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  #1  
Old Apr 29, '12, 9:51 am
Tranc7 Tranc7 is offline
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Default Justification Question

I've been reading the Bible more and more lately, and I have a question of justification. Isn't it that if we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, live out his commandments, follow the sermon of the mount, love God and our neighbors...we can receive eternal life? Obviously baptism and receiving Jesus' body and blood are necessary, too. Do believing in all of the other doctrines essentially matter? Such as the Immaculate Conception, which I do believe is true. I guess my concern is that is it necessary to get caught up in what is right and wrong in terms of doctrine, when Jesus already gave us a guideline on how to live. I feel Christians tend to become "obsessed" with doctrine and defending it, while there is a great picture.
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  #2  
Old Apr 29, '12, 11:06 am
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Big Ro Big Ro is offline
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Default Re: Justification Question

I'm not a theologin and I'll probably get hammered, but my understanding is that Faith in Jesus Christ and his resuurection is what provides with Salvation. We are offered this Salvation by the Grace of God, freely. It is this exchange that should motivate us to follow his Commandments, act according to the precepts in the Sermin on the Mount, and, of course, follow the two most important Commandments, of which loving our neighbors as ourslves is one. We shall be known by our works. I'm sure you'll get far more detailed answeres from the more learned members of this forum.

I als agree that we get too caught up in the Doctrines (Legalism, IMHO) and this leads to terrible conclusions such as we should run people that may not follwo the doctrines as closely as some would like out of the church. IMHO, this goes against the purpose of Christ's mission.

Finally, It's wholly a good thing to read the Bible. I would advise that you search for answers on your own and through good Catholic resources. This forum is not always a good source for truth.
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  #3  
Old Apr 29, '12, 11:35 am
De Maria De Maria is offline
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Default Re: Justification Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranc7 View Post
I've been reading the Bible more and more lately,
I find that it is better to get a handle on Catholic doctrine before one tackles understanding of the Bible. Otherwise confusion ensues. The main problem being that our proximity to Protestants and their errors sometimes creeps in when we read the Bible without being anchored in Catholic doctrine.

Quote:
and I have a question of justification. Isn't it that if we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, live out his commandments, follow the sermon of the mount, love God and our neighbors...we can receive eternal life?
IN MY OPINION, it is more simple than that. Jesus Christ did not say that we need to know any doctrine. Jesus simply said we were to love God and our neighbors. He said the two most important commandments are:
Matthew 22: 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

And when He described who would be taken to heaven and who would be condemned to eternal punishment, He didn't require a multiple choice questionaire. Read Matt 25:31-46:

Matthew 25: 31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:....

Quote:
Obviously baptism and receiving Jesus' body and blood are necessary, too.
Until recently, I thought they were absolute requirements for everybody. But I discovered that the Church considers the Jewish religion to be valid. And they don't have the Sacraments. Therefore, they are necessary for those who have entered into the New Covenant in the Blood of Jesus. That is to say, for Christians. But not for everyone.

Quote:
Do believing in all of the other doctrines essentially matter?
What matters, in my opinion, is obedience, humility or meekness. Obeying those who rule over us in the Church (Heb 13:17; Prov 3:5).

Quote:
Such as the Immaculate Conception, which I do believe is true. I guess my concern is that is it necessary to get caught up in what is right and wrong in terms of doctrine, when Jesus already gave us a guideline on how to live.
No. But we should be humble enough to recognize that God sent Prophets and Teachers to the Church to teach those of us who are unable or unwilling to study the faith on our own.

Quote:
I feel Christians tend to become "obsessed" with doctrine and defending it,
I agree.

Quote:
while there is a great picture.
That part went over my head. Anyway, I agree with the gist of your message. I think St. James puts it succinctly:
James 1:27
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Possibly, St. Paul even more so:
Galatians 5:6
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Sincerely,

De Maria
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  #4  
Old Apr 29, '12, 11:39 am
De Maria De Maria is offline
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Default Re: Justification Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Ro View Post
I'm not a theologin and I'll probably get hammered, but my understanding is that Faith in Jesus Christ and his resuurection is what provides with Salvation. We are offered this Salvation by the Grace of God, freely. It is this exchange that should motivate us to follow his Commandments, act according to the precepts in the Sermin on the Mount, and, of course, follow the two most important Commandments, of which loving our neighbors as ourslves is one. We shall be known by our works. I'm sure you'll get far more detailed answeres from the more learned members of this forum.

I als agree that we get too caught up in the Doctrines (Legalism, IMHO) and this leads to terrible conclusions such as we should run people that may not follwo the doctrines as closely as some would like out of the church. IMHO, this goes against the purpose of Christ's mission.

Finally, It's wholly a good thing to read the Bible. I would advise that you search for answers on your own and through good Catholic resources. This forum is not always a good source for truth.
Agreed. I believe it was St. John of the Cross who said that, "Our faith can be summarized in one word, "love"."

And THAT is what we need to focus upon.

Sincerely,

De Maria
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  #5  
Old Apr 29, '12, 11:46 am
Trebor135 Trebor135 is offline
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Default Re: Justification Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by De Maria View Post
Until recently, I thought they were absolute requirements for everybody. But I discovered that the Church considers the Jewish religion to be valid. And they don't have the Sacraments. Therefore, they are necessary for those who have entered into the New Covenant in the Blood of Jesus. That is to say, for Christians. But not for everyone.
Startling. Where did you read that?
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  #6  
Old Apr 29, '12, 12:05 pm
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number2wilkins number2wilkins is offline
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Default Re: Justification Question

[quote=Tranc7;9238755Isn't it that if we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, live out his commandments, follow the sermon of the mount, love God and our neighbors...we can receive eternal life?[/QUOTE]

wow..talk about a mouthful!

would that i could do ANY of that perfectly..but since i can't, i'm thankful Jesus Christ did it for me
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  #7  
Old Apr 29, '12, 12:16 pm
snarflemike snarflemike is offline
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Default Re: Justification Question

I guess the simple answer is, if you love God you'll believe what he tells you. And the way we know what he tells us is through his Church, which identified the writings of scripture, and which has hashed out countless theological truths over the past two millenia, always guided by the Holy Spirit.

Every point of doctrine is not to be treated as something we will be tested on, but as something God has revealed to us to give us a deeper understanding of himself and of our place and our destiny. They are not burdens, they are gifts.
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  #8  
Old Apr 29, '12, 2:49 pm
Tranc7 Tranc7 is offline
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Default Re: Justification Question

Thank you all for the posts! It was supposed to say "greater picture" and not "great picture" haha my fault. Thanks again! God Bless
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  #9  
Old Apr 29, '12, 2:55 pm
hazcompat hazcompat is offline
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Default Re: Justification Question

I. JUSTIFICATION

1987 The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us "the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ" and through Baptism:34

But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves as dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.35

1988 Through the power of the Holy Spirit we take part in Christ's Passion by dying to sin, and in his Resurrection by being born to a new life; we are members of his Body which is the Church, branches grafted onto the vine which is himself:36

[God] gave himself to us through his Spirit. By the participation of the Spirit, we become communicants in the divine nature. . . . For this reason, those in whom the Spirit dwells are divinized.37

1989 The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus' proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."38 Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high. "Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man.39

1990 Justification detaches man from sin which contradicts the love of God, and purifies his heart of sin. Justification follows upon God's merciful initiative of offering forgiveness. It reconciles man with God. It frees from the enslavement to sin, and it heals.

1991 Justification is at the same time the acceptance of God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. Righteousness (or "justice") here means the rectitude of divine love. With justification, faith, hope, and charity are poured into our hearts, and obedience to the divine will is granted us.

1992 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life:40

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.41

1993 Justification establishes cooperation between God's grace and man's freedom. On man's part it is expressed by the assent of faith to the Word of God, which invites him to conversion, and in the cooperation of charity with the prompting of the Holy Spirit who precedes and preserves his assent:

When God touches man's heart through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man himself is not inactive while receiving that inspiration, since he could reject it; and yet, without God's grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God's sight.42

1994 Justification is the most excellent work of God's love made manifest in Christ Jesus and granted by the Holy Spirit. It is the opinion of St. Augustine that "the justification of the wicked is a greater work than the creation of heaven and earth," because "heaven and earth will pass away but the salvation and justification of the elect . . . will not pass away."43 He holds also that the justification of sinners surpasses the creation of the angels in justice, in that it bears witness to a greater mercy.

1995 The Holy Spirit is the master of the interior life. By giving birth to the "inner man,"44 justification entails the sanctification of his whole being:

Just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification. . . . But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life.45

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c3a2.htm#1990

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  #10  
Old Apr 29, '12, 4:26 pm
James224 James224 is offline
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Default Re: Justification Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranc7 View Post
I've been reading the Bible more and more lately, and I have a question of justification. Isn't it that if we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, live out his commandments, follow the sermon of the mount, love God and our neighbors...we can receive eternal life? Obviously baptism and receiving Jesus' body and blood are necessary, too. Do believing in all of the other doctrines essentially matter? Such as the Immaculate Conception, which I do believe is true. I guess my concern is that is it necessary to get caught up in what is right and wrong in terms of doctrine, when Jesus already gave us a guideline on how to live. I feel Christians tend to become "obsessed" with doctrine and defending it, while there is a great picture.
All the things you mentioned are correct except about believing all the doctrines. All the doctrines fit together so that if you deny one you will end up denying all of them. Having said that, all of us have different levels of understanding and we are always learning. I think what you have to do is give assent to all the doctrines, even if you don't understand everything, through obedience. Practicing obedience will take you a long way in learning more about them. Say to yourself: This doctrine is true and now I will study it to find out why it's true. Many are not capable of understanding theology to a high degree but they accept them through obedience.
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  #11  
Old Apr 29, '12, 5:09 pm
fhansen fhansen is offline
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Default Re: Justification Question

The Church helps us work out our salvation (Phil 2), justification/salvation being a process in Catholic teaching. As others have said, the ultimate goal is to fulfill the greatest commandments, to love God and neighbor, because this is what mans' justice consists of.

Baptism is done because Jesus told us to, and: "If you love me you'll keep my commandments" (John 14:15) Likewise Communion is done in response to John 6 where He tells us we must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood-we must partake of His divine nature, commune with Him-in order to have eternal life-this is the New Covenant; man needs God directly living and working within him in order to be who God created him to be. Reconciliation/Confession is necessary when we've committed acts inconsistent with love of God and neighbor, which naturally leads to falling out of communion with God, so that we must be reconciled again, which He openly waits for, restoring the broken relationship as we humble ourselves and turn back to Him again.

And, yes, there are levels of relevancy regarding various doctrine-some are more important-more essential to our faith and what it means to be Christian- than others.
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  #12  
Old Apr 29, '12, 5:15 pm
mdcpensive1 mdcpensive1 is offline
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Default Re: Justification Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranc7 View Post
I've been reading the Bible more and more lately, and I have a question of justification. Isn't it that if we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, live out his commandments, follow the sermon of the mount, love God and our neighbors...we can receive eternal life? Obviously baptism and receiving Jesus' body and blood are necessary, too. Do believing in all of the other doctrines essentially matter? Such as the Immaculate Conception, which I do believe is true. I guess my concern is that is it necessary to get caught up in what is right and wrong in terms of doctrine, when Jesus already gave us a guideline on how to live. I feel Christians tend to become "obsessed" with doctrine and defending it, while there is a great picture.
The way we can give words to what we believe many times is taking things to their simplest definitions. Therefore, when we say what is the way we are saved we can simplify our answers to the two great commandments of loving God and neighbor. But when living this out there is much more. We are called to holiness so there is much in our lives to do to in order to make the Graces work . We cannot just be social workers or just pray-ers because that does not get us to where we need to be in our growth in the Spirit and the it does not complete the call we have with our Baptism. There is the community of believers so we go to Mass. We are sinners so we go to Confession. We need to develop our spirituality so we pray. St. Jerome said that igonorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ so we must study.

Stating our faith in simple terms is the easy part but living it out and growing in it is more complicated and structured. Paragraph 1259 of the catechism shows us that we must at a minimum search for God, be repentant for our sins and do charity (even though this talks about catechumens).
So in conclusion you are right but we must acknowledge his Body in the Church, follow Church teachings and develop the prayer life to know the God of Creation who died for us. If not, we can make wrong conclusions as to what to do and what is right.
mdcpensive1
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