The Shocker: The Catholic Church, NOT Protestants, has true BY FAITH ALONE doctrine
BY FAITH ALONE doctrine of Protestants: "The impious are justified BY FAITH ALONE when at the very moment they come to trust God and His promises of mercy and gratuitious forgiveness of sins for the sake of Jesus Christ proclaimed by The Gospel, rightousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to them through the same faith.". This BY FAITH ALONE doctrine of Protestants has no source (link) since there are irreconcilable differences among Protestant bodies regarding details of the doctrine.
BY FAITH ALONE doctrine of The Catholic Church:
1. For the impious: "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified
; in such wise as to mean
..." (Canon 9 on justification, Council of Trent
So the full BY FAITH ALONE doctrine of The Catholic Church for the impious is: "Do penance
[i.e. repent of your sins
, since it is written (Joel 2:13): "rend your hearts, and not your garments and turn to The Lord your God"] and be baptized
[BY FAITH ALONE!] every one of you
[believers] in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive
[BY FAITH ALONE!] the gift of the Holy Ghost ... the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off
" (see here
from Acts 2:38
This above is the first statement of The Church on the doctrine of justification of the impious, made on the first Pentecost - very birthday of The Church, and is repeat of the words of Jesus Christ regarding justification of the impious: "He that believes and is baptized
[BY FAITH ALONE!] shall be saved: but he that believes not shall he condemned.
"(Mark 16:16; also Matthew 28:19 and John 3:5).
2. For fallen Christians (Hebrews 6:4-6; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 10:12): "[believers] whose sins you shall forgive
[BY FAITH ALONE], they are forgiven them [BY FAITH ALONE], and [believers] whose sins you shall retain [BY FAITH ALONE], they are retained" (see here
from John 20:23).
Why BY FAITH ALONE doctrine of Protestants is false:
1. baptism which is necessary for remission of sins (justification) of the impious is omitted from Protestant BY FAITH ALONE doctrine of justification of the impious contrary to the words of Jesus Christ and Apostle Peter on the first Pentecost; also, there is no mention of how sins are forgiven to the fallen Christians;
2. The Bible warns that certain writings of Apostle Paul are hard to be understood and that many have perished by misinterpreting them (2 Peter 3:15-16
). So even without going into details about Romans 3:28, Romans 4:3, Romans 4:5, Romans 5:1, Galatians 3:24, Ephesians 2:8-9 etc. it is clear that it's absolutely impossible that any statement of Apostle Paul would contradict the above words of The Lord Jesus Christ, Apostle Peter or Apostle James since it would necessarily mean that there is lie in their statements and in The Bible which is absolutely impossible.
So, 'man ... justified by faith, without works', 'you are saved through faith ... not of works' of Apostle Paul in Romans 3:28 and Ephesians 2:8-9 respectively must be and is as true as the statements of Apostle Peter and of Jesus Christ or of Apostle James in James 2. If 'by faith alone' statement of Apostle Paul be taken as the formula of justification then necessarily follows contradiction to the words of The Lord Jesus Christ and Apostles Peter and Paul and departure from the faith by Apostle Paul, all of which is impossible.
The whole thing about the 'justified by faith alone, without works' statement of Apostle Paul is that justification is grace of God only and thus can only be received by Christian faith alone and not on account on any work whatsoever (because then the justification would also be payment and not grace only).
3. justification can never be triggered by an act of sinner (by sinner's faith) who is to be justified, as Protestants think, since in that way the justification wouldn't be of God alone but in its smallest part would be of sinner also, which is absolutely contrary to Christian doctrine and absolutely impossible. In baptism, on the contrary, sinner can only by faith alone receive the water and The Holy Ghost (John 3:5) so that sinner in no way actively participates (by an act of his faith, as Protestants falsely teach) in his own justification.
4. The grace of justification must produce only good (holy) works out of justified man (when justified man sins daily it is on him only and not on grace) and can't produce sinful works i.e. works unto (spiritual) death (Matthew 7:16-20; 1 John 5:16-17) but only off works i.e. works which aren't unto death (1 John 5:16-17); that's absolutely essential for the grace of justification and for the justification; as no sinful work is the proof of man's justification so a sinful work is the proof of no justification (James 2:18) and of dead faith (James 2:17; James 2:26)
which doesn't justify anyone (1 Corinthians 13:2);
so when Apostle James says 'of works a man is justified, and not of faith only' in James 2:24 (it's 'ek'/'ex' in the Greek original which means 'of' in English and not 'by')
that doesn't mean that the justification ceased to be the grace of God exclusively but only means that on works depends whether a man has confirmed his faith by his works and has thus kept the living faith (cf. James 2:17 and James 2:26)
and the grace of justification and is still justified or has denied his faith by his works (1 Timothy 5:8)
and thus has got dead faith (James 2:17; James 2:26)
and has lost the grace of justification, has been fallen from the grace and isn't justified anymore (Hebrews 6:4-6).
So, while a man is indeed justified BY FAITH ALONE that FAITH is only the living faith (cf. James 2:17 and James 2:26)
. Of necessity follows that works which grace BY FAITH ALONE does with man (1 Corinthians 15:10-11)
keep the faith alive in order that a man can be justified BY FAITH ALONE and the more there are these works the greater the fruits of the grace are (cf. Mark 11:13-14) and the greater the justification is. Thus works also justify man BY FAITH ALONE while at the same time man isn't
justified BY works: man is always justified BY FAITH ALONE!
5. While Cornelius and his home received the remission of sins and The Holy Ghost before baptism (Acts 10:44-48) it cannot be said that this contradicts the words of The Lord Jesus Christ or Apostle Peter on the first Pentecost because it would mean they both lied. This event is important for adults who die before being able to receive baptism by water: they would perish if baptism by water were the only baptism (Hebrews 6:2 says "doctrine of baptisms
" (plural!), not "doctrine of baptism" (singular)).
6. righteousness isn't imputed to man so that he would be only declared righteous, as Protestants think, since it is written: "And I live, now not I: but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20). But the Christ doesn't live in the impious. So the justified are truly made righteous by the grace of justification, not only declared righteous.
7. grace of justification isn't favourable attitude of God towards a sinner, as Protestants think, since statements like "Stephen, man full of grace and power" (Acts 6:8), "stir up the grace of God which is in you" (2 Timothy 1:6) and "I have laboured more abundantly than all they. Yet not I, but the grace of God with me ... whether I or they, so we preach: and so you have believed." (1 Corinthians 15:10) certainly don't mean that Stephen was full of favourable attitude of God towards him, that Timothy was admonished to stir up in himself the favourable attitude of God towards him and that favourable attitude of God towards him worked with Apostle Paul so abundantly. Grace is the supernatural gift of righteousness
that is gratuitiously given to repentant sinners by God alone through the faith alone, that truly dwells in the justified sinners and that truly makes sinners new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15), truly righteous persons and partakers of Divine nature(!!
; 2 Peter 1:4).
All this is more than sufficient to prove that Catholic BY FAITH ALONE doctrine is true and leads to salvation while Protestant BY FAITH ALONE doctrine is false and if believed leads to damnation instead of to salvation.
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No UNJUSTIFIED man, whether Christian or non-Christian, can merit his own justification as was explained above. However, already JUSTIFIED Christians can merit eternal salvation!
For in justified Christians i.e. Chrisitans who stand in God's grace (1 Corinthians 10:12
) Jesus Christ lives (Galatians 2:20
) and by His grace works with them (1 Corinthians 15:10-11). But there are also Christians who aren't justified yet i.e. who don't stand in God's grace.
So how can anyone say that JUSTIFIED Christians cannot merit eternal salvation by works which Jesus Christ by His grace did with them and which He freely gave them to be their
works (Luke 15:31
) without necessarily blaspheming that Jesus Christ cannot merit eternal salvation for them by the same works?
Thus The Church has defined: "the just
... for their good works
done in God... hope for eternal recompense
from God, through
His mercy and the merit of Jesus Christ
..." (Canon 26 on justification, Council of Trent) and "the good works
which he performs through
the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, truly merit
... eternal life
..." (Canon 32 on justification, Council of Trent).
As good father gives everything to his beloved son (Luke 15:31) so our good heavenly Father gives the merit of Jesus Christ to all his beloved children, the justified. Merits of the justified are the merit of Jesus Christ alone.
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Objection: "Your "Church" says that Christian has to keep The Law: "no one, how much soever justified, ought to think himself exempt from the observance of the commandments" (Council of Trent, Decree on justification, ch. XI). But The Bible most clearly says that we aren't under The Law (Romans 6:14). How can you explain this?".
Reply to Objection: There are the two Laws
mentioned by The Bible:
(1) The Law of works
) also called The Law of Moses
or The Law
(1 Corinthians 9:8-9
; Romans 3:28
; Romans 6:14
(2) The Law of faith
) also called The Law of Christ
), The Commandments of Jesus Christ
; Matthew 19:16-19
; Mark 10:17-19
; Luke 18:18-20
; 1 John 2:3-4
), The Royal Law
), The Law of liberty
) or The Law
The Law of Christ
is perfection of The Law of Moses. Because the latter was outside us, was burdensome (Matthew 11:28
) and only proved us sinners (Psalm 143(142):2) while the former is inside us (Jeremiah 31:33), is sweet and light (Matthew 11:30
; 1 John 5:3
), makes us sinners just and makes us sinners do what we alone cannot and don't do: observe and manifest to all humans The Law of Christ i.e. The Commandments of Jesus Christ in all
our works (Matthew 7:17-18
; Luke 6:43-44
The just(ified) are to pray "Forgive us our sins" (Luke 11:4) daily. How can the just(ified) have sins if they aren't under the law i.e. under The Law of Christ? And how the just(ified) can be such if they break The Law of Christ, that is, grace itself?
No manifestation of The Law of Christ in every
work is the proof of no grace. Because humans don't have bodily health always but sometimes fall into sickness. Nor the living when they lose bodily health immediately and necessarily physically die.
The same holds true in spiritual life. Even when they fall into spiritual sickness by sin the just don't break but twist and imperfectly and weakly manifest (but still manifest) The Law of Christ: because then they sin not
to death (1 John 5:16-17
) i.e. their sin lacks perfect malice which every sin unto death has.
Thus even when being spiritually sick but not spiritually dead the just still manifest, although very imperfectly and weakly, The Law of Christ.
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Objection: "Why those who seem to be anti-Bible and anti-Christ seem to adore Jesus Christ alone i.e. God alone as it has to be while you adore humans called saints who are not to be adored?"
Reply to Objection: According to The Bible, saints are the very members of the body of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27
) while Jesus Christ Himself is only the head of the body of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23
Thus, according to The Bible, these humans don't adore Jesus Christ at all because they would adore only His head without His body (as if Jesus Christ was only head or was dead and only His head was left of Him).
Thus veneration of saints is adoration of Jesus Christ.