Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Standing for the Reformation

What would it take for Christians to accept Roman Catholics as part of the fold?  What doctrines must the Roman Catholic Church denounce for us to accept them as true disciples of Jesus?  I have a few things I would love to see the Roman Catholic Church renounce to become part of the true Church of the living God.

1.  Denounce the Catholic Rejection of Sola Scriptura.

The Catholic Church must accept the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God for me to accept them as true disciples.

2.  Denounce the Catholic Approval of the Apocrypha.

The Roman Catholic Church must accept the 66 Books of the Biblical canon for me to accept them as true disciples.

3.  Denounce Good Works As Meritorious Before God.

Salvation is the work of God (John 1:12-13) and does not come by the works of men (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Good works flow from our salvation and not for our salvation (Isaiah 64:6; John 6:29; Acts 13:38-39; 15:11; Romans 4:5; Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:11-14; James 2:14-26).

4.  Denounce the Authority of the Pope and His Office.

Arminius called the pope the antichrist (1 John 2:18).  All the Reformers viewed the pope as the antichrist.  The popery is unbiblical and does not have any authority from God nor from the Apostles.

5.  Denounce Praying to the Saints.

The true disciple has one mediator before God and that is the perfect Son of God (1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 2:1-2).  We have no need for prayer to dead saints.

6.  Denounce Sainthood and Embrace the Priesthood of the Believers.

We are all saints in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:2).  We are all priests unto God through the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:4-5; Revelation 1:6).

7.  Denounce That Salvation Comes By Any Means Other than Christ Jesus.

This is the principle of Christ alone.  We are not saved by being a member of an organization but by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26-27).  Jesus alone saves by His own grace and mercy (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).  We are saved by the precious blood of Christ alone (1 Peter 1:18-19).

8.  Denounce the Teaching that Priests Can Forgive Sins.

Only God can forgive sins (Mark 2:6-11).  See also Isaiah 43:25.  James 5:16 does tell us to confess our sins to one another (not to a priest) but the text does not say that people give forgiveness for only God can (1 John 1:9).

9.  Denounce the Teaching Concerning the Virgin Mary.

The idea that Mary was born a virgin (the immaculate conception) and remained a virgin has no biblical basis.  Further, Mary is never painted as a co-redeemer with Christ.  Mary needed salvation just as we all have (Luke 1:47).  Mary went on to have other children by normal means (Matthew 1:25; Luke 8:20).  No where in the Bible are we taught that Mary was a perpetual virgin nor does it teach that she is someone who we can pray to.

10.  Embrace and Preach that Jesus Christ Alone Saves By His Grace Through Faith.

The Roman Catholic Church must preach that we are saved by Christ alone, by His grace alone, through faith alone.  We are not saved by what we do but by what Jesus has already done (John 19:30).  The work of salvation is finished.  Jesus has done all we need for salvation (Romans 3:22-25).  We are justified before God by faith (Romans 5:1).  We are not saved by our baptism in the church or our confirmation in the church. We are saved by the work of Christ and we look to Him alone to save us from our sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-9).  Our salvation is always based on the work of Jesus (John 14:6).

11.  Denounce the Teaching of Purgatory.  

We must be saved in this life (Hebrews 9:22, 27-28).  We are not saved after we die.  We are not sanctified by the fires of purgatory.  The Bible says that we are sanctified in Christ Jesus (Hebrews 10:10, 14).  Our eternal salvation is the finished work of Christ alone (Hebrews 7:22-28; 10:12).

12.  Denounce the Unbiblical Leadership Model of the Catholic Church.

This would include the pope but also the cardinals and the bishops.  1 Peter 5:1-4 teaches us that elders are to be our leaders by their example that comes from following the example of Jesus Christ our true shepherd (John 13:1-20).

13.  Acknowledge that Jesus Christ Alone is the Head of the Church.

This goes back to the popery.  Jesus Christ is the head of His Church (Matthew 16:18; Colossians 1:15-20).  Let us embrace Jesus alone as the One who is leading His people by His Word (John 8:47; 10:27-29).

Conclusion

I am sure some of you could write much more.  Let us all pray that Catholics repent and turn to Christ alone for salvation (Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10).  Christ alone is the only one who can bring us peace with a holy God (Romans 5:8-9).  Let us pray for the Reformation to still make an impact on Rome to call it to repentance and back to the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:16-21).

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

11/01/2014 at 11:11 AM

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