I am a Catholic who noticed your comments on both David Gibson’s anti-Catholic Links page and Mario Derksen's Catholic Insight page . I encourage you to read this whole letter. I believe your comments on Sola Fide (Faith Alone) and Sola Scriptura (Bible alone) are incorrect, and I will use your method to show it. You said "I'm a firm believer that Christians should return to the real authority: God's Word." Okay, let us look at what the King James Bible says about salvation, and not selectively quote one or two verses:
Matthew 25:31-46 - 31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee and hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then
shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Ian, if you don't answer anything else in this letter, please consider how Jesus decides who goes to heaven, and who goes to hell. He does not say anything about, all you have to do is believe, now, does he? Doesn't fit with sola fide, now, does it?
John 5:28-29: John 5:28-29. "28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the
which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
Does Jesus say, those who believed go unto the resurrection of life, or those who have done good, go to the resurrection of life? He said those who have done good. Doesn't fit with sola fide, now, does it?
What about Paul, what does he say in regards to who goes to heaven, and who goes to hell? Continuing to use the King James version, we see:
Romans 2:5-13 5 "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God 6 Who will RENDER TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."
Doesn't fit with Sola Fide, now does it?
Galatians 6:7-9: 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Doesn't fit with Sola Fide, now does it?
1 Corinthians 3:10-17 - 3:10 "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are."
Doesn't fit with Sola Fide, now does it?
Rev. 22-11-14. "11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
Doesn't fit with Sola Fide, now, does it?
James 2:14-26 - 14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and NOT BY FAITH ONLY. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Doesn't fit with Sola Fide, now, does it?
This is only the tip of the iceberg that shows that works done in the state of grace are
absolutely necessary for salvation. Remember, you said "I'm a firm
believer that Christians should return to the real authority: God's
Word." Well, can you honestly look at the above scriptures and tell me
that faith alone saves? What made you think that faith alone does save,
when the only time that faith alone is mentioned in the Bible is in James
2:24 when James specifically condemns the proposition? It is the
man-made tradition of Protestantism begun not by Jesus Christ, but my man
in the 16th century.
You quoted John 3:16, but did not mention the background and the
surrounding verses, before and after. For example John 3:19-21 says 19
?And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men
loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For
every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light,
lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to
the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in
God." So in other words, part of this belief that brings salvation
includes doing good deeds (works). Therefore in this very passage Jesus
says it is impossible to separate belief from good works and to say that
believe only is necessary is to ignore the context. And BTW, you also forgot to
mention John 3:3-5 as the background to John 3:16: 3 "Jesus answered and
said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born
again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How
can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his
mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto
thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter
into the kingdom of God." For 15 centuries all Christians everywhere saw
that these verses meant baptism. Born of water and spirit means baptism.
In fact, the only time that Jesus and the disciples are ever recorded
baptizing in the gospels is in the very chapter that Jesus mentions being
born of water and spirit (v. 22).
The above verse shows the necessity of Baptism for salvation, but
what about other verses? Does it say that baptism saves, washes away
sins, or brings the remission of sins? If the Bible says that, you said
?I'm a firm believer that Christians should return to the real authority:
God's Word." I encourage you to read the following verses in the King
James version with an open mind, because you said God's Word was your
1 Peter 3:20-21. 20?Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism DOTH ALSO NOW SAVE US (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be BAPTIZED, AND WASH AWAY THY SINS, calling on the name of the Lord.
Acts 2:38-39 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and BE
BAPTIZED EVERY ONE OF YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, AND TO YOUR CHILDREN, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
1 Cor. 12:12-13. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:
so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Colossians 2:11-13 - 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Romans 6:3-4. 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Galatians 3:26-27. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
There are many other references to the necessity and saving power of
baptism, but if you take God's Word seriously, you must admit that
Baptism has salvific power. If you point to other verses that show that
one is saved without baptism even being mentioned, this does not cancel
out these verses. For example, in 1 Peter 3:21 it says baptism saves,
Acts 2:38 shows remission of sins are through repentance and baptism, and
Acts 22:16 it says sins are washed away through baptism, but in none of
those verses do they say that faith is necessary. Does that mean that faith is irrelevant to salvation? Of course not. We combine those verses which show the necessity of faith, repentance, keeping the commandments, baptism (of course all within the context of grace), etc. and see that they are all necessary for salvation.
Another point is that keeping the commandments (in God's grace of
course) is essential for salvation: Remember what Jesus said in response
when he was asked what one must do in order to be saved?
Matthew 19:16-17 - 16 And, behold, one came and said unto him,
Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but
one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the
John 15:10-14 - 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
1 John 2:3-5. 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1 John 3:7-8. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
1 John 3:22-24. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
1 John 5:2-3. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
So again we see faith alone is unbiblical. Jesus tells the rich young man to enter life you must keep his commandments (of course this can only be done by God's grace). He does not say, "well, you can not really keep the commandments, and that is why you must be clothed in my righteousness." Altar calls and salvation prayers (other unbiblical traditions of men) are nowhere found in the bible. God's grace is what enables us to keep the righteous requirements of the law? Romans 8:4 “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." I really encourage you to get the book that Mario referred you to,
Not by Faith alone...by Robert Sungenis It is a very thorough
analysis of scripture and salvation. You can even reach the author of
the book, Bob Sungenis, a former Protestant, at 1-800-531-6393. It shows
how God's grace is not just a legal fiction where God pretends you are
righteous, because you have Christ's imputed righteousness given through
faith alone, but God's grace is transformational, and though outside
God's grace we can do nothing, through his grace he does not only declare
us righteous, but makes us righteous: Romans 5:17-21. 17 For if by one
man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive
abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life
by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment
came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one
the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by
one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one
shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the
offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign
through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
But am I adding to the work of Christ? You are saying if one has
to do works, one is detracting from his work on the cross. Well, do you
have to believe in order to be saved? Using Protestant logic, if one does
anything, one adds to the work of Christ. Well, inconsistency is thus
shown because believing and receiving Jesus is doing something. But I
assume that you say one can only believe and receive Jesus through God's
grace. That is not adding to his work on the cross, it is applying what
he did on the cross, to one's life. That is exactly what the Bible and
the Church teach on grace and works done in Christ. If one tries to do
works without grace, Paul and the Church condemns it. We can not earn
one drop of grace. But as a loving Father who raises us up as Sons, he
gives us the power to work out our salvation with fear and trembling:
Phi 2:12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my
presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own
salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
There are a couple of verses that show that the very purpose on
the cross, was to save us by cleansing us from iniquity. Not just saving
us by believing in him. He wants us to apply what he did on the cross,
to our very lives: Titus 2:11-14: 11?For the grace of God that bringeth
salvation hath appeared to all men,12 Teaching us that, denying
ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and
godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the
glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who
gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and
purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." 1 Peter
2:24 "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that
we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes
ye were healed." Colossians 1:22-24: 22 "In the body of his flesh through
death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his
sight:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not
moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which
was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am
made a minister; 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill
up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his
body's sake, which is the church:? These verses show that by doing good
works in his grace, living unto righteousness, and continuing in the
faith, one is applying what Christ did on the cross to one's life. And
as we have seen, these are not things that are just nice to do to show
other people that we are Christians, these things must be done, in order
to achieve salvation.
The Bible is clear that faith alone is insufficient for
salvation. The very favorite verses that are often used to show faith
alone is all we need I have clearly looked at the context to show that
they don't mean what Faith alone advocates have said here: Romans 4, David and Abraham -One Time Imputation Or Process?and also here:
Grace Empowered Works
In regards to the Bible alone being the sole authority, I ask you
the question, please give the Bible verses that show what the contents of
the Bible are. If you can not do that, you thus show that the Bible
alone can not be the sole rule of the faith. The only reason you believe
that the 27 books of the New Testament is because the tradition of the
Catholic Church tells you so. Even Martin Luther admitted that it was
the Catholic Church that gave us the bible: "We are obliged to yield
many things to the Papists--that with them is the word of God, which we
received from them; otherwise we should have known nothing at all about
it." Luthers Works, This quote comes from Luther's commentary on the
Gospel of John. See his discussion on the 16th chapter. At my site,
Available here I have a a whole page with many articles debunking the man-made tradition of the Bible alone.
You actually commended David Gibson for recommending Jack Chick
tracts. Any honest Protestant apologist will admit that Jack Chick
spouts out lies and misrepresentations of the Catholic Faith. I am not
calling you a liar, because you obviously have not been honestly informed
of what Catholicism teaches. In reference to the Jack Chick site, I ask
you to check out this site, which uncovers the many falsities, cartoon by
cartoon, of Jack Chick’s site: that can be accessed here.
In regards to Catholicism in general, and item by item how scurrilous charges (Often called man-made traditions) made against the church not only misrepresent facts and true history, but the Bible as well, at the following
may be a good site
I have specific writings and links not only in regards to sola scriptura, but the issue I have brought up here: I have a whole page with many articles debunking the man-made tradition of justification by Faith alone.
Sincerely, in Christ,
1997 King James Bible disproves Sola Fide (Faith Alone) ...by Matt1618(email@example.com) .
Last modified October 20, 1997.