Grace, to overcome sin that we may defeat Satan.  
  • He lived and became human like us that He might become a merciful and faithful Priest since He Himself was tempted and suffered like all of us.  In knowing all this, let's never forget that He can come to our help when we are tempted to sin.  Therefore, let us not forget our hope and confidence of deliverance.  
  • Jesus is our High Priest.  (Hebrews 2:14-18).  
  • This is what the GRACE of God is!

It is true that those who think in a worldly manner believe that by doing more good than bad, God will not condemn them.  They have no concept of the guilt of sin or forgiveness.  This will never work!  NO man can please God while he sets aside, ignores, or disobeys the Word of God.  (Psalm 19 and Psalm 119).

So,
  • When we do not respond to the calling of the Gospel of the Grace of God, we desert Jesus who calls us.  
  • When we do not seek to be saved through Jesus, according to His calling through the Gospel of Grace, (2 Thessalonians 2:14), the Gospel of Christ, and pursue a different calling, which has been corrupted, we desert Him who called us, (Galatians 1:6-7).  
  • Are we justified or saved by keeping the Law of Moses? OF COURSE NOT.  It is only through FAITH in our Lord Jesus that we are saved and justified, and not by the works of the Law.  (Galatians 2:14-16).  
  • Can we fall from GRACE?  The answer is very evident, YES!   If we unyoke ourselves from Christ and seek to be justified by the Law and not through the FAITH of Christ, we have fallen from the Grace of God, (Galatians 5:4). 

Grace is not an irresistible force.  One can reject the Grace of God as well as receive it, practice it and retain it persevering in it.  Grace is the kindness, love, and mercy of God expressed in the Gospel of His Son Jesus.  One must meet all the terms or conditions of the Gospel to receive SALVATION.  

"And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain."  (2 Cor. 6:1)

The man-made system of Calvinism from beginning to end is false.  It is a system of doctrines of men (and Satan!) whose primary purpose is to deceive millions of souls not to obey the Gospel of the Grace of God (Romans 10:16; 2 Thess. 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17).

With all this being said let us be wise to differentiate between the Bible Grace of God and the false Grace of Calvinism!

Thanks be to God for the Gospel of the Grace of God, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.  (Romans 1:16)

May all men come to know Him and keep His Word, living by Grace and bearing good fruit.  May He help us walk by Grace and grow in His Grace so that we may have victory over sin.  May we also love the Truth so that we may please God and be saved.  May we learn Christ through Grace so that we may walk in the likeness of God, in His righteousness and the holiness of the Truth.  May we also abide in the Gospel of Grace with all perseverance.  May we beware of false doctrines as well as their false teachers, always abiding in Christ's Truth, striving with all of our heart and soul so that our Father in heaven can perfect our work.  May we stand firm, striving together for the Gospel of the Grace of God.  May we glorify God for His indescribable Grace to us.

"Knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel... Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God."  (Philippians 1:16, 27-28)

Luci

Friday, October 16, 2015

THE FALLEN CHURCH OF ROME - PART TWO

"This people honoreth me with their lips; But their heart is far from me.  But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men."
Matthew 15:8-9



Welcome back to our study of Catholic Fallacies.   We are going to dig deeper into a number of issues that affect millions of simple followers of Christ who are unfortunately ignorant of the New Testament teachings of Jesus.  He teaches us to love one another even when we disagree.  My sincere desire is to show you my love by helping you to please our Creator and Lord by examining our practices in the light of the Bible that we hold equally dear.


V.   Beliefs and False Doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church


  • The Doctrine of Purgatory

The Council of Florence in 1438 AD mentions the subject of purgatory.  It decreed, 

“If any true penitents shall depart this life in love of God, before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for faults of commission and omission, their souls are purified after death, by the pains of purgatory.”

In the Douay Catechism, we read, 

“Whither go such as die in venial sin, or not having fully satisfied the punishment due to their mortal sin?  The answer:  To purgatory, till they made full satisfaction for them, and then to heaven.  What is purgatory?  The answer:  A place of punishment in the other life where souls suffer for a time, before they can go to heaven.”

Many Catholic authors cannot decide what purgatory is.  Some like Gregory the Great thought it to be the earth’s center.  He as well considered it to be eruptions of Vesuvius and Aetna as flames arising from it.  Bellarmine thought of purgatory as a place between heaven and earth with demons of the air.  Damien with others concluded it might be in some flaming cavern or icy stream.

The RCC teaches that the souls of individuals who have died with venial sins (nonfatal transgressions but mild), that have not been forgiven, or with sins for which they have not undergone the temporal punishment do not go to hell or heaven, but to this placed called “purgatory.  Purgatory serves as a place for the souls of these individuals to be purified with fire, from where they will eventually go to heaven. 

Now for them to prove this false doctrine, they cite 2 Maccabees 12:43, a vague text in an “apocryphal” book.   “Apocryphal” books are uninspired historical books from the period between the Testaments which are included in the Catholic Bibles as sacred.  They do not belong to the canon of Scripture.  They do not appear in the Septuagint, Greek version of the Old Testament.  They as well were not acceptable as legitimate Scriptures by the Jews or by Christ and the apostles in connection to the Truth. 

The words of 2 Maccabees 12:43 do not help their case.  In the previous verses (12:38-40), we learn that “they gather up the bodies of the men who had been killed in battle and bury them in their family tombs. 40 But on each of the dead, hidden under their clothes, they found small images of the gods worshiped in Jamnia, which the Law forbids Jews to wear. Everyone then knew why these men had been killed.”

These soldiers died guilty of idolatry. According to Catholicism, idolatry is a mortal sin that cannot be purged in Purgatory.  This text provides no support for the practice of praying for the dead who have committed “venial sins” and are suffering in Purgatory.  There is no mention of Purgatory.

In the New Testament, they refer to Matthew 12:32

“Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”

Their argument is that there is no sin in heaven, and it does not refer to hell since there will be no forgiveness in hell.  Therefore, it must be “purgatory.”

Take note that one of the most important rules to understand and explain Bible texts is to consider what the parallel texts say.  For example, Mark 3:29 is parallel to Matthew 12:32. Matthew and Mark speak of the same event.  The words of Mark correctly explain the words of Matthew by saying, 
“Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”

Notice that the phrase “never has forgiveness” is equivalent to “it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”  Undoubtedly, the text in Mark sets the real meaning of Matthew’s words.

Also, another parallel passage, Luke 12:10 says, “it will not be forgiven him.”  These two texts (Mark 3:29; Luke 12:10) precisely explain what Matthew is saying in 12:32:  “it shall not be forgiven him.”  It is crucial that we allow the Bible to explain itself: the Bible must explain the Bible and nothing else.

They also cite I Corinthians 3:15 where those that supposedly die in mortal sin go to be purified with fire (and with prayers and “mass” indulgences, purchasing the remission of sins to deliver souls from Purgatory).  I Corinthians 3:13-15 says, 
Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.  If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.  If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

On the surface, this text helps them since it says, “each man’s work will become evident… it is to be revealed with fire.”  However, the Roman Church does not teach that "each man" goes to purgatory. The word “work” in this text refers to those they have converted.  The “work” of everyone is tested as if by fire, and his work can be lost (i.e., the converts do not persevere).  However, if the worker accomplished his task, he will be saved.

Even though, they teach that the souls are purified in purgatory, I Cor. 3:15 does not speak of souls but rather works.  This text does not mean to “purify” but rather “to prove.”  “Each man’s work” (those whom they have converted) is to be tested by fire even though his work is lost (i.e., the converted ones do not persevere).  Regardless of whether the converted (the work that is tried by the fires of trials and persecution) remain faithful or is lost, he will be saved.

“Nobody is purified by fire.”  This doctrine denies the effectiveness of the blood of Christ.  We are purified, cleansed by the blood of Christ and our obedience to Him.  No Scripture teaches that fire helps to purify guilt or pay the price (punishment) for sin.  The doctrine of purgatory contradicts I John 1:7 and other verses that teach that we are redeemed by Christ and His blood.

Another basic text to consider here is Luke 16:19-31.  Jesus speaks of a certain man named Lazarus.  Please don’t dismiss this text as a parable.  This is not a parable.  The parables never speak of people by name.  Even if it were a parable, a parable is not a fable.  Parables always portray realistic everyday activities.

In this text, the rich man died and in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, saying, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.”  It says nothing about a purgatory.  He was not given the hope of escaping after being purified by fire for some time (as long as his family was praying for his soul and paying for a certain number of masses and indulgences).

Lastly, let us consider I Peter 3:18-20.  It is stated erroneously that Jesus preached to the souls in purgatory.  They say that the spirits in prison are not in heaven and that those who go to hell are not called spirits in prison, so it has to be "purgatory."

It is amazing to see the RCC contradict itself over and over again.  Who do you think these spirits in prison are?  Naturally, the “disobedient” ones.  This word is translated as “unbelievers” in the Catholic Bible and is a mortal sin.  Therefore, the same text that they twist contradicts them.  Isn’t that amazing!

The spirits in prison in this text are not in purgatory but in a place that the apostle Paul calls “Tartarus,” or “pits of darkness” for such.  (“Tartarus” is the place of torment in Hades, the temporary dwelling of the disembodied spirits.  The faithful dead go to Paradise, a resting place in Hades).

Remember that I Peter 1:10-12 teaches that the spirit of Christ was in the prophets and Noah was one of those prophets.  So, this text (I Peter 3:18-20) is referring to the preaching of Christ by Noah’s mouth of which the passage speaks clearly.  The unbelieving (the ones who disobeyed Noah’s preaching) are the people who are presently imprisoned in “Tartarus” (Hades) awaiting final judgment.


  • The Erroneous Doctrine Concerning Baptism

Before I start to discuss this subject, let me briefly make a few observations about the seven sacraments of the RCC since this is one of the seven.

The RCC declared seven sacraments or avenues through which grace was dispensed to individuals. They believe that these traditions came directly from God and that God revealed Himself to humankind through the church’s collection of Sacred Tradition.  Before the Reformation in the Middle Ages, most Roman Catholics were far more familiar with Sacred Tradition than they were with the Bible, especially since the Bible was available in Europe only in Latin and very few believers except the priests and scholars had access to the Bible.  This is the very “heart” of their religion.  Our Lord Jesus Christ did not institute them (although they teach that He did) since the Bible never mentions such “sacraments” in the Bible.

They are mere doctrines of men.  In Matthew 15:3-6 Jesus said that the Pharisees and Scribes transgressed the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition.  In Matthew 15:9 we read, 

“BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”  

Again, in Colossians 2:22, the apostle Paul condemned the “commandments and teachings of men.”

Consider the RCC’s seven sacraments;

  1. Baptism (soon after birth).
  2. Confirmation (of young children).
  3. Communion (the weekly observance).
  4. Marriage (when performed in the church with the couple promising to rear their children as Catholics).
  5. Penance (upon confession of sin to a priest who assigns works often the repetition of ritual prayers).
  6. Holy orders (the vow taken by priests, monks, and nuns), and
  7. Rites or Extreme Unction (administered to a dying person).

Among some of their other traditions, we find:  Offering prayers to the saints, counting prayers on the rosary, the veneration (adoration) of their Virgin Mary, the veneration (worship, adoration) of relics, the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

The RCC thus claimed the ability to impart grace to its members from birth to death.  Anyone who dared to step out of line with church practice and teaching back then faced the threat of being excommunicated or being declared ineligible to receive communion, the weekly dispensation of grace. I believe it is still the same way today.  A decree called the “papal interdicts” could even cut off the sacraments from an entire area until the king there repented of a sin.  This, of course, puts lots of pressure on any king to stay in line with the pope.  The system of sacraments threatened to make Christian practice a mechanical ritual because the church insisted that, grace was administered when the sacraments were observed, regardless of the lifestyle or dedication of either the priest or the supplicant.

The RCC has practiced “infant baptism” for centuries.  This is not found in the New Testament, and their origins and practice are unclear.  It became a way for the RCC to claim for its own the children who were thus sprinkled, pressuring parents to rear their children as Catholics.

They baptize babies by sprinkling water on them.  The Greek word for “baptism” literally means immersion in water.  The Greek word for immersion is used for baptism throughout the Bible.  The first recorded case of sprinkling was in 257 AD.  It was offered to someone who was sick in bed.  It wasn’t until 1311 AD that the RCC Council of Ravenna, declared that sprinkling was an acceptable substitute for immersion.

Catholics also teach that infants inherit their parents’ sin at conception, thus being condemned and totally wicked.  This is the doctrine of inherited sin.  It is nowhere in the Bible.  The answer is found in Ezekiel 18:20.

They apparently ignore what the Word of God teaches about baptism.  One must believe (Mark 16:16; repent (Acts 2:38); confess (Acts 8:37) are the prerequisites of Scriptural baptism.

Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them… “  Jesus did not say, “baptize them when they are infants, and teach them when they grow up.”  Christ put teaching before baptism.

In Mark 16:16, Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”  Jesus did not say, “Baptize them in infancy and let them believe when they grow up.”  Our Lord and Savior puts belief before baptism.

Peter said, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  (Acts 2:38).  Peter did not say, “Baptize them in infancy and let them repent when they become old enough.”  He put repentance before baptism.

When the eunuch asked in Acts 8:36-37, “What prevents me from being baptized?” Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”  Every positive law implies a negative one.  Hence, a baby cannot be baptized. Why?  Because in baptism we obey from the heart that form of doctrine (death, burial and resurrection of Christ) and then we are made free from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:17-18).  It is impossible for a baby to obey from his heart as it is also impossible for him to be baptized.   An infant cannot become free from sins, past, present or future, even if he had any sins.  Parents can take a baby to be baptized, but it is just a wet baby.  He is not a baptized baby.

The RCC tries to annul these prerequisites of baptism saying that such are the conditions of adult baptism and that such do not apply to infants.  But the truth of the matter is that these prerequisites do apply to all individuals.  Hence, if infants cannot qualify, then they cannot be baptized.  When the Catholic Church suggests that another class of people (babies) can be baptized without meeting the above-stated conditions, it puts them in a great dilemma of teaching and practicing two baptisms when the Bible explicitly says there is but one baptism (Eph. 4:5) and not two.  Infant baptism and adult baptism are not one baptism.  They are two baptisms.  They teach a “believer’s baptism” and an “unbeliever's baptism.”

When an infant comes to baptism with nothing but the flesh without any faith, repentance or confession, he is really not obeying the command to be baptized.  He cannot give his assent or dissent.

Those who practice a baptism without faith are under the obligation to prove that there are two baptisms:  One that requires faith and another one that requires flesh only.  My question is: 
  1. If there is an “infant baptism,” why is it that the Bible only mentions “one baptism?”  
  2. If there is such a thing as an “infant baptism,” why is it that there is no account of it in the Scriptures?  
While the Bible gives no instruction at all regarding infant baptism, the RCC is exacting, wordy and voluminous in her instructions on this institution.  The RCC theology is monstrously different from the Bible!

The RCC again distorts Acts 16:14-15.  They assume that the baptism of the house of Lydia included the baptism of infants.  They assume that Lydia was a married woman.  The Bible does not say that. Lydia’s “household” could mean that she had a house of maids, servants, and helpers without being married.  It is assumed she was married and had infant children.  It is a speculative argument!

They use the same sort of speculation in I Cor. 1:16 in speaking of Stephanus and his household. There are no infants mentioned as being in the household.  Again, they assume the thing to be proved. Paul declared that the members of this house were the “first fruits of Achaia,” and that they “set themselves to minister unto the saints.” (I Cor. 16:15).  Infants could not have ministered to the needs of the saints.  Period!

The third twisted text is found in Acts 16:25-34 of the jailer and his household.  Again, the speculation is that there were infants in this family.  The Bible teaches that there were no infants under consideration in this family.  Let me prove it:

After the jailer was baptized, he “rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.”  Who was baptized?  Who believed?  “He and his house.”  ALL!

Take notice,
  1. All the jailer’s house believed in God.
  2. Infants cannot believe in God.
  3. Therefore, there were no infants in the jailer's house that are under consideration.

The Bible affirms that there is only one baptism (Eph. 4:5), forbidding two.  The fact that Jesus commanded to baptize believers (Mark 16:16) prohibits the baptizing of infants since they are not believers.  God commanded Noah to build the ark with gopher wood.  That prohibited steel or anything else.  Likewise, when Jesus explicitly commanded to baptize believers that prohibited the baptizing of infants.  Regarding communion, Jesus commanded that we take bread and the fruit of the vine.  This prohibits taking milk or something else at the Lord’s Supper.  Therefore, there is no command in the Word of God from beginning to end for infant baptism!  They are demonic and man-made doctrines.


  • The Worship of Mary, the Goddess of Heaven
As someone who was raised as a devout Catholic and who also went to Catholic school for many years, this was a big one for me.  I was for many years indoctrinated by nuns about the adoration of Mary.  I was taught that Mary was “the mediatrix of our salvation, the ladder of paradise, the gate of heaven, the most true Mediatrix between God and man.”

For Catholics, Mary is Christ, the mediator here on earth.  This is what the pope teaches.  Catholics are more engaged in praising Mary than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  They actually (I was taught) pray to her to have their prayers answered.  They use what they call “rosary beads” to praise Mary more than God Himself.  Notice that of the 59 beads of the Rosary, 53 beads are “Hail Marys, ” and only 6 beads are to “Our Father.”  This is outrageous to me!  This is where most Catholics really have a problem.  No one can dare to belittle Mary.  It is when a Catholic is able to see the Truth of this demonic teaching, that he is able to set himself free from the RCC doctrine.  This is where many Catholics stumble!

The Rosary most often ends with a “Hail, Holy Queen” prayer to Mary, not God, our Father in heaven.  They claim that Mary was a perpetual virgin and never had any children.

Catholic officials (clergy) argue that Mary was chosen from among all creatures to bring the Redeemer into the world, entitling her to high praise as our mediatrix.  This is a big false teaching among the clergy.  Of course, Mary was a good woman, but she was a human being, not a divine being.  She is entitled to be praised as a good woman but not entitled to be hailed as “the Mediatrix of our salvation.”  How do I know that?  Because the Word of God gives that high office only to Christ our Lord (I Tim. 2:5).  Are we going to accept the Word of God or the precepts of man?  When they honor her as the mediatrix of our salvation, they unwittingly dishonor her and especially Christ because it is blasphemy to honor a human as only God is worthy of being honored.

They try to get around I Tim. 2:5 by saying that Jesus is “the one and only mediator of our redemption,” leaving it to imply that there are other mediators.  But none of them died for us!  So why is it that they cannot cite other texts to prove their argument?  It is just another example of them teaching a doctrine without any Scriptural proof.  

  1. The text in I Tim. 2:5, “… one God and one mediator,”  nothing else!  There are no other mediators between God and man, but our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us.  Only One could qualify.  The word “mediator” literally means one who stands equidistant from two sides.  
  2. Jesus lived with God in heaven before He came in the flesh, born of a woman (Matt. 9:6).  
  3. He knew God, the Father.  
  4. He understood His love for man and His attitude toward sin.  
  5. He, living among men, was tempted as a man (Heb. 4:14-15).  
  6. He knew man, his temptations, and his weaknesses.  
  7. This automatically qualified Him to go back to heaven and to advocate on our behalf, representing us as man’s intercessor before the mighty throne of God (Heb. 7:25).  
  8. Only Jesus could or can qualify for this high office. 
  9. Only One Mediator is needed, and it is not Mary.  
  10. Praying to Mary or the departed “saints” removes the One Mediator from that high office.  He alone can hold such a high office, of making intercession for us to God, the Father.  
This theology is more serious and dangerous than I could have imagined.

Man is not to pray to man but for man.  The RCC doctrine violates God’s Laws when they teach that man can pray to man.  We are taught and commanded to pray only to God (Matt. 6:9) through Christ (John 14:13-14;16:23) and that excludes everyone else, including Mary.

They also twist Luke 1:41-43 which tells of Elizabeth’s words to Mary, a very natural conversation, but there is not a word about Mary being “the Mediatrix of our salvation.”  Luke 1:48 says, “from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”  The proof text disproves their theory rather than proving it.  In this song of praise, Mary is stating the character by which she wishes to be known, namely, the blessed or happy one.  She never said that all generations would call her the Mediatrix of their salvation.  She did not want that.  For she wanted to be known as the blessed one.  If the statement, “All generations shall call me blessed,” should be interpreted to imply that she is our mediatrix, then Leah is also our mediatrix for she said, “For women shall came me blessed.” (Gen. 30:13).  Take note that this quotation was taken from the Catholic Bible.

Roman Catholic theology asserts: 

 “And to increase our confidence, St. Anselm adds, that when we have recourse to this divine mother, we may not only be sure of her protection, but that sometimes we shall be sooner heard and be saved by invoking her holy name than that of Jesus our Savior.  And he gives the reason;  Because it belongs to Christ as our judge to punish, but to Mary as our advocate to pity.  By this he would give us to understand that we sooner find salvation by recurring to the mother than the Son.”  (The Glories of Mary, St. Alfonzo Liguori, p. 149).  

This boils down to this:  Christ is too hard, too difficult and too demanding (exacting).  Mary can manage things better than Christ since she is more qualified to act on our behalf.  So, Roman Catholics should take all their problems to Mary, who will either act independently of God or throw a woman’s influence upon Him until she has her way in everything.  What a shame for the RCC to make such a harsh, untruthful, disgusting statement about our Savior!  I cannot fathom that!  It is too much for me!

Alas, I ask the RCC,  how dare you treat our Savior this way?  Such disgusting and untruthful statement makes it easier to see why their prayers are filled with “Hail Mary,” and why their prayers addressed to Mary are more emphasized than the prayers to God.  

“The entire Rosary consists of one hundred and fifty Hail Marys…  The principal prayer of the Rosary is Hail Mary, repeated one hundred and fifty times.”

Take note that the Bible in contrast to this unscriptural doctrine says:  
  1. "God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him [not Mary] might be saved."  (John 3:17).
  2. “According to his mercy he [not Mary] saved us.”  (Titus 3:5).  
  3. “The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him [not Mary].” (Romans 10:12).  
  4. “If ye shall ask anything in my name [not Mary’s name] I will do it.”  (John 14:14).  
  5. “I [not Mary] am the way, the truth and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me [not by Mary]  (John 14:6).
  6. “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father,  Jesus Christ the righteous [not Mary].  (I John 2:1).  
  7. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for His name’s sake [not for Mary’s name’s sake].”  (I John 2:12).  
  8. “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ [not Mary].”  (Eph. 3:14).  “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father [not Mary] in my name [not Mary’s name] he will give it you.”  (John 16:23).

Catholic clerics assert that the Lord considers the glory of Mary as His own and exults in it!  They support this argument with Isa. 48:11 where He said, “And My glory I will not give to another.”  No man can make this text read that the LORD considers the glory of Mary as His own.  So it is RCC theology versus the Bible.  Another text from their own Bible, “I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to graven things.”  (Isa. 42:8).  They implicitly are stealing the glory of Christ and giving it to Mary.  This is wrong!  Both Peter and Paul speaking of Christ said, “To whom be glory for ever and ever.”  (Galatians 1:5; II Tim. 4:18; Heb. 13:21; I Peter 5:11).  No inspired writer ever said, “To Mary be glory for ever and ever.”  The apostles were guided into all truth (John 16:13).  They were not guided by the doctrine of glorifying Mary.  Hence, this doctrine is not part of the Truths of God.

What they need to acknowledge is that Mary shares in Christ’s glory and not our Lord in her glory, exulting it.  This is blasphemy!

The RCC wishes to glorify Mary since she was the fleshly mother of Jesus. As I mentioned earlier, this outrageous error grows out of the mistake of placing too much emphasis on the physical relationship of Jesus.  If Jesus had wanted us to worship Mary as they do, He then missed a marvelous opportunity of glory.  Instead, Jesus taught that the greatest honor comes from obeying the Word of God.  His emphasis is mainly placed spiritually rather than physically.

They boldly assert that Mary is the “Mother of God.”  The Bible never calls Mary the “Mother of God.”  If she were to be the “Mother of God,” then she would be divine.  Jesus is divine since He is the Son of God.
  1. Christ “was made flesh and dwelt among us.”  (John 1:14).
  2. And in the process of this incarnation, Mary became the human mother of Jesus, not the mother of His divinity, not the “Mother of God.”  
  3. God is the Creator of Mary. 
  4. She is a creature, not a self-existing being like God.  
  5. It is pure idolatry to worship and serve a creature rather than our Creator.  
If Rome had read the Bible, they would have encountered this verse in the Bible, in the letter to the Romans.  This letter was given to Rome before she invented the glorification of Mary, of saints and of angels.  They must heed the warning:
“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator.”  (Romans 1:25).

Oh!  Roman Catholics how can you kneel before an image such as Mary, praying to her saying, “Hail Mary,” “Hail Mary,” “Hail Mary,’ in the light of these Scriptures!!  How do you dare to make a creature such as Mary, the goddess of your religion when you know well our Only Creator is to be our Only God in heaven?


  • The Doctrine of Celibacy
The RCC asserts that priests do not marry because they voluntarily follow the advice given in Scriptures:  
“But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife.”  (I Cor. 7:32-33; Matt. 19:20).
Celibacy for the priesthood is not a deliberate practice, but an ecclesiastical ruling.  If it were a voluntary matter, then there would be no issue here.  Those who wished could marry, and those who wished could refuse.  The Word of God teaches that single life is acceptable to God and so is married life.

The vast number of canons on celibacy passed by the RCC shows that it is not voluntary, but obligatory.  If it had been voluntary, it would not have been necessary for Gregory VII, in a council held in Rome in 1074 to decree that every layman who received communion from the hands of a married priest should be excommunicated, (Cyclopedia, McClinton, and Strong, Vol. IV., p. 175). This decree testifies that they enforced celibacy.  Human nature has not changed.

They added in the New Catholic Edition of the Bible (in their notes, under I Tim. 3:2), “priestly celibacy as a law is of the later ecclesiastical institution.”  They defend celibacy by saying that the church officials had the authority to add it.  They cannot support their practice with the Scriptures. Therefore, forced celibacy is not part of the Truth, and it is an error.  It is not a Scriptural doctrine nor a good work.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Notice that the apostle Peter was married and so was Phillip the evangelist (Matt. 8:14; Mark 1:30; Luke 4:38; Acts 21:8-9).

  • Auricular Confession
This is the practice of confessing to a “Priest” and being interrogated by the “Priest” concerning one’s sins. The members confess their sins into the ear of the “Priest,” but he does not confess his sins unto them.  The priests go to confession too but to another priest.  The Bible never said to “confess your sins to the priest.”  Instead, it says, “confess your sins one to another.’'  (James 5:16).  The Word of God says nothing about confessing sins to the priest, a confessor or “I absolve you.”  

The RCC seeks to prove that their members should confess their sins in private to the priest.  Again, they twist “confess your sins one to another…”  It is evident that James is not teaching the RCC doctrine of confession.  If so, he would not have used the expression “Confess, therefore, your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.”  (James 5:16); individuals to individuals.

They also to refer to John 20:21-23 to prove that the Lord gave to a special class of priests, the power to forgive sins.  By the way, this is a favorite proof text.  This Scripture tells us that Jesus gave the apostles power and sent them out to exercise it.  
  1. If that power is the same as the RCC claims for their clergy to forgive sins, why is there no record of such authority in the Bible?  
  2. Where did any of the apostles ever receive in secret any sinner, to hear his confession and absolve him?  
  3. Where in the Bible do we find any apostle called a “confessor?”  
  4. Where did any of the apostles ever say, “I absolve you”?  Let Scripture interpret Scripture!

Since the apostles did not practice “Auricular Confession,” then John cannot be writing about it.  It is out! Period!  What did they really do as apostles?
  1. Our Lord promised the apostles, that they were to make known to men the divine Law of salvation after they had received the Holy Spirit Who was to guide them to all Truth. 
  2. Obedience to this Law was to bring men forgiveness from God in heaven.  
  3. The Holy Spirit spoke the Law through the apostles (Lk. 24:46-49; Acts 2:1-5; Isaiah 2:2-4). 
  4. On the day of Pentecost, they presented the terms of pardon, and as a result, three thousand souls were forgiven of their sins (Acts 2:38-41).  
  5. This is the sense in which the apostles forgave sins.  
  6. They did this by preaching the terms of pardon upon which God was to be able to forgive sins.
  7. Today, the same conditions of forgiveness apply to all those who obey.  
  8. The apostles revealed how men may be forgiven, but did not practice “Auricular Confession.” 
  9. Peter himself commanded Simon the Sorcerer to repent and pray to God that he might be forgiven (Acts 8:22). 
  10. He did not demand that Simon confess to his “confessor priest.” 

It is clear that the apostles did not have the power to remit sins as the RCC claims.  They did not claim or exercise such power.  If so, I demand a Scripture.

The Roman Church uses the Jewish priesthood model of the Old Testament to support their Catholic priesthood.  The priesthood they speak of is in the present and not the past, the OT.  Even though the old priesthood and the Law had changed (Heb. 7:12), some Judaizers who accepted Christianity still kept some of the Law.  They had not accepted Christianity since they were still in Judaism.  

  1. The Only High Priest that we have today is our Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 4:14).  
  2. Likewise, every Christian is a priest (I Peter 2:5) and does not need an intercessor other than Christ.  
  3. Every Christian can “come boldly unto the throne of grace.”  (Heb. 4:16). 
  4. Christ, our high priest, “ever liveth to make intercession” for us (Heb. 7:25).

So the argument of the Jewish priesthood disproves rather than approves their doctrine.  They err when they say “We are the successors of Christ, the high priest.”  NO!  It is not true, Christ our high priest, “ever liveth to make intercession.  He is not dead and has not resigned His office. 
  1. Therefore, He cannot have a successor.  Christ is “a priest forever.”  
  2. Therefore, there cannot be a succession of priests or vicars.  Those who pretend to be vicars of Christ are imposters!!  
  3. Therefore, Christ is the only High Priest, and no man can pretend to have this office without blaspheming the Son of God who by divine right holds the office legitimately.

“Auricular Confession” has been practiced for many years, but its history ceases before one gets back to the inspired apostles.  It is not mentioned in the Scriptures.  It did not originate in the first century with Christ and the apostles.  Therefore, it has no part at all in Christ’s doctrine.

Did you know that before 1215, the confessional was an optional thing in the church of Rome?  No canon compelled it.  It is also an absolute truth that the form of absolution, “I absolve you,” was not known as a practice of Christians till the thirteen century.  Thomas Aquinas in 1250 wrote in defense of the form, “I absolve you.”  There is no authority in Scriptures for “Auricular Confession.”  Period!

  • The Doctrine of “Inherited Sin.”

Satan has always made things chaotic for the Lord’s church.  He used the famous “St. Augustine,” the son of a Christian mother and pagan father.  He lived an immoral life searching for the most suitable path through several philosophies.  After his mother died, he converted in 387 AD.  He became a monk and eventually the bishop of Hippo in northern Africa.  He was impressed with the moral depravity of man, which he believed to be inborn (influenced by his experiences and philosophy).  He also believed that the elect were predestined by God to obtain salvation.  He wrote a book named “Confessions,” where he retells his life story.  He is one of the most influential writers and teachers of the vast world of Catholicism/Protestantism (evangelical).  He taught that because of Adam’s sin everyone is guilty of “original sin.” That man is born with a corrupted nature, sinful, totally depraved and unable to do good or righteousness and unable to believe.

The Bible speaks of many kinds of sin:  in deed, in word, by thought, by refusing to do God’s will and much more.  But original sin?  What verse in the Bible speaks of original sin?  If there is one, I would like to know!

A.   In Genesis 3:16-19 we see the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin without any reference to an “original sin” that was to be inherited by Adam’s descendants.  Such a fallacious concept contradicts all that the Bible teaches on the subject of sin!

Here are the major tenets of this doctrine:

1. That when Adam sinned, his descendants also sinned.  This is what is called “original sin.” 

According to this false doctrine, everyone (all mankind) is born sinful.  And that he sins because he is a sinner.  And it is human to sin.  The practical consequence of this teaching is that sins are reduced, and the guilt for personal sin is transferred to our ancestors.  Man sins because that is his nature; therefore he must do it.  Satan wants man to say willfully, “We sin all the time and cannot help it.”

My friends and brethren, this is nothing but one of Satan’s false doctrines (1 Tim. 4:1) to deceive all men about sin.  Satan uses his ministers (2 Corinthians 11:15) that teach that man’s sins are so great and so bad that the only explanation for it is that they are born depraved (corrupted).  They speak of the intensity, passion and strong inclination in doing evil, concluding that man is born corrupted, devoid of divine life, thus becoming God’s enemy.

They site many Bible texts that speak of the enormity of sin:  Genesis 6:5; Romans 3:10-18, Psalm 51:5; Job 14:14; Exodus 20:5; John 3:5; Ephesians 2:3; Romans 5:12 and following.  They conclude that since man is so corrupted (depraved), he had to be born with a sinful nature.  

Furthermore, they say that the corrupted man can never change:  They use the following texts to support their argument:  Job 14:14; Jeremiah 13:23.

Their favorite verse is Psalm 51:5:

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me."

Another Scripture they twist is Romans 5:12-18: 

"Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned: for until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law.   Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam's transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come.   But not as the trespass, so also is the free gift. For if by the trespass of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound unto the many.  And not as through one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment came of one unto condemnation, but the free gift came of many trespasses unto justification.   For if, by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; much more shall they that receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, even Jesus Christ.   So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life."

The following is a refutation of their false doctrine as held by both Catholics and Protestants:

  1. Genesis 3:16-19, 24:  Moses portrayed the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin without making even the slightest reference to inherited guilt or depravity.
  2. Psalm 139:13:  “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.”
  3. Zechariah 12:1:  God, “forms the spirit of man within him.”
  4. Hebrews 12:9:  God is the “Father of spirits.”
  5. Acts 17:29:  We are “children of God.”

My question:  Is the baby that is formed in the womb, the spirit, and body of man, corrupted by God?  Even to ask such a question is an accusation and blasphemy of our God who forms the spirit of man within him!

Undoubtedly, the “god” of Catholicism (and other religions that teach this false doctrine) is not the God of love we find in the Bible.  (I John 4:16).  “God is love.”  What kind of love would pervert or corrupt the spirit of a baby before he is born?

B.  Genesis 6:5 speaks of the perversity, wickedness, of man.  Notice that it does not say that man is born that way.  Verse 12 states, “God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.”

C.   Psalm 51:5:  Does not say, “I was brought forth with iniquity inside me.”  They do not acknowledge that this verse implies that David was brought forth and was born in a world of wickedness (lawlessness).  It is figurative language (hyperbole, overstatement) to emphasize the intensity of his sins… By saying “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me,” he is speaking of the prevalence of sin in the world.  

Compare this text with Acts 2:8, “each in our own language in which we were born?” Are we born speaking?  No, but we are born into a world that speaks a certain language.  

Also note Psalm 58:3, “The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth.”  Is this verse speaking in a literal or figurative sense?  Job 31:17-18 helps us with the answer:  

Job insisted that he helped the orphan by saying, “Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb).”  

Clearly, the phrase, “from my mother's womb,” is the same as “from my youth.”  (Let us allow the Bible to speak and explain itself!)

From birth:  
  • Isaiah 48:8:  “And you have been called a rebel from birth.”  
  • Psalm 22:10:  “You have been my God from my mother’s womb.”
  • Psalm 71:6:  “By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb.”  
This is poetic language, figurative to give emphasis.


In Psalm 51, David speaks of:
  •  “my iniquities,” 
  • “my transgressions,”
  • “my sin,” 
  • “Against You, You only, I have sinned,”
  • “done what is evil in Your sight,” (“done” not “inherited").  
All these expressions point out free will and that David himself was responsible and guilty…

SIN IS NOT INHERITED, RATHER IT IS COMMITTED:  I John 3:4: “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.”

A. James 4:17:  “To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”  One sins when he disobeys the will of God.

B. Ezekiel 18:20:  “The soul that sinneth, it shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”   

In this chapter, we learn that the consequences of the sins of the parents are visited upon the children, but not the guilt of sins.  God calls us to bear the consequences of the sins of others without bearing the guilt of those sins.  No Scripture teaches that Adam’s descendants will inherit the guilt of those sins.  (2 Cor. 5:10).  It is true that we bear the consequences of the sins of Adam and Eve’s sin (Gen. 3:3; 17-19; Romans 5:17).  However, we will not be accountable for some supposed inherited sin inherited from our parents or Adam.  That would be very unfair.  Why?  Because,
  1. “ For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  (Romans 2:6).
  2. Not according to what Adam or our parents have committed or done. “who will render to every man according to his works.”  (Romans 2:6)
  3. “So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.”  (Romans 14:12).  Where is the text that says that we will give account for the inherited sin of Adam or our parents?  
  4. “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned.”  (Romans 5:12).  Notice that the apostle Paul does not place a “period” here!  The phrase does not end here.  Is there something else!  “for that all sinned.”  I don’t see why those who teach “original sin” don’t read and take note of this last phrase.  Why?  Because it is not convenient for them.  Because this phrase shows and points out the responsibility and accountability of man for his own sin.  “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23).

The role of Adam is clearly stated here:  
  1. Because of him, “sin entered into the world.”  
  2. Adam introduced sin into the world, then death (spiritual death) passed unto all men for all had sinned.  
  3. Then the apostle Paul goes on to explain the subject in Romans 5:17-18, “For if, by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; much more shall they that receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, even Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life.”
  4. The truth is that Adam introduced sin into the world and all of his descendants have imitated him voluntarily (Romans 3:23; 5:12).
  5. And have fallen short of the glory of God.  That means they fall into condemnation.  
  6. Nobody is born a sinner.  
  7. No one has been or is condemned because of Adam’s sin.  
  8. No one is or has been convicted or condemned unconditionally.  
  9. No one is born with a sinful nature.  
  10. Such doctrines are merely Satan’s doctrines!

The doctrine of inherited sin is responsible for much of our lawlessness today.  Both Catholicism and Protestantism mistakenly say that man came to this condition unconditionally.  That is not what Paul is saying!

In Philippians 2:8, Paul speaks of Christ’s work that undoes the consequences of sin:  

Through one act of righteousness (He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men, Philippians 2:8) there resulted justification of life to all men.  If we were to reverse this to make it fit the twisted “reasoning” of Catholicism and Protestantism (unconditional original sin), we would simply say that one’s righteousness resulted in unconditional universal salvation.   The advocates of the “original sin” doctrine and “born with a sinful nature” simply are not honest not to teach unconditional universal salvation.  This doctrine is pure folly and madness.

  • The Doctrine of  “Consubstantiation” or “Transubstantiation” (The Eucharist)

The practice of the Lord’s Supper changed from a remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection to a more typical event in which Christ supposedly is sacrificed all over again, and the bread and grape juice of the vine actually became the body and blood of Jesus.  Communion came to be seen as a sacrament, a means or way by which God’s grace was dispensed.  Someone who was excommunicated could not partake of communion (therefore not receive grace) until he repented and got back in line.  These changes were pure control and manipulation over church members (laity).

The Catholic Church teaches that the priest has absolute power to change the bread and wine into the very body, blood, soul and deity of Christ.  This is amazing!

When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper He commanded an observance the night before His death as the apostle Paul recorded it in I Corinthians 11:23-26:

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

Notice that Jesus took bread and said of it, “This is my body.”  When Jesus made that statement, He was living in the flesh of His body, His earthly body.  Jesus used the present tense of the verb declaring when He made this statement.  If the bread became His literal body, then He had two literal bodies at the same time.  Jesus also said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood."  Notice that the cup did not become His literal blood, for His blood was still flowing in His veins.  So why add the word “literal” or “actual" to qualify it if it does not mean anything but the “literal” and “actual” body and blood?  Notice what Jesus commanded, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me [Christ].”  

So, can the bread be at the same time the memorial and the thing memorialized?  Paul tells us that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ until He shall come (I Cor. 11:26).  
  • Don’t you think that the cup can literally mean the new covenant?  So why argue that the cup is the actual blood of Jesus and not the actual new covenant? Both are found in this same passage.
  • Remember that Jesus also said, “I am the vine, you are the branches.”  (John 5:5).  
  • Don’t you think that we can deduct from this text that Jesus was literally the vine and His disciples were the branches literally?


Also, they justify their position using John 6:53-55 that says, 
“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in your-selves…  For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.”  

Notice that Jesus was not talking about the Lord’s Supper at all.  That was said before He instituted the Lord’s Supper.  If you keep reading the whole chapter you will find Jesus’ explanation, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”  (verse 63).  Let the very words of Jesus refute the Catholic teaching,

“And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying,“Drink from it, all of you.”  (Matthew 26:27). 
Also,
“And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.”  (Mark 14:23).

  • The Doctrine of  "Extreme Unction."

Extreme unction is one of the sacraments practiced by the Catholic Church.  She describes it thus, 

“Extreme unction is a sacrament in which by the anointing with holy oil and by the prayers of the priests, the sick receive the grace of God for the good of their souls, and often also their bodies… It [extreme unction] increases sanctifying grace; it remits venial sins, and those mortal sins which a sick person repents of; it strengthens the soul in its sufferings and temptations; it often relieves the pains of sick persons and sometimes restores him to health… We should receive extreme unction when we are in danger of death from sickness.”

The above statement is presumptuous.  The Bible does not mention such a practice.  The Scriptures cited are Mark. 6:13; James. 5:14-15, though these passages have nothing to do with preparation for death. The doctrine of  "extreme unction" was defined at the Council of Trent.

James 5:14-15 says that this was done by New Testament elders (not priests) to heal the sick (not the dying) during the time in the New Testament church when some who were miraculously endowed could indeed bring about healings. 

  • The Veneration of Images and Relics

In 787 AD, The Second Council of Nicaea introduced this doctrine.  In 1545 AD, the Council of Trent pronounced a decree that said, “images were to be retained and due honor and veneration to be given them as presenting those whose likenesses those images bear.”  Thomas Aquinas stated, “The same reverence is to be paid to the image of Christ, as to Christ Himself.”

Their clergy cites Ex. 20:4, 5; Deut. 4:15-16 to say that these texts forbid “the making of images to be adored,” and that these warnings were given to prohibit idol worship.  Certainly, this commandment had to do with the bowing down to and serving images (Ex. 20:4-5) and adoring them.  

They also cite Numbers 21:8-9 of the brazen serpent but fail to mention II Kings 18:4 where Hezekiah destroyed it because this relic had become an object of adoration and worship.

The bronze statue of Peter in the Vatican is an excellent example of veneration and worship.  Its continual press of human worship has disfigured it because of those who bow and kiss it though they deny it.  So, if they deny that those worshipers were not bowing down and adoring it, what were the doing?

Yes, the RCC cannot claim to be guiltless concerning the adoration and veneration of images and relics.  All the facts are against them and shame them.  They are guilty of idolatry.  Why?  Well, let me prove it.  

  1. When the Israelites made a golden calf, they said, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’” (Ex. 32:8).  
  2. They knew the golden calf did not bring them out of Egypt since verse 5 says that they made a “feast to the LORD.”  (Ex. 32:5).  
  3. It was only a symbol of deity but the apostle Paul calls the creation of such a symbol idolatry (I Cor. 9:7).  
So, we can clearly see that the Word of God condemns any image that symbolizes deity.  It is idolatry!

The problem that man has is that he thinks it 's hard to draw nearer to any being if he cannot see it.  Therefore, he creates some sort of symbol to represent such being.  However, our faith as Christians is not of sight and image making but of faith, (II Cor. 5:7).  This violates our faith.  It violates the second commandment, Exodus 20:4-5.

The New Testament teaches that Christians are not to revere, worship or venerate idols, etc.  (I John 5:21; Acts 17:29).  So why is it that that the Roman Catholic officials have removed this commandment of God from their Catechism allowing multitudes to be deceived into thinking that God did not give it?

  • Instrumental Music

As in many cases, the church adopted pagan rituals giving them a Christian meaning.  Music in the church was apparently the reciting of psalms or the singing of compositions perhaps in the form of a chant.  Melodies were later developed by the 4th century.  Instruments were not introduced in the assemblies until the middle Ages.

The RCC practices and teaches the use of mechanical instruments of music in their worship.  Anyone who uses mechanical instruments of music in his worship disregards the authority given by God. The Law of Christ teaches us to make melody in our hearts (Ephesians 5:19) with the fruit of our lips (Hebrews 13:15).  This melody of our lips, our singing, is to be with the spirit and the understanding (I Cor. 14:15).  Can a mechanical instrument qualify?  No, since there is no authority for such use.  

CONCLUSION

It is undeniable that the church described in the book of Acts and its believers were devoted to the apostle's teaching.  God had given the apostles authority and power to perform many signs and wonders (Acts 2:42-43).  Each congregation of believers was established in a city by the preaching of the gospel.  Those who became Christians met regularly to encourage one another and to listen to the teachings of the apostles or evangelists such as Timothy or Titus.  Elders were appointed as pastors (overseers, bishops, elders) to watch over the local flock (Acts 14:23, 20:17; Titus 1:5).  Although Christians met several times during the week, on the first day of the week (Sunday), they came together to remember the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior (the breaking of the bread, i.e., to observe the Lord’s Supper) and share fellowship.  

The early church (Christians) was aware of the powerful influence on those of the world.  Jesus has always wanted His followers to live in such a way as to glorify His Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). He also said that the world (non-Christians) would be able to identify His followers by the way they lived (their works or fruits)and their love for one another, (John 13:35, 15:8).  

Moreover, Paul urged these Christians to live wisely among outsiders, redeeming the time, and doing what was right.  Their speech was to be seasoned with salt, i.e., filled with good and not evil (Colossians 4:5-6).  He also urged them to be ready to present a defense of their faith to anyone who asked them of their hope, but to do it in a gentle and loving way (I Peter 3:15).  All Christians must be aware of their influence, to live and speak in such a way that would draw others to their Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Faith in Jesus spread from Jerusalem and throughout the Roman Empire.  Those who were scattered abroad included many cultures (Jewish, Roman, Greek, Asian and African).  Apostles and evangelists were the primary teachers.  The first-century believers shared everything they had with anyone who had a need (Acts 2:44-45). 

The message of the glorious gospel of Jesus our Lord was intended to be proclaimed worldwide, and it still continues to change the world two thousand years later as no other force, idea, and philosophy has ever done.  (2 Cor. 5:19).

While the Roman Empire was declining, the Lord’s church was growing in numbers.  However, the church that was developing was far different from the simple faith that we read about in the New Testament.  As Rome became more Christian, the church became like a worldly empire.  The church went through many changes and practices as the Roman Empire weakened and fell.  

Paganism and mystery religions were still predominant in the Roman Empire centuries later after Christ and the apostles.  The cult of emperor worship was growing, becoming the official religion of the state.  The peculiar ways of Judaism were tolerated by the Roman government as well.

However, the NT church underwent many drastic changes over the four hundred years that followed the first century AD.  The church went from being an illegal cult to the official religion of the Roman Empire.  Sadly, the church went from being simple, rooted in God’s Word as described at the beginning of the church, to a more powerful and highly organized institution.  

As the church grew, it generated considerable criticism from skeptics and opponents who refused to grasp what it was about.  Many ridiculed the church.  Some would call the Way the third race, meaning neither pagan nor Jewish.  Some did express respect for the Christian’s moral code, character, and bravery in the face of persecution.  As some said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

By the end of the third century, many saw a need for universal religion to unify the empire.  Those who refused to accept the worship of the emperor were considered enemies of the state.  These were primarily Jews and Christians.  And in 303 AD, the emperor Diocletian ordered church buildings confiscated, church officials condemned and Christians were given the choice of repenting or being put to death.

Christianity was then changed by the actions of Emperor Constantine in the empire.  Even though he did not make it official, he indeed prohibited persecution.  This meant that some would become Christians because it was safe to have the emperor on their side and not because of a genuine conversion to Christ and His cause.  Unfortunately, Constantine began to influence the church practices and policy.  With the blessing of safety came the danger of compromise with the world.

All these developments in church practice caused leaders not to be concerned about following the perfect pattern established by the apostles under the Lordship of Christ.  Instead, they were driven to control the practices of the churches, introducing false teachings, precepts, doctrines and conforming the lives of Christians to a more easy pattern.  The church then began to develop a hierarchy of leadership copying in great measure the political divisions of the Roman Empire. The bishop of Roman claimed the authority to oversee the church just as the emperor managed the empire.  The bishop of the empire buttressed his position arguing that Peter was the first Pope, claiming apostolic succession to make decisions for the Roman Catholic Church.  By the fifth century, the bishop of Rome was called the Papa or Pope, the ultimate father figure.  

Without a doubt, the church, the one Jesus purchased with His blood, faced threats of false religions both from without and from within.  The philosophy of Gnosticism and skepticism grew in the second century influencing the view of Christ held by some people.  Likewise, other false doctrines were growing in their influence on the thinking of Christians.  Many Christians struggled with what it meant to be a Christian in a pagan world.  They confronted many questions.  How they answered these questions reflected how rooted their faith was in the Doctrine of Christ and how much they were willing to be different from the world of paganism (I John 2:17).

Evidently, some in the church failed to follow or obey God’s Word.  Lest we forget, the Bible must be our only standard in matters pertaining to God.  (Rev. 22:18-19; I Cor. 4:6).  Our goal must be that of “thus saith the Lord” for everything we do.  Sadly, some in the church did not follow this rule.  The church was obviously more influenced by the world than by the Word of God.  Instead of growing and imitating Christ.  The power of Tradition became a stumbling block violating the Word of God, keeping others from obeying the gospel of Christ.

Around 1200, The Roman Catholic Church was at the height of its power.  The pope influenced the world politically.  “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

One of the problems that the church faced after Christ and the apostles was worldliness since they were driven and motivated by the world.  One of Satan’s great deceptions is to influence Christians to think and act like the world as an acceptable way of living.  This affects the preachers, church leaders, young and old when their lives look no different from the lives of those in darkness. Likewise, the church is worldly when it pursues policies of power and the accumulation of riches.  It is worldly when Christians exalt the ways of the pagans without regard to how much this would impact their faith or the faith of others.

We Christians are called to keep ourselves unstained from the world (James 1:27).  We don’t have to leave the world to avoid becoming worldly (I Cor. 5:10).  We are to be changed in our heart by developing godly thinking and following God’s divine standards while we live in this world (Romans 12:1-2).

This has been an excellent and long study.  I have done it for God’s glory, for His Truth and because I care about those who are trapped in the Roman Catholic Church (and other religious error) as I was.  I want to see them free from the bondage of sin and error and experience true salvation and fellowship with Christ and the Father.  I want to apologize if I was overly blunt, but the Truth of God must not be compromised.  We must tell the Truth and nothing but the Truth.  

I pray that those who are in error like those in the Catholic system, will see the Truth and see the errors taught by their false teachers that are but doctrines of demons.  I have presented the Truth because of my love for their souls and my concern for the Truth.  (John 17:17).  

The Word of God is Truth, it is unchangeable, it is determined, certain and it is not contradictory. The Truth of God is always right. Therefore all men must eagerly desire it and thirst for it.  Jesus said, 

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  (John 8:32).

Let us desire the Truth like the Bereans who honestly and unbiasedly searched for the Truth, 

"Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so."  (Acts 17:11).

Now that you continued with me to the end, I hope this essay has been useful for you. There are several issues that I might not have examined, but it seems to me that these are the most important. May God bless you in your studies of God's Word.

May we always love the Truth and never compromise the Truth and tell it like it is.  May we allow God’s Word, Truth, to mold us to see the errors and false teachings while we distance ourselves from the evil doctrines of men.  May we always stand up boldly for the Truth and embrace it with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.  May we always separate ourselves from the world, from the most popular road to take, and learn from His Word alone and conform to it.  May we always live holy lives for the Lord Who has promised us eternal life.  May we be the lights that this darkened world may ever see.  May we proclaim the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to the lost.


Luci