Richard M. Bennett
According to the Roman Catholic Church, the salvation of your soul is a long journey through her sacramental system. On this journey the Roman Catholic Church is clearly the focal point, even defining herself as the fullness of your salvation. In essence, your salvation can only, if ever, be granted through the Roman Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church’s sacraments are taught to be the necessary means of salvation with “sanctifying grace” seen as residing inside a person and granted to an individual as he or she participates in each sacrament. As a Catholic, your efforts are always to increase the amount of “sanctifying grace” within you in order to be good enough so that when you die you might be delivered from the judgment of hell and at least to land for a time in purgatory.
Under Roman Catholic teaching, the assurance of your salvation is never given, even to the most devout. So coming to terms with your own salvation and honestly dealing with the true author of salvation must not be taken lightly. You could not be asked a more serious question than this: “if your were die today where would you spend eternity?” Where can you find the correct answer? It is with utmost seriousness that we ask you this. Please do not be fooled by thinking that someday you will get right with the Church. What you really need to know is how will you stand before the all Holy God, guilty or forgiven? Consider the contrast between the Word of God and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
This article has been condensed a bit, but outlines the major differences between the offical teaching of the Church of Rome and what is taught in the truth of God's written word.
1) In Christ Alone
C.C.C #824 “It is in the Church that ‘the fullness of the means of salvation’ has been deposited. It is in her that ‘by the grace of God that we acquire salvation.
C.C.C #982 “There is no offense, however great, that the Church can not forgive” ‘There is no one, however guilty and wicked, that may not confidently hope for forgiveness provided his repentance is honest.
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and hath given us understanding, that we may know Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and, and eternal life.
1 John 1:19 If we confess our sins He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Mark 2:7 Why doth this man thus speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?
C.C.C #181 ‘Believing’ is an ecclesial act. The Church’s faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. The Church is the mother of all believers. “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother”.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…
Ephesians 1:6-7 To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, forgiveness of sin, according to the riches of His grace.
Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
C.C.C #169 “Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through Church, she is our mother:…”
1 John 5:11-12 And this is the record, that God hath to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
According to the Bible, salvation is found in Christ. It is not found in any church, whether it is Catholic, Protestant or any other religious system. To follow the Roman Catholic teaching that instructs that the Church is “the fullness of the means of salvation” rather than Christ as both the means and fullness of salvation is literally soul damning. The Apostle Paul stated in Philippians 3:8-9 “that I may win Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is one of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” After reading these text can you say that you are in Christ, or do you boast of you standing in the Church?
2) Salvation/Man’s Work
In the teaching of the RCC, the idea has developed that there is an ‘associate partnership’ between God and man. According to this notion, God and man are working together to accomplish that individual’s salvation. The Catholic is taught that with God’s help, his or her efforts in ‘being good’ have merit in the eyes of God and can contribute to the righteousness required by God for salvation. This teaching is contrary to the Bible. It covers with the confusion the work and person of Jesus Christ.
In other words, if you are trying to live by a strict set of rules in order to merit salvation, you are saying that the perfect, sinless and obedient life of Jesus Christ is of no effect. The Apostle Paul says, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, than Christ is dead in vain.” Gal. 2:21
Under the general heading of “Grace and Justification”:
C.C.C #2025 “We can have merit in God’s sight only because of God’s free plan to associate man with the work of His grace. Merit is to be ascribed in the first place to the grace of God, and secondly to man’s collaboration. Man’s merit is due to God.”
Romans 4:5 But to Him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Romans 11:6 And if of grace, than it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no longer grace.
C.C.C #618 The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the ‘one mediator between God and men’. But because in His incarnate divine person, he has in some way united Himself with every man, the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery’ it is offered to all man.
Heb. 1:3 Who being the righteousness of His glory, and the image of His person, upholding the of his power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat at on right hand of the Majesty on high.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.
C.C.C #1521 Suffering, a consequence of original sin, acquires a new meaning; it becomes a participation in the saving work of Jesus.
Job 9:20 If I justify myself, my own mouth shall condemn me: if I say I am perfect, it shall prove me perverse.
Gal. 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the words of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not only the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Catholic teaching of “being made partners” with God in Christ’s sacrifice is irreverent and utterly perverse. There is no Scriptural basis to the concept of being made partners with Christ in His sacrifice. His sacrifice was that of His own free will, He gave himself to be crucified for the sins of His people. God finally and fully accepted His sacrifice for complete remission of all the sins of all His people (Hebrews Chapter 10). To suggest anything other is an utter lie because it denies the repeated statements of God’s truth found throughout the Bible. The work of redemption is “by Himself”, “without the deeds of the law”, “not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Hebrews 1:3, Romans 3:28, Ephesians 2:8-9).
God has promised to be a Father to true believers, that they shall be His sons and His daughters. This is the greatest honor possible to mankind. How ungrateful a thing, then, must it be if those to whom this dignity and privilege is explained should degrade themselves by attempting to add their own merit to His all sufficient sacrifice. Christ Jesus has promised that “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37 Trust on Him alone.
3) Salvation in the Sacraments
The Catechism of the Catholic Church claims that the sacraments are the effective means of grace that is necessary for salvation. In more simplistic terms, you, the Catholic person must be an active participant in the Church’s physical sacraments in order to receive grace in hopes of earning your salvation. Do not be mistaken: these sacraments are declared to be necessary for salvation because they are the means of grace! This teaching is so emphatic that “sacramental grace” received through these physical sacraments is declared to be the grace of the Holy Spirit. In the light of the Scriptures, please consider how fatal this unbiblical system of belief is.
C.C.C #1113 “The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.”
C.C.C #1129 “The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation. ‘Sacramental grace’ is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament.”
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Acts 16:31 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house
C.C.C #1493 “One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience.”
Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested.”
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Can you see how the brokers of this Roman Catholic “grace” are subjecting you to a system of merchandizing? This is not the grace of God, for you are paying for it with your sacramental participation. Men, women, and children are made to believe that salvation begins and end in these rituals. All seven rituals are substituted for the simple act of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan’s design is to replace Christ and His gospel of free grace with man’s efforts to save himself with rituals and devotion. These unbiblical rituals have “a form of godliness, but [they are] denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (II Timothy 3:5) The Roman Catholic system of merited grace is so convoluted that the Lord’s commandment to simply believe must be solemnly repeated, “this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:29
Jesus willingly died for the believer’s sins; He died in our place to pay the debt that we could never pay. “Who his own self bare the believer’s sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (I Peter 2:24). How devastating it is that Catholics trust in a place not mentioned in Scripture, but which they call Purgatory. They are taught to trust that somehow they can through suffering be purified enough to achieve the holiness necessary to enter heaven.
For true believers the one-time sacrifice of Christ Jesus is sufficient to pay for all sin. He appeared “to take away sins once for all” (Hebrews 9:26). He is the One “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood.” (Romans 3:25).
The Scriptures make clear that “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Those that have not received eternal life face final judgment and hell. Biblically there is no “in-between” state for the soul, “as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
C.C.C #1030 “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified…after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.”
C.C.C #1472 …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. …
Hebrews 1:3 …When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.
1 John 1:7 If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
C.C.C #1475 “In the communion of saints, ‘a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth.”
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 2:1-2 And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
C.C.C #498 “Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.”
Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money.’
What a terrible deception to impose on faithful Catholics. The very reason and purpose of why Christ Jesus became man and suffered such an excruciating death was to expiate sin, once and for all, by His perfect sacrifice. How can any church that claims to follow Jesus Christ withhold this truth from its people! Not only has the Roman Catholic Church withheld the knowledge of the completeness of Christ finished work on the cross, but she has gone to the extreme of creating a non-existant place called Purgatory that nullifies the Savior’s finished work. “Then said he [Christ] Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:9-10
THE MOST IMPORATANT THING IS GOD HIMSELF
God is infinite, eternal, unchangeable in His being wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. He is the all Holy One. His Holiness is the attribute that covers all attributes so that His righteousness is Holy, His truth is Holy, His justice is Holy. He is each of His attributes and the overall attribute of holiness is that which separates Him from all beings. He is totally other. This is the reason why we need to be saved before the All Holy God. In the words of 1 Samuel 2:2 “there is none holy as the Lord there is besides thee neither is there any rock like our God.” And as in the words of Revelation 15:4 “who shall not fear thee O Lord and glorify Thy name for thou only art holy and all nations shall come and worship before thee.” This is of utter seriousness.
In the official teaching of the Catholic Church, besides declaring the holiness of God, declares Mary, who was truly a believer in the Lord and blessed among women, to be the All Holy One. The capital letters are there in print and there is no disclaimer or footnotes to explain differently what is said. The following is stated in The New Catechism of the Catholic Church:
C.C.C. 1994 “By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All Holy One.”
C.C.C. #2677 And on top of this it is proclaimed officially that she is the source of holiness. “From the Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all-holy Virgin Mary...” C.C.C.#2030
The mediator between God and man is equally serious because it is only in the one who is truly the God-man, Christ Jesus that we can be brought into relationship with the All Holy God.
And so scripture says 1 Tim 2:5 “There is one God and one mediator between God and man the man Christ Jesus.” And likewise scripture says Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
The Catholic Church looks upon Mary as having also the role of mediator. It is stated it the feminine form Mediatrix. Thus, the new catechism an official worldwide teaching that is endorsed by present Pope, states:
C.C.C. #969 “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the [Roman Catholic] Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”
Before the All Holy God, we are saved by His grace alone. Scripture is crystal clear Eph.2: 8,9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works as anyone should boast.” The utter disparity between grace and works is clearly shown in many texts in scripture. For example, Romans 11:6 “For if by grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace.” It is the riches of His grace to show His graciousness, that He only saves that is the whole meaning of divine grace. The Catholic Church has defined grace in her new catechism as merely a help a sort of a tool by which man attain their own salvation.
C.C.C. #2021 “Grace is the help God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his adopted sons. It introduces us into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life”.
C.C.C. #1477 “In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints, all those who have followed in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by his grace have made their lives holy and carried out the mission the Father entrusted to them. In this way they attained their own salvation and at the same time cooperated in saving their brothers in unity of the Mystical Body.”
The Catholic Church focuses peoples’ attention in on faith in the church herself, and faith in her sacramentsWhereas, the true biblical salvation in the Bible, is faith in Christ Jesus. For example: “And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.” Acts 16:31 “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” Romans 4:5
This article is meant to provide a concise, although certainly not complete, list for purposes of highlighting the discrepancies between RCC and the Bible. I understand the potential for attack from fellow RR's, but the necessity of sharing this vital information weighed on me far heavier than a bit of conflict. My dh was born again out of the RCC about 6 years ago and there is such fullness of joy and assurance of salvation that was absent before. It is my prayer that anyone who is questioning will open the pages of scripture and prayerfully seek Adonai. While I added a few comments of my own, the material in this post is given by a former priest, who is now born again in Jesus Christ. His testimony is riveting and can be found at his website www.bereanbeacon.org.
He offers 'Catholic videos" at