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  #46  
Old Apr 24, '17, 2:42 pm
SyCarl SyCarl is offline
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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Originally Posted by pablope View Post
Are good works the product of being declared righteous?

Or are good works the product of an internal change in man to do good works?
They are the result of both, but the internal change is a result of regeneration, not justification. Regeneration is where our sins are washed away, we are given a new spirit and a heart of flesh. This enables us to want to please God and to try to please Him. Justification declares us righteous and we are seen through Jesus' righteousness. Otherwise or imperfect works could not be acceptable to God whose standard is perfection. Our works are not perfect since they can have other motivations in addition to love.
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  #47  
Old Apr 24, '17, 2:56 pm
SyCarl SyCarl is offline
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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Originally Posted by PolliceVerso View Post
Show me anyone - Catholic or Protestant - who has ever held that justification is anything but eschatological. Being declared righteous (justified) at the last judgment is the very essence of the Gospel.
Yes, we will be judged according to our works. However our works in this life are imperfect not solely being done from love. Our works could not stand at the last judgement without being seen through Christ's righteousness.
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  #48  
Old Apr 24, '17, 3:56 pm
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PluniaZ PluniaZ is offline
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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Originally Posted by PolliceVerso View Post
Show me anyone - Catholic or Protestant - who has ever held that justification is anything but eschatological. Being declared righteous (justified) at the last judgment is the very essence of the Gospel.
I've given you whole sermons from Chrysostom that don't say anything about eschatological, forensic, of whatever-else-you-want-to-call-it justification. In fact, they expressly contradict it, describing justification as (1) a past event and (2) regenerative; and (3) warning believers that they will go to HELL if they do not continue to live righteously, even if they have faith.

Time for you to provide some evidence from the Church Fathers for your position.
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  #49  
Old Apr 24, '17, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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Justification declares us righteous and we are seen through Jesus' righteousness.
Source?
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  #50  
Old Apr 25, '17, 12:35 pm
PolliceVerso PolliceVerso is offline
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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Originally Posted by SyCarl View Post
Yes, we will be judged according to our works. However our works in this life are imperfect not solely being done from love. Our works could not stand at the last judgement without being seen through Christ's righteousness.
Agreed. But those who truly possess saving faith will produce good works. It is contradictory to say a true Christian is wicked or evil. A Christian may still do bad individual deeds, but they will invariably confess and repent of those sins.

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Originally Posted by PluniaZ View Post
I've given you whole sermons from Chrysostom that don't say anything about eschatological, forensic, of whatever-else-you-want-to-call-it justification. In fact, they expressly contradict it, describing justification as (1) a past event and (2) regenerative; and (3) warning believers that they will go to HELL if they do not continue to live righteously, even if they have faith.

Time for you to provide some evidence from the Church Fathers for your position.
I think you're missing the point. No one disagrees that we are regenerated, and that regeneration and the guarantee of justification is a past event, or that believers must strive to live a righteous, moral life in order to avoid Hell and be with God. Where we differ is the terminology. Catholics conflate regeneration, justification, and sanctification into justification. All of these are correct, but traditionally Protestants have attempted to be very precise (perhaps hyper-technical) and define them as separate but linked processes. In the Protestant view, the Christian is regenerated when God moves him or her to repent and embrace the Gospel through faith. They are then justified - or guaranteed the future, final justification - at baptism (though many Protestants fail to understand the importance of baptism). Through grace and the work of the Holy Spirit the believer then tries to live a moral life full of obedience and good deeds, and is maintained through the means of grace (Word and Sacrament). A true believer with saving faith perseveres until the end. Those who have a spurious or temporary faith have no saving faith at all are not true believers at all. Sanctification is a synergistic process, and allows us to produce good deeds that are truly pleasing to God. While our good works do merit favor with God through our sanctification, they do not merit justification: only Christ's righteousness merits our justification, which is why it cannot be lost.

The fact that our ultimate justification occurs at the last judgment is really not debatable. Again, show me someone who does NOT believe this. The last judgment is the great trial where God will separate the just from the unjust. Thus justification - or a declaration of righteousness - definitively occurs at the last judgment. Yes, God gives us a temporary label of being "justified," now, but that only anticipates the future reality at the last judgment. Those who are said to be justified now are those who will really be justified at the last judgment.

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Originally Posted by PluniaZ View Post
Source?
Romans 3:22-25:

Quote:
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be receive by faith.
2 Corinthians 5:21:

Quote:
For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God
1 John 2:2:

Quote:
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
Romans 4:25:

Quote:
who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
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  #51  
Old Apr 25, '17, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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Originally Posted by PolliceVerso View Post
I think you're missing the point. No one disagrees that we are regenerated, and that regeneration and the guarantee of justification is a past event, or that believers must strive to live a righteous, moral life in order to avoid Hell and be with God. Where we differ is the terminology. Catholics conflate regeneration, justification, and sanctification into justification. All of these are correct, but traditionally Protestants have attempted to be very precise (perhaps hyper-technical) and define them as separate but linked processes. In the Protestant view, the Christian is regenerated when God moves him or her to repent and embrace the Gospel through faith. They are then justified - or guaranteed the future, final justification - at baptism (though many Protestants fail to understand the importance of baptism). Through grace and the work of the Holy Spirit the believer then tries to live a moral life full of obedience and good deeds, and is maintained through the means of grace (Word and Sacrament). A true believer with saving faith perseveres until the end. Those who have a spurious or temporary faith have no saving faith at all are not true believers at all. Sanctification is a synergistic process, and allows us to produce good deeds that are truly pleasing to God. While our good works do merit favor with God through our sanctification, they do not merit justification: only Christ's righteousness merits our justification, which is why it cannot be lost.

The fact that our ultimate justification occurs at the last judgment is really not debatable. Again, show me someone who does NOT believe this. The last judgment is the great trial where God will separate the just from the unjust. Thus justification - or a declaration of righteousness - definitively occurs at the last judgment. Yes, God gives us a temporary label of being "justified," now, but that only anticipates the future reality at the last judgment. Those who are said to be justified now are those who will really be justified at the last judgment.



Romans 3:22-25:



2 Corinthians 5:21:



1 John 2:2:



Romans 4:25:
Please cite a Church Father who sets forth the elaborate system you've described.

Saint John Chrysostom emphatically disagrees with your proposition that faith, justification or baptism "guarantees the future, final justification":

"In like manner it will be no advantage to a Christian to have faith, and the gift of baptism, and yet be open to all the passions. In that way the disgrace will be greater, and the shame more. For as such an one having the diadem and purple is so far from gaining by this dress any honor to himself, that he even does disgrace to that by his own shame: so the believer also, who leads a corrupt life, is so far from becoming, as such, an object of respect, that he is only the more one of scorn. For as many, it says, as sinned without law, shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law. Romans 2:12. And in the Epistle to the Hebrews, he says, He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who had trodden under foot the Son of God? Hebrews 10:28-29 And with reason. For I placed (He might say) all the passions in subjection to you by baptism. How then comes it that you have disgraced so great a gift, and hast become one thing instead of another? I have killed and buried your former transgressions, like worms— how is it that you have bred others?— for sins are worse than worms, since these do harm to the body, those to the soul; and those make the more offensive stench. Yet we perceive it not, and so we are at no pains to purge them out. Thus the drunkard knows not how disgustful the stale wine is, but he that is not drunken has a distinct perception of it. So with sins also, he that lives soberly knows thoroughly that other mire, and the stain. But he that gives himself up to wickedness, like a man made drowsy with drunkenness, does not even know the very fact that he is ill. And this is the most grievous part of vice, that it does not allow those who fall into it even to see the greatness of their own bane, but as they lie in the mire, they think they are enjoying perfumes. And so they have not even the power of getting free, but when full of worms, like men that pride themselves in precious stones, so do they exult in these. And for this reason they have not so much as the will to kill them, but they even nourish these up, and multiply them in themselves, until they send them on to the worms of the world to come. For these are providers for those, and are not only providers, but even the fathers of those that never die; as it says, their worm shall not die. Mark 9:44 These kindle the hell which never extinguishes. To prevent this from happening then, let us do away with this fountain of evil, and extinguish the furnace, and let us draw up the root of wickedness from beneath, since you will do no good by cutting the tree off from above, if the root remains below, and sends up fresh shoots of the same kind again."

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/210211.htm

And again:

"And so if while here thou drive away the grace of the Spirit, and do not depart with it still safe, you will assuredly perish, though thou dost rise again."

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/210213.htm
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  #52  
Old Apr 25, '17, 9:37 pm
SyCarl SyCarl is offline
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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This is not correct. Justification is an English translation of an ancient Greek word, that was universally understood by the entire Church to mean "make righteous", up until some 16th Century western Europeans introduced a forensic legal interpretation. Source: the church that speaks Greek - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justif...tern_Orthodoxy
If we look at 1 Timothy 1:16 from the Douay-Rheims translation we see:

Quote:
16 And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh, was justified in the spirit, appeared unto angels, hath been preached unto the Gentiles, is believed in the world, is taken up in glory.
Does this mean that Jesus was made righteous? It seems obvious that the Spirit declared Him righteous as He has always been righteous and didn't need to be made it.

Also throughout Romans 4, Paul repeated says righteousness was reputed, reckoned, counted or credited to Abraham. It does not say faith made him righteous. This indicates what Paul means by righteousness.

Quote:
The Catholic view is not an error. It is the universal view of the worldwide church prior to the 16th Century western European Reformation. See Canon 13 of the Council of Orange: https://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/ORANGE.HTM
Canon 13 says nothing about justification. It says freewill is restored. In Reformed terminology this would fall under regeneration.

Again with respect to being made righteous, God's standard is perfection. Matthew 5 :48 tells us:

Quote:
48 Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
We are not made perfect in this life so we are not made righteous in God's eyes.. Augustine agrees with this.

Quote:
Therefore the first commandment about righteousness, which bids us love the Lord with all our heart, and soul, and mind (the next to which is, that we love our neighbour as ourselves), we shall completely fulfil in that life when we shall see face to face. But even now this commandment is enjoined upon us, that we may be reminded what we ought by faith to require, and what we should in our hope look forward to, and, “forgetting the things which are behind, reach forth to the things which are before.” And thus, as it appears to me, that man has made a far advance, even in the present life, in the righteousness which is to be perfected hereafter, who has discovered by this very advance how very far removed he is from the completion of righteousness.
(On the Spirit and the Letter, Chapters 64)
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1502.htm
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  #53  
Old Apr 25, '17, 9:44 pm
James248 James248 is offline
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

James the Just, the Brother of the Lord had a take on justification:

See how a man is justified by works and not by faith only. James 2:24

This was something Luther disagreed with:
In the first place it is flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture in ascribing justification to works. It says that Abraham was justified by his works when he offered his son Isaac; though in Romans 4 St. Paul teaches to the contrary that Abraham was justified apart from works, by his faith alone, before he had offered his son, and proves it by Moses in Genesis 15. Now although this epistle might be helped and an interpretation devised for this justification by works, it cannot be defended in its application to works of Moses’ statement in Genesis 15. For Moses is speaking here only of Abraham’s faith, and not of his works, as St. Paul demonstrates in Romans 4. This fault, therefore, proves that this epistle is not the work of any apostle.
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  #54  
Old Apr 25, '17, 9:58 pm
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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Originally Posted by SyCarl View Post
If we look at 1 Timothy 1:16 from the Douay-Rheims translation we see:



Does this mean that Jesus was made righteous? It seems obvious that the Spirit declared Him righteous as He has always been righteous and didn't need to be made it.

Also throughout Romans 4, Paul repeated says righteousness was reputed, reckoned, counted or credited to Abraham. It does not say faith made him righteous. This indicates what Paul means by righteousness.



Canon 13 says nothing about justification. It says freewill is restored. In Reformed terminology this would fall under regeneration.

Again with respect to being made righteous, God's standard is perfection. Matthew 5 :48 tells us:



We are not made perfect in this life so we are not made righteous in God's eyes.. Augustine agrees with this.


(On the Spirit and the Letter, Chapters 64)
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1502.htm
Saint Augustine believes justification is regenerative.

Chapter 15 from your link:

"It is not, therefore, by the law, nor is it by their own will, that they are justified; but they are justified freely by His grace—not that it is wrought without our will; but our will is by the law shown to be weak, that grace may heal its infirmity; and that our healed will may fulfil the law, not by compact under the law, nor yet in the absence of law."

Chapter 16:

"Must then the unrighteous man, in order that he may be justified,— that is, become a righteous man—lawfully use the law, to lead him, as by the schoolmaster's hand, Galatians 3:24 to that grace by which alone he can fulfil what the law commands? Now it is freely that he is justified thereby—that is, on account of no antecedent merits of his own works; otherwise grace is no more grace, Romans 11:6 since it is bestowed on us, not because we have done good works, but that we may be able to do them—in other words, not because we have fulfilled the law, but in order that we may be able to fulfil the law."

Chapter 28:

"Now this Spirit of God, by whose gift we are justified, whence it comes to pass that we delight not to sin—in which is liberty"

Chapter 29:

"There the law was given outwardly, so that the unrighteous might be terrified; here it was given inwardly, so that they might be justified."

Chapter 30:

"from Him accrues to us the justification, whereby we do what He commands"

Chapter 45:

"For what else does the phrase being justified signify than being made righteous—by Him, of course, who justifies the ungodly man, that he may become a godly one instead?"

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1502.htm
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  #55  
Old Apr 25, '17, 10:23 pm
SyCarl SyCarl is offline
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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Originally Posted by PolliceVerso View Post
Agreed. But those who truly possess saving faith will produce good works. It is contradictory to say a true Christian is wicked or evil. A Christian may still do bad individual deeds, but they will invariably confess and repent of those sins.
We can perform works that we and others see as good but as indicated Matthew 5:48 requires perfection which our present works are not, even tough they appear good to us and others. With respect to God they are not perfect.

Chrysostom said:

Quote:
For he said not made [Him] a sinner, but sin; not, 'Him that had not sinned' only, but that had not even known sin; that we also might become, he did not say 'righteous,' but, righteousness, and, the righteousness of God. For this is [the righteousness] of God when we are justified not by works, (in which case it were necessary that not a spot even should be found,) but by grace, in which case all sin is done away.
(Homilies on Second Corinthians. Homily 11)
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/220211.htm

Augustine says:
Quote:
Thus the end of every commandment is charity, that is, every commandment has love for its aim. But whatever is done either through fear of punishment or from some other carnal motive, and has not for its principle that love which the Spirit of God sheds abroad in the heart, is not done as it ought to be done, however it may appear to men. For this love embraces both the love of God and the love of our neighbor, and "on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets," we may add the Gospel and the apostles.
(The Enchiridion, Chapter 121)
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1302.htm

If our works are not perfect, and we are judged by them, then we would be condemned. Justification not only declares us righteous but allows our works to be seen as truly good. I don't know if this is much different than simply declaring us righteous as I think that would cover our works as well.
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  #56  
Old Apr 25, '17, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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We can perform works that we and others see as good but as indicated Matthew 5:48 requires perfection which our present works are not, even tough they appear good to us and others. With respect to God they are not perfect.

Chrysostom said:


(Homilies on Second Corinthians. Homily 11)
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/220211.htm

Augustine says:

(The Enchiridion, Chapter 121)
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1302.htm

If our works are not perfect, and we are judged by them, then we would be condemned. Justification not only declares us righteous but allows our works to be seen as truly good. I don't know if this is much different than simply declaring us righteous as I think that would cover our works as well.
Chrysostom says we "become" righteousness. Not "legally declared righteous."

He continues:

"For he indeed, when beseeching, does not barely beseech, but sets forth these His just claims; namely, that He gave His Son, the Righteous One that did not so much as know sin, and made Him to be sin for us sinners, that we might become righteous: which claims having, and being God, He displayed such goodness. But what we beseech is that you would receive the benefit and not reject the gift. Be persuaded therefore by us, and receive not the grace in vain. For lest they should think that this of itself is reconciliation, believing on Him that calls; he adds these words, requiting that earnestness which respects the life. For, for one who has been freed from sins and made a friend to wallow in the former things, is to return again unto enmity, and to receive the grace in vain, in respect of the life. For from the grace we reap no benefit towards salvation, if we live impurely; nay, we are even harmed, having this greater aggravation even of our sins, in that after such knowledge and such a gift we have gone back to our former vices."

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/220212.htm
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  #57  
Old Apr 25, '17, 10:54 pm
SyCarl SyCarl is offline
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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Originally Posted by PluniaZ View Post
Saint Augustine believes justification is regenerative.

Chapter 15 from your link:

"It is not, therefore, by the law, nor is it by their own will, that they are justified; but they are justified freely by His grace—not that it is wrought without our will; but our will is by the law shown to be weak, that grace may heal its infirmity; and that our healed will may fulfil the law, not by compact under the law, nor yet in the absence of law."

Chapter 16:

"Must then the unrighteous man, in order that he may be justified,— that is, become a righteous man—lawfully use the law, to lead him, as by the schoolmaster's hand, Galatians 3:24 to that grace by which alone he can fulfil what the law commands? Now it is freely that he is justified thereby—that is, on account of no antecedent merits of his own works; otherwise grace is no more grace, Romans 11:6 since it is bestowed on us, not because we have done good works, but that we may be able to do them—in other words, not because we have fulfilled the law, but in order that we may be able to fulfil the law."

Chapter 28:

"Now this Spirit of God, by whose gift we are justified, whence it comes to pass that we delight not to sin—in which is liberty"

Chapter 29:

"There the law was given outwardly, so that the unrighteous might be terrified; here it was given inwardly, so that they might be justified."

Chapter 30:

"from Him accrues to us the justification, whereby we do what He commands"

Chapter 45:

"For what else does the phrase being justified signify than being made righteous—by Him, of course, who justifies the ungodly man, that he may become a godly one instead?"

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1502.htm
However, further in chapter 45 of the same work he says:
Quote:
Or else the term They shall be justified is used in the sense of, They shall be deemed, or reckoned as just,
Later in chapter 66 he indicates that there is what would be called righteous by men and which is less than is required by God.

Quote:
Forasmuch, however, as an inferior righteousness may be said to be competent to this life, whereby the just man lives by faith, although absent from the Lord, and, therefore, walking by faith and not yet by sight,—it may be without absurdity said, no doubt, in respect of it, that it is free from sin; for it ought not to be attributed to it as a fault, that it is not as yet sufficient for so great a love to God as is due to the final, complete, and perfect condition thereof….And do they prove this to be wrong which is written, “In Thy sight shall no man living be justified?” and this: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us?” and, “There is no man that sinneth not;” and again, “There is not on the earth a righteous man, who doeth good and sinneth not” (for both these statements are expressed in a general future sense,—“sinneth not,” “will not sin,”—not in the past time, “has not sinned”)?—and all other places of this purport contained in the Holy Scripture? Since, however, these passages cannot possibly be false, it plainly follows, to my mind, that whatever be the quality or extent of the righteousness which we may definitely ascribe to the present life, there is not a man living in it who is absolutely free from all sin; and that it is necessary for every one to give, that it may be given to him; and to forgive, that it may be forgiven him; and whatever righteousness he has, not to presume that he has it of himself, but from the grace of God, who justifies him, and still to go on hungering and thirsting for righteousness from Him who is the living bread, and with whom is the fountain of life; who works in His saints, whilst labouring amidst temptation in this life, their justification in such manner that He may still have somewhat to impart to them liberally when they ask, and something mercifully to forgive them when they confess.
He makes this distinction elsewhere as well when people like Zacharias and Elizabeth are said to have been righteous.

Quote:
Now, so far as I can see, this statement was made in accordance with a certain standard of conduct, which is among men held to be worthy of approval and praise, and which no human being could justly call in question for the purpose of laying accusation or censure. Such a standard Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth are said to have maintained in the sight of God, for no other reason than that they, by walking therein, never deceived people by any dissimulation; but as they in their sincerity appeared to men, so were they known in the sight of God. The statement, however, was not made with any reference to that perfect state of righteousness in which we shall one day live truly and absolutely in a condition of spotless purity.
(On the Grace of Christ and on Original Sin, Chapter 53)
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/15061.htm
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  #58  
Old Apr 25, '17, 11:05 pm
fhansen fhansen is online now
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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As a Reformed (Presbyterian) Protestant who greatly admires the Catholic Church, I have been working on how to tease out the difference between the two views of justification. They have long seemed to be more similar than different - perhaps nothing more than different perspectives on the same truth.

Both Catholics and Protestants believe we are justified by grace through faith. Both Catholics and Protestants believe that saving faith definitely produces obedience and good works, and that saving faith is not spurious, but persevering. Both Catholics and Protestants believe that the basis for justification is not works done by us, but rather Christ's death on the cross where He satisfied God's demands for justice.

So what are the differences? The main difference is that Catholics believe that we can lose our state of justification through mortal sins, while (most) Protestants believe that we cannot lose our state of justification, though we can fall out of God's favor through sin. I believe this is due to a misunderstanding of justification by both Protestants and Catholics.

Justification is a legal term that God will use to declare all true believers righteous at the last judgment (Romans 2). Any status of being justified we have now is merely the position we are in before God - it is the guarantee of the future reality. That guarantee is sealed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Who sanctifies us and produces obedience and good works (Ephesians 1:13-14).

Protestants err by confusing justification with conversion. Too many Protestants believe that when a person fully commits their life to Christ they are immediately and irrevocably justified at that moment. But this is not even true in classical Reformed theology! Nowhere does the Bible say that justification occurs when one outwardly converts to Christianity. A true believer can be assured of their justification, but justification ultimately occurs at the last judgment. We can be given the promise of that future reality, but no one is truly and finally justified the moment they are converted or even baptized.

And that leads me to the Catholic error. Catholics believe that grace is infused at the time of baptism, and this renders us justified before God. This justification can be lost, however, through mortal sin, and only through repentance can that right standing with God be regained. This might be true in the sense that someone might be baptized who does not have true saving faith, but it is not true that we can be in and out of a position of justification, as Jesus Himself makes clear in John 10, and which both Peter and Paul re-iterate in the New Testament. Catholics might say that mortal sin requires confession and repentance to return to a position of justification, but I believe the flip side is true: those who are justified and have true saving faith will invariably confess and repent of their mortal sins. Catholics believe that we confess to RETURN to a state of justification, when in reality we confess BECAUSE we are in a state of justification and are continually being sanctified.

A Catholic objection to this might be that someone might turn their back on God and live a life of sin, and thus lose their justification. I would argue that such a person was never truly justified to begin with, however sincere their faith appeared to be, because saving faith is by definition persevering faith (Hebrews 6:11-12).

I think these two views can be reconciled through the right view of justification. Justification comes through true saving faith in Jesus Christ, but saving faith produces good works and obedience (i.e. Charity), which includes continual confession and repentance of sins. Saving faith is also persevering, meaning it is not simply a "one and done" prayer or baptism. Thus a true believer will constantly confess and repent: they don't lose their justification, but neither should they consider themselves justified because they "asked Jesus into their heart" at some point in their life (a common Protestant error). A true believer will remain justified as Protestants teach, but a true believer will invariably be obedient (which includes confession and repentance) and produce good works as Catholics teach.

So I believe if Protestants and Catholics shift their perspective on justification slightly they can retain their historic teaching and be reconciled, at least as far as this doctrine goes. Any thoughts and critiques would be greatly appreciated!
The Protestant position that you espouse puts the cart ahead of the horse: 1) no one can know with 100% certainty whether or not they're saved, and, 2) of course one can lose their state of justice again, just as Adam lost it to begin with. God didn't force Adam to obey and He doesn't force man to be saved now; man's will is always involved because he can always resist and reject grace-he can always turn away from God at any step along the way as Scripture attests to. Faith must lead to obedience or else its worthless. To put it another way, if faith doesn't lead to love, from which authentic obedience naturally flows, then faith can exist but is of no avail, to paraphrase Augustine.

God's whole purpose in His plan of salvation since the Fall of man has been to restore justice to His wayward creation, not to ignore justice-or suddenly decide to merely declare or impute it. In fact, He's producing something with His efforts, something greater than it was to begin with as He refines and perfects it.
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Last edited by fhansen; Apr 25, '17 at 11:18 pm.
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Old Apr 26, '17, 12:30 am
Cathoholic Cathoholic is offline
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

PolliceVerso.

You said (here) . . .


Quote:
Thus justification - or a declaration of righteousness . . .

I just want to make sure we are on the same page here.

Catholics don't deny God declaring us as righteous. But we ALSO assert when God declares something He DOES it.


Quote:
ISAIAH 55:11 11 so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

So God does not MERELY declare us as righteous.

That's part of the reason why we assert God's INFUSED righteousness and not merely God's imputed righteousness--because God puts His Divine life IN us.

(Grace is MORE, than something reducible to God's favor).

I just want to make sure you understand that about Catholics before going deeper.

God bless.

Cathoholic


PS.

You also said in your initial post . . .


Quote:
And that leads me to the Catholic error. Catholics believe that grace is infused at the time of baptism, and this renders us justified before God. This justification can be lost, however, through mortal sin . . . it is not true that we can be in and out of a position of justification, as Jesus Himself makes clear in John 10 . . .

WHY do you think because nobody can snatch us out of Jesus' hand, that we cannot decide to JUMP OUT of Jesus' hand?

I think I know how you are going to reply but I'd like to hear it from you.


You also said . . .


Quote:
I believe the flip side is true: those who are justified and have true saving faith will invariably confess and repent of their mortal sins. . . .

Where are you drawing this conclusion of yours from? Would you mind quoting the verse(s)?


Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 26, '17, 5:21 am
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PluniaZ PluniaZ is offline
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Default Re: Reconciling Protestant and Catholic views of justification

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Originally Posted by SyCarl View Post
However, further in chapter 45 of the same work he says: "Or else the term They shall be justified is used in the sense of, They shall be deemed, or reckoned as just,"
Yes, justification can have this sense. Just as Augustine says sanctification can have this sense:

"They shall be deemed, or reckoned as just, as it is predicated of a certain man in the Gospel, But he, willing to justify himself, Luke 10:29 — meaning that he wished to be thought and accounted just. In like manner, we attach one meaning to the statement, God sanctifies His saints, and another to the words, Sanctified be Your name; Matthew 6:9 for in the former case we suppose the words to mean that He makes those to be saints who were not saints before, and in the latter, that the prayer would have that which is always holy in itself be also regarded as holy by men,— in a word, be feared with a hallowed awe."

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1502.htm

As Cathoholic said, "Catholics don't deny God declaring us as righteous. But we ALSO assert when God declares something He DOES it." Calvinists are the ones who try to drive a wedge between "declare righteous" and "make righteous." The burden is on you to show anyone prior to the Reformation who asserts such a distinction.

Quote:
Later in chapter 66 he indicates that there is what would be called righteous by men and which is less than is required by God.

He makes this distinction elsewhere as well when people like Zacharias and Elizabeth are said to have been righteous.
Augustine is clear that a believer cannot go on sinning deliberately without losing salvation:

"But if this unbridled course ends in plunging the man into such a depth of evil habits that he supposes that there will be no punishment of his sinful passions, and so refuses the wholesome discipline of confession and repentance by which he might be rescued; or, from a still worse insensibility, justifies his own indulgences in profane opposition to the eternal law of Providence; and if he dies in this state, that unerring law sentences him now not to correction, but to damnation."

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/140622.htm
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