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The Roman Catholic View

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
August 30, 2021 12:01 am

The Roman Catholic View

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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August 30, 2021 12:01 am

Is the Reformation over? Do Protestants and Roman Catholics still differ as much as they did in the 16th century? Today, R.C. Sproul confirms that the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church continues to reject the gospel of justification by faith alone in Christ alone.

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The Roman Catholic Church maintains that in order to be saved. You must do works, works of satisfaction such as saying so many Hail Marys so many are fathers giving alms doing some other good deed. These are works that are required in order to be justified. The verb form view is justification is by faith alone in the Roman Catholic view its faith plus works in order to be justified. Justification is at the center of Reformation theology this week. Dr. RC's role explores the doctrine historically and theologically and today will take some time to clarify the Roman Catholic position.

This is the last series that RC taught from when you near the setting was his office and the audience was a small group of Reformation Bible college students.

He wanted them to know what he wants us to know that this debate is not over trivial matters.

It is critical today as it was when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg and sparked the Reformation, take the time to read Luther's 95 six you'll see in there that there's very little about the doctrine of justification, but Luther's discussion that he wanted to have with the faculty over the theses had to do with the whole system of doctrine that was associated with indulgences and initially Luther wasn't opposed to indulgences in itself, but the abuse of the selling of them that was being carried out by tensile.

However, when he began writing up his 95 theses and if you read them you will see that he raises questions about the whole system that's tied to indulgences into the Roman Catholic understanding of justification and of the gospel and for us to understand this. I said the Reformation concept. I think the best way to do it is against the backdrop of the Roman Catholic view of the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification was not set forth in all of its complexity overnight by Augustine or later by Gregory the great, or anything like that, but rather the system of salvation within Rome took centuries and centuries to develop with a layer at a time upon another layer, and from of theological perspective, the Roman Catholic system of salvation is called sacerdotal holism, meaning that salvation is wrought through the ministrations of the church and of the priesthood and the doctrine of justification wasn't defined until after the beginning of the Reformation. When we saw what was called the counter Reformation Roman Catholic Church responded to Protestantism with a three-pronged counter move. The first was with the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition in which people who embrace these heretical doctors and Protestants were subjected to severe forms of torture.

And secondly, the founding of the Jesuit order a special order of priests to do with the intellectual issues of the day, the Society of Jesus founded by Ignatius Loyola and sometimes it feels the writings by Jesuit scholars.

You'll see their name and instead of after their name.

The initials PhD you'll see.

Instead, S. J.

Society of Jesus makes their judgments there. The crème de la crème of the academic priests in the Roman Catholic Church, but the major element of the counterreformation was the calling of an international ecumenical Council like Vatican II Vatican one Constantinople Ephesus Chalcedon those great councils of church history and in the middle of the 16th century. This council was called and began in Trento, Italy, and is called the Council of Trent sometimes references to decisions of Trent are called Tridentine severe that phrase from then the truth and doing view means those views espoused and set down in concrete officially day the day was at the Council of Trent know that counsel went through several sessions over several years. The most important one for our consideration of justification was the six session of the Council of Trent in which the succession does two things in the first part of the session. It defines the Roman Catholic view of justification.

The second part include these 20 some cannons, which are pronouncements of judgment against heretical views or anathemas enough anyone says this, let him be anathema, let him be accursed or B Dan and so it's still a debate which we can talk about little later among contemporary sister Howell definitive Trent is, but I just mentioned in passing that the decrees of the Council of Trent were reaffirmed in toto in the Catholic catechism of the 1990s and so efficiently within the Roman church. Even though you'll find people in America and Canada and the western wing of the church troops who are loose on Trent, the Curia of the lapwing of the church and the papacy still affirms unequivocably the decrees and canons of Trent so that's what we gonna do to understand its view of justification before again. I expound that so often in the discussion and debate between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism both sides set up straw persons and attack things that aren't true. They slander each other. Not here. It's all a time of we believe in justification by faith. Rome believes justification by works as if faith wasn't significant or we believe in justification by grace. Rome believes justification by merit. That's a falsification and oversimplification, or some say we believe in justification by Christ.

They believe in justification by their own activities. That's not true. So let's ask the question what does Rome teach on this question of justification while in the succession. It starts off this way by saying that the first step in justification is the sacrament of baptism which Rome defines as the instrumental cause of justification. The instrumental cause of justification. When we say justification by using the instrumental date of were talking about the means by which something takes place that the stakes of instrumental causality goes back to Aristotle's study of causes and some of you may be familiar with that worry distinguished among the efficient cause. The formal cause, the final because the material cause the instrumental cause and so on. All these different subtle distinctions about causality well Rome believes that the instrument by which a person is justified initially is the sacrament of baptism. What happens in that sacrament is the infusion or pouring into the soul of the person baptized the righteousness of Christ or what is also sometimes called justifying grace. Now there's a debate there of subtleties with Roman theologians about their whole understanding of grace.

The language that they use describes grace as some kind of substance or thing that is poured into the soul that has a hobby to use. It inhabits the soul we speak of grace as being an activity of God, a generous treatment of us that we don't deserve that we don't think in terms of grace in substantive language, but again, to understand Roman view you have this grace infused or poured into the soul and that it affects what it intends to affect ex opera apparat day. That means through the working of the works. They don't like to use the language automatic but really it is automatic. If you are baptized you do receive this infusion of grace and art that state in a state of justification not to continue in that state of justification you have to cooperate with that infused breaks the language that they use the Trent is the language cooperate already at Sentara to cooperate with an assent to this grace that is been infused into so that when you cooperate with this grace and assent to this grace, then the righteousness that is been infused is now in the air rends that is its inherent in you so that you are righteous in the sight of God and the reason why you righteous in the sight of God is because you really are righteous. You've cooperated in the Senate to this infused grace and so you're in a state of justification until or unless you commit a mortal sin.

Not that point Ron distinguishes between mortal sin and venial sin.

Venial sin is real sin and needs to be confessed and forgiven and all that but it doesn't destroy your saving grace that inheres in your soul mortal sin. However, is called mortal sin because it kills the grace of justification that's in your soul, Calvin, you oppose that by saying that all sins are mortal in the sense that they deserve death, but no sin is mortal to the Christian that would destroy your salvation, but in the Roman view if you commit a mortal sin if you die in mortal sin. You go to hell now first thing you have no here is that you can have real faith faith that is necessary for salvation and have saving faith and still commit mortal sin. So I'm explain that for just a second. We distinguish between a necessary condition and a sufficient condition. If I want to build a fire in the woods. I need a certain amount of oxygen to have a far occur. Oxygen is a necessary condition. Under normal circumstances. For far to occur, but it's not a sufficient condition for it were of sufficient condition, it would mean all you need to have a far is the presence of oxygen. If that were the case than what the whole world will be on fire right now. Because wherever there's oxygen there would be far, so he couldn't have oxygen without having far the ideas you can't have fire without having hockey, but you have argument that having far using that illustration between necessary and sufficient condition.

The Roman view of faith is that faith is a necessary condition for justification but not a sufficient. You can have true faith and not be justified. Whereas in the Protestant view. Faith is not just a necessary condition for justification. It's a sufficient condition for just forget if you have true faith you have justification you can have true faith and not address occasion they can have justification without having true faith of my going to fast are now expanding on this mortal sin idea and on faith in the succession of Trent Rome defines faith as having this function.

It has a three fold function with respect to justification.

Rome calls faith the and Nexium. The fundamental and the Roddick's of justification translate that into English faith is the initiation.

The first step of our justification. So when people say Rome believes in justification without faith or just by works, not enough. You have to have faith as the initiating element for your justification.

It's also the fundamentalism the foundation upon which justification is established and thirdly, it's the Roddick's the root or the core of justification. So justification is not some loose fitting option that you can have or not have in the Roman Catholic that gets a necessary condition for justification is the initiation the foundation and the root of justification. But if you have that faith you can still commit mortal sin. And here's where the problem comes in. If you commit mortal sin, you lose your justification and if you lose your justification you need. What Ron calls the Trent, the second plank of justification for those who make ship wreck of their souls. The idea of walking the plank or having plank on a ship or different plank ability like the Republican program. They have planks or they have positions that they take all here. Rome is using the Naval idea you lose your salvation you and your justification by mortal sin. Now the question is how can you get re-justified.

We would think that the answer to that question would be what you just get baptized again. But they say no, you don't get baptized again. There's an indelible mark that's given to you when your original baptism you never lose the better. Even if you go to value have that indelible mark in so you don't have to get rebaptized but you need another sacrament instead of the sacrament of baptism in order to be re-justified and that the sacrament of penance and that's at the core and center of the controversy here in the 16th century. Why all the elements of penance are these. There's first of all, confession if you committed mortal sin got to go to confession.

You gotta confess that sin to the priest and that confession has to be genuine. It can't merely be attrition, attrition is repenting out of a fear of punishment.

No like a little kid when he Cements hand in the cookie jar and he said please don't spank me explain stuff that is all very sorry because he can to get punished because he's done something wrong, but true contrition is like you would find in David Psalm 51 where his heart is broken before God and he has this broken and contrite heart because he realizes he sinned against a holy and righteous God sake on the confess and you say you know the father I've done this to confess they are repenting not only out of a fear of God's punishment, but because I have offended the and so on. In the prayer of confession.

The second part of the sacrament. His priestly absolution tabs. Although the priest says the Protestants get all exercised about that. They sat on the go to confession by sin, only to go to the priest I go directly to God and under the same time. We say that you are supposed to confess your sense there's nothing wrong confessing your sins to another person were true pastor. There's nothing wrong with the pastor giving the assurance of pardon, as we do regularly in our liturgy were saying if you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and the claims of all unrighteousness. When the priest says tabs. Although I absolve you, he's not say that I have the inherent power to forgive sins.

Only God has that box, but he is exercising delegated right he is exercising a power endowed with him when he goes to the sacrament of holy orders, and he becomes consecrated as a priest now part of being a priestess. He has the authority to pronounce the forgiveness of God upon a penitent person.

So far no harm, no file.

It's the third part of the sacrament of penance that created all the store and that's this in the third part after you have priestly absolution to be fully restored to justification. You must do works of satisfaction in order to be justified. Here's what works commit works of satisfaction such as saying so many Hail Marys so many are fathers giving alms doing some other good deed. These are works that are required in order to be justified. The verb form. Viewers justification is by faith alone in the Roman Catholic view is faith plus works in order to be justified.

Now these works are called works that bring with them congruous merit maritime decor and grill is the language of Rome congruous merit which is distinguished from maritime decor and big know or condign merit condign merit is merit that is so meritorious, so righteous that it requires a blessing or reward from God. God would be unjust not to re-justify a person if that person had condign merit, but Rome is saying know the sacrament doesn't bestow condign merit. It bestows congruous merit, which means that if a person does these works of satisfaction that is now fitting or suitable or congruous that God reward them by restoring that person to justification.

In other words, God would be acting incongruously if he didn't restore this person to salvation. You get so you have those things now the person is back justified and he stays justified until or unless he commits another mortal sin. If he commits a mortal sin he condign go to hell or he can go back to that sacrament of penance and be restored again and again and again and again that if the person dies with any impurity on his or her soul, then the person goes to purgatory. Purgatory is so-called because it is the place of perjury. It is that place that purges you from any impurity that you die with.

You may spend two weeks in purgatory, you may spend 2 million years purgatory depending how much you had to get cleaned up in order to get into heaven but you will not get into heaven until or unless you are inherently righteous know that in a nutshell is Rome's version of the gospel and you can see the radical contrast between that and the Reformation view were in the Reformation view the moment I have faith I have heaven there is no purgatory. I have eternal life. I'm adopted into the kingdom of God and my sins are forgiven once and for all. And so the contrast between these two views is the contrast between good news and bad news to different radically different understandings of the gospel know there still more that I need to talk about briefly about the Roman Catholic view with respect to the indulgences and the power of the keys in the treasury of merit. That's all part of the system that Ron employed and continues to employ in their understanding of salvation and God willing will our next session will the contrast is clear is and if the question is which view is best defended from a biblical standpoint. Controversy scrolls help us work through the differences today. You're listening to Renewing Your Mind as we focus on our C series justification by faith alone. This doctrine has been debated for centuries, yet without her right understanding of it. There is no gospel. It's our desire that you have confidence in your ability to defend it.

With that in mind, let me come in this teaching series 2 in 10 lessons.

Dr. Spruill carefully defines each term in the phrase justification by faith alone, while pointing to the imputation of a perfect righteousness, found only in Jesus Christ. When you give a donation of any amount.

Today we will be glad to send you this series on two DVDs and will include a digital study guide and Dr. Spruill's book faith alone request all of these resources when you call us at 800-435-4343. You can also make your request and give your gift securely online at Renewing Your Mind.Ward were thankful for your generosity. Deleter ministries. Your gifts allow us to continue producing teaching series like this one of your listing on legionnaires app today, you'll find an easy way to request these resources right there on your player, just tap the button that says view today's resource offer 30 will be able to request the DVDs. The study guide as well as Dr. Spruill's book a few years ago I sat down with RC and asked him why he believe that this series on justification is so important. I want people who view this series to understand what the gospel is and to understand that they're not justified by their works are not justified by their lives are justified by the person and work of Christ by putting their trust in him alone that faith is the alone instrumental cause for our justification and that Christ is the alone meritorious cause for our justification that he alone has done what has to be done in order for us to be reconciled to God. That's what I want people to understand what the gospel is there so much confusion out there know that even talk with professors and ministers in my Dr. ministry program all the time. I asked him to define the gospel and of a CLO with the gospel. Is this like the gospel is so you can have the purpose driven life. For God loves you and has a wonderful plan for his life and some of the cost. Let me be true may not be true, but certainly not the gospel. The gospel has a definite content in the Scriptures, and when it understand what it is and that's precisely why were concentrating on it this week. I hope you'll join us again tomorrow is RC further explains the Roman Catholic position on justification for the lesson that carefully defines the terms in the debate 20s Tuesday here on Renewing Your Mind

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