"A false Church with significant truths"
The Fundamental Difference between Protestants and Roman Catholics is this: Rome does not see salvation from start to finish as the work of the triune God alone. Thus, justification before God (salvation) is not through faith alone by God's grace alone, but, as Rome teaches, salvation comes by faith + the meritorious works that a man must do (including unquestionable devotion to Rome and "worship" to Mary (in the form of "hyperdulia")
Although Catholics, in their mind, do not give Mary (latria, Gk. latreuō) "worship" reserved to God alone, by giving her so-called dulia (Gk. douleuō), that is, hyperdulia (hyper-service/enslavement), they functionally give her religious "worship," which is reserved for God alone and prohibited by God, who commanded His people: “You shall not worship them or serve [Heb. avad] them; for I the LORD your God, am a jealous God” (Exod. 20:5). In a religious context, Scripture makes no distinction between latria and dulia and latreuō--as Paul shows: “When you did not know God, you were slaves [douleuō] to those which by nature are no gods” (Gal. 4:8). Along with functional "worship" to Mary, Rome asserts of her:
Rome denies that the work of Jesus Christ completely sufficient for salvation. That faith plus meritorious works must be employed for salvation (as Rome teaches) is, according to the Apostle Paul, Christological heresy (cf. Gal. 1:6-8)--it rejects the work of Christ and hence rejects the Person of the Son, Jesus Christ.
Rome's doctrine of Purgatory, for example, is that when a Christian dies without un-forgiven mortal sins, but who retain either un-forgiven daily sins (viz. venial sins) or "temporal punishment" due for sins are "purged" before entering heaven, so as to be made perfect. In other words, they must suffer for these sins in a place of torment (not hell, though) to be, so to speak, "scrubbed up" (viz. purified) before they can dwell with God in heaven.
Thus, the work of Christ, according to Rome, is not completely sufficient to atone and *justify* a sinner--for one must suffer for his or her own atonement in order to become righteous (just) before God.
Though Scripture testifies in passages such as Hebrews 10:10-14
10:10: By his will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
10:11: And every priest stands day after day serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again – sacrifices that can never take away sins.
10:12: But when this priest had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, he sat down at the right hand of God . . .
10:14: For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy.
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory (NET; See Justification through Faith Alone ).
As with Mormons and Jehovah’s
Witnesses, we must see Catholics as men and women in need of evangelism. One
cannot biblically claim to be truly Christian and reject Christ as the
sole means of salvation, justification through faith alone, and
engage in creaturely worship.
The “Rock” of Matthew 16:18
“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
This passage is the so-called hallmark proof-text that Rome uses to teach that Peter was the “rock” (and thus, the first “Pope”) upon which Christ built His church. This notion also spawned other false Catholic doctrines such as the “infallibility” of the Pope when speaking, ex cathedra—“from the throne”): We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff” (Pope Boniface VIII, papal bull, Unam Sanctam, A.D. 1302; emphasis added). However, as with any text of Scripture. . . read more
The Canon is closed by Dr. Edward Dalcour
In direct contrast to the Protestant concept of sola Scriptura ("Scripture alone") is sola Ecclesia (i.e., “Church alone”), which is clearly the marrow of groups such as Catholicism. Hence, it is not that the Catholic apologist does not have the ability to exegete, but he has no need, for the Church has done the job for him. For the Catholic sees his Church, not Scripture, as the final sole authority in all areas of life and theology (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 84-85, 113).
Sola Fide: The Foundation of Protestantism: An Exegetical Look at Romans 4:4-8
by Dr. Edward Dalcour r
A Concise look at Roman Catholicism and the worship of Mary by Dr. Edward Dalcour
The Empty Hand of Faith by Dr. James White (An "Electronic Tract" on the Nature of Saving Faith)
"Therefore, having been justified by
faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Romans 5:1 expresses the doctrine of justification through faith alone (i.e., faith without additions or modifications) so clear that Roman Catholics must depart from normal exegesis to defend the crass works/salvation system that Rome has weighed down on her devotees.