Roman Catholic Salvation Problems
It starts out fine. We are saved from punishment by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But then we find that it isn’t enough. To stay in God’s grace one must be obedient and follow the commandments of the Bible… when we sin, we are to confess sins to a priest, do penance activities, partake of the Eucharist (attend Mass), be able to get extreme unction and then hope for a short stay in purgatory. Forgive the demeaning comparison, but it kind of sounds like Jesus did about a couple days worth (I am referring to the shedding of His blood) and we do a lifetime of stuff and perhaps beyond. So who is the real “Savior” here? (For discussion about purgatory, click here. I do not believe it exists!)
The deception here is a denial that Jesus, according to the Bible, paid for our ALL of our sins IN FULL. This is the meaning of the word PROPITIATION, found in Rom. 3:25 and I John 2:2. It means Jesus fully SATISFIED the requirements of God for forgiveness. It isn’t “do, do, do”…. It is “DONE!”
When He was on the cross, He said “it is finished”, which is literally an accounting term meaning paid in full. If we have to pay, that diminishes the value of what Christ did, and given that He SAID He did it all, it is in essence a slap in His face (!) to say He didn’t do enough and we have to finish what He started.
It is a bit like being given a purified formula that perfectly cures cancer, and the receiver decides to add to the formula his bacteria-laden blood, sweat and tears. It RUINS the formula! Isaiah 64:6 says “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Jesus wants you to believe He did all that was needed to save you… that is to be the object of our faith. Over 125 times in the New Testament we are told that we are to BELIEVE in Christ and His shed blood. I am saying that faith is not GENUINE SAVING faith until CHRIST is all you are believing in. Another picture: Jesus’ plan of salvation is like an elevator you get on through faith; the Roman Catholic plan is more like a ladder you must keep ascending every day. You can’t be on the ladder and in the elevator at the same time. That is the POINT of Romans 11:6 which indicates that if we are saved by GRACE then it is NOT by works... each one (when combined) nullifies the other. Either you earn it or you don't; either you pay some or you don't. It is not a cooperative deal; it is not a payment plan, but a gift God is offering us which we simply receive by faith.
A deceptive form of poison is the Roman Catholic Church redefinition of grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 says (literal Greek verb form) "For it is by grace through faith that you have been and now permanently stand as saved, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast." First note here that salvation is a PERMANENT gift. It is also called ETERNAL life. We don't forfeit it every time we sin. But also note that grace is ours "not of works". If it is a gift, an undeserved favor, then we should not have to do all those things to deserve (be worthy of, be qualified for, or even to maintain) that undeserved gift of salvation! Roman Catholic grace (based on Romans 11:6) isn’t really grace. To put it in a word picture: if your key marked “grace” is cut entirely different than my key marked “grace”… then one of the two of us will not be able to unlock the door. The Roman Catholic plan combines the two, and that basically nullifies grace.
Look, I realize this article may raise a lot of “But what about…” questions. I am more than willing to talk about it. Please understand that while I feel a need to warn about a false plan of salvation, if I am the one who is in error, I want to know about it and correct what I am saying. So feel free to contact me at Sainttalk@cableone.net