man is engaged in attaining and preserving his salvation, there can never
be any assurance of spending eternity in the loving presence of Jesus.
Such is the predicament for many Catholics. Their eternal destiny hangs in
the balance because their salvation depends on what they do for God rather
than trusting what God has done through Jesus Christ. They are taught to
depend on their own merits to reach God rather than trust the sufficiency
of Jesus Christ. Roman Catholics are taught that the death of Jesus opened
the gates of heaven but now Catholics must merit all the graces needed to
attain eternal life. The fruit of these teachings are evident when you
engage Catholics in spiritual conversations. When Catholics are asked how
they hope to get to heaven, most of them will respondóthrough their good
works, or by being a good person. Rarely will Catholics even mention the
name of Jesus as the way of salvation. How can we persuade Catholics to
repent of their dead works and trust Jesus alone? We must proclaim that
Jesus Christ is sufficient to save sinners completely and forever!
His word is sufficient
Paul wrote, "faith comes from hearing the Word of
Christ" (Rom. 10:17). His word is sufficient for wisdom unto
salvation. "The Holy Scriptures... are able to make you wise for
salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 3:15). The glorious Gospel
of grace is contained entirely in Scripture (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Yet the
Catholic clergy has added many traditions and extra biblical teachings to
the Word of God. In doing so, they have nullified Godís Word and the
saving power of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16). The Roman Catholic Church ignores
Christís rebuke of manís tradition:
"They worship me in vain; their
teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of
God and are holding on to the traditions of men." And he said to
them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in
order to observe your own traditions...Thus you nullify the word of God by
your tradition that you have handed down" (Mark 7:7-13).
His mercy and grace are sufficient
The only way sinners can be saved is to rely solely on
the mercy and grace of God our savior. Jesus said, "My grace is
sufficient for you" (2 Cor. 12:9). Catholics might ask, "What is
wrong with doing good works to merit salvation?" Paul made it clear
that you cannot mix grace with works: "For it is by grace you have
been saved, through faithóand this not from yourselves, it is the gift
of God, not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph. 2:8-9);
"He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but
because of his mercy" (Titus 3:5); God "has saved us and called
us to a holy lifeónot because of anything we have done but because of
his own purpose and grace" (2 Tim. 1:8-9); "And if by grace,
then it is no longer by works" (Romans 11:6).
Amazingly, the Catholic Church condemns and curses
anyone who believes the wonderful truths revealed in the above verses. Two
examples of this follow:
"If anyone says that justifying faith
is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for
Christís sake, let him be anathema" (Canon 12, Council of Trent).
"If anyone says that after the
reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the
debt of eternal punishment so blotted out that no debt of temporal
punishment remains...let him be anathema (Canon 30, Council of Trent).
His shed blood is sufficient
The precious blood that Jesus shed on Calvaryís cross
is sufficient to justify and redeem us, to reconcile us to God and to
provide forgiveness of our sins: "Since we have now been justified by
his blood, how much more shall we be saved from Godís wrath through
him" (Romans 5:9); "In him we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Godís
grace" (Eph. 1:7); "For God was pleased...to reconcile to
himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making
peace through his blood, shed on the cross" (Col. 1:19-20). These
verses soundly rebuke the Catholic teaching of sins being expiated by
purgatorial fire or sinís punishment being remitted by indulgences.
His sacrifice is sufficient
The sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ is not only
sufficient, but it is necessary and finished. The sacrifices that continue
on Catholic altars are a blatant rejection of the last words of Christ,
"It is finished" (John 19:30).
"We have been made holy through the
sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every
priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers
the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest
[Jesus] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at
the right hand of God...because by one sacrifice he has made perfect
forever those who are being made holy" (Hebrews 10:10-14).
Nothing can be added to His perfect sacrifice because
there is nothing lacking in it. Yet Catholics deny this by adding the
merits of Mary and other saints to the infinite merits of Christ.
Amazingly, Rome condemns with anathema anyone who believes the sacrifice
of Jesus is sufficient to remit the punishment for all sin (Vatican
Council II, "Indulgences").
His righteousness is sufficient
The righteousness of Christ is not only sufficient but
also necessary for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. It is necessary
because the Lord Jesus proclaimed, "unless your righteousness
surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the
kingdom of heaven" (Mat. 5:20). No one can enter heaven on their own
righteousness because by Godís standard is perfection. Paul noted how
imperfect we all are when he wrote, "There is no one righteous, not
even one" (Romans 3:10). Furthermore the Bible declares that
"nothing impure will ever enter" into heaven (Rev. 21:27). Those
who do not know that Godís righteousness requires perfect righteousness
try to establish their own as the Israelites did: " For not knowing
about Godís righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did
not subject themselves to the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:3).
Their only hope is to receive the perfect righteousness of God "the
righteousness that comes from God and is by faith" (Phil. 3:9).
His intercession is sufficient
His intercession as our high priest is sufficient to
save repentant sinners and to preserve their gift of eternal life. The
Bible proclaims: "He is able to save completely those who come to God
through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high
priest meets our needóone who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from
sinners, exalted above the heavens" (Hebrews 7:25). When you trust
Jesus completely, He is "able to keep you from falling and to present
you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy"
What a contrast to the "Jesus" that is
presented in the official teachings of the Catholic Church. The
"Catholic Jesus" is not the all-sufficient Jesus of the
Scriptures. Rome offers another Jesusóa Jesus that is unable to expiate
all sins, a Jesus that can be reduced to the inner substance of a lifeless
inanimate wafer, a Jesus that must be represented daily as a sacrificial
"victim" to appease the wrath of the Father, and a Jesus that is
powerless to keep His flock from falling.
To know and trust the real Jesus, one must abide in His
teachings. Those who seek other mediators and other sources for truth
should heed the warning of John: "Anyone who goes too far and does
not abide in the teachings of Christ does not have God; the one who abides
in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son" (2 John 9).
What a wonderful opportunity and privilege Christians
have to proclaim the all-sufficient Jesus Christ to those who are making
futile attempts to become acceptable to God on their own merit. Let us
call those who are lost in their religion to repentance. Perhaps they will
hear the voice of the good Shepherd and come to Him for everlasting life.
Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they
follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish"
Mr. Mike Gendron
Mr. Greg Durel
Carlos Tomas Knott