A point - by - point comparison — Excerpted from The Gospel According to Rome by James McCarthy
The Catholic Church Teaches:
1. Justification is a transformation of the soul in which original sin is removed and sanctifying grace infused [1987-1995].
2. Initial justification is by means of baptism [1262-1274].
3. Adults must prepare for justification through faith and good works [1247-1249].
4. The justified are in themselves beautiful and holy in God’s sight [1992, 1999-2000, 2024].
5. Justification is furthered by sacraments and good works [1212, 1392, 2010].
6. Justification is lost through mortal sin [1033, 1855, 1874].
7. Catholics guilty of mortal sin are justified again through the sacrament of penance [980, 1446].
8. Salvation from the eternal consequences of sin is a lifelong process [161-162, 1254-1255].
9. Salvation is attained by cooperating with grace through faith, good works, and participation in the sacraments [183, 1129, 1815, 2002].
10. Faith is belief in God and the firm acceptance of all that the Church proposes for belief [181-182, 1814].
11. Sanctifying grace is a quality of the soul, a supernatural disposition that perfects the soul [1999-2000].
12. The sacraments are necessary channels for the continual infusion of grace. They bestow grace in virtue of the rite performed [1127-1129].
13. Grace is merited by good works [2010, 2027].
14. Venial sins do not incur eternal punishment [1855, 1863].
15. Serious sins must be confessed to a priest [1456-1457].
16. The priest forgives sin as a judge [1442, 1461].
17. When the guilt of sin is forgiven, temporal punishment remains [1472-1473].
18. Acts of penance make satisfaction for the temporal punishment of sin [1434, 1459-1460].
19. Indulgences dispensed by the Church for acts of piety release sinners from temporal punishment [1471-1473].
20. Purgatory is necessary to atone for sin and cleanse the soul [1030-1031].
21. Poor souls suffering in purgatory can be helped by those alive on earth offering up prayers, good works, and the sacrifice of the Mass [1032, 1371, 1479].
22. No one can know if he will attain to eternal life [1036, 2005].
23. Eternal life is a merited reward [1821, 2010].
NOTE: Numbered paragraphs refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Bible Teaches:
1. Justification is an act of God in which He declares a sinner to be righteous in His sight, having forgiven his sins and imputed to him God’s own righteousness (Rom:3:21-4:8).
2. Justification is by faith alone (Rom:3:28).
3. God justifies ungodly sinners who believe (Rom:4:5). Good works are the result of salvation, not the cause (Eph:2:8-10).
4. The justified are in Christ holy and blameless before God (Eph:1:1-14).
5. Justification is the imputation of the perfect righteousness of God (2 Cor:5:21). In Christ the believer has been made complete (Col:2:10).
6. Justification cannot be lost. Those whom God justifies will be saved from the wrath of God (Rom:5:8, 9).
7. There is no second justification. Those whom God justifies He also will glorify (Rom:8:30).
8. Salvation from the eternal consequences of sin is an instantaneous and secure act of God coinciding with justification (Romans:5:9).
10. Saving faith is the entrusting of oneself to Christ as Lord and Savior (Rom:10:8-17).
11. Grace is the undeserved favor of God (Eph:1:7, 8).
12. The child of God is the constant object of the Father’s grace (Rom:5:1, 2).
13. Grace is a free gift (Rom:11:6).
14. Every sin is punishable by eternal death (Rom:6:23).
15. Sin is to be confessed directly to God (Ezra:10:11).
16. No one can forgive sin but God alone (Mark:2:7).
17. When God forgives sin, He completely forgives (Col:2:13; Isaiah:43:25).
18. Jesus made perfect satisfaction for all sins (1 John:2:1, 2).
19. Jesus releases believers from their sins by His blood (Rev:1:5).
20. Purgatory does not exist. Jesus made purification for sins on the cross (Heb:1:3).
21. Those who sleep in Christ need no help. To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Cor:5:8).
22. The believer can know that he has eternal life by the Word of God (1 John:5:13).
23. Eternal life is the free gift of God (Rom:6:23).
24. There is salvation in no one but the Lord Jesus Christ, “for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts:4:12).