WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT JUSTIFICATION?: PART FOUR: 02/28/2018

START OF PART FOUR:   02/28/2018

 WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT JUSTIFICATION?

 OBJECTIONS:

WHAT ABOUT THE PASSAGES WHICH SAY THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN JESUS WILL BE SAVED?

ANSWER: TO JESUS, TO BELIEVE IN HIM UNTO SALVATION NECESSARILY MEANS TO FOLLOW AND KEEP HIS WORDS AND COMMANDMENTS UNTO THE END.  THIS IS PROVEN BY THE IMMEDIATE OR EXTENDED CONTEXT OF EVERY CASE WHERE JESUS SAYS THAT THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIM WILL BE SAVED, IN ADDITION TO ALL THE OTHER PASSAGES WHICH HAVE BEEN COVERED.

FIRST EXAMPLE: JOHN 3:16

John 3:16– “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

One might see this verse on posters at sports stadiums, at overpasses on highways, and in many other places.  Protestants believe it’s the best, or one of the best, examples of the Bible’s teaching that whoever believes is saved by faith alone.  What they don’t tell you or fail to perceive is what is stated in the verses which immediately follow John 3:16.

John 3:17-20– “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already…  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”

It’s fascinating that in the very context which immediately follows John 3:16, we see prominent references to condemnation for evil deeds, as well as to people who do evil and to deeds being judged.  This makes it clear that a faith in the only begotten Son of God which will grant salvation is a faith which must be accompanied by persevering in good deeds and good works.  To Jesus, to believe in Him unto salvationis to follow and keep His words and His commandments, as all the other passages we have covered demonstrate.  The context demonstrates that John 3:16 does not teach justification by faith alone or eternal security.

SECOND EXAMPLE: ROMANS 10: IF THOU CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH… THOU SHALT BE SAVED

Romans 10:9 is another verse which Protestants bring forward in an attempt to prove salvation by faith alone in Jesus.

Romans 10:8-10- “…The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Once again, however, the context shows us that the Protestant understanding of this passage is false.  What many don’t realize is that the passage above (Romans 10:8-10) is quoting from Deuteronomy 30:14 and following.  The footnotes in your Bible will show the reference to Deuteronomy 30:14.  Well, Deuteronomy 30:14 and following speak of THE NECESSITY OF DOING THE WORKS OF GOD AND OF KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS.

Deuteronomy 30:14-16– “But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it [Quoted in Romans 10:8].  See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.”

This reference to Deuteronomy 30:14 in Romans 10:8-10 shows that to Paul and his listeners, it was understood that to believe unto salvation is to follow and keep and do the works that are necessary for salvation.  Only in that way will a believer “live” and have salvation.  The Protestant view of justification is simply a total misunderstanding of Scripture, as the full context of this passage shows again.

THIRD EXAMPLE: JOHN 5:24

Reading this in isolation, some Protestants think that all believers are assured of salvation.

John 5:24– “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

But just a few verses later, starting in John 5:28, Jesus says this:

John 5:28-29- “Marvel not at thisfor the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

Again, we see that people will be condemned on the basis of what they have done, not just on the basis of whether they have believed.  Invariably, to Jesus, to believe unto salvation is to follow and keep His words and do the works which are necessary for salvation.

FOURTH EXAMPLE: JOHN 6:47

John 6:47- “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”

Some Protestants like to quote this passage to argue for justification by faith alone.  But this is easily refuted by the entire context of John 6.  Almost the entire chapter deals with how one must not only believe for salvation, but also eat the flesh of the Son of Man to be saved.  Therefore, it’s not by faith alone.  This is covered in the section on the Eucharist, but this is another example where the extended context refutes a Protestant misconception.

John 6:53-54– “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.  Whosoever eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

WHAT ABOUT EPHESIANS 2:8-9, BY GRACE YOU ARE SAVED THROUGH FAITH, NOT OF WORKS?

Non-Catholics frequently quote the following verse to attempt to prove that man is saved by faith alone.

Ephesians 2:8-9– “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

This argument also fails.  As I will now show, this argument fails because this verse is specifically talking about the initial grace of receiving water baptism.  Water baptism is not a work “of yourselves,” but a sacrament instituted by God.  No work you can do can substitute for the power of water baptism.  This is said to “save” because it removes man’s original sin and puts him into the initial state of justification.  The proof that Ephesians 2:8-9 is actually referring to water baptism is found when one compares the passage to Titus 3:5, and then to 1 Peter 3:20-21.

WHAT ABOUT THE STATEMENT THAT MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY FAITH “APART FROM WORKS OF THE LAW” (ROMANS 3:28)?

Romans 3:28- “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” (New American Standard Version)

“For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from observing the law.” (Romans 3:28 – NIV Version)

Romans 3: 28 Douay Bible with author’s comments included {inserted by pjm}

 [28] For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law

Douay Explanation verse #[28] “By faith: The faith, to which the apostle here attributes man’s justification, is not a presumptuous assurance of our being justified; but a firm and lively belief of all that God has revealed or promised. Heb. 11. A faith working through charity in Jesus Christ. Gal. 5. 6. In short, a faith which takes in hope, love, repentance, and the use of the sacraments. And the works which he here excludes, are only the works of the law: that is, such as are done by the law of nature, or that of Moses, antecedent to the faith of Christ: but by no means, such as follow faith, and proceed from it. END QUOTES

Martin Luther thought this passage taught justification by faith alone, apart from any consideration of human actions or works.  This is completely wrong.

In fact, failing to understand what is meant by the phrase “works of the law” is one of the biggest misconceptions in Protestantism.

As we saw already, James says in James 2:24 that man is justified by works and not by faith alone.  What is meant in Romans 3:28 and throughout the New Testament by the phrase “works of the law” is the Old Testament laws and prescriptions.  “Works of the law” means works of the Old Law.  It does not mean all works and human actions.  Paul was writing to people who were stuck on the notion that the system of the Old Law, with circumcision, the laws about clean and unclean foods, ritual sacrifices, etc. is indispensable.

That this is what the “works of the law” means in Romans 3:28 and similar passages is proven from the context of Romans, but especially from Galatians 2:14.  Notice that the phrase “works of the law” is used, and that it specifically refers to the Old Law (the Law of the Old Testament), not all works or deeds.

Galatians 2:12-16- “… fearing them which were of the circumcision… If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?  We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 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.”

Notice that the phrase “works of the law” is clearly used by Paul to refer to living “as do the Jews” – observing the Old Law, circumcision, etc.  It is not referring to all works and human deeds.   This is obvious throughout the book of Galatians.  Here’s another example:

Galatians 5:3-6– “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”

As we see again here, it’s clear that when St. Paul speaks of “the law,” and how no man can be justified by it, he is talking about the works of the Old Law: circumcision, etc.  He is not talking about all works!  No honest person can deny this fact.  He is simply pointing out to them that the faith/religion/Church of Jesus Christ has saving power in itself.  He is telling them that one doesn’t have to observe the Old Law and its system to obtain the salvation which comes from Jesus Christ.  Here’s another example:

Galatians 6:13- “For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.”

Again we see that “the law” refers to the Old Law: observing circumcision, etc.  No man is justified by the Old Law.  We also see that Paul was talking about the Old Law in Romans 3:28 (when he uses “works of the law”), if we look carefully at the context in Romans 3 and 4.

Romans 3:1- “What advantage then hath the Jew?  Or what profit is there of circumcision?”

We see that the very first verse of Romans 3 deals with the Old Testament work of circumcision.  St. Paul is emphasizing to the Jews and others that they don’t need to observe these prescriptions for salvation, or to enter the true faith of God that has been delivered by the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3 is another example which proves the point about what the Bible means by “the law” and “works of the law” and working under the law.  In Philippians 3, St. Paul is explaining that he was a Jew who observed the Jewish law.  It’s in that precise context that he speaks of having a justification/righteousness which is not his own of the law, but by the faith of Jesus.  In other words, his statement that justification is not his own of the law means that it’s not of the Old Law or by having observed the Old Law:

Philippians 3:5-9– “[I] Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”

It’s obvious that when he speaks of the righteousness or justification which is by faith – which is not his own of the law – he is not teaching justification by faith alone.  Rather, he is simply emphasizing that the Jewish law does not justify and is not necessary for salvation.

We have already seen an abundance of passages which prove that human deeds and works are part of whether one has justification and salvation.  It’s certain that by “works of the law” Paul means that one is not saved by the works of the Old Law, but by the religion of Jesus Christ.

With these facts in mind, we can see what a tragic and devastating mistake of misinterpretation millions of Protestants have made.  This has led them into the disastrous errors of justification by faith alone and eternal security – ideas which run counter to the whole tenor of Scripture, the necessity to avoid sin, the parables of Jesus, etc.

2 Peter 3:16- “As also in all his [Paul’s] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

END OF PART FOUR:   02/28/2018

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT JUSTIFICATION?

 Mat God guide our paths,

Patrick

Published by

working4christtwo

I am an Informed and fully practicing Roman Catholic

2 thoughts on “ WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT JUSTIFICATION?: PART FOUR: 02/28/2018”

  1. Excellent! Well researched and back-up my friend and colleague. I am so thrilled we have come together on this platform. We teach each other and learn as we go. You present a dynamic case here. Keep up the good work, my friend!

    Be blessed

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