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In Christ Alone

As soon as we sat down in the pizzeria my new friend asked me: “So what is the difference between your religion and mine?” Sandy and I frequent his place of business and over the months a friendship has developed. This was our first meal together and apparently a curiosity about faith was at the forefront of his mind.

Simply put one major difference between my faith and his Catholic faith hinges on the implications of a single word. In chapter 4 of the apostle Paul’s theological masterpiece to the Romans he demonstrates that salvation is by faith alone apart from any work or merit of man. That one word “alone” determines if the faith of the man rests solely in an all-sufficient Saviour or whether salvation depends upon the self-effort of the sinner. Mankind being fallible, all works produced by a man, whether moral or spiritual or physical, are flawed and imperfect. If salvation is based on some element of “trying” then it is not based on “trusting” and the faith coupled with works nullifies total dependence on God for salvation. It is faith alone which connects us to God’s grace, his unmerited favor. Faith is simply taking God at his word and allowing him to be God in any and every situation, most importantly in regards to salvation.

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:5

“For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;” Romans 4:14,16a

Roman Catholicism teaches salvation by faith, but not by faith alone.

Roman Catholicism teaches the value of the blood of Christ, but not in the value of his blood alone.

Roman Catholicism teaches that Jesus is a Mediator between God and man, but not that he is Mediator alone.

Roman Catholicism teaches the authority of the scriptures but not their authority alone.

One of the great failures of Catholicism lies in their low view of Christ. They present him as either an infant in Mary’s arms, or as still nailed to the cross. The Bible declares Jesus Christ to be God manifest in the flesh, who died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day so that all who put their faith solely in him might live eternally. What can possibly be added by sinful man to the work of the Sinless One to merit salvation?

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