Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Roman's Road To Salvation

  • The Apostle Paul's epistle to the Romans has a short, yet comprehensive way of explaining the salvation of mankind from eternal condemnation in the flames of hell:
           -"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
           -"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
           -"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
           -"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
           -"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1)

How To Get Saved According To The Bible

1.) First of all, it is essential to recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only path to eternal life in heaven (John 14:6).

2.) God sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ into the world out of His infinite love for us (John 3:16).

3.) Because mankind has sinned against God, we have all fallen short of God's moral standards which demand spotless obedience (Romans 3:23).

4.) Jesus Christ is the only spiritual antidote for our spiritual infirmities because the damning consequences of sin can only be erased by an unblemished blood sacrifice (Hebrews 9:22). He lived a perfectly sinless life in our place so that He could make the final propitiatory sacrifice on our behalf (Hebrews 10; 1 Peter 3:18). We become children of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12; Galatians 3:26).

5.) We need to accept what the Lord has done for us through our faith in His work. We need to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and our personal Savior. For salvation, we believe on the grace of God and thankfully acknowledge what He has done for us (Romans 10:9-13). We are saved by faith, apart from the merit of all works (Romans 4:4-5). We need to be "born again" (John 3:3-7), that is, give ourselves to God and allow our ways to be conformed to His will. A genuine faith in Christ by definition produces good works as a result.

6.) We must be converted and beg God to reveal clemency on our spiritually bankrupt souls.

7.) People who become children of God should (We do these things because we ARE saved, not to get saved):
       -We need to get baptized in water to make a public sign of discipleship.
       -We need to confess: 
           *Christ before other men (preach the gospel--1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
           *confess our faults to others (James 5:16).
       -Dedicate time to worship and study the will of God.
       -Find a biblically grounded church

Roamin' Catholics

  • Introduction:
          -Roman Catholics tend to portray classical Protestantism as being totally lost and full of internal contradictions because of scriptural misinterpretation. They then propose their own church hierarchy as being the ultimate "solution" to all of the allegedly obscure passages of the Bible. Catholics commonly ask questions that follow similar lines to, "How do you know that your interpretations of Scripture are correct?" They believe that professing Christians who rely on the Scriptures alone for the establishment of doctrine are in a hopeless state of confusion because they do not submit to an infallible interpreter of Scripture. But the church does NOT need an infallible hierarchy to preside over it because God gave us the Scriptures. Additionally, the same standards that are raised by opponents of Sola Scriptura can also be applied equally to them. 

1.) How do adherents to the Church of Rome know that the Pope is infallible in matters pertaining to faith and morals? How do Roman Catholics know with certainty that they have correctly selected the rightful interpreter of the Scriptures? 
       -Catholics believe that we need an infallible interpreter to settle every doctrinal dispute.
       -Just as the Protestant makes a private judgment of Scripture, Romanists also use private judgment to reach the verdict that the Pope is infallible. They also must fallibly interpret every word of Church teaching, whether they retrieve their information from Papal Encyclicals, Ecumenical council documents, the catechism, hearing their priests during the Mass, or by any other means. Roman Catholics do and must possess individualized, subjective interpretations of Roman Catholicism. Converts to Roman Catholicism must also use their own fallible reasoning skills to personally reach the conclusion that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church. Thus we see that Catholics are pitting a completely hypocritical double-standard against Protestant churches because both sides of the debate must use "private judgment". In the end, Catholics are really in no better of a position than we Fundamentalists are. In fact, Catholics disagree on many of the official teachings of their own church. Those Roamin' Catholics have been roaming around in vain in search of doctrinal security under the umbrella of the Magisterium!

2.) If we do not have the right to engage in private interpretation of Scripture because we are not infallible, then how can we know with certainty which oral tradition is correct among the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and the Watchtower churches, for all three sects teach that they alone can interpret Scripture, to the exclusion of the individual?

3.) The Roman Catholic Church has never given an interpretation of every passage in the Bible. In fact, it has done so only on a handful of occasions to serve its own purpose. What is even more interesting is that while the Church of Rome guarantees certainty behind the infallibility of its official decrees, it never promises that the theological reasoning used to support a decree is accurate itself. Consider the words of the Catholic Encyclopedia:
        ''the validity of the Divine guarantee is independent of the fallible arguments upon which a definitive decision may be based, and of the possibly unworthy human motives that in cases of strife may appear to have influenced the result. It is the definitive result itself, and it alone, that is guaranteed to be infallible, not the preliminary stages by which it is reached."

4.)  Let's ask a few questions regarding the authority claims of the Roman Catholic Church. If an infallible institution is necessary to obtain the correct meaning of every Scripture passage, then on what basis do we know which church (out of the many out there making identical claims) is the infallible church? How do Roman Catholics know with absolute certainty that they have correctly picked Christ's church (the only thing available for Catholics is on the basis of their own fallible private judgment)?

5.)  It is very interesting to see how both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches have made IDENTICAL claims to infallible authority, yet they both disagree on who's church originated first. Furthermore, it can safely be said that the Church Fathers never considered themselves to be the standard of truth!

6.)  Alright, it is time to provide an answer to how we can know that our interpretations of Scripture are correct for the sake of fairness. Quite simply, we know on the basis of our own reasoning. It cannot get any simpler than this, for infinite regression is impossible! But to suggest that we need infallible certainty behind the meaning of Scripture is not only totally unnecessary, but achieving absolute certainty is also highly illogical and impossible for us to obtain. Infallibility is God's domain. We are limited by bodily design to comprehend the realm of infinity. The best degree of certainty that we can possess behind the meaning of anything in life is sufficient certainty. We can know whether something is true or false beyond a shadow of a doubt. 

When will those Roamin' Catholics find out that we can only find shelter under the Rock of Ages, who is God? They're roaming in all the wrong places to find salvation! May God help them to see the truth of the gospel through the power of His divine grace. 

If The Bible Was A Catholic Book...

          The Church of Rome is well-known for its claims regarding the authority of the holy Scriptures and the possession of the fullness of truth. Not only does this church claim to be the sole, infallible interpreter and compiler of the Books of the Bible, but Roman Catholicism also proudly boasts itself to be the first church established by the Lord Jesus Christ during the first century. In short, this large human institution has made several inflated claims regarding itself. But the scope of this article is not to delve deep into the traditional Roman Catholic narrative on the origin of Roman Catholicism (for anybody can say that they possess the fullness of Christian truth), but rather strives to prompt a few discussion points to get people thinking about the authority claims of Romanism. Is Roman Catholicism the Christian religion spoken of in the New Testament?

          If the principles taught by Roman Catholicism have been set forth since the first century, then why do we fail to see the establishment of a church hierarchy in the New Testament Scriptures? Where do we find the necessity of an infallible interpreter of Scripture? Why is it that so many doctrines taught by the Roman Catholic Church either contradict the in teachings of the Bible, or cannot be found in its pages? How come the Jewish church of the Old Testament was never led by an infallible hierarchy? Why were believers first called "Christians" in Antioch, instead of "Roman Catholics" in Rome, Italy (Acts 11:26)? If the Bible was a "Catholic Book", then how can the people who read it ever ask these questions? Were the inspired authors somehow ignorant of the alleged first century Papacy?

          If the Bible was a "Catholic Book", then why do we have so many conversion testimonies to Protestant Christianity as a result of directly reading the Bible? Why is it that people usually convert to Roman Catholicism because of emotional distress, attractions to the beauty of Roman Catholicism, wanting a marital partner of the opposite sex, or indifference to spirituality? Are these not worldly reasons for joining a different religion? If not, then why? How are such conversions any different than conversions to Islam or Mormonism? If the Bible was a "Catholic Book", then practically all honest students of the Bible would be converting to the Church of Rome in an instant.

          If the Bible was a "Catholic Book", then why do Catholic apologists usually cite uninspired writings from much later centuries to establish the validity of their unbiblical doctrines? Surely, the Roman Catholics would be pointing us directly to the Scriptures to substantiate their doctrines, if they themselves were confident of their doctrines being biblical! Neither would the Pope be making such a big fuss over the issue of "private interpretation", if the Catholic hierarchy had nothing to hide from its members. Furthermore, it is a circular appeal to use the Bible to prove the church and the church to prove the Bible. If the Bible was a "Catholic book", then why are there so many non-Catholic church historians and Bible scholars? Any objections, fellow Roman Catholics?

          If the Bible was a "Catholic Book", then how could any of the aforementioned things be possible?