Book Review – Are We Together?

Are We TogetherI just finished reading Are We Together? by R.C. Sproul (2012). The book’s sub-title: A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism. Of course, R.C. Sproul is not just any Protestant. No one may be more qualified to discuss comparisons between Evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism than Sproul. He has already written two books on the issue in Faith Alone (1999) and Getting the Gospel Right (2003) and he gets it absolutely right in both books. This book is a fresh look at the current divide between Protestants and Catholics and answers the question: Are we together? I am excited to recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the reasons why we may not be together after all.

My Catholic Friends
Roman Catholics hold a special place in my heart. I have interacted with many Catholics in my life and their intentions are always sincere. They revere God and respect the church. They love Jesus and call themselves Christians. Yet, I know some Catholics who converted to Evangelical Christianity. I wonder… How does that happen? Why does it happen?

But for every Catholic turned Christian that I’ve met, I know many more still devoted to the Catholic Church and they believe they are honoring God in their own way or a better way. Therefore I always felt a need to learn as much as I can about the Catholic faith. I want to understand why they believe what they believe and be able to engage them in a meaningful way.

The Reformation Is Not Over
This is the book I have been waiting for. What makes this book a stand-out title is that it is brief yet comprehensive and it is fair yet firm. It makes clear why I would never be a Roman Catholic yet helps me understand them better. I appreciate that Sproul makes an effort to point out the caricatures and slanders Christians should avoid in their description of Catholics.

In this book, it is Sproul’s goal to analyze the Roman Catholic Church, often using her own words, to make clear their position in relation to biblical truth and Christian doctrine. In doing so, he proves that Catholic theology has not moved anywhere closer to Christian theology over the years and thus, the Reformation is not over.

Sproul decided to cover six theological articles, chosen for their significance:
-Scripture
-Justification
-The Church
-The Sacraments
-The Papacy
-Mary

Who’s Righteousness?
I’ll comment on the chapter on justification because if you only read one chapter from this book, it should be this one. Justification is at the heart of what divides Christians and Catholics.

Sproul reveals that an important issue is the difference between infusion of righteousness vs. imputation of righteousness. He writes:

Rome believes in infusion, which is the view that the righteousness of Christ is actually put into the believer, so that the person is actually righteous. The righteousness of Christ is not simply credited to the person’s account; it actually becomes the person’s possession. (p.31)

Also important to understand is that this infusion of righteousness must happen in cooperation with the sacraments, such as baptism, and is not by faith alone. Sproul makes it very clear that Rome condemns the Protestant view that justification happens by faith alone. Justification through infusion is very different from the Christian belief that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believer through faith alone (that is, righteousness is credited to his account through faith).

The big problem with infusion is that righteousness ultimately depends on the righteousness in you that you possess, rather than in Christ alone. With the doctrine of infusion, comes the teaching that you can lose some or all of the grace infused into you if you sin, possibly losing your justification. This is exactly what Rome teaches.

The heart of the true gospel is that God always looks to Christ’s righteousness and never what is in you the believer. That’s the real good news and it should never be compromised by embracing the Roman Catholic teaching on justification through infusion.

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. -Galations 1:8

Two Imcompatible Faiths
Now it’s important that I mention this book analyzes the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The teachings coming out of local Catholic churches, for example, the ones in Hawaii, are not being analyzed here. Sproul points out that some western churches adhere to a “newer” theology that may be closer to Protestant doctrine. But in my opinion, that only makes their members bad Roman Catholics.

In any case, I believe this book is a good defense of the gospel among people struggling with the two faiths. This book will benefit Christians with questions about Catholics, Catholics with questions about Christians and anyone that has actually made a switch between the two faiths. I have read other good books on the issue (see Holy Ground by Chris Castaldo) but this is probably the last one I’ll have to read for a long time. In conclusion, I think it’s impossible to read this book and still think the two faiths are compatible. Indeed, we are not together but for good reasons.

I love my Roman Catholic friends. I pray that they realize how different their gospel is from the Christian gospel and I pray that they reconsider embracing their gospel.

This entry was posted in Book Review. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Book Review – Are We Together?

  1. Mark Tuso says:

    Hi Mark, I am a Catholic and am responding to your writing: “The big problem with infusion is that righteousness ultimately depends on the righteousness in you that you possess, rather than in Christ alone.”

    In Catholic theology you are either justified or you are not. For Catholics, righteousness is REAL (infused) and not a by IMPUTATION (simply a covering up of filthy sin) This Protestant interpretation (IMPUTATION, as many people have pointed out, means that our righteousness is little more than a legal fiction…. God treats us as if we were just or righteous, although He (like us) knows full well that we are NOT.

    For Catholics REAL righteousness begins at Baptism. For the infant, he or she is justified at the moment of baptism by the power of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 6:11, Titus 3:5, Heb. 10:22). At the moment of baptism, by God’s grace, faith, hope and love are infused into the soul (see Rom. 5:1-5 and the Council of Trent’s declaration on Justification). Scripture teaches that the promise of baptism is for infants. Why wouldn’t it be? Eight day old infants were made members of the Old Covenant through circumcision. St. Paul calls baptism the “new circumcision” (Col. 2:11-12). This means babies qualify in the NT just as they did in the OT. God does not exclude infants from His New Covenant; otherwise, the New Covenant wouldn’t be better than the Old one. For an adult, he is also first justified through baptism. The faith and works he does prior to baptism disposes him to justification, but he is not yet justified until baptism. That is why Paul says in his letter to Titus that we were not justified by the righteous deeds we have done, but by the washing of regeneration which is a reference to baptism (Titus 3:3-5). However, after baptism, we are further justified by faith and works (see James 2:24). I hope this clears things up. As you can see, the bible verses above confirm the Catholic position and it’s 2000 year’s of teaching and practicing scripture.

    Like

    • Hi Mark, I understand why you would say “righteousness is little more than a legal fiction” as Catholics view justification with an analytical view. You must actually be just in order to be justified. It makes sense in an analytical way. But as you know, Protestants cannot accept this view since we believe we are COUNTED as righteous. We do not have to be (and cannot be) actually righteous. With the doctrine of imputation, we are truly counted as righteous because of Christ, not what is found in man.

      We believe in double imputation: our sin was imputed to Christ and his righteousness is imputed to the believer. This is why Paul can say in Romans 3:26 that Christ is both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus”. What’s strange, as Sproul points out, is that Catholics reject the imputation of righteousness yet in their doctrine of atonement, it states that our sin is imputed to Jesus on the cross. So you do believe in imputation as a real thing. Thats not legal fiction there. You would agree that our sin was real and it was really imputed to Christ. Well, in the same way, Christ’s righteousness was real, and it was really imputed to the believer. Nothing fictional about it.

      Like

      • Mark Truso says:

        Thanks, Mark, for your quick reply to my comments.
        Let me say that Catholic teachers are indeed analytic because we do not see a dichotomy between faith and reason (analysis). And we are not afraid of reason and follow the command to present a defense of The Faith.

        We Catholics totally agree with Paul in Romans 3:26 but this entire book must read in proper context with all of scripture. Much of your thinking is rooted in serious errors of the Reformation, especially by Calvin and Luther.

        Calvin’s doctrine of total depravity was his own invention and distorted scripture; it was never taught by the Church or any early Church father for 1,500 years prior to Calvin coming on the scene. Calvin based “total depravity” on verses such as Eph 2:1,5 and Col 2:13 where Paul refers to us as “dead in our trespasses.” But in these verses, Paul was teaching about our condition prior to baptism (cf. Col 2:12). Before baptism, we indeed were dead in our trespasses. After baptism, we are no longer dead, but alive in Christ. As St. Peter says in 1 Peter 3:21, baptism now saves us, and as St. Paul describes, this is done by the “washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,” which is baptism (Titus 3:5). Man is still encumbered by concupiscence, which is the proclivity to commit sin, and often succumbs to sin, but he is not totally depraved. This is because we have received the grace of filial adoption in Christ through baptism (cf. Titus 3:7).

        Calvin argued for total depravity because he did not believe that man had freewill. Thus, he believed that God predestined some to heaven and some to hell. Calvin could simply not reconcile the truth that God’s sovereignty includes human free will. While it is a mystery how God’s sovereignty and our free will interact, the truth is that they do, as the Scriptures teach. But Calvin could not comprehend this, and thus concluded that we are totally depraved, unable to respond to God’s grace, and so God had to predestine some to heaven and others to hell.

        Calvin’s teaching also makes God a liar. For example, God so often pleaded with Israel to turn away from their sins and repent (cf. Ezek. 18:30; 33:11). But if these people were already predestined to hell, then that would make God’s pleading superfluous. He would be revealing His desire for Israel to repent, knowing all the while that they did not have the ability to do so. This is not the God of the Christian faith, for God cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18). When you follow Calvinism to its ultimate end, it makes God the author of sin (since there is no more freewill, but sin exists, God must be its author).

        Regarding Rom. 3:23, Paul is saying that all people are subject to original sin, and that we all would have died in that sin had it not been for the new life of Christ which we receive in baptism. Paul is not saying that all people commit sin (even though infants are subject to original sin, they do not commit sins by their own free will choices; not until they reach the age of reason).

        Note also that the Greek word for “all” (pantes) does not mean every single person. For example, the same word is used in 1 Cor. 15:22 where Paul says that just as in Adam “all” have died, so in Christ “all” shall live. But we know that not all people have died (Enoch and Elijah were assumed into heaven), and we also know that not all people will live because Jesus taught us that some people will choose hell. Note also that in Rom. 5:19 Paul says “many” (polloi) were made sinners. He changes the word from “all” to “many” which underscores that, when Paul says “all,” he means “many.”

        Martin Luther expanded this dangerous doctrine almost 500 years a go when he said we are “dung heaps” and that Christ’s imputed righteousness covers us like fresh snow, however, underneath we still remain manure. You, Mark, follow this extra-biblical tradition when you say “We do not have to be (and cannot be) actually righteous.”

        But this belief contradicts the bible and makes Jesus a liar when He says “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” Our Heavenly Father is truly righteous and Christ’s words make no sense if we can’t ACTUALLY be righteous.

        Why does Paul, a little later in Romans, command believers to “present
        your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God” (Rom 12:1). This passage also makes no sense if we are “filthy rags or dung heaps covered over and never actually BECOME righteous. Without ACTUAL righteousness, we could never be “living, holy, and acceptable” as Paul invokes us to be. Paul obviously believes we have freewill and the means to be living, holy and acceptable with God’s grace or else his words are meaningless. Paul doesn’t say: “Your bodies can never be holy, but are filthy; but that’s ok just believe you are IMPUTED (covered over) and that will make you an acceptable sacrifice. There are countless examples in the Old and New Testaments that show God’s insistence on REAL holy sacrifice and that it had to come from righteous people and individuals.

        The bible also is unequivocal that NOTHING unclean (no covered-over filth) will enter heaven. Let me ask you how you can enter heaven if as you say “We do not have to be (and cannot be) actually righteous.”

        Catholics do believe that both Christ and His atonement for sin are real. We also believe that before Christ ascended to heaven He established the Catholic Church with real power to forgive sins so we don’t have wallow in our filthy sin. We can ACTUALLY be cleansed and made (or restored) to real righteousness. This happens first in the Sacrament of Baptism. Next, for those of the age of reason (about 7 years old and up) The Sacrament of Confession. The Sacrament of The Sick also removes sin.

        Jesus Granted This Power To Remove Sin To His Church:

        John 20:21 – before He grants them the authority to forgive sins, Jesus says to the apostles, “as the Father sent me, so I send you.” As Christ was sent by the Father to forgive sins, so Christ sends the apostles and their successors forgive sins.

        John 20:22 – the Lord “breathes” on the apostles, and then gives them the power to forgive and retain sins. The only other moment in Scripture where God breathes on man is in Gen. 2:7, when the Lord “breathes” divine life into man. When this happens, a significant transformation takes place.

        John 20:23 – Jesus says, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” In order for the apostles to exercise this gift of forgiving sins, the penitents must orally confess their sins to them because the apostles are not mind readers. The text makes this very clear.

        Matt. 9:8 – this verse shows that God has given the authority to forgive sins to “men.” Hence, those Protestants who acknowledge that the apostles had the authority to forgive sins (which this verse demonstrates) must prove that this gift ended with the apostles. Otherwise, the apostles’ successors still possess this gift. Where in Scripture is the gift of authority to forgive sins taken away from the apostles or their successors?

        Matt. 9:6; Mark 2:10 – Christ forgave sins as a man (not God) to convince us that the “Son of man” has authority to forgive sins on earth.

        Luke 5:24 – Luke also points out that Jesus’ authority to forgive sins is as a man, not God. The Gospel writers record this to convince us that God has given this authority to men. This authority has been transferred from Christ to the apostles and their successors.

        Matt. 18:18 – the apostles are given authority to bind and loose. The authority to bind and loose includes administering and removing the temporal penalties due to sin. The Jews understood this since the birth of the Church.

        John 20:22-23; Matt. 18:18 – the power to remit/retain sin is also the power to remit/retain punishment due to sin. If Christ’s ministers can forgive the eternal penalty of sin, they can certainly remit the temporal penalty of sin (which is called an “indulgence”).

        2 Cor. 2:10 – Paul forgives in the presence of Christ (some translations refer to the presences of Christ as “in persona Christi”). Some say that this may also be a reference to sins.

        2 Cor. 5:18 – the ministry of reconciliation was given to the ambassadors of the Church. This ministry of reconciliation refers to the sacrament of reconciliation, also called the sacrament of confession or penance.

        James 5:15-16 – in verse 15 we see that sins are forgiven by the priests in the sacrament of the sick. This is another example of man’s authority to forgive sins on earth. Then in verse 16, James says “Therefore, confess our sins to one another,” in reference to the men referred to in verse 15, the priests of the Church.

        1 Tim. 2:5 – Christ is the only mediator, but He was free to decide how His mediation would be applied to us. The Lord chose to use priests of God to carry out His work of forgiveness.

        Lev. 5:4-6; 19:21-22 – even under the Old Covenant, God used priests to forgive and atone for the sins of others.

        Mark, if Jesus was content with just imputing (covering-over) sin with His righteousness, why would He empower and direct His Apostles and their successors to FORGIVE (remove) sin? It makes no sense.

        Have Merry and Blessed Christmas!

        Like

        • I wasn’t suggesting a dichotomy between faith and reason. I was just saying that I understand where you come from and I argue that you should not call it “legal fiction” since you yourself believe in imputation of sin to Christ. THAT’s not legal fiction so it’s unnecessary to call imputation of righteousness legal fiction. It is both reasonable to view righteousness as actually there or imputed, just depends what you believe the bible teaches.

          Now you’ve certainly begun to defend what you think the bible teaches and I appreciate your zeal but that’s not the point of my book review or the book itself. In fact, the whole point IS that we disagree. If anything your views confirm that Spoul knows what he’s talking about and that there cannot be a real unity between Catholics and Protestants, again, for good biblical reasons.

          Like

        • I have a question for you Mark: When you say “Before baptism, we indeed were dead in our trespasses” … how dead were we? If you say fully dead, then you do believe in total depravity, but I don’t think you would say that because if you were fully dead, you’d have no good in you to choose to get baptized. So I’m curious what your answer is. Thanks.

          Like

  2. Mark Tuso says:

    You are correct that Catholicism teaches that you can lose some or all of the grace infused into you if you sin, possibly losing your justification. Jesus said it… so Catholics believe it!

    Matt. 7:18 – Jesus says that sound trees bear good fruit. But there is no guarantee that a sound tree will stay sound. It could go rotten.

    Matt. 7:21 – all those who say “Lord, Lord” on the last day will not be saved. They are judged by their evil deeds.

    Matt. 12:30-32 – Jesus says that he who is not with Him is against Him, therefore (the Greek for “therefore” is “dia toutos” which means “through this”) blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. This means that failing to persevere in Jesus’ grace to the end is the unforgivable sin against the Spirit. We must persevere in faith to the end of our lives.

    Matt. 22:14 – Jesus says many are called but few are chosen. This man, who was destined to grace, was at God’s banquet, but was cast out.

    Luke 8:13 – Jesus teaches that some people receive the word with joy, but they have no root, believe for a while, and then fall away in temptation. They had the faith but they lost it.

    Luke 12:42-46 – we can start out as a faithful and wise steward, then fall away and be assigned to a place with the unfaithful.

    Luke 15:11-32 – in the parable of the prodigal son, we learn that we can be genuine sons of the Father, then leave home and die, then return and be described as “alive again.”

    John 6:70-71 – Jesus chose or elected twelve, yet one of them, Judas, fell. Not all those predestined to grace persevere to the end.

    John 15:1-10 – we can be in Jesus (a branch on the vine), and then if we don’t bear fruit, are cut off, wither up and die. Paul makes this absolutely clear in Rom. 11:20-23.

    John 17:12 – we can be given to Jesus by the Father (predestined to grace) and yet not stay with Jesus, like Judas.

    John 6:37 – those who continue to come to Jesus He won’t cast out. But it’s a continuous, ongoing action. We can leave Jesus and He will allow this because He respects our freewill.

    John 6:39 – Jesus will not lose those the Father gives Him, but we can fall away, like Judas. God allows us not to persevere.

    John 6:40 – everyone who sees the Son and believes means the person “continues” to believe. By continuing to believe, the person will persevere and will be raised up. Belief also includes obedience, which is more than an intellectual belief in God.

    John 6:44 – Jesus says no one can come to me unless the Father “draws” him. This “drawing” is an ongoing process.

    John 10:27-28 – when Jesus says, “no one shall snatch them out of my hands,” He does not mean we can’t leave His hands. We can choose to walk away from Him.

    Rev. 2:4-5 – Jesus tells the Ephesians that they abandoned the love they had at first and have fallen. Jesus warns them to repent and do the works they did at first, otherwise He will remove their lampstand (their awaited place in heaven).

    Rev. 3:4 – in Sardis, Jesus explained that some people received the white garment and soiled it with sin.

    Rev. 3:5 – Jesus says whoever conquers will not be blotted out of the book of life (see Exodus 32:33). This means that we can be blotted out of the book of life. We can have salvation, and then lose salvation by our choice.

    Rev. 3:11 – Jesus says to hold fast to what we have, so that no one may seize our crown. Jesus teaches us that we can have the crown of salvation and lose it.

    Rev. 13:10; 14:12 – we are called from heaven for the endurance and faith of the saints, keeping the commandments and faith.

    Rev. 21:7 – we must conquer in order to share in our heritage and become a true son of Jesus.

    Rev. 22:19 – we can have a share in the tree of life in God’s holy city and yet have that share taken away from us.

    In addition to the words of Jesus Himself, here is what other NT writers have to say:

    Acts 7:51 – you stiff-necked people, you always resist the Holy Spirit. We, by our own freewill, can resist God and His grace, and turn away from Him.

    Rom. 11:20-23 – in expounding on Jesus’ teaching in John 15, Paul teaches that the Jews (the natural branches) were broken off by lack of faith (v.20), but says that the Romans stand fast through faith (v. 21). So the Romans are justified. However, Paul then says that the Romans can also be cut off if they don’t persevere in faith and kindness (v. 22-23). Hence, those justified before God can fall away from the faith and lose their salvation (be “cut off”). Paul also says that those who are cut off can be grafted back in if they do not persist in their unbelief, for God has the power to graft them in again (v.23). These verses are devastating to the “once saved, always saved” position.

    1 Cor. 9:24-27 – Paul says that all the runners compete, but only one wins the prize. Paul recognizes that if he doesn’t train himself properly in perseverance, he too can become “disqualified.” The word “disqualified” comes from the Greek word “adokimos” which literally means cut off from Christ, or reprobate. When “adokimos” is used in the Scriptures, it always refers to those who are to be condemned by God. It has nothing to do with going to heaven with less rewards. See, for example, Rom. 1:28; Titus 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:8; Heb. 6:8; 2 Cor. 13:5-7. This proves that Saint Paul thought he could lose his salvation. No one would reasonably argue that Paul wasn’t “saved” when he wrote the Scriptures. So if Saint Paul thought that he could lose his salvation, why do many Protestants think that they cannot lose theirs?

    1 Cor. 9:24 – Paul says that only one wins the “prize” (brabeion). To further prove that the race Paul is writing about refers to our journey to heaven, “brabeion” always has a soteriological implication. See, for example, Phil. 3:14 where “prize” refers to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (which is heaven).

    1 Cor. 9:25 – Paul writes about achieving the “imperishable” (aphthartos) wreath. Again, to further prove Paul is writing about salvation, “aphthartos” always refers to the eternal. See, for example, 1 Cor. 15:51 (the only other place in NT Scripture where “aphthartos” appears relative to humans) where Paul says the dead will be raised “imperishable.” This refers to the resurrection of our salvation. See also 1 Tim. 1:17 where the King of ages is called “immortal” (imperishable).

    Rom. 13:11 – for salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. If we already have salvation, then how can we only be nearer to it?

    1 Cor. 4:4 – Paul says he is not aware of anything against himself, but he is still not acquitted. Paul is not presumptuous about his salvation. Only the Lord is our Judge.

    1 Cor. 6:9-11 – we can be washed, sanctified, and justified, yet Paul still warns us that we can be deceived and become unrighteous.

    1 Cor. 10:6-13 – the passage is about how the Israelites, once justified before God, fell away from God. Therefore, let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (v.12). You can be standing in God’s grace, and then fall away. But God will always provide enough grace to overcome the temptation (v.13).

    1 Cor. 15:1-2 – we can be believers (predestined to grace) but believe in vain. Scripture refutes the novel Protestant theory “once saved, always saved.”

    2 Cor. 6:1 – we can receive the grace of God (predestined to grace) in vain. We can choose not to cooperate with His grace.

    2 Cor. 11:2-3 – Paul writes, “I betrothed you to Christ, but I am afraid that your thoughts will be led astray from a devotion to Christ.” The Corinthians already had a sincere devotion to Christ, for Paul wrote to them earlier in the letter, “you stand firm in your faith.” (2 Cor. 1:24). They are already “saved.” But Paul warns them that they can fall away just like Eve fell away (and, remember, Eve was created without sin!) This is another verse that is devastating to the belief of “once saved, always saved.”

    Gal. 1:8-9 – Paul says, “if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel to that which we preached to you…let him be accursed.” Paul says “if we,” which means he believed even the sacred writers (currently “saved”) could fall away from the true faith and teach a heretical gospel.

    Gal. 4:9 – Paul asks those who know God how they can now turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves they once were. Paul acknowledges and warns of this possibility.

    Gal. 5:1 – Paul writes that the Galatians are free in Christ, but warns them to stand fast, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. You cannot be severed from Christ if you were never connected to Christ. This warning applies to those who are connected to Christ in faith.

    Gal. 5:4 – Paul teaches that we can be in Christ, then be severed from Him and fall away from God’s grace. You cannot be severed from something unless you were previously connected to it.

    Phil. 2:12 – we cannot assume salvation. We need to work it out to the end with fear and trembling. If “once saved, always saved” were true, why would the great apostle Paul have to work his salvation out in fear and trembling? What is there to fear if salvation is assured?

    Phil. 3:11-14 – Paul writes that “if possible,” he may attain the resurrection, says he is not perfect, and presses on toward the prize of salvation. Paul has no presumption of salvation but works it out in fear and trembling.

    Col. 1:21-23 – we have now been reconciled in His body to be presented holy and blameless, provided we continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which we heard. Paul warns them that it is possible to turn away and lose hope in the gospel.

    Col. 2:18-19 – a man puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind has lost the connection with Jesus. He had the connection and lost it.

    1 Tim. 1:5-6 – some people have wandered away from a sincere faith, a pure heart and a good conscience. They had a sincere (not a fake) faith, and still fell away.

    1 Tim. 1:19-20 – Paul tells Timothy to hold fast to the faith, and not shipwreck it like Alexander and Hymenaeus. They had it, and then they lost it.

    1 Tim. 4:1 – the Spirit “expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” God Himself is telling us that some people who had the faith will lose the faith.

    1 Tim. 5:8 – if we do not provide for our relatives, we have disowned the faith (we had the faith, and we lost it).

    1 Tim. 5:15 – Paul says that some have already turned away and gone after Satan. There is never any distinction between falling away from a true faith versus a false faith.

    1 Tim. 6:10 – for the love of riches we may wander from the faith (we had the faith, and we can lose the faith).

    Heb. 2:1 – we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. We have it, but we can drift away from it.

    Heb. 3:12 – the author warns the Hebrews to take care, lest there be in any one of you an evil heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. We can be with God, and choose to fall away from Him.

    Heb. 3:13-14 – the author warns the Hebrews that they need to exhort one another every day, so that none of them may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Paul teaches that we share in Christ, but only if we hold our first confidence firm to the end.

    Heb. 4:1 – while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it. There would be nothing to fear if salvation were assured.

    Heb. 4:6,11 – we can receive the good news (predestined to grace) and then disobey it and fall away. The author thus exhorts us to strive to enter that rest, that no one falls by the same sort of disobedience.

    Heb. 6:4-6 – those who have been enlightened and partakers of the Holy Spirit (predestined to grace) can fall away, commit apostasy and crucify the Son of God.

    Heb. 10:23-29 – we can sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth (predestined to grace) and then face a fury of fire.

    Heb. 10:26 – if we continue to sin after knowing truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin – our salvation is jeopardized.

    Heb. 10:35 – we can have confidence in salvation (predestined to grace), and then throw it away. We can have it, and lose it.

    Heb. 10:36: – we have the need of endurance, so that we may do the will of God and receive what is promised. There is no need for endurance to get what is promised if salvation is assured.

    Heb. 10:38-39 – the author says that the righteous live by faith, but can shrink back. He then exhorts the people not to shrink back and be destroyed, but to keep their souls.

    James 5:19-20 – we can be in the truth, and then wander from the truth which means death, unless we are brought back.

    1 Peter 1:14 – Peter warns that, as obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance. Thus, you can first be ignorant, then receive the truth and become obedient, and later revert back to the passions of your former ignorance.

    2 Peter 2:1 – we can be bought by Christ, and then become false teachers of destructive heresies and destroy ourselves.

    2 Peter 1:10 – we must be zealous to confirm our call and election; for if we do this we will never fall. But Peter is saying that it is possible to fall, without zeal and perseverance.

    2 Peter 2:15 – forsaking the right way they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing. They had the right way, and then chose to forsake it.

    2 Peter 2:20-22 – we can escape the defilements of the world through Jesus (predestined to grace) and then become entangled again therein.

    2 Peter 3:16-17 – we can be the beloved of God and then lose our stability and carried away with the error of lawless men.

    1 John 1:7 – if we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses us. But we need continual cleansing, and can walk out of the light.

    1 John 1:9 – if we confess our sins, Jesus will forgive them and cleanse us. But we need continual cleansing. Growing in holiness is a lifelong process.

    1 John 2:19 – “they left, but didn’t not belong to us” refers to those who were Christians who did not persevere and were thus not predestined to glory.

    1 John 2:28 – we must abide in Him so we have confidence and don’t shrink in shame. If we fail to abide, we are lost.

    2 John 8 – look to yourselves, that you may not lose what you have worked for. You can lose the grace you currently have.

    Jude 6 – even some of the angels, who beheld the face of God, fell. How much more could we fall?

    Gen. 3:6 – Adam and Eve, who were already living the divine life of supernatural grace, fell away from God. Is falling more possible for us?

    Ezek. 3:20; 18:24; 33:12,13,18 – the Lord clearly teaches us in these verses that a righteous man can turn away from his righteousness and commit iniquity. He was righteous (there is nothing about having phony righteousness), but he fell away and chose unrighteousness. When he does, his prior good deeds shall be forgotten, and he shall die.

    You can see by all of the above that the Catholic position is the biblical one!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s