Roman Catholicism versus the Reformation – Episode #15
In This Episode…
01:50 – Segment 1
- The reformation was a Protest to Reform the Catholic Church
- Justification by Faith
- Protestant Definition – Legal transaction where we are made right in God’s Sight only because of our faith.
- Double Imputation – our sins were imputed to Jesus and His perfect righteousness was imputed to us. (Also called the Great Exchange)
- Another example is a chalkboard full of our sins being erased, but it also has to be filled with righteous deeds which we cannot do, so Jesus writes His deeds on it.
- Protestant belief is we cannot lose that righteousness.
- A brief definition is given. The term catholic (with a lower case c) means universal and is okay. Many solid biblical creeds and confessions use the term catholic faith to describe the whole body of the church. When we discuss catholic in this episode, we mean Roman Catholic.
07:45 – Segment 2
- Roman Catholic Justification – Infused righteousness. Kind of like a B12 shot of righteousness which you can lose by committing a mortal sin.
- We believe this flys in the face of the sufficiency of the atonement.
- The prominent theme of the Reformation is a deep concern for the Gospel.
- Martin Luther said, in his 1535 commentary on Galatians that is the doctrine of justification is lost, the whole Christian doctrine is lost
- The immediate cause of the reformation was the selling of indulgences. John mentions that it still exists in the Catholic world. While that is technically true, as a matter of clarification, it is not now, nor has it ever technically been something that can be sold. Indulgences themselves are accepted by Catholic doctrine, but they are not to be sold. Only done through meritorious works.
- Indulgences are useful to shorten a persons time in purgatory, another Catholic doctrine in which Protestants don’t believe.
- The discussion of indulgences led into a discussion on the sacramental system.
- Roman Catholics believe partaking in the sacraments, of which there are seven, will impart grace to the believer. (Per the discussion earlier about losing your infused righteousness, the sacraments help to restore it.)
- There is a brief discussion on sacraments versus ordinances among Protestants. While all Protestants hold to two sacraments/ordinances – there is a question of what those items do.
- There is a discussion on the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick as necessary to help keep a believer in a state of grace.
18:31 – Segment 3
- What is the extent of the church’s authority?
- Protestants believe the church has authority but only that which it has been given by Scripture.
- Roman Catholics believe the church has authority, the Scripture has authority, and tradition has authority. When the Pope speaks as the Pope, he is infallible and has ultimate authority.
- In contrast, we believe that Matthew 16 (and Matthew 18:18) gives the keys to Peter, but in the context of the congregation of the church, not resting in one man.
- The Council of Trent – The counter reformation – The Roman Catholic church had a discussion on the role of the church compared to Scripture. There was a latin phrase changed from partem partem to et. The nuance was fine, but substantial.
- John J. laments that in response to the holy view of the church in Roman Catholicism, people have swung too far the other way throwing away creeds and confessions that are extremely helpful to the church body. Item 3 we discussed
- Why is it important to discuss this?
- On Long Island, the beliefs of Roman Catholicism is a major roadblock to true faith.
- Where is the Good News? You have to continually do the sacraments to have a chance to go to heaven.
- The purgatory doctrine in Roman Catholicism also seems to create a sort of universalism.
- The Reformers believed the papacy to be an antichrist.
- It is also important to talk about this because, for the most part, they read from the same Scriptures from which we read. As such, it’s vital we know the doctrines they believe that are abhorrent.
- James said the question, “If you dies tonight and stood before God and He asked why should I let you into heaven?” is effective in flushing out the works righteousness of the Catholic faith.
- We will be having more episodes on the Reformation over the next 4 months. Including looking at the cultural and political upheaval that the Reformation caused and how the world was shaped by it.
Scripture Discussed in the Show
- Romans 1:16-17 Episode Verse
- 2 Corinthians 5:21
- Ephesians 8:9
- Ephesians 3:14
- Matthew 16:18-19
Resources We Mentioned in the Show
- We didn’t discuss resources today, but most of the facts discussed came from Ligonier Ministries.
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Episode Length 41:13
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Thanks for listening!