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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Roman Catholic Doctrine of Merits After Baptism

I find it amazing the lengths the Roman Catholic Church will go to justify their view that good works justify us before God. Since Christ died on the cross for our sins and all of our sins are paid for, there should be nothing more we must do to earn, merit, or pay for our own sins. However, the Roman Catholic view is that Christ did not pay for all our sins. Instead "the merit of good works" is appointed to supplement Christ's work on the cross. This doctrine also denigrates Christ's perfect life of obedience and the imputation of his merits to us. The Roman Catholic view makes man's salvation ultimately depend on man's merits rather than Christ's imputed merits and it makes Christ's substitutionary atonement on the cross ineffectual for sins committed after baptism. For those who doubt this, read this statement and think about the implications of it:


"2008 The merit of man before God in the Christian life arises from the fact that God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace. The fatherly action of God is first on his own initiative, and then follows man's free acting through his collaboration, so that the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful. Man's merit, moreover, itself is due to God, for his good actions proceed in Christ, from the predispositions and assistance given by the Holy Spirit."

In other words, instead of the cross being the complete sacrifice for all our sins, the Roman Catholic view is saying that God has appointed our good works or merits as a means of justification because God has determined it so. According to the CCTC, prevenient grace given to all men makes man's work acceptable to God. This is essentially semi-pelagianism. Total depravity is cancelled out by prevenient grace so all men now have a choice. Semi-pelagianism is really no better than out and out pelagianism because for all practical pursposes it says the same thing as pelagianism. Man makes himself worthy of salvation by doing good works and man makes himself worthy of God's acceptance by working and meriting God's favor.

What the Roman Catholics give with one hand they take away with the other. Are all men sinful and without hope? If so, then only God can save them. If even one sin cannot be atoned for by our actions, then we need Christ to pay for all our sins. The irony is that the Roman Catholic view not only undermines the doctrine of sin and the fall, but it also undermines the atoning death of Christ because now Christ dies in vain because His death could not pay the penalty for all sins. Instead the sinner must now do penance and merit forgiveness. What kind of hope is this? Did Christ die in vain?

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:6-8, ESV)

While the Roman view acknowledges that all sins are wiped out up to the point of baptism, after that point man must work or merit forgiveness. Why? In the Roman view, because God said so. In other words, the Roman Church said so. This is because they place Tradition above Scripture. The Bible over and over says that Christ paid for all of our sins yet Rome says that sins after baptism require penances which merit man's forgiveness:

"2010 Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God's wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions."

Notice it says "initial grace of forgiveness and justification." The short of it is the Roman view only believes that sins before baptism are freely forgiven by the sacrifice of Christ. All sins after that point must now be paid for by both Christ's sacrifie AND man's merits. The cross is not enough. No thank-you. I will go with Scripture and not with what Rome has to say. Christ paid it all. If anyone doubts that Rome teaches that you save yourself by your own good works, then read this paragraph and explain the way out of the Roman Catholic dilemma.


"For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him." (Hebrews 9:24-28, ESV)


"But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace." (Romans 11:6, ESV)


May God have mercy on us all!

18 comments:

Billy said...

Since you seem generally unwilling to admit you might be wrong or that there are things which need to be discussed further, I was going to leave this alone.

But it's been gnawing at me all week, so I'm going to go ahead and write a critique of your critique.

Nice try on explaining Paragraph 2010, but your critique of it is off the mark. The part you laughably refused to bold is the key to the whole text. "Moved by the Holy Spirit." The whole point is sanctification does not happen outside of life in union with God. If the Holy Spirit moves us to do a certain thing-and we refuse-that is disobedience to God, which he does not reward. But does God bless them who obey him? YES!! That is what is meant by meriting grace. Not that we can get it by doing good works or penance that originate within ourselves, but are the product of the Holy Spirit moving on us.

Even though you contine to say the catechism says "Christ's sacrifice plus man's merits" it does not. But we do not reap the benefits acquired for us by Christ if after he has graciously saved us, we turn in disobedience.

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Mt. 7:21)

Charlie, I don't know what else to say to you. You are a romophobe, and that's alright...lots of people have trouble with Rome and I do too on certain things.

But the Bible clearly teaches that there are things men have to do to enter the kingdom.

We are translated from the kingdom of darkness by faith into the Kingdom of Light. But once we are there God expects us to live as citizens of the Kingdom. That means obedience to the Lord who has commanded us to obey his commandments, to feed the hungry, visit the sick and imprisoned, among other things.

All of redemption and salvation are accomplished on the cross (It is Finished!). No one is worthy of the benefits of that act. But Christ freely gives to whom he will the merits of his life and death. Even so, "every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away." (Jn. 15:2)

We abide in the true vine by keeping His Word and Commandments. That is what is meant by meriting grace. Nothing more, nothing less. We are freely placed in the Church by the love of Christ but we merit keeping our place in the Church. It is not prideful to say that though because we do so by humbly submitting ourselves to the will of our Lord.

In a word, what the Roman catechism is teaching is perseverance. If we don't repent and ask for forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism, we have not persevered.

Faith works, Charlie. Heb. 11:4-onward records the faith of the OT saints. But look at what is attributed to all of these men. Abel offered a sacrifice, Noah prepared an ark, Abraham obeyed. They had faith given to them as a gift from God. But they did not stop with belief. Instead they became the luminaries they were by doing the things God told them to do.

And to quote Rom. 11:6 is not entirely accurate here. Our election in Christ is by grace. We can't work our way into the Body. But Christ has the right to sever us as a branch from the vine if we refuse to live like we are redeemed.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Billy, I'm not a "Romophobe." You're a papist. The fact is this paragraph shows that the Roman Catholic Church is "semi-pelagian." If you don't know the technical meaning of that word, let me know and I will explain it to you. However, semi-pelagianism says that God first provides grace to all men and then men are enabled to "collaborate with God" freely on their own. In short, semi-pelagianism denies total depravity because it effectively neutralizes the fall of Adam by saying that God has given grace to all men. However, IF that is so, THEN we should see ALL men repent and believe the Gospel AND be saved. In fact, we DO NOT see such results and SO total depravity stands as evidence that men's wills are in bondage to sin and they DO NOT want to be saved. So this "grace" that the catechism is espousing is ineffectual and sin still conquers mankind.

The ONLY explanation is that those who are actually converted are converted because grace is specifically given to the elect and grace is NOT given to the those who have not yet repented. Some of the elect have not yet been effectually called and others are reprobate and shall never be effectually called.

Moreover, you can try as you might to wiggle out of it but the text says specifically that man's works "merit" his salvation. I'm just reading what it plainly says.

Secondly, you keep glossing over the distinction I will call you back to. Sanctification and justification are not the same thing and this is precisely WHY there is a dispute with Rome in the first place. Justification is totally, absolutely, and complete objective and outside of ourselves. It is not inherent in the soul or infused into the heart. Justification is 100% a legal/forensic declaration of "not guilty."

Sanctification, on the other hand, is both a positional setting apart and a declaration of holiness while at the same time being an imperfect process whereby we continually grow into Christlikeness. That process is sometimes setback and other times progress is made. Only at death and glorification are we sinless.

Your problem, Billy, is that you do not understand what the Protestant Reformation was about and you continually reveal your ignorance of that fact by your use of ad hominem and your misquoting of the catechism.

If you will notice I highlighted the fact that Rome says that the merits are initiated by grace. However, that does not remove the fact that Rome teaches that the merits belong to man's response and not to grace. Even Arminians deny that man merits anything at all.

Your position goes beyond Arminianism's synergism into an outright semi-pelagianism whereby grace is simply a tongue in cheek way to bypass the obvious total depravity of mankind. If men are not totally depraved, why do so many refuse to believe?

By the way, I would place you in the category of unconverted because you think that you can merit God's forgiveness. Merit is merit is merit. The fact that you try to excuse your merit with some vague and general grace which is ineffectual for the greater part of mankind shows that in fact semi-pelagianism like pelagianism, is a gross misrepresentation of the teaching of Paul in Romans and it is a gross misrepresentation of actual reality.

Only the elect will believe. Only the elect will be justified. Only the elect will be sanctified, however imperfect that sanctification may be. Only the elect will persevere to the end.

In fact, I'm glad that you are falsely accusing me of antinomianism. If I were preaching works, I could not be accused of such a thing. In fact, it has been said that until one has been accused of antinomianism, one is NOT preaching the Gospel.

While I would agree with you that faith "works," good works can NEVER withstand the severity of God's judgment. If only you understood the 39 Articles as well as you claim to understand the Roman catechism!

"Article XII
Of Good Works
Albeit that good works, which are the fruits of faith and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins and endure the severity of God's judgement,
yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit."

I might remind you that Article XI says:

Of the Justification of Man

We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort; as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.

Have you read the Homily of Justification? Billy, the fact of the matter is that you do not believe the 39 Articles. You believe the Roman Catholic Catechism. You should do the honest thing and become a Roman Catholic. As long as you are pretending to be an Anglican you make mockery of the Articles for which Cranmer and Latimer and Ridley died. You are basically living a lie. You should either repent and become a believer in the doctrines of grace which the 39 Articles teach or you should convert to Roman Catholicism.

The Articles do not teach resistible grace but irresistible grace (see Article XVII).

Soli Deo Gloria!

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Billy, you still do not get it. In your view you basically save yourself. Grace is ineffectual and can fail. However, in the Augustinian view, grace NEVER fails to save even ONE of the elect. Each and every single one who is elected WILL be saved and will live a life that is set apart to good works. HOWEVER, those good works NEVER merit ANYTHING AT ALL!!!

To say otherwise is to discredit what Christ did once and for all on the cross. It is to discredit the perfect life and perfect obedience of Christ which actually merits our justification and salvation. Even ONE sin is a mortal sin so you always deserve hell even AFTER conversion so nothing you do in faith will EVER merit your salvation at all. Nada. Good works proceed out of faith in gratitude for what Christ did once and for all for all sins we have commited: past, present and future. Salvation is guaranteed for those who continue to believe, despite their many sins and failures. While I may worry about God's chastisement in this life, I need not worry about my eternal destiny as long as I do not commit the unpardonable sin: APOSTASY.

I need no man and no church to tell me if I am saved. I need only God's Holy Word. The church is only the appointed instrument of God's graces and the Gospel. The church is not the final authority, however. God is. And the Bible tells us God's will, not the church.

When the church commits apostasy our obligation is to reform the church, not to give in to false doctrine!

Semper Reformanda Ecclesia!

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Billy, until you come to the end of your own works, your own merits and your own efforts you cannot be saved. Trusting in your own righteousness instead of Christ's righteousness will merit only eternal hell for you. Only the righteousness of Christ is acceptable as a means of meriting your salvation. Until you acknowledge this and confess your self-righteousness to God, you are a lost sinner. Your good works will NEVER withstand God's judgment.

Sola Gratia!

Charlie

William said...

Hello Charlie Ray,

I just commented on the thread of
A Critique of Today's Sermon Preached by Rev. George Conger
http://reasonablechristian.blogspot.com/2009/01/critique-of-todays-sermon-preached-by.html

While I'm not an Anglo-catholic and I have serious issues with the Roman Catholic teachings (Catechism, Council of Trent, etc)--Billy is totally correct when he says:
"If we don't repent and ask for forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism, we have not persevered."

This is exactly what the Homily of Justification teaches (namely--that we are cleansed of original sin/justified in Baptism and that if we do not persevere thereafter in a living faith which produces repentance we make ourselves "members of the devil" after having been the "members of Christ"):
“…we must trust only in God’s mercy, and that sacrifice which our high priest and Savior Christ Jesus, the son of God, once offered for us upon the cross, to obtain thereby God’s grace, and remission, as well of our original sin in baptism, as of all actual sin committed by us after our baptism, if we truly repent and turn unfeignedly to him again.”

"Our office is not to pass the time of this present life unfruitfully and idly after we are baptized or justified, not caring how few good works we do to the glory of God and profit of our neighbors. Much less is it our office, after that we be once made Christ’s members, to live contrary to the same, making our selves members of the devil, walking after his incitements, and after the suggestions of the world and the flesh, whereby we know that we do serve the world and the devil, and not God."

http://www.geocities.com/curtis_caldwell/bk1hom03_mod.htm

And Latimer likewise states :
[THE SIXTH SERMON, PREACHED ON THE FIRST SUNDAY
IN ADVENT, 1552, BY MASTER HUGH LATIMER.]
But I say there be two manner of men: some there be that be not justified, not regenerate, nor yet in the state of salvation; that is to say, not God’s servants : they lack the renovation or regeneration ; they be not come yet to Christ. Now these persons who be they that be not come yet to Christ, or if they were come to Christ, be fallen again from him, and so lost their justification, (as there be many of us, which when we fall willingly into sin against conscience, we lose the favour of God, our salvation, and finally the Holy Ghost;)...

Which be venial sins? Every sin that is committed against God not wittingly, nor willingly ; not consenting unto it : those be venial sins. As for an ensample : I see a fair woman, I am moved in my heart to sin with her, to commit the act of lechery with her : such thoughts rise out of my heart, but I consent not unto them ; I withstand these ill motions, I follow the ensample of that godly young man, Joseph ; I consider in what estate I am, namely, a temple of God, and that I should lose the Holy Ghost; on such wise I withstand my ill lusts and appetites, yet this motion in my heart is sin ; this ill lust which riseth up ; but it is a venial sin, it is not a mortal sin, because I consent not unto it, I withstand it ; and such venial sins the just man committeth daily. For scripture saith, Septiea cadit Justus, ” The righteous man falleth seven times;” that is, oftentimes: for his works are not so perfect as they ought to be. For I pray you, who is he that loveth his neighbour so perfectly and vehemently as he ought to do? Now this imperfection is sin, but it is a venial sin, not a mortal : therefore he that feeleth his imperfections, feeleth the ill1 motions in his heart, but followeth them not, consenteth not unto the wickedness are to do them ; these be venial sins, which shall not be unto us to our damnation…I put the case, Joseph had not resisted the temptations of his master’s wife, but had followed her, and fulfilled the act of lechery with her ; had weighed the matter after a worldly fashion, thinking, “I have my mistress’s favour already, and so by that mean I shall have my master’s favour too ; nobody knowing of it.” Now if he had done so, this act had been a deadly sin ; for any act that is done against the law of God willingly and if sin have wittingly, is a deadly sin. And that man or woman that committeth such an act, loseth the Holy Ghost and the remission of sins ; and so becometh the child of the devil, being before the child of God. For a regenerate man or woman, that believeth, ought to have dominion over sin ; but as soon as sin hath rule over him, he is gone: for she leadeth him to delectation of it, and from delectation to consenting, and so from consenting to the act itself. Now he that is led so with sin, he is in the state of damnation, and sinneth damnably.


The whole sermon can be read here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=EFoJAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA8&dq=latimer&ei=Y-tOSeCdM6TCMYOenY0M#PPR5,M1

And the Anglican Homily on Good Works (see the Book of Homilies)[showing that works are not only produced by faith but they are also the necessary nourishment of the same faith--so that by good works our faith continues to live and grow and without them our faith withers and dies (as James says on the growth and maturity of our faith which occurs by good works Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect (or, "complete" or "mature") Jam 2:22]:
…men that are very men indeed first have life and after are nourished, so must our faith in Christ go before, and after be nourished with good works. And life may be without nourishment, but nourishment cannot be without life. A man must of necessity be nourished by good works, but first he must have faith. He that does good deeds, yet without faith he has no life. I can show a man that by faith without works lived and came to heaven, but without faith, never man had life. The thief that was hanged when Christ suffered did believe only, and the most merciful God justified him. And because no man shall say again that he lacked time to do good works, for else he would have done them, truth it is, and I will not contend therein, but this I will surely affirm, that only faith saved him. If he had lived and not regarded faith and the works thereof, he should have lost his salvation again. Here you have heard the mind of Saint Chrysostom, whereby you may perceive that neither faith is without works (having opportunity thereto), nor works can avail to everlasting life without faith.
http://www.geocities.com/curtis_caldwell/bk1hom05_mod.htm

[Of course, these points are discussed further on the thread "A Critique of Today's Sermon Preached by Rev. George Conger"]

Blessings in Christ,
William Scott

Charlie J. Ray said...

William Scott, your comments about Billy are totally OFF the mark. First off, I do not deny that good works are a necessary evidence to the church of those who have been truly converted. However, it does not follow that the elect may fall from grace. Non sequitur.

Furthermore, the Homily on Justification clearly and over and over says that justification is APART FROM WORKS. Justification is by faith ALONE. This is the position of Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, etc. It is also the position of Latimer. It seems to me that you're one of those who would lie to make a point.

Justification is completely, totally, and absolutely based on faith without works. If you deny this, you are not a Christian nor are you in agreement with the 39 Articles or the Homily on Justification.

Sanctification and Justification are to be distinguished though sanctification is a necessary fruit of justification. Read Articles 9-18 again. And you should read the Homily on Justification again where Cranmer says:

These be the very words of St. Basil. And St. Ambrose, a Latin author, saith these words:9 “This
is the ordinance of God, that he which believeth in Christ should be saved without works, by faith only, freely receiving remission of his sins.” Consider diligently these words. Without works, by faith only, freely we receive remission of our sins. What can be spoken more plainly than to say that freely, without works, by faith only, we obtain remission of our sins? These and other like sentences, that we be justified by faith only, freely, and without works, we do read ofttimes in the mostu best and ancient writers. As, beside Hilary, Basil, and St. Ambrose before rehearsed, we read the same in Origen, St. Chrysostom, St. Cyprian, St. Augustine, Prosper, Oecumenius, Photius,x Bernardus, Anselm, and many other authors, Greek and Latin. Nevertheless, the sentence, that we be justified by faith only, is not so meant of them, that the said justifying faith is alone in man, without true repentance, hope, charity, dread, and fearz of God, at any time or season.a Nor when they say that we be justified freely, they mean not that we should or might afterward be idle, and that nothing should be required of our parts afterward; neither they mean not sob to be justified without our goodc works that we should do no good works at all, like as shall be more expressed at large hereafter. But this saying, that we be justified by faith only, freely, and without works, is spoken for to take away clearly all merit of our works, as being unable to deserve our justification at God’s hands;
From: http://www.footstoolpublications.com/Homilies/Bk1_Salvation3.pdf

William, you're going to have to stop equivocating between Anglo-Catholicism and the English Reformers. The two shall never meet. You do not fool me one whit.

It is already beginning to get irritating because I can see exactly where you're heading. No true Calvinist can believe that the elect can fall. The elect will most certainly persevere to the end.

Only the reprobate may commit apostasy. They may give every appearance of true conversion yet fall away into unbelief.

Sola Fide! Sola Gratia!

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

William, your quotes from Latmer are from 1549, prior to the full development of the English Reformation. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to conclude that Latimer is still citing the Roman Catholic view of venial and mortal sins. The Irish Articles of 1615 state this: 44. Not every heinous sin willingly committed after baptism is sin against the holy Ghost and unpardonable. And therefore to such as fall into sin after baptisme, place for repentance is not to be denied.

Sins committed after baptism do not require the sacrament of penance. Instead, repentance and confession of sin to God may bring forgiveness to the truly sorrowful. Moreover, the Irish Articles call these "heinous" sins and NOT "mortal" sins!

38. A true, lively, justifying faith, and the sanctifying Spirit of God is not extinguished nor vanisheth away in the regenerate, either finally or totally.

From: http://www.lasalle.edu/~garver/irish.html

William said...

Finally, I should note that this is not necessarily an "Anglo-catholic" issue. I know an Anglo-Catholic minister who is WCF Calvinist in his soteriology (and a big fan of Michael Hortan, Westminister Seminary (East/West), etc).

Blessings in Christ,
William Scott

p.s. Because of schedule I likely won't be able to respond to any posts immediately.

William said...

Sorry, for the misspelling of Michael Horton's name in my last post.

Blessings in Christ,
William Scott

Charlie J. Ray said...

William, you obviously have an agenda and you have made empty assertions with virtually no support. If you wish to spew this sort of nonsense on your on blog, be my guest. However, I moderate this blog.

First off, the final authority in ALL matters of faith is HOLY SCRIPTURE. If you could prove Latimer were an Anglo-Catholic, I would still reject the view. Holy Scripture unequivocably says that justification is by faith alone. Luther held this view and so did Cranmer.

The 39 Articles of Religion condemn Anglo-Catholicism and Roman Catholicism as grievous errors. The fact that you can with a straight face say that an Anglo-Catholic believes the Westminister Confession, which is in effect a Puritan document is beyond stupid.

That you could even dare to make such an assertion shows that you have no clue. If you wish to be take seriously here, you will have to demonstrate at least some basic knowledge of Scripture and of Cranmer and Luther's writings. We could start with Luther's Bondage of the Will and Cranmer's writings against your assertion of the "efficacy" of baptism. According to Cranmer, baptism is a sign and has only spiritual meaning on the basis of faith. Without faith baptism is meaningless.

In the case of infants, we assume them to be regenerate until they prove otherwise. Thus, infants who die are saved on the basis of the covenantal relationship of the parents with the Reformed church. A true church exists only where the Gospel is rightly preached and the sacraments rightly administered.

So Anglo-Catholics by preaching 7 sacraments violate not only the 39 Articles which clearly states there are only 2 sacraments, but the sacrament of penance is contradictory to the Homily on Justification because justification is completely objective and forensic. Justification is apart from works. Penance, as your quote from Luther shows, brings damnation upon you and is in fact a departure from the Gospel of grace. The short of it is that Luther AND the 39 Articles declare Anglo-Catholics to be heretics.

If that bothers you, so be it. However, I will continue to stand for the truth against liars like yourself and Billy Bob the Anglo-Catholic.

Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!

Charlie.

Billy said...

I have never attacked you ad hominem, as you say. You however, have called me a liar and by the name Billy Bob...I don't know where you learned discourse but you should have been taught that name calling isn't acceptable. You have said I am unconverted, which is a lie. You have said I trust in my own righteousness which is not true.

I don't know how many times I will have to tell you that I do not trust in my own righteousness for my justification. But I have to persevere in repentance, obedience, and good works if I wish to have a lively and steadfast faith. That's what the Bible says. If I don't, my faith dies.
I think the problem is that you are trying to view everything from God's angle while I am viewing it from man's. You talk in terms of the elect never being lost. But the problem is, you yourself do not know that you are of the elect, nor do I. I have the confidence and hope that he who began a good work in me will complete it-God is completely faithful. But I can't claim to be of the chosen of God if my life and actions do not bear witness to God's love.

I think the other problem we face here is how we define the terms justification and salvation. You continue to insist that justification is completely forensic and objective. That is what Luther claimed also. And insofar as faith is one of the theological virtues that is true. We do receive am imputed righteousness from Christ which is our comfort and peace when we "from time to time most greviously have commited" sin.

But that is not what Paul means by justification in the letter to the Romans. http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0027.html

Peter Kreeft wrote the linked piece. And demonstrates why Paul is so often pitted against James and Jesus by the unlearned. The answer is that justification and faith are defined as encompassing more things in Romans. i.e. faith is defined as faith, hope, and love, as evidenced by Paul's separation of them in I Cor. 13. You would think he would say that faith is the greatest of the virtues, but it is not. Because the faith that justifies, the faith that is the beginning of conversion, is not the finished product. Our goal is to let love spring out of our union with Christ.

I hope that is helpful in clarifying my position.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Billy, with every word you utter you condemn yourself further as a papist. You do not believe Articles IX-XVIII. The Articles clearly state that ONLY the merits of Christ merit ANYTHING AT ALL FOR US.

Charlie J. Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie J. Ray said...

Billy, Peter Kreeft is a ROMAN CATHOLIC. HELLO??? Let me state it for your once more for emphasis. SANCTIFICATION AND JUSTIFICATION ARE TWO DISTINCT GRACES. Justification is NOT our union with Christ. Justification is absolutely outside of us. It is a forensic/legal declaration made outside of us and its basis and foundation is the perfect life and obedience of Christ imputed to us AND it is the substitutionary/penal atonement of Christ on the cross bearing the penalty of sin for us in our place.

If you do not believe this, YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN. You are trusting in your own merits and not in the merits of Christ. Cranmer and Latimer and Ridley gave their lives in the flames against your doctrine. I would gladly do the same for the sake of the Gospel. But you? As Cranmer said, you are an innovator and a deviser of new doctrines that are NOT cartholic, NOT apostolic, and NOT biblical. Your doctrine is the invention of the papists. My doctrine is the Protestant and Catholic faith preached by Christ, His Apostles, and the faithful church fathers. And lastly, it is the Gospel preached by the Reformers: Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Melanchthon and others. It is the same Gospel preached by the confessing Evangelicals today. Men like Charles Spurgeon and J. C. Ryle preached this same Gospel. And today men like R.C. Sproul, John Piper, John MacArthur, etc.

I will never relinquish the Gospel to judaizers and papists like yourself. Unless you repent from your false comfort in your false merits, you will eternally perish.

May God grant you the grace to trust only in Christ to save you!

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

A SERMON
OF THE SALVATION OF MANKIND
BY ONLY CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR FROM SIN
AND DEATH EVERLASTING.
BECAUSE all men be sinners and offenders against God, and breakers of his law and commandments,
therefore can no man by his own acts, works, and deeds, seem they never so good, be justified and made
righteous before God; but every man of necessity is constrained to seek for another righteousness or
justification, to be received at God’s own hands, that is to say, the remission, pardon, andb forgiveness of
his sins and trespasses in such things as he hath offended. And this justification or righteousness, which
we so receive by God’s mercy and Christ’s merits, embraced by faith, is taken, accepted, and allowed of
God for our perfect and full justification.

For the more full understanding hereof, it is our parts and dutyd ever to remember the great mercy of
God; how that, all the world being wrapped in sin by breaking of the law, God sent his only Son our
Saviour Christ into this world to fulfil the law for us, and by shedding of his most precious blood to make
a sacrifice and satisfaction or (as it may be called) amends to his Father for our sins, to assuage his wrath
and indignation conceived against us for the same.

http://www.footstoolpublications.com/Homilies/Bk1_Salvation3.pdf

Article XI
Of the Justification of Man
We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort; as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.

William said...

Hello Charlie Ray,

I hope you will at least post what I have written on this and the other thread--the posts were well cited and substantive in their information (and certainly contained no ad hominem). Although you likely didn't intend this--by only posting my minor "post-script" post on a "Calvinist" Anglo-Catholic minister and blocking my primary post on this and the other thread a false impression of my response has been given. I stand by what I've said on Augustine, Luther and the Anglican Formularies, and I can provide plenty of further citations to back it up. That said, given the present tone of the threads I believe it is probably best to cut off further discussion.

Going to the fundamental issue--what the Scripture states on these matters. We clearly disagree on the interpretation of the Scripture on some points--but we're not as far away as you think.

As for my statements regarding the "Anglo-catholic" minister--he refers to himself as "Catholic" in Ecclesiology (I must say that the worship at his parish is the highest Anglo-catholic worship I've attended) and "Calvinist" in Soteriology (by the way--the Bible he uses at Bible Study is the ESV with commentary by Sproul). Needless to say--he's not your typical "Anglo-catholic" minister.

As for my familiarity with "Calvinism"--I am well acquainted with the theology of the Westminister Confession as well as the other Reformed Confessions (Heidelberg, Scots, etc). I have read from Calvin, Hodge, Berkoff, Sproul, and numerous other Reformed authors. Finally, I have spent much of my life in conservative Presbyterian Churches and I still enjoy attending such Churches frequently and greatly admire their strong and sound preaching

[And out of the conservative Presbyterian Churches which I've attended (OPC, RPC, PCA) I appreciate the generally traditional (versus contemporary) nature of worship in the OPC and RPC in particular].

I realize that you are seeking to be zealous for the truth of the Gospel and I commend this--I would (as your brother in Christ) respectfully urge great caution, though, in pronouncing judgment on others who hold dear the Word and Name of Christ. We are all sinners and we all fall short both in life and doctrine and if it were not for Christ perfectly fulfilling the Law of God on our behalf we would have no hope.

Finally, thank you for the use of your forum and I hope you have a blessed day in Christ.

William Scott

Charlie J. Ray said...

William, your other posts were not well cited. And furthermore, you totally ignored the other things which Latimer said which were anti-
Roman Catholic. It's obvious that you have not read Cranmer's writings on Holy Communion and the presence of Christ in the sacrament of communion. Cranmer over and over attacks the Roman Catholic position as "papist" and calls his own position, the Protestant position, "catholic." And not only so but Cranmer shows how the papists misquote the church fathers and selectively quote them to support their false doctrines of transubstantiation and baptismal regeneration.

William, I hate to be blunt but anyone who thinks Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholics are saved is himself a compromiser and essentially promoting a false gospel of works. There is only one Gospel. If you endorse a false gospel of works, then you yourself are on the side of satan and not Christ. The quote you gave me from Luther proves that Luther condemned the gospel of merits and works.

This is the problem with the Episcopal Church and the new province created by the common cause partnerships. BOTH provinces are HERETICAL. The Reformed Episcopal Church is likewise apostate because it has forsaken the doctrines of grace and has embraced the false gospel of salvation by man's works and man's merits.

It is clear to me that you do not understand the Gospel and your appeal to Michael Horton and "Calvinism" is merely a ploy on your part to deceive the elect. However, such an attempt will fail because it is impossible for the elect to be deceived by another gospel. (Galatians 1:6-8).

I challenge you to repent and to accept the fact that those who teach the false gospel of works are lost and that ONLY the merits of Christ can withstand the judgment of God. If you are trusting in your own merits, your own righteousness, or your own efforts to justify you before God in the judgment, then you are in effect crucifying Christ afresh and rejecting the free offer of salvation by grace alone. There is NOTHING you can do to justify yourself before God. There is NOTHING you can do to save yourself. The only thing you can do is to believe and trust that Christ alone can save you. Unless you believe this you will in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven!

Furthermore, William, you are not my brother in Christ. You are obviously promoting Anglo-Catholicism, which is a heretical movement.

I have no fear of your threats of judgment. I fear only God and His Word. You are the one who should fear God for you are leading countless numbers of people to hell.

Repent or you will likewise perish. (Luke 13:1-5).

Sincerely in Christ,

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

I might add that the problem is not just with the Anglican Communion. Evangelicalism in general here in the U.S. is apostate from all appearances. Only those who are willing to preach the doctrines of grace without compromise can be given a clear endorsement of being "Christian."

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