Inspired by Kevin Noles debate with Jim Drickamer.
Kevin and Jim were debating Purgatory. I suppose Jim thought these verses somehow argue against the existence of Purgatory, but they have nothing to do with the subject matter. None of these verses say that all faithful men will go directly to heaven.
God’s righteousness is through faith in Christ for all who believe (Romans 3: 22).
Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Notice that it doesn’t say “by faith IN Christ”. That is key to understanding this verse. The “faith of” Christ is the “religion” which He established. Therefore, the righteousness of God used to be by the faith or religion of Moses. But it has now been replaced by the faith of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church.
We are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption in Christ (Romans 3: 24).
Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
In order to understand this verse, we must understand the previous chapter. Where St. Paul says:
Romans 2:13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Therefore, if you factor in Romans 2, you see that God gives the gift of grace only to those who uphold the Law.
Note something else. Protestants usually say that God has saved them even from future sins. But it is clear, in this verse, that the forgiveness of sins only applies to those which have been committed in the past:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness <i><b>for the remission of sins that are past, </b></i> through the forbearance of God;
In other words, when you are baptized and when you confess your sins, God only absolves you of those you committed in the past. If you fall and commit more sins, you need to confess those as you repent.
God has shown His righteousness so as to be just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3: 26).
Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
I think this is explained also, in another verse:
Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
In other words, Jesus, by His obedience unto death, proved His righteousness unto God and became the purifier of all those who follow in His steps. As Scripture says elsewhere:
1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Thus showing that believing in Jesus is more than empty claims of self righteousness. But of faith plus works of charity.
That to the one who believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness (Romans 4: 5)
Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
This is a reference to Abraham, the Patriarch of our faith.
It is also a reference to the Sacraments of faith.
When we present ourselves for the Sacraments, we are like Abraham. We have done all which God commanded and we believe His promises. But when we approach the Sacraments, we are still and we let God do what only He can do, wash away our sins by the power of the Holy Spirit.
And they say that by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous (Romans 5: 19).
Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
If we take up our Cross and follow Him. Protestants tend to leave out other Scriptures which must be understood in conjunction with the one they are quoting.
Let me break this out a bit. The first part says that man were made sinners. That is true. But not all. Let’s take, for instance, the very first of Adam’s children. Cain and Abel. We know that Cain became a sinner. But it is nowhere recorded that Abel committed any sin. Only those who followed Adam’s example of disobedience, became disobedient and thus sinned.
The same goes for the second part. Who is it that became righteous? Only those who follow the example of the one Man’s obedience. Scripture says it,
Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Scriptures also teach that because of Christ you are in Christ Who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (I Corinthians 1: 30).
1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Well, that’s true. If you obey Him and work out your own salvation in fear and trembling.
Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Scripture says that anyone in Christ is a new creation (II Corinthians 5: 17).
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I don’t know why Jim even brought this up. Protestants don’t believe they are new creatures. They believe they are covered over. It’s the dung hill reference that they deny that Luther made. But they believe the dung hill doctrine and deny the new creation doctrine. They believe God merely makes a legal declaration of justification and they remain the same.
Whereas, we, Catholics believe we are actually born again of the Spirit when we are baptized.
Scripture says God has reconciled the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them (II Corinthians 5: 19).
2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
This is an obvious reference to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I’m not sure if this is why Jim omitted the verse before and the one after. Anyone who reads all three will recognize the Confessional, right away:
2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Scripture says God made Christ Who knew no sin to be sin so that in Him we might become God’s righteousness (II Corinthians 5: 21).
Again, if we obey Him and keep the Commandments. We don’t believe that we are covered over. Nor do we believe, as Jim does, that we can continue sinning and grace will abound. Sin is a Protestant sacrament. The Catholic Church repudiates all sins.
In order to remain in Christ, we are taught to avoid all sins. That is the Teaching of Scripture:
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Scriptures teach a man is justified through faith in Jesus (Galatians 2: 16).
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Note how he says that we are justified by the “faith of” Jesus Christ. That is the Catholic Church. We practice the “faith of Jesus Christ” because the faith of Jesus Christ is the religion He established. That religion is Catholicism. And we are not justified by works of the law, but only those who do the works of the law are justified by God, in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church.
They teach that Christ gave Himself for me (Galatians 2: 20).
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Actually, they teach that Christ gave Himself for all of mankind. But this verse says that those who are baptized, have died to themselves and Christ lives through them.
This is something which most Protestants that I’ve talked to, adamantly deny and in fact, call it blasphemy. Especially if you ever mention that Priests walk in “persona Christi”. They go ballistic.
Scripture says Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (Galatians 3: 13).
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
In other words, Christ took upon Himself the punishment for our sins. Absolutely true. He, willingly, took on the punishment for our sins.
But this is only for those sins for which we repent and beg forgiveness. Not for future sins.
Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Scriptures declare Christ gave Himself to redeem and purify a people for Himself (Titus 2: 14).
Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Absolutely, this chapter teaches that God wants us to be chaste and righteous. Avoiding all sins and doing good to all men.
Scripture says that Christ bore our sins so that we die to sin and live to righteousness (I Peter 2: 24).
1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Exactly! We should live unto righteousness. But Jim believes we can live in sin and still be saved. So, why did he even post this? Living unto righteousness does not mean continuing in sin.
A person who has been born again (John 3: 3) and given faith by God (Ephesians 2: 8-9) has a Substitute Who bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, was pierced for our transgressions, was crushed for our iniquities, was chastised to bring us peace, was wounded to heal us, and on Him the Lord laid the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53: 3-6).
But that doesn’t mean that he won’t be judged for the sins he commits after he is justified.
1 Corinthians 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
God died for all, but only some men turned to Him in order to live:
2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
Someone who believes in Jesus is justified, righteous, redeemed, sanctified, newly re-created, reconciled to God, purified, and God does not count his sins against him. Christ has caused all of these to be true of those who believe in Him by living in their place a sinless life, dying on the cross as a perfect sacrifice, and rising from the dead.
True, but not by faith alone. One must believe in Jesus, repent of and confess their sins, believe in Christ’s promises, and be baptized.
Christ didn’t suffer in order that you wouldn’t.
Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Christ didn’t live a sinless life in order that you would continue in sin.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Purgatory, on the other hand, teaches that many who believe in Jesus are not justified, righteous, redeemed, sanctified, newly-created, purified, or reconciled, but do have God counting sins against them so they need additional purification after death. Purgatory sets aside the atonement accomplished by Christ,
On the contrary, Jim. It is because of Christ’s atonement, that His blood may be applied to them in the after life and they can be purified of their remaining sins.
even though Hebrews 10: 14 says, “For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
Yeah, Jim. Key words. “Being sanctified”. Every time we participate in the One Offering of Christ Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, we are being perfected by the Body and Blood of Christ. We are washed of our sins, anew and united to the Body of Christ. That Christ may live in us and work through us to the glory of the Father.