The Gospel Under Siege -- By: Jeremy D. Myers
JOTGES 16:2 (Autumn 03) p. 43
The Gospel Under Siege
North Valley Alliance Church
To borrow a phrase from Zane Hodges, the gospel is under siege!1
There is a battle presently being waged between those who hold to a grace understanding of the gospel and those who do not. There are three major systems attacking the gospel of grace: Roman Catholic, Reformed, and Arminian. All three are distinct theologies, but it is their commonalities that make them a united threat. This article seeks to demonstrate just that—that these three theologies are more similar than one might think.
II. The Roman Catholic Position
Justification is a lifelong process in Catholicism, which begins with baptism and continues within the confines of the church. Karl Keating says “[Christ] did his part, and now we have to cooperate by doing ours.”2 The Council of Trent states:
If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate, in order to obtain the grace of justification…let him be anathema.
If anyone says that the sacraments of the New Law [canons and decrees of the church] are not necessary for salvation but…without them…men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification…let him be anathema.3
JOTGES 16:2 (Autumn 03) p. 44
From this theology, it logically follows that:
According to the Lord’s words “Thus you will know them by their fruits” [Mt 7:20]—reflection on God’s blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.6
Thus, looking for “fruit” and “God’s blessings” in one’s life is the way by which a person can know whether or not they will be saved.
The following summarizes Catholic teaching: “To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world.”7 With...
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