devotional

01AUG
2016

To a Roman Catholic

The following is a brief part of a long discussion (both textual and hours on the phone) with a Roman Catholic:

Entering the Sabbath rest is a lost idea and a lost foreshadowing on the self-righteous. We who are born again have literally entered into it. One cannot dare feign “peace with God” (Romans 5:1-2) without the enmity being removed. And when was it we know it was removed? Not later when we’re analyzed after all we’ve done, but we are to look back on the cross: Ephesians 2:15-18; Col 2:13-15, et al. This is as fundamental to the Faith as Paul’s declaration against any self-righteousness to the Philippians where he writes in Philippians 3:8-11: “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” How does it come? “by faith”. We must enter that rest now to ever hope to enter heaven. We must be made fully clean, Revelation 21:27. Hebrews 4:9-11: “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” Christians are diligent by their new and fully justified and now sanctifying by obedience natures to fight to enter that rest because they know it’d be a horrible slander to deny the sufficiency of the Christ’s life and work on the Cross to remove all their past, present and future sin from them. We strive against the carnal and false idea that our works at all merit God saving us. We have a cross. How dare we say it is not enough. We fight against the idea therefore of a performance-based religion. We have a promise-based one that causes us to outperform all! Hebrews cited above here is simply John 6:28-29 rephrased which answers the question: “Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” Work…to believe. We would never dare think that God is in our debt for it. He is no man’s debtor. We obey God in the very Sabbath rest of Christ. We are not our co-saviors. Hence, obedience goes into a whole new category. Namely, a not at all meritorious or grace-deserving one.

We have a hymn we confess the truth of consistently in Jesus. Its refrain is:
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow. We may only have sang this since the early 19th century, but from the first we’ve sang:
Hebrews 12:22-24 “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” Hebrews 10:14: “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” This is the confession of the one blessed and happily resting in “Christ alone”.

Another hymn we hum:
My hope is built on nothing lessThan Jesus’ blood and righteousness;I dare not trust the sweetest frame,But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils His lovely face,I rest on His unchanging grace;In every high and stormy gale,My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His bloodSupport me in the whelming flood;When all around my soul gives way,He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,Oh, may I then in Him be found;Dressed in His righteousness alone,Faultless to stand before the throne.
Refrain: On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;All other ground is sinking sand,All other ground is sinking sand.

You, Eric, are in the tradition of the Judaizers because you do *exactly* what they did. They added via their workings in Scripture (a wrong division mind you, 2 Tim 2:15) to grace. They too thanked God for his “help in men saving themselves by circumcision, etc” and the Apostle of grace (Paul) vehemently condemned them for it. As I condemn you in the spirit Paul’s readers were to then condemn them in. You are anathema. This writing here, like that to Galatia, is to instruct other readers. And no, I’m surely no Apostle, just as his readers weren’t. However, whether you are corrected by it or not isn’t my chief concern as it was not Paul’s before them in Galatia. There will be nothing unclear here when I’m done. We contend for the Faith once for all time delivered to us, his saints, Jude 3. Paul marveled that the Galatians had turned “from grace” in a risen and clearly portrayed crucified Christ to some “other gospel” which was not another. How had God called them in Galatia? The same as he did Abraham…or me: “…in the grace of Christ…” Galatians 1:6.

This is what Peter (a leader and no pope) said in 1 Peter 1:3-4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”. It was by his mercy he saved us, as Peter said just prior in vs 2: “…according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ…” No boasting. Rome denies election. Rome denies our helpless deadness in sin. Hence it has for most of its ignominious history been rightly called semi-Augustinian.

For further study:

Answering the Roman Catholic Faith. Pt 1 (62 min)

Answering the Roman Catholic Faith. Pt 2 (62 min)

Christianity And Catholicism (123 min)

Analytic vs. Synthetic Justification (42 min)

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