Call me slow (which some have already insinuated) but I think I finally understand the great divide between Catholicism and Protestantism. It is the doctrine of justification by grace.
This quote from CRI explains the difference well:
Justification, to evangelicals, means that God declares us righteous the instant you or I repent and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior — and this, despite our sinfulness. Actually, it’s a singular event, something that is completed instantaneously. Catholics, on the other hand, understand justification to mean that God makes us righteous. It’s seen as a process whereby God gradually perfects us; and this is, incidentally, why Catholics believe that only in the end will believers be sure as to whether they’re truly justified or saved.
In addition, evangelicals believe in justification by faith alone. And by faith we mean not only knowledge and agreement, but also personal trust in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life. In sharp distinction, Catholics see faith as nothing more than passive agreement, which again is why they don’t believe in justification by faith alone. Catholics actually consider human works as vital elements in the process of justification. This is because they are held to be the result of God’s grace working through and perfecting believers.
Well, in sharp contrast to the evangelical belief that works are the fruits of justification, Catholics say that justification results from a combination of faith and works made possible by God’s grace.
For Evangelicals, salvation and justification occurs simultaneously upon accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and we can be assured of our heavenly destination. For Catholics, there is no assurance of their eternal destination. Big difference.
So. Who is right?
We can’t both be right, correct?
Because if the Catholics are right, then we Evangelicals may be in trouble. But if the Evangelicals are right, where does that leave the Catholics?
These are questions to think about. I will continue with this topic later.
"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our Lord stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
Christian Women Blogging
Articles for Christian Women
- What Will You Do With Jesus?
- Sola Scriptura ala Ellen
- The Gospel According to Me, Part 3
- The Gospel According to Me, Part 2
- The Gospel According to Me
- Book Meme Followup
- Book Meme
- The Very Hairs of Your Head...
- A Hold on Discussions
- Blessed Assurance
- What A Long Strange Trip Its Been
- Who is Right? - Doctrine of Justification
- ▼ August (13)