Part 13 of 22
Salvation According to “The Roman Catholic Church”
Most of my comments thus far have addressed various wayward segments of Protestantism. I’ve only mentioned Roman Catholicism in passing thus far. So now we must further examine the largest segment of the so-called organized Christian Church today, the Roman Catholic Church. This installment is lengthy due to the several portions of information quoted as taken from the RCC “Catechism” and the “II Vatican Council,” these appear on the last three 3 pages of this installment.
Actually, I have a deep appreciation for some of the deep believers who were members of Roman Catholic Church. I have read, appreciated and learned much from Madame Jean Guyon’s several books (1648 – 1717), and the books of Michael Molinos (1628-1696), RE Fenelon (1651-1715), and John of the Cross (the book, “The Dark Night of the Soul.”), and other Catholics or one-time Catholics. They had a very deep understanding of the love and grace of the Lord’s working within the lives of believers.
No doubt today there are genuine believers among the members of the Roman Catholic Church. Many, in spite of their clinging to what I might call excess doctrinal baggage of the RCC, are members of the invisible body of Christ and do know the Lord intimately. Nevertheless, the many false doctrines and teachings of the RCC itself are most damaging and its fundamental errors must be exposed in the light of Scripture “rightly divided.” The RCC teachings and doctrines hinder and cloud the true simple gospel of the pure grace of God; thus potential believers are blocked, hindered, and/or limited.
If we base our discussion of doctrine solely upon the Scripture, as we believe it to be the sole source of infallible truth, then any discussion with the RCC cannot be had since the RCC admittedly DOES NOT ADHERE SOLELY TO SCRIPTURE (Sola Scriptura) for spiritual guidance and authority. The RCC clings to what has been described as a three leg stool as to its basis for teaching authority; 1) the authority the Pope and the Magisterium), 2) Church tradition, and 3) The Holy Bible.
Bible believers stand upon the five solas, as described in my series titled “Five Solas.” The Five Solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers’ basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means “alone” or “only” in English. The five “solas” articulate five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice. The difficulty is that while the reformers and pure fundamental believers hold to the Scripture alone, the RCC has their 3-legged stool as its authority. Once we abandon “Sola Scriptura” we then may have as many variations in so-called “truth” as there are men to have them.
Defining SOLA SCRIPTURA (“by Scripture alone”)
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (Paul writes) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Sola Scriptura is the teaching that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative word of God. It is the only source for pure Christian doctrine, and is accessible to all; to every believer — that it is self-evident and self-interpreting. The Bible requires no interpretation outside of itself.
“Sola Scriptura” is a Latin term meaning "scripture alone." It is one of several Protestant beliefs to come out of the reformation. This Protestant doctrine says that scripture alone is the primary and absolute source of authority, the final court of appeal, for all doctrine and practice. It holds that the Bible is infallible, that it is sufficient, and that it is clear.
It is this last point, “it is clear,” that is disputed by the Roman Catholic Church, which holds that while the Bible contains all truth necessary for salvation, its meaning is not clear and must be interpreted by an infallible teaching authority, the Magisterium of the Church.
“Sola Scriptura” is in fact an idea directly opposed to the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Coptic, Anglo-Catholic, and Roman Catholic traditions, which teach that the Bible can be authentically interpreted only by Apostolic Tradition, this being for the Roman Catholic tradition embodied in the Magisterium, (that is the teaching authority embodied in Bishops in union with the Pope).
Sola Scriptura is sometimes called the formal principle of the Reformation, since it is the source and norm of the material principle, sola fide (by faith alone).
The adjective (sola) and the noun (Scriptura) are in the ablative case rather than the nominative case, not to indicate that the Bible stands alone apart from God but that it is the instrument of God by which He reveals Himself for salvation through faith in Christ alone (solas Christus).
(Note: Ablative means, “of, relating to, or being a grammatical case indicating separation.” “Separation” or to stand alone indicates an item that “stands on it own.”)
The Magisterium is the “teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church”. The word is derived from Latin magistra, which originally meant the office of a president, chief, director, superintendent, etc. (in particular, though rarely, the office of tutor or instructor of youth, tutorship, guardianship) or teaching, instruction, advice. In the Roman Catholic Church the word “Magisterium” refers to the teaching authority of the Church. This authority is understood to be embodied in the episcopacy, which is the aggregation of the current bishops of the Church, led by the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), who has authority over the bishops, individually and as a body, as well as over each and every Catholic directly. According to Catholic doctrine, the Magisterium is able to teach or interpret the truths of the Faith, and it does so either non-infallibly or infallibly.
RCC doctrine does endorse grace and faith as being necessary for salvation but… they do not hold to salvation being “not of works.” Law and works are not part of the grace economy of God we live under today – we live under pure grace. Romans 6:14b …for ye are not under the law, but under grace. The RCC considers that other denominations do not place the proper stress upon “good works,” and that the RCC does place only the proper amount of emphasis upon grace and faith.
So yes, the RCC teaches that salvation by grace, through faith; BUT to this they ADD many requirements to be fully saved to heaven; such as keeping the seven sacraments, good works, almsgiving, confession, penances, adherence to the laws of the church and church tradition, maintaining ones self in a “state of grace,” etc. Even then, no person can achieve heaven directly after death – RCC teaching says every person must go to and through an undeterminate period of time in Purgatory before ever going to heaven.
“Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven. This is an idea that has ancient roots and is well-attested in early Christian literature, while the conception of purgatory as a geographically situated place is largely the creation of medieval Christian piety and imagination.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purgatory)
The word “purgatory,” and the idea of an intermediate state or place between earth and heaven, is no where to be found in the Bible since Christ’s resurrection. There is only “sheol” (hell) where the lost dead are held temporarily (Rev 20:14), until the final judgment (at the “Great White Throne” Judgment, Rev 20:11) and “paradise,” which is now located “in heaven” (2Cor 12:1-4) since Jesus’ resurrection. No person has yet been placed in “the lake of fire” or “Gehenna.” The “the lake of fire” is “prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41).
Here is a question that might come to the mind of any thinking person who honestly looks at the RCC’s meritorious law and works program required for one to merit eternal life in heaven. “Okay, if I need to do some kind of added works, then how much works is enough to assure me of my salvation? When do I arrive in heaven?” I challenge any proponent of works to gain or secure salvation, whether of the RCC or the protestant denominations, to answer the question. How much works would be enough? Nobody can answer this question favorably because “meritorious works” in any measure is by definition at odds with “grace.” Grace salvation is made available through God’s “unmerited favor.” Paul calls this the free “gift of God” in Eph 2:8. It also includes “the gift of righteousness” Romans 5:17b … they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life (Zoe, spirit based life) by one, Jesus Christ. Paul tells us how we qualify to receive “this gift of righteousness.” While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8). “God hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us...that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2Cor.5:21).
Consider that reliance upon any measure of human works essentially says Christ’s sacrifice at the cross was and is inadequate and in vain. Paul says, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Gal 2:21). Since no measure of human works is adequate, then no person who strives under the laws of such a works based merit system can have an assurance or confidence in their salvation. By contrast, our Apostle Paul says we as believers in his gospel message can be “confident” that when we leave this physical body we will be with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:5-8 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest (down payment) of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 WE ARE CONFIDENT, I SAY, AND WILLING RATHER TO BE ABSENT FROM THE BODY, AND TO BE PRESENT WITH THE LORD.
Here now Paul says, as a basis for salvation, grace and works are diametric opposites. Any works requirement at all negates grace entirely. “And if by grace, then is it NO MORE OF WORKS: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it NO MORE GRACE: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6)
Roman Catholicism agrees that men cannot be saved without Christ, without faith, and without grace. But the RCC objects to pure grace alone. They essentially say the pure grace of God, accepted by faith in Christ alone, is NOT ENOUGH to save. The Roman Catholic Church requires repeated confessions to a priest, sacraments, penances and indulgences from its adherents in order to minimize the adherent’s time in Purgatory and not see eternal punishment. Indulgences are mechanisms in the RCC by which the adherent can apparently have their sins removed. All of these imply that faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is insufficient by itself.
It was primarily Martin Luther's opposition to the evil practice of selling indulgences that sparked the Reformation. While he sought to remain within the Roman Church and bring reform to it [e.g., Martin Luther never gave up the false doctrine of baptismal regeneration], he was eventually excommunicated for his stand, as were other Reformers.
The RCC’s doctrine says salvation begins by water baptism. “All men are born in original sin, and all must be cleansed by water baptism.” (http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/baptism.htm). Actually, water baptism is not a requirement for salvation at all. Consider that the thief on the cross who looked to Jesus on the cross in his dying moments, he never had an opportunity to be baptized. Was he not saved? (See Luke 23:42, 43) As Jesus hung on the cross, He had said to the man, “This day thou shalt be with me in paradise.” Can water baptism do what only the blood of Christ can do? If so, then why does the Bible say Jesus shed His blood and died “for the sin of the world”?
Concerning forgiveness of sins, Paul writes of Christ…
“(Christ) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (a sacrifice able to atone) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I REMEMBER NO MORE.” (Hebrews 8:12).
If a believer’s sins are remitted “through faith in His blood” and “remembered no more,” then why would there be need to do anything further.
Paul then wrote; “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4). Think about this; if “it is not possible for the blood of sacrificed bulls and of goats to take away sins,” even though their sacrifice was prescribed and required by God to cover the sins of the children of Israel under The Law, how could any amount of baptismal water possibly wash away one sin or right even one moral wrong? Actually, the blood of those God-prescribed animal sacrifices only covered the sins of the children of
. It was not until the day when “the Lamb of God,” Jesus Christ, came to earth and shed His blood for the remission of the sins of the world that sins were actually expunged or “taken away” (Jn. 1:29, Rev 7:14). Israel
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened (made alive) together with [Christ], having forgiven you ALL trespasses (sins);” (
Every believer stands forever cleansed of “ALL TRESPASSES” by Jesus’ shed blood, immediately upon his believing. Not only were our past sins taken away but “all trespasses,” including our present and future sins were removed by Jesus’ shed blood the moment we trusted in Christ as our Savior. Jesus’ shed blood fully deals with all our sins, both the sins of omission and the sins of commission. Whether it is something we ought to be doing and are not doing or whether it is things we are doing that we ought not to be doing. These are all fully remitted by Jesus’ one blood atonement. Jesus’ one time offering of His shed blood continues to make full atonement (reparation) for future sins.
Isaiah wrote prophetically of God’s words of promise to one day TAKE AWAY sins.
“I (God) have BLOTTED OUT, as a thick cloud, THY TRANSGRESSIONS, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” (Isaiah 44:22) David spoke prophetically to this when he stated, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath HE (God) REMOVED OUR TRANSGRESSIONS from us. (Psalm 103:12) God promised not to remember our sins again. “I (God) WILL REMEMBER THEM NO MORE AGAINST YOU FOREVER” (Jeremiah 31:34).
Understand please that this is not to say we can just go ahead and sin …a truly saved person won’t have that attitude. Despite our very best efforts, we are sinners and we will yet sin (1John 1:8), but we can know that we are forever saved; we don’t have to get saved again. As we continue to walk thru this life we’ll only need to have our conscience cleansed and refreshed, not forgiven, since Jesus’ shed blood accomplished a one time cleansing from ALL sin: past, present, and future! Jesus’ blood conquers all sin! Any gospel that omits the blood of Christ as being fully sufficient is not the gospel of grace at all.
“The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from ALL SIN.” (1John 1:7b) “But this man (Jesus), after he had offered ONE SACRIFICE FOR SINS FOR EVER, sat down on the right hand of God.” Hebrews 10:12
Works based religion always has a requirement for its adherents in order for them to secure their salvation or relationship with God. Some protestant churches require tithing, baptism, church attendance, prescribed Bible reading, church membership, vows, etc., to count one as a good and satisfactory Christian. Some of these items are not bad in themselves but they do not gain us forgiveness of sins, save us, or gain God’s further blessing.
Millions of people are striving to make their self acceptable to God by their good works. Such people are on a treadmill by which they can never be sure of salvation. The simple reason is that they can never be sure whether they have done enough good works or whether they have done them in the right way. Some suppose that heaven can be won if our good works outweigh our evil works, but this does not make sense either, for good works are what all of us ought to do. If it depended upon us then only one evil deed would prevent a just and holy God from justifying us or admitting us into His Holy presence.
But Paul speaks also of “good works.” Let’s not put the cart before the horse. God does expect good works from His children but not as meritorious payment for salvation, or as payment to keep one saved. Eternal life and glory could not possibly be bought at any price. “Christ Jesus came into the world,” says the Apostle Paul, “to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). There is no amount of human works that ever will be adequate to save us.
We can never come to know that we’ve done enough to secure your own salvation.
“Knowing that a man is NOT justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and NOT by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)
God expect us to do good works only after saving us by His grace, but now, out of gratitude; and as He inwardly leads us in our living.
It is interesting to compare Titus 3:5 with Titus 3:8; “NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US.” (Tit. 3:5); “...these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have (already) believed in God might BE CAREFUL TO MAINTAIN GOOD WORKS ...” (Tit. 3:8) Its clear from these two verses that salvation through God’s grace and mercy is the root, and then good works is the fruit. Thus we read in Eph. 2:8-10: “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
We today live under the new gospel paradigm that the ascended Christ gave Paul for the members of “the body of Christ,” and which he describes as “the mystery” under “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2). Paul writes these satisfying and reassuring words to the believers, such as us today.
And if by grace, then is it NO MORE OF WORKS: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:6)
“Now to him that worketh [i.e., for salvation] is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
“BUT TO HIM THAT WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH ON HIM THAT JUSTIFIETH THE UNGODLY, HIS FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Rom. 4:4, 5).
For BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)
Now note the following taken below from the RCC “Catechism” and “Vatican Council II” (1962–1965).
“The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church” regarding “Indulgences, Penance and .urification from Sins.” (http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p2s2c2a4.htm#X)
1032 Penance: The Church also commends alms giving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead. (Comment: Prayer and penance for the dead is required in the RCC because no person is thought to be acceptable to God upon death simply by their faith in Christ. All must be processed through PURGATORY (see below) before achieving acceptance by God.) PURGATORY: Latin, “purgare”, to make clean, to purify), in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions. Purgatory is basically like a jail, except its not forever. Taken from www.catholicsoncall.org)
Let’s permit the Bible to answer the question “Why would a believer need to be purified if they are already washed clean?” Titus 3:5 (KJV) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 1 Corinthians 6:11 (KJV) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
1471 The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.
WHAT IS AN INDULGENCE?
“AN INDULGENCE IS A REMISSION (REMOVAL) BEFORE GOD OF THE TEMPORAL PUNISHMENT DUE TO SINS whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions THROUGH THE ACTION OF THE CHURCH which, AS THE MINISTER OF REDEMPTION, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”81 “An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.”82 The FAITHFUL CAN GAIN INDULGENCES FOR THEMSELVES OR APPLY THEM TO THE DEAD.
THE PUNISHMENTS OF SIN
1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore MAKES US INCAPABLE OF ETERNAL LIFE, the privation of which is called the “ETERNAL PUNISHMENT” OF SIN. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which MUST BE PURIFIED EITHER HERE ON EARTH, OR AFTER DEATH IN THE STATE CALLED PURGATORY. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.83
Now note the following excerpt taken from: http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/Catholicism/isitcult.htm
These quotations are taken directly from the “II Vatican Council” (1962-1965) concerning Salvation, Penances, and Indulgences
The Basis for Salvation
The Roman Catholic Church claims that salvation is by grace through the shed blood of Christ on the cross. But in practice and other teachings, how true is their affirmation of that crucial doctrine?
Historically, Roman Catholicism has maintained that Jesus merely made the way open for salvation. But to enter into that salvation, one must live in obedience to the authority of the papacy. In addition, Jesus' provision for salvation not being complete, the Church offers other means to assure one's salvation.
It is through the Roman Catholic Church alone that salvation in its fullest sense can be attained:
“For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation. that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God” (Vatican Council II, p. 456).
On the subject of salvation and the expiation of sin, Vatican Council II states:
“Therefore, the Church announces the good tidings of salvation to those who do not believe, so that all men may know the one true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent and may be converted from their ways, doing penance (Vatican Council II, p. 6).
“The full taking away and, as it is called, reparation of sins requires two things. Firstly, friendship with God must be restored. Amends must be made for offending his wisdom and goodness. This is done by a sincere conversion of mind. Secondly, all the personal and social values, as well as those that are universal, which sin has lessened or destroyed must be fully made good. This is done in two ways. The first is by feely making reparation, which involves punishment. The second is by accepting the punishments God's just and most holy wisdom has appointed. From this the holiness and splendor of his glory shine out through the world. ...
“The doctrine of purgatory clearly demonstrates that even when the guilt of sin has been taken away, punishment for it or the consequences of it may remain to be expiated or cleansed. They often are. In fact, in purgatory the souls of those 'who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions' are cleansed after death with punishment designed to purge away their debt” (Vatican Council II, p. 64).
One step in the means of attaining salvation from the punishment for one's sins is what the Roman Church calls indulgences. These may be purchased with money or through acts of penitence, acts of charity, or other pietistic means. The concept of indulgences is based on the idea that one's good works merit God's grace (<<< an oxymoron). Since Christ's sacrifice was insufficient for the full payment of the penalty of sin, acts of piety and gifts to the Roman Church may be used as partial payment for one's sins. The efficacy of an indulgence depends upon the merit attributed to it by the church. For example, one may pay to have a mass said for a relative believed to be in purgatory. The mass will then account for a certain number of days deleted from his purgatorial sentence.
“The use of indulgences spread gradually. It became a very clear element in the history of the Church when the Popes decreed that certain works which were suitable for promoting the common good of the Church 'could replace all penitential practices' and that the faithful who were 'genuinely sorry for and had confessed their sins' and done such works were granted 'by almighty God's mercy and ... trusting in his Apostles merits and authority' and 'by virtue of the fullness of the apostolic power' 'not only full and abundant forgiveness, but the most complete forgiveness possible for their sins.
“For 'God's only-begotten Son ... has won a treasure for the militant Church ... he has entrusted it to blessed Peter, the key-bearer of heaven, and to his successors who are Christ's vicars on earth, so that they may distribute it to the faithful for their salvation. They may apply it with mercy for reasonable causes to all who have repented for and have confessed their sins. At times they may remit completely, and at other times only partially, the temporal punishment due to sin in a general as well as in special ways (insofar as they judge to be fitting in the sight of the Lord). The merits of the Blessed Mother of God and of the elect ... are known to add further to this treasure'” (Vatican Council II, p. 70).
While acknowledging that indulgences have been abused, the Roman Church ascribes that abuse to “the past,” as if no such abuse occurs today. But the very nature of indulgences is an abuse against the purity of the Faith. To make matters worse, the Roman Church condemns those who oppose the idea of indulgences:
“[The Roman Catholic Church] 'teaches and commands that the usage of indulgences -- a usage most beneficial to Christians and approved by the authority of the Sacred Councils -- should be kept in the Church; and it condemns with anathema [cursing by ecclesiastical authority] those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them.’” (Vatican Council II, p. 71)
In contrast to the RCC condemnation noted above, we should note that the Apostle Paul says “there is therefore NOW NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ” and there is no fear of death for the believing member of “the body of Christ.”
“Therefore, there is NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1(NIV) “to deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb 2:15 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? ... 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Corinthians 15:55, 57)
In Hebrews 2:15, above, Paul speaks of unbelievers who suffer insecurity … “through fear of death... all their lifetime subject to bondage” (verse 15 above). How often they must ask themselves: “What will finally become of me?” The best they can hope is that God will be merciful to them and accept them at last, but …God cannot do this without a just basis. Since these unbelievers have rejected Christ’s gracious payment for sin as being fully sufficient to justify believers, they remain under the condemnation of sin. Many then hope that physical death will be the end for them, but they also fear that the Bible may be true and that physical death will not be the end. Thankfully, every believer may come to “know” they are saved and a rebirthed child of God (see Part 4 of 22).
“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers b; 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 4 KNOWING, BRETHREN BELOVED, YOUR ELECTION OF GOD. 5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and IN MUCH ASSURANCE…” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-5a) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16)In the next several installments of this series I will expand on the theme of “Salvation by Grace through FAITH ALONE.”