Category: Salvation

Jesus died for all

Before I respond, I think De Maria’s objection makes perfect sense, given his Roman Catholic perspective. 

The Catholic perspective is not the one you described. I have corrected your straw man and provided the true Catholic perspective.

And to complicate matters for the Reformed position, I must admit at the outset that I am unaware of any passage that specifically says “God died only for the elect.” That said, what follows is a response to both De Maria’s take onRomans 5:6 and De Maria’s request for a passage that teaches that God died for the elect. Let’s first begin with Romans 5:6


Romans 5:6 in Context

The problem is your presupposition. You start from the erroneous premise that Jesus died only for the elect. Therefore, when St. Paul says, “He died for US…” you read into it that He “only” died for those of us who chose to accept His sacrifice. But Rom 5:6 is the correction to that error in case anyone were to fall into it.
St. Paul says, “He died for US…” But in Rom 5:6, he clarifies that Jesus died for the ungodly. That means Jesus died for all creation. He died for the world. He died for us because He died for all. We are not excluded when we way He died for all. We are included in that number. We are a subset of that number.

Let’s look at Rom 5:1-11 in context. First, St. Paul is contrasting the Jews and the Gentiles. He is showing how the Gentiles are now grafted into the tree and are savable. Because Jews thought that God would not save Gentiles.

So, we begin where he says:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith 2 into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

We, in this verse is a reference to Catholics. Although not yet called Catholics, it is Catholics who are justified by faith through the Sacraments. And that is what St. Paul is talking about. We who are justified by faith through the Sacraments.

3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

Here he mentions suffering which is an essential part of salvation. Unless we suffer with Christ, we will not be saved with Him:

Romans 8:17
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 

Here is the correction. While we were still weak. The we refers to those who prior to Christ’s sacrifice were still sinners.

Note that He didn’t say, “while we were still weak, Christ died for US.” Why not say it. He had used that pronoun approximately 13 times in the past 11 sentences. But that is not what he means. He means exactly what the verse says. While we were sinners, weak in the flesh, Christ died for all who are not God. Christ died for all who are not divine. Christ died for the whole world. Christ died for all.

Therefore, Christ died for us because He died for all.

7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Then, St. Paul refocuses on those who have repented and accepted God’s call. But that is not a denial of the fact that Jesus died for all.

9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 

This is a reference to the Mass and the original Passover, where God passed over the Hebrews who had marked their door post with the blood of the lamb.

Christ is now our Passover and we are justified in His Blood when we drink of the Cup of Salvation. And when we drink of His Blood, we are saved from God’s anger.

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 

This is still a reference to the Eucharist.

While we were dead in our sins, Jesus died for us in order that we might be reconciled to God. Now that we are reconciled to God, Jesus saves us by His life. His Blood that He shed for us on the Cross, is in the Holy Eucharist and is our life. If we partake of it.

11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation (Romans 5:1-11, ESV).

Furthermore, still talking about those who live according to the Catholic Faith, we now rejoice because God offers us forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Sincerely,
De Maria

We live in a time of trial

But if we were to do this, numerous absurdities would follow. For example:All humanity would presently be justified and be at peace with God (v. 1)All humanity would now stand in God’s grace through faith and be rejoicing in the hope of glory (v. 2)

That’s not true. Only those who obey Christ:
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

All humanity would be suffering in endurance which produces character and hope (vv. 3-4)

All humanity is suffering. We live in a time of trial. But suffering produces character and hope only with those who unite their suffering with God.

All humanity would have God’s love in their hearts and possess the Holy Spirit (v. 5)

Not true. Only those who respond with faith:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

All humanity would be justified by his blood and by Jesus from the wrath of God (v. 9)

Only those who drink His Blood as Jesus commanded:
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Those like the Protestants, who reject this teaching, will not be included.

All humanity is now reconciled to God and shall be saved by his life (vv, 10-11).

Nope. Only those who work out their salvation in fear and trembling:
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
You’re a Catholic. Or a former Catholic. You know I’m telling the truth. And you know that you are misrepresenting the Catholic Doctrine.
Sincerely,
De Maria

Claiming to be born again does not guarantee your salvation      

    Lester  asked:

Will anyone who is “born again ” end up in Hell?

If they fall away, yes.

Hebrews 6:4-6
King James Version (KJV)
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Is Eating Meat On Lenten Fridays: A Mortal Sin?
Thus one must substantially observe the law of abstinence on such days, and the obligation to do so is a grave one, meaning that it satisfies the condition of grave matter required for mortal sin. If one knowingly and deliberately fails in this obligation then one has committed mortal sin.

Scripture says that obedience to the Church is required of all believers:

Matthew 18:17
King James Version (KJV)
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

All creation suffers

So given that Romans 5:1-11 is written to believers, can we affirm as De Maria does that Romans 5:6 applies to all humanity without exception? 

Yes. And not just to all humanity but to all creation:
King James Version (KJV)
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The answer to that question is clearly no, since then we would have to apply virtually everything else in this passage to all of humanity. 

Not if you speak English.
Obviously when he says, us, we and our, that refers to believers.
And obviously when he says, “the ungodly”, that refers to everything and everyone that is not divine. Everyone that is not God.

But if we were to do this, numerous absurdities would follow.

Of course. Because you want to exaggerate everything in order to create a nonsensical straw man you can knock down. But that is not truth. You simply endeavor to justify your errors.
Sincerely,
De Maria

 

There is a misunderstanding of the Two Covenants, but it is in the sense that one is works based and the other is not.

On the contrary, they are both faith based, as Scripture attests. Read Heb 11 and see annotated therein, the list of the Old Testament faithful, who obeyed and did the works of God, by their faith. They are put there as an example for us.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, …
11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Those who have enough faith, will do the works which God wills for them to do. Old Covenant or New.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

So, what is the difference between the Old and New Covenants? It’s illustrated in this parable:

Matthew 20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

The first set of laborers, are those who do not accept the Sacraments. They will work their entire life, but will not be judged until they come to the Judgment Seat of Christ. At that time, those who claim salvation by faith alone, will be Judged by Christ. Whether they are truly saved, they will learn at that time.

The second set of laborers, are those who accept the Sacraments. Those who take them seriously, repent of their sins and do their best to obey God before and after receiving the Sacraments. They receive the Sacraments and are credited with righteousness for believing that God will keep His promises and for hoping in God for their salvation. Judgment comes to them in this life, everytime they approach the Altar:

1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

God only saves those who do His righteous works, whether it be through the Sacraments or at the Judgment Seat. Both Covenants are based on faith. And in both Covenants, faith without works, is dead.

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Faith alone is faith in oneself

Faith in works to obtain salvation is not faith in Christ.

Faith in works? Really?

Let’s see if that is true. When has any Catholic proclaimed themselves saved by works? Name one. Some of you were once Catholic, so I suppose that your parents were or maybe, are still, Catholic. Ask them if they have declared themselves saved because of their works.

Ok. If you are honest, you will admit that we deny that we are saved in this lifetime. Again, if you are honest, you will remember that when you were Catholic, you were told that we do not know if we are saved, but we await God’s judgment of our deeds.

True or not?

If a Catholic were to declare himself saved because he did so many good works, then that Catholic doesn’t know his Catholic faith.

Ok. Now, let’s look at those who claim to be saved by faith alone. There’s many of you. You roam the streets asking people if they are saved and when they say that they don’t know, you pounce and say, “I am saved by my faith alone!”

But that isn’t faith in Christ. That’s you declaring your faith in yourself. Here’s the proof.

You say that one is saved unto good works. Because, you say that faith which does not provide good works is not a saving faith. Ok. If your faith is a saving faith, what works do you have to your credit to prove that your faith is a saving faith? How many works must you do in order to prove that your faith is a saving faith? If you can’t provide any proof, why do you declare yourself saved?

I’ll tell you why. Because of your exceedingly great faith, in yourself.