Greetings in Christ,
JOINT DECLARATION ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church
3/17 Justification is SOLELY due to the forgiving and renewing mercy that God imparts as a gift and we RECEIVE IN FAITH, and NEVER CAN MERIT IT ANY WAY.
4/25 We confess together that sinners are JUSTIFIED BY FAITH in the saving action of God in Christ. WHATEVER in the JUSTIFIED PRECEDES or FOLLOWS the free gift of FAITH is NEITHER THE BASIS of justification NOR MERITS it.
4/27.The Catholic understanding also sees FAITH as FUNDAMENTAL in justification. FOR WITHOUT FAITH, NO JUSTIFICATION CAN TAKE PLACE. Thus justifying grace never becomes a human possession. While Catholic teaching emphasizes the RENEWAL OF LIFE by justifying grace, this RENEWAL in FAITH, HOPE, LOVE is always dependent on God’s unfathomable grace and CONTRIBUTES NOTHING TO JUSTIFICATION
In Catholic teaching JUSTIFICATION incorporates RE-CREATION and SANCTIFICATION, it is one composite.
We get our INITIAL JUSTIFICATION as God’s gift by Christ’s merit on the cross.
AT THAT POINT when God gives us His gift of (formed) faith AT THE SAME TIME (at our conversion) He baptizes us into the Body of Christ.
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE by James Akin
Quote: “In fact, in TRADITIONAL WORKS OF CATHOLIC THEOLOGY, one regularly encounters the statement that FORMED FAITH IS JUSTIFYING FAITH. If one has formed faith, one is justified. Period. End quote. (Emphasize mine.)
Before our conversion we were in the following spiritual position:-
OUR SPIRITUAL POSITION OF THE FALL
a. We were under God’s CONDEMNATION. – Rom.5:18a; John 3:18b.
b. We were in BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION. – Rom.8:19-21.
c. We were residents of the KINGDOM OF SATAN. – Luke 4:5-7.
d. We were SPIRITUALLY DEAD in sins. – Eph.2:1b; Col.2:13a.
e. We “did NOT accept anything from the Spirit of God: we saw it all as nonsense; it was BEYOND our UNDERSTANDING because it CAN ONLY be understood by means of the Spirit.” – 1 Cor.2:14 (Jerusalem Bible) Emphasize mine.
At our conversion, from Satan’s kingdom God has DELIVERED us up to HEAVEN and He has Baptized us into the Body of Christ, and at the same time God fully JUSTIFIED us, RE-CREATED us and SANCTIFIED us.
OUR NEW SPIRITUAL POSITION AS BORN AGAIN IN HEAVEN IN THE BODY OF CHRIST:-
We are perfect and complete in the Body of Christ.
100% RE-CREATED (Born Again/New Creation).
We CAN NOT contribute to our salvation (justification, sanctification) even one iota.
In the Body of Christ, we are 100% saved, 100% justified and 100% sanctified. – We cannot add anything to it. It is God’s PRFECT gift.
OUR EVERLASTING LIFE IS THE GIFT OF GOD BY CHRIST’S MERIT.
Our salvation CAN NOT be improved by addition and as God’s elects to Heaven to lose it is a THEOLOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY.
OUR SPIRITUAL POSITION AS BORN AGAIN [as we are ourselves (not as members of the Body of Christ)] as Christ’s ambassadors here on earth in the kingdom of Satan.
Here on the earth as Christ’s ambassadors, we are not exactly HOLY and JUST in ourselves. We work on to improve them by our cooperation with the grace of God. “Ongoing event.”
Our salvation PRECEDES our cooperation with the grace of God.
So, to work on to be more JUST and HOLY is the FRUIT of our salvation NOT the cause of it.
The fruits of our salvation CAN NOT be contributed to our salvation. This is our SUPERNATURAL MERIT and the other is GOD’S GIFT OF SALVATION.
The two do NOT MIX!!!
The fruits of our salvation is our supernatural merit. God rewards it IN heaven.
In ourselves we become continually more HOLY and more JUST in cooperation with the grace of God.
To understand: This continued increase in HOLINESS and JUSTICE in ourselves CAN NOT be contributed to our HOLYNESS and JUSTICE in the Body of Christ, because in the Body of Christ we are 100% HOLY and 100% JUST. This is both GOD’S GIFT and 100% Perfect.
This is above a short overall picture of our JUSTIFICATION and SLVATION.
I would like to have the view of the members on my opinion in particular on the spiritual positions.
With love in Christ,