This material accompanied the sermon BEING POSITIVELY PROTESTANT from the sermon series: Going Pro by Pastor Howard Lawler on 10/15/17.

“Having, therefore, been thus justified, and made the friends and domestics of God, advancing from virtue to virtue, they are renewed, as the Apostle says, day by day; that is, by mortifying the members of their own flesh, and by presenting them as instruments of justice unto sanctification, they, 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.” The Council of Trent, Decree VI, X

“As regards those who, by sin, have fallen from the received grace of Justification, they may be again justified, when, God exciting them, through the sacrament of Penance they shall have attained to the recovery, by the merit of Christ, of the grace lost: for this manner of Justification is of the fallen the reparation: which the holy Fathers have aptly called a second plank after the shipwreck of grace lost.” The Council of Trent, Decree VI, IV

“God forbid that a Christian should either trust or glory in himself, and not in the Lord, whose bounty towards all men is so great, that He will have the things which are His own gifts be their merits.” The Council of Trent, Decree VI, XVI

“If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favor of God; let him be anathema.” The Council of Trent, On Justification, Canon XI

“If any one saith, that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ’s sake; or, that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified; let him be anathema.” The Council of Trent, On Justification, Canon XII

“If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.” The Council of Trent, On Justification, Canon XXIV

“If any one saith, that the good works of one that is justified are in such manner the gifts of God, as that they are not also the good merits of him that is justified; or, that the said justified, by the good works which he performs through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life,-if so be, however, that he depart in grace,-and also an increase of glory; let him be anathema.” The Council of Trent, On Justification, Canon XXXII

“In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church, the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them ‘their own position of teaching authority.’” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #77

“Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal. Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own ‘always, to the close of the age.’ Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit. ‘and [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching.’ As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, ‘does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.’” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #80-82

“‘The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.’ This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #85

“The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals…. ‘The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,’ above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme magisterium proposes a doctrine ‘for belief as being divinely revealed,’ and as the teachings of Christ, the definitions must be adhered to with the obedience of faith. This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church,, #891

“With regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man. Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality, for we have received everything from him, our Creator. The merit of man before God in the Christian life arises from the fact that God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace. The fatherly action of God is first on his own initiative, and then follows man’s free acting through his collaboration, so that the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful. Man’s merit, moreover, itself is due to God, for his good actions proceed in Christ, from the predispositions and assistance given by the Holy Spirit.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2007-2008

“Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God’s wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2010

“No one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2027

“For the justified eternal life is both a gift of grace promised by God and a reward for his own good works and merits…Salutary works are, at the same time, gifts of God and meritorious acts of man.” Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott

“Justification, primarily and simply the possession of sanctifying grace.” Concise Catholic Encyclopedia, p.212

“There are still many who do not know the data, the gospel. Most of my Catholic students at Boston College have never heard it. They do not even know how to get to heaven. When I ask them what they would say to God if they died tonight and God asked them why he should take them into heaven, nine out of ten do not mention Jesus Christ. Most of them say they have been good or kind or sincere or did their best. So I seriously doubt God will undo the Reformation until he sees to it that Luther’s reminder of Paul’s gospel has been heard throughout the church.” Peter Kreeft (Catholic Scholar)

For a fair and thorough book, read Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences, by Norman Geisler and Ralph MacKenzie (Baker Books, 1995).

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