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A Refutation Of Falsehoods Propagated By Catholic Apologist De Maria

  • Defining The Issues:
          -Roman Catholic apologist De Maria wrote an article response to my citation of a commentary written by Protestant Reformer Martin Luther on the epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians. This open letter serves as my confutation of this Catholic blogger's claims:
              "Greetings,

               First of all, the Church of Rome was infested with more political and moral corruption than ever around the timing of the Protestant Reformation. That's a historic fact. Remember also that my intention here is not to defend Martin Luther's every move; he made some good and erroneous decisions. I simply found this excerpt from his commentary on Galatians to be insightful. But anyway, following are a handful of quotes from St. Bernard which can be found in this document by 
    Professor, Dr. Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen:

                “I too believe that man is saved through Faith alone.” (says in the footnote of the research paper, "Bernard formulates this clear statement in 1125 in the famous letter to Hugh of St. Victor, in which he explicates his view on the sacraments – a letter that was paradigmatic for Hugh’s later doctrine on the sacraments.")

                “What is hidden about us in the heart of God will be revealed for us and his Spirit testifies and persuades our spirit that we are the children of God. But he convinces us of this by calling and justifying us by grace through faith.” (says in the footnote of the research paper, "My translation from In Dedicatione Ecclesiae V, 7 (SBO V, 393): “Quod de nobis latet in corde patris, nobis per ipsius Spiritum reveletur, et Spiritus eius testificans persuadeat spiritui nostro quod filii Dei sumus. Persuadeat autem vocando et iustificando gratis per fidem.” Humans cannot obtain it by their own merit.")

               Additionally, I recognize that there are fundamental distinctions between presumption and assurance of salvation. The first involves 
    bragging and self-praise about allegedly being right with God, whereas the latter is knowledge regarding salvation upon humble acceptance of the gospel and submission to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. Consider, for example, the text of John 5:24. Consider also Scripture passages such as Romans 8:28-39 and 1 John 5:11-13. We can indeed have great assurance of salvation. This is not a matter of acting presumptuously. And lastly, I want to point out that your article operates solely on gross misrepresentations and distortions of what Sola Fide ("faith alone") means.

               Justification is by faith, apart from the merit of any and all works (Romans 4:2-8; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5-7). Works are simply the product, not the cause, of a saving faith. They are certainly important. A faith that saves is one that obeys the commandments of Christ. Salvation is by faith alone, but is never alone. It will always be accompanied with (or at least a desire to perform) good deeds. In short, your entire article is based on a strawman, namely that we who subscribe to Sola Fide display opposition to doing good works. But no rational, biblically thinking Christian would ever invest time into defending such a false position.


               What is even more, is that the Apostle Paul always excluded works within the context of  discussing how man becomes right with God. His reasoning from that logical framework was that no man had the opportunity to boast. That was the simple, precious truth recognized by Luther. But then you uttered this telling statement which in my opinion summarizes your entire article:

               "It is Catholics who say, "I don't know if I'm saved. I've done my best, it is God who will judge me."

               But how could we possibly live a life of joy and peace, if we are not able to have assurance of eternal life? Furthermore, it is precisely this self-righteous, pompous attitude (which is ironic since you claim to be humble) that is utterly incompatible with the biblical gospel (Galatians 1:6-12). Those who want to merit the kingdom of heaven absolutely need to recognize the vital spiritual truth that God demands perfect obedience, which is impossible since we have all sinned against Him. That is precisely why He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ into the world to make atonement for the sins of mankind. It is strictly by God's grace that we are saved, not by our own efforts. Our "work" is believing on the One whom He has sent (John 6:27-29). He saves all who come to Him with a repentant heart through faith. It is only by the blood of Jesus that we are saved from God's wrath and eternal condemnation (Hebrews 10:10-14). Thus, Sola Fide simply gives all the credit to God alone. The fact of the matter is that the Council of Trent affirmed the heresy of  semi-
    pelagianism."


    This post first appeared on Rational Christian Discernment, please read the originial post: here

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    A Refutation Of Falsehoods Propagated By Catholic Apologist De Maria

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