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Jesus and His Word Teach versus what the Roman Catholic Church Teaches

References for Catholic Teaching taken from "Catechism of the Catholic Church" (CCC)@1994 Authorized by Pope John Paul II October 11, 1992

Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

I remember when I finally saw my fallen nature as God describes it; right there and then I knew trying to be good, following church rituals, keeping the law etc was not possible and not the way God redeems people to Himself. There must be another way which I found through the new birth from above effected by God Himself. What a wonderful day! What wonderful freedom in Jesus Christ! God will only back up what His word says!

I suppose in this article I am in a sense just reiterating the differences that occurred in the Protestant Reformation. Most of the Reformers were initially Roman Catholic but left and chose to seek to reform the Catholic church from the outside. One prominent Catholic scholar named Desiderius Erasmus sought to reform from within. Erasmus was instrumental in producing a Greek New Testament (Received Text approved by Pope Leo X) in 1516 which was subsequently updated by Robert Stephanus and Theodore Beza and was used as the basis for the KJV.

In my mind the biggest schism on the word of God happened gradually as Church traditions were introduced as being on par with the scriptures. It led to the position that Church traditions and the scriptures were to be received with equal authority. This issue plus disagreement on various interpretations of verses were what the Reformation was about. As you will see in my points below not much has changed.

So in our day are there many sincere born again Catholics within the Church similar to Erasmus? Well I would say that it is very likely the same in our day as Reformation times. Most worked to reform from without and some worked to reform from within. God loves Roman Catholics and went to the cross to pay for their sin in His own courtroom!

I would like to comment on the state of Protestantism in which I was raised in (formerly Lutheran). Well there hasn't been a huge group of traditions added into the scriptures, there has been in my opinion a large amount of entrenched error promulgated from within. Some examples would be the denial of Noah's Flood and the first 11 chapters of Genesis, the denial of Bible prophecy such as the book of Daniel, the 5 points of Calvinism as an over arching doctrine, the denial of God's plan for Israel and her return to the land in May, 1948 and on it could go! God loves Protestants and went to the cross to pay for their sin in His own courtroom!

So with this background in mind lets look at the differences that are present today for the various reasons discussed above.


1. Jesus teaches that if you add or take away from His Word with the traditions of men you are in error and under His condemnation. Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (the 66 books that He will back up). Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. Romans 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (the spiritual leadership of Israel the Pharisees has established a system of good works and trusted these and their ancestry to Moses as good enough to go to heaven)

The Roman Catholic Church has added their traditions as equal with the Word of God and established a sacramental system contrary to the Word of Godís call to repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ alone to be born again and become a saint and member of Godís family. (CCC 82,97)


Year Traditions were added to Godís Word
431 Proclamation that infant baptism regenerates the soul.
500 The Mass instituted as re-sacrifice of Jesus for the remission of sin
593 Declaration that sin need to be purged, established by Pope Gregory I
600 Prayers directed to Mary, dead saints, and angels.
786 Worship of cross, images, and relics authorized.
995 Canonization of dead people as saints initiated by Pope John XV.
1000 Attendance at Mass made mandatory under the penalty of mortal sin.
1079 Celibacy of priesthood, decreed by Pope Gregory VII.
1090 Rosary, repetitious praying with beads, invented by Peter the Hermit.
1184 The Inquisitions, instituted by the Council of Verona.
1190 The sale of Indulgences established to reduce time in Purgatory.
1215 Transubstantiation, proclaimed by Pope Innocent III.
1215 Confession of sin to priests, instituted by Pope Innocent III.
1229 Bible placed on Index of Forbidden Books in Toulouse.
1438 Purgatory elevated from doctrine to dogma by Council of Florence.
1545 Tradition claimed equal in authority with the Bible by the Council of Trent.
1546 Apocryphal Books declared canon by Council of Trent.
1854 Immaculate Conception of Mary, proclaimed by Pope Pius IX.
1870 Infallibility of the Pope, proclaimed by Vatican Council.
1922 Virgin Mary proclaimed co-redeemer with Jesus by Pope Benedict XV.
1950 Assumption of Virgin Mary into heaven, proclaimed by Pope Pius XII.


2. Scripture indicates you are saved by repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ and not by works. Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

The Roman Catholic Church teachesÖ You are in the process of salvation by faith plus the sacraments plus meritorious works. Salvation needs to be maintained, can be lost and re-gained. (Sacraments are necessary for salvation CCC 1129, Salvation can be lost and re-gained, CCC 162, 1420,1446, 1821)

3. Jesus and his Word teach that salvation occurs at the moment you with "understanding" repent and believe the Gospel (a onetime event when you are born again spiritually) (not infant baptism nor adult baptism) John 3:3 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. John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his motherís womb, and be born? John 3:5 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. Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Baptism is a symbol of being born again, the ceremony does not impart being born again nor makes one a member of Godís family.

The Roman Catholic Church teachesÖ salvation is a process from generally infant baptism to sacraments to purgatory and the ceremony of Baptism imparts initial standing in grace and erases original sin (Infant baptism reference CCC 1250, Purgatory reference CCC 1030)

4. Is the sacrifice of Jesus is finished? Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (propitiation means that full 100% payment in Godís courtroom was made for every person who will ever live)

The Roman Catholic Church teachesÖ that Jesus sacrifice on the cross was not sufficient to pay the penalty 100% forever Ö the sacrifice of Jesus in a real but non bloody manner continues in the Mass and can impart meritorious grace and forgiveness of sins (CCC 1357, 1366, 1367, 1371, 1375, 1376, 1378, 1382, 1393, 1410, 1413, 1414, 1416) CCC 1367 reads; "The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice (ongoing): The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross, only the manner of offering is different. In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner." CCC 1371 reads: The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who "have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified, so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ" (shorten time in purgatory)

5. Jesus and His Word teach that the celebration of the Lordís table is a remembrance of his work on the cross. The unleavened bread represents his sinless personhood as the word unleavened means pure vs leavened which means sinful. The wine represents his blood shed for the remission of sins, the just sinless person taking the penalty for the sinful one. 1 Corinthians 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 1 Corinthians 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, is cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

Roman Catholicism teaches the Mass or Eucharist is a meritorious sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ where the priest turns the wafer and the wine into the actual body and blood of Jesus through a mystical process called transubstantiation. They use a wooden reading of "unless you eat my body and drink my blood" to justify this interpretation when an obviously symbolic meaning was the intent of the passage. The Mass also denies the finished work of the Lord where one sacrifice for sin was made for all time at the cross.


6. Jesus purifies sin. Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission of sin.

The Roman Catholic Church teachesÖ Purgatory purifies any remaining sin by fire (Bible says only the shedding of blood purifies sin)(CCC 1030)

7. You can know for sure you are saved. 1John 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. Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

The Roman Catholic Church teachesÖ you are condemned or cursed if you say you know you are saved (Anathema from the Council of Trent)

8. Jesus teaches that all "born again believers" (John 3 v 3 Öexcept a man be born again he cannot see (nor enter) the kingdom of God) become saints and members of the royal priesthood the instant they are born again. And that there is only one mediator between God and Men, Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 2 v 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and Men, the man Christ Jesus. Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 1Peter 2:9 (speaking to believers) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

The Roman Catholic Church teachesÖ that their Roman priesthood is a mediator between God and man and the Roman hierarchy determines who can become a saint (CCC 1424)


9. Jesus and His Word teach that once you are born again no man needs to teach you the scriptures but you will have the Holy Spirit who will teach you and lead you into all truth. 1 John 2:27 But the anointing (the Holy Spirit) which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.


The Roman Catholic Church teaches that their leadership alone interprets the scripture and what it means. (CCC 85, 100)

10. Jesus teaches that you confess your sins directly to God as convicted and to other people that you have offended directly to them Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk (or yield to) in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust or sins of the flesh. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. These verses speak to the daily walk of a born again Christian and daily fellowship with God. Yielding to sin breaks fellowship but not relationship, salvation is permanent when you are born again. The born again Christian just needs to confess his sin to God and yield his will to the Holy Spirit to restore fellowship. James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. (faults refers to personal offenses and the need to say you are sorry to the person you have offended) Matthew 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Matthew 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that you need to confess your sin to the priest for absolution and penance and the priest can declare you forgiven (CCC 1424, 1461)

11. Roman Catholicism teaches to pray to the dead such as Mary and other saints.

Jesus and His word teach in Deuteronomy chapter 18 that we should only pray to the unseen spirit realm through the Son of God. Prayers to the dead is the occult practice of "necromancy" and condemned by God as a sin leading to demons deceiving that person. Deuteronomy 18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination (fortune telling etc), or an observer of times (astrology), or an enchanter (use of drugs with spells and incantations), or a witch, Deuteronomy 18:11 Or a charmer (practice of magic to obtain certain objectives), or a consulter with familiar spirits (channeling a spirit or contact with spirit guides), or a wizard (practitioner of spells and incantations), or a necromancer ( praying to or trying to contact the dead). Seeking the spirit world is only to be done to God the Father through Jesus the Son. These other practices lead to entertaining demons and bondage and many times demonic possession.

12. Roman Catholicism teaches that Muslims are included in Godís plan of salvation even though the Koran denies the deity of Jesus and that Jesus died and rose from the dead and trust in their good deeds outweighing their bad (Sura 23:102-103) or martyrdom for entrance into heaven (CCC 841)

Jesus and his word teach He is the way, the truth and the life no man can enter heaven except through Him. John 14v 6. The "way" refers to the complete payment for sin in Godís courtroom for all sin past, present and future for every person who will ever live. The "truth" refers to any other spiritual idea that contradicts the Bible as false. The "life" refers to being born again from above through repentance and faith alone in that payment. Therefore no Muslim will enter heaven if they deny the payment on the cross made on their behalf. God loves Muslims but if they deny his Son and the way God provided what more can be done?

The Biblical view of Justification taught by the Bible

1 John 2 v2 And He is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (propitiation means that God the Father placed all sin upon Him and his just penalty for sin was completely paid)

Romans 4 v 22 (Abraham believed in the Messiah) And it was imputed to him for righteousness

(Imputed means that the infinite payment made by Christ on the cross was deposited or credited to Abrahamís bank account and will forever cover the debt or debit of sin by his transgression of the law.)

How does this payment for sin cover those of us who are now living? Well the full payment was made 2,000 years ago for all who would ever live after the cross. How do I obtain that payment for my bank account? Through repentance (recognizing my whole life was sinful because I was living without God) and faith alone in Christís payment. I must personally receive Christ and turn my life and will over to Him. At that moment the payment is put into my bank account and the Holy Spirit enters my life to effect the term being "born again spiritually" from above. The Holy Spirit permanently indwells the new believer. For His word says that the Holy Spirit will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13 v 5). But what if we fall into sin? How is that dealt with? Romans chapter 6 covers yielding your will daily to the Holy Spirit and not yielding to the lusts of the flesh. Also in Hebrews God says that if you are really born again he will chasten you as a son or daughter but if you do not receive any chastening when you sin it means you are not one of His. (Hebrews 12 v 6-8)

This is in striking contrast to the Roman Catholic ceremony of Baptism where you allegedly receive the "grace of justification" which you must now maintain through the other sacraments and meritorious works, basically never sure if you are accepted by God and eternally saved, falling in and out of this standing in grace and finally entering purgatory for the fires to do its final cleansing of sin. All these thoughts are contrary to what Jesus and the Bible teach.

James says faith without works is dead. The Roman Catholic Church as well as other groups have incorrectly interpreted this to say that salvation is obtained by faith plus works.

James_2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?

James_2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

James_2:18 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.

James_2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

James_2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

James_2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

James_2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

The context of these verses that James is speaking about is whether you actually have evidence that you are truly "born again from above". He is not saying that works contribute to the finished work of Christ. He is saying that when you are born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit that there will be a changed life as the fruit of already being saved. In verse 24 the phrase "by works a man is justified" is referring to the outward evidence which witnesses to men of a true conversion not of legal justification that occurs when one is born again.

There should be evidence that you have been saved! If you have no evidence but as some say just "head" knowledge about the Bible then your profession of faith in Christ is not real. You have not been born again! What evidence would there be? You would freely profess that any of your righteousness is as a filthy rag, that no good thing dwells in your flesh and you are relying 100% on the payment made on the cross. You would exhibit a correct understanding of the scriptures on a basic level. You would have a hatred of sin in yourself and through the Holy Spirit want to be free of it and not practice sin anymore. You will have real peace with God and know Him in a personal way. You will receive assurance that you are eternally saved. You would never try to keep the law or a set of rules to be right with God! You would give credit to the Holy Spirit for empowering you from the inside out to have the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians chapter 5, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faith, meekness, self- control.


How God sees human effort to please Him!

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Psalm 51 v 5 Behold, I was shapen in inquity, and in  sin did my mother conceive me!  (the inner sin nature we are born with)

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Rom 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

Rom 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

Rom 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:

Rom 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:

Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:

Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

If you would like to study further the differences between Biblical Christianity and how it differs from Roman Catholicism here are a few web sites. Be a Berean and search the scriptures whether these things be so!

Mike Gendron was a devout Roman Catholic for over 34 years until he found the gospel of grace

James and Patrick were also long time Roman Catholics who found the gospel of grace