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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « Hell is not a halloween prank | Main | Calvinist Distinctives »

    (Warning) VBS - when the Gospel doesn't matter anymore...

    ""Justification by faith alone is the article of the standing or falling Church."

    "Whoever departs from the article of justification does not know God and is an idolater . . . For when this article has been taken away, nothing remains but error, hypocrisy, godlessness, and idolatry, although it may seem to be the height of truth, worship of God, holiness, etc. . . If the article of justification is lost, all Christian doctrine is lost at the same time."

    "When the article of justification has fallen, everything has fallen. Therefore it is necessary constantly to inculcate and impress it, as Moses says of his Law (Deut. 6:7); for it cannot be inculcated and urged enough or too much. Indeed, even though we learn it well and hold to it, yet there is no one who apprehends it perfectly or believes it with a full affection and heart. So very trickish is our flesh, fighting as it does against the obedience of the spirit."

    "This doctrine [justification by faith alone] is the head and the cornerstone. It alone begets, nourishes, builds, preserves, and defends the church of God; and without it the church of God cannot exist for one hour. For no one who does not hold this article or, to use Paul's expression, this 'sound doctrine' (Titus 2:1) is able to teach aright in the church or successfully to resist any adversary . . . this is the heel of the Seed that opposes the old serpent and crushes its head. That is why Satan, in turn, cannot but persecute it." - Martin Luther

    Back in the 16th century, the Roman Catholic Church believed (then as it does now) that justification is by grace, through faith and because of Christ. What Rome does not believe is that justification is by faith alone, or by grace alone, or by Christ alone. For Rome, justification is by grace plus merit, through faith plus works; by Christ plus the sinner's contribution of inherent righteousness. In contrast, Martin Luther and the Reformers called the Church back to the one true Biblical Gospel: Salvation is by God's grace alone, received through faith alone, because of Christ alone, based on the Scriptures alone, to the Glory of God alone.

    Tomorrow marks the anniversary of Luther's posting of his 95 theses to the Wittenberg Church door, October 31, 1517. Its a sad reflection of the current crisis in the church at large to read the following report. This is what happens when things like the truth and the Gospel do not matter to people anymore - read about it here.

    This sort of thing is happening more and more. Another example is the hugely successful and international ministry (more than 33,500 courses run in 163 countries) of Alpha with its introduction to the Christian faith materials provided for both a Protestant and a Catholic context (here). - JS

    Posted by John Samson on October 30, 2009 01:17 AM

    Comments

    I couldn't get the first link to work! I would really love to read and share the article.

    Thanks!

    Ditto.

    The link works for me - not sure why you are having a problem. :-(

    Humility goes a long way in allowing us to learn from our Roman Catholic brethren.

    It's never us versus them, it's always us with them.

    Eric,

    Humility is wonderful.. but humility is not in view when we renounce truth for the sake of it. How can someone be a brother who denies the gospel? If justification by grace alone through faith in Christ alone is the gospel (which it is) and the Roman Catholic Church not only denies it but puts its anathema (eternal curse) on anyone who believes it (which they do).. you tell me.. how can someone knowing this and staying inside the Roman Catholic Church be a brother or sister?

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