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linate

catholic v protestant justification

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linate

i thought i'd see how christians here people view this debate. 

it seems if you try to do justice to both sides, it's merely an academic question. both sides say you need to rely on jesus and do good, and that grace is the ultimate reason any of us escape death.  neither side really gets into the calculus of how much or the rate of advancement in good works one must do. it's all a legal matter.  catholics say any good works one does can be counted as applying to the justification one receives, and Jesus is the reason that allows this and picks up any slack in justification that you fall short on. protestants say all justification is from jesus, and any advance in good works merely adds to ones 'sanctification'. catholics also use the word sanctifacation but it goes hand in hand with the word justification. 

you can find quotes for each side in the bible. most starkly you have romans by paul who said a person is justified apart from their works, and james says a person is justified with their works. if you dont want to take this as a contradiction, you have to say you could read either passage in its alterantive spin too. i dont see how you can say one side is more right than the other. 

of course jesus didn't get legalistic. to the catholics point, he stressed being good, but he also stressed having faith in him. so this is a wash as to which side is better too. 

i like to think about the bigger picture. we are loved unconditionally without any work of our own, but we also have to do good if we are actually christian. 
the rest is just details. 

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BarbaraTherese

My tuppence worth:

Well I think that if one claims to follow Jesus and to love Him and leads a degenerate type of life, then one is showing through deeds that there is no real following nor love............in other words "I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works." (James Chapter 2)  I don't think that any of our good works merits justification - nor that any amount of good works can do this.  Justification is a free Gift of God and His Mercy which comes to us through the channel of our Faith in Him.  Not an empty sort of Faith that has no sorrow for sin and desire to amend one's life.  But an active Faith that has both.  Jesus preached sorrow for sin and amendment of life.  If I have faith in Him without those qualities of sorrow and amendment, it is an empty and useless type of faith, a ridiculous sort of faith.  Good works will follow from sorrow for sin and amendment of life through God's Grace and The Holy Spirit active in a person.  How much is needed for justification?  As stated previously, it is not a matter of quantity but of quality of life flowing through (not from) sorrow for sin and amendment of life as channels for God's Mercy, His Grace and The Holy Spirit.

Sorrow for sin and amendment of life is not a one time event.  It is a daily or even hourly renewed event - a consistent state of soul.

We are justified by our "repentant faith which leads to justification and includes hope in God's Mercy" (see quote box below)

Quote

http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/JUSFAITH.htm What does St. Paul mean in telling us that this "justification" comes through faith, or by faith? It is clear that by "faith" the Apostle does not mean any kind of belief whatever: St. James teaches that even the demons have a certain kind of faith or belief, but it certainly does not bring them the grace of God. He says, "you believe in the one God—that is creditable enough, but the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear" (James 2:19). It is very clear from many Scriptural passages that the kind of faith we need for justification is a repentant faith (Lk 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30; Rom 2:4; 1 Cor 7:9-10 etc.). Sorrow for sin and the sincere desire to change are what is missing from the "faith" which even demons and wicked people can have. This repentant faith which leads to justification includes hope in God's mercy, and is itself possible only when the sinner receives actual grace which enables him to turn in contrition towards God's mercy.

 

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linate
15 hours ago, BarbaraTherese said:

My tuppence worth:

Well I think that if one claims to follow Jesus and to love Him and leads a degenerate type of life, then one is showing through deeds that there is no real following nor love............in other words "I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works." (James Chapter 2)  I don't think that any of our good works merits justification - nor that any amount of good works can do this.  Justification is a free Gift of God and His Mercy which comes to us through the channel of our Faith in Him.  Not an empty sort of Faith that has no sorrow for sin and desire to amend one's life.  But an active Faith that has both.  Jesus preached sorrow for sin and amendment of life.  If I have faith in Him without those qualities of sorrow and amendment, it is an empty and useless type of faith, a ridiculous sort of faith.  Good works will follow from sorrow for sin and amendment of life through God's Grace and The Holy Spirit active in a person.  How much is needed for justification?  As stated previously, it is not a matter of quantity but of quality of life flowing through (not from) sorrow for sin and amendment of life as channels for God's Mercy, His Grace and The Holy Spirit.

Sorrow for sin and amendment of life is not a one time event.  It is a daily or even hourly renewed event - a consistent state of soul.

We are justified by our "repentant faith which leads to justification and includes hope in God's Mercy" (see quote box below)

 

you have to be careful in saying you dont think good works merit any justification. here is Trent on the matter:

Here are highlights from Trent, note 24 and 32:
Canon 11. If anyone says that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins, excluding grace and charity which is poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit and inheres in them, or also that the grace which justifies us is only the favour of God, let him be anathema. (see note 1)

Canon 12. If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema.

Canon 24. If anyone says that the justice (righteousness) received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of the increase, let him be anathema.

Canon 30. 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 to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can be opened, let him be anathema.

Canon 32. If anyone says that the good works of the one justified are in such manner the gifts of God that they are not also the good merits of him justified; or that the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ (of whom one is a living member), the justified does not truly merit an increase of grace, and eternal life, provided that one dies in the state of grace, the attainment of this eternal life, as well as an increase in glory, let him be anathema.

Rome teaches that God helps man to do good works and hence to be more justfied... Trent elaborates this idea in chapter 16:

"For, whereas Jesus Christ Himself continually infuses his virtue into the said justified, - as the head into the members, and the vine into the branches, - and this virtue always precedes and accompanies and follows their good works, which without it could not in any wise be pleasing and meritorious before God, - we must believe that nothing further is wanting to the justified, to prevent their being accounted to have, by those very works which have been done in God, fully satisfied the divine law according to the state of this life, and to have truly merited eternal life, to be obtained also in its (due) time, if so be, however, that they depart in grace..."

More Trent:
"the alone formal cause is the justice of God, not that whereby He Himself is just, but that whereby He maketh us just, that, to wit, with which we being endowed by Him, are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and we are not only reputed, but are truly called, and are, just"

"This disposition, or preparation, is followed by Justification itself, which is not remission of sins merely, but also the sanctification and renewal of the inward man, through the voluntary reception of the grace, and of the gifts, whereby man of unjust becomes just, and of an enemy a friend, that so he may be an heir according to hope of life everlasting. (Council of Trent, 6th Session, ch. Vii)"

"through the observance of the commandments of God and of the Church, faith co-operating with good works, increase in that justice which they have received through the grace of Christ, and are still further justified"

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Tab'le De'Bah-Rye

Grace faith works. Faith is a gift from grace which should give birth to works. My understanding is we can do all the works we want whether praying, giving alms, evangelising but without loving god and loving others it is worth nothing in the salvation stakes, and by love I mean consistent relationship. Then the question for everyone to ponder is what constitutes a real fair dinkum good holistic relationship, good starting points maybe the desire to serve and learn what the other knows and share what you know. What else is in a good relationship?

Playfulness perhaps is in there too?

Edited by Tab'le De'Bah-Rye

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Tab'le De'Bah-Rye

And I really don't think it is a matter of better or worse because people are different and I'm sure god understands that so although there is only one Jesus there are variations on how to have relationship with him due to our varying natural strengths and weaknesses. Different members of the same body, or the bride and the bridesmaids though I believe the bride is the holy Roman catholic church but it doesn't make her better or worse because we are all below god he is the salvation not us and this we have to remember and in the end he will be the judge and reward everyone according to how faithful we where to him.

Some will receive much and some little, the main thing though is to seek Him and not the things of this world, work aside and other natural nescesities like food, shelter and clothing.

Edited by Tab'le De'Bah-Rye

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