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Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works Justification (Part 1)

Justification is the merciful and freely-given act of God which takes away our sins and makes us just and holy in our whole being. It is the restoration of sinners to friendship with God so that he may adopt them into His divine life. The justification of the sinner is a greater work than the creation of heaven and earth (St. Augustine)
CCC 1992 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism It contains four elements 1. infusion of grace 2. forgiveness of sins 3. turning away from evil 4. turning toward good Catholic Justification -- brought about by means of the grace of the Holy Spirit (i.e. sanctifying grace) which has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ and is given to us in Baptism. Martin Luthers Justification we are justified and made holy on the outside but we are still full of sin and evil on the inside. God chooses to look at us as if we were holy though we are not, e.g. snow which covers dung.

St. Pauls Conversion on the Road to Damascus. After this event, he was baptized.

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works

Justification (Part 2)
-The sin is NOT merely overlooked, but is truly and entirely blotted out. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out (Acts 3:19). -Justification also entails transformation of the whole human person, accomplished by the grace of the Holy Spirit received at baptism. (we become sons and daughters of God) -Freedom and Justification go hand in hand- cooperate freely with Gods grace. For justification a sinner must undergo a free conversion of heart which turns him or her away from sin and toward God. -Therefore, the invitation of forgiveness and grace can be rejected. -Justification can be lost. Just as God does not justify us against His will, He does not prevent us from turning against Him after Baptism. -St. Paul tells us to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. (Phil. 2:12). -We must enter through the narrow gate to eternal life.

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works


JOINT DECLARATION ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church

Justification (Part 3)
15.In faith we together hold the conviction that justification is the work of the triune God. The Father sent his Son into the world to save sinners. The foundation and presupposition of justification is the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ. Justification thus means that Christ himself is our righteousness, in which we share through the Holy Spirit in accord with the will of the Father. Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works. Lutherans, Methodist, Roman Catholics, and most other Christians, agree that: --Individuals are initially hopelessly lost in sin and separated from God. --Separation between God and man is overcome through Justification "the free and unmerited assistance or favor or energy or saving presence of God in his dealings with humanity..."). --Justification is brought about through God's grace. --Justification is in no way earned by the individual.

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works

Faith Alone (Part 1) Faith Alone? No


Neither should you say: Faith alone in Our Lord Jesus Christ can save me By itself faith accomplishes nothing, For even the devils believe and shudder. No faith must be joined to an active love of God, which is expressed in good works. The charitable man is distinguished by sincere and long-suffering service to his fellow man: it also means using things aright. Saint Maximus, the Confessor,
Abbot 400-461AD --Liturgy of the Hours- 7th Sunday Ordinary Time. -At the time of Martin Luther and John Calvin in the 16th century, Protestants believed that the Catholic Church taught that a person could earn his or her way to heaven by good works. Protestants combat this supposed teaching by their doctrine faith alone.

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works Faith Alone (Part 2) Faith Alone Contradicts Scripture
St. James What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or a sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But some will say, You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you faith. You believe God is one; you do well. Even the demons believeand shuddera man is justified by works and not by faith alone For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead. James 2:14-19, 24, 26
Martin Luther at one time took the Book of James out of the bible, because it didnt fit his doctrine.

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works WORKS (Part 1) Some passages in Scripture suggest works are not necessary. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace (Rom. 11:6) These passages suggest that Gods favor & forgiveness of our sinsour justificationhas nothing to do with our own efforts, but is it is the result of Gods grace. And this is a correct understanding of these passages, because if God did not initiate the process of conversion, then none of us would choose to love Him. -We cannot earn Gods favor. But, we must have faith in God and trust Him with our lives. Good works are not a way to earn Gods favor.

Works Necessary for Salvation? YES CCC 2006: The fatherly action of God is first on His own initiative, and then follows mans free acting through his collaboration, so that the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful. Mans merit, moreover, itself is due to God..

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works WORKS (Part 2)

-We cannot work our way to heaven. No human works can replace the necessity of Gods initial gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. -However, good works are an essential part of Christian life. -St. Paul states, He will render to every man according to his works. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, but the glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good. (Rom. 2:6-10) -Even though good works dont save us, we are required to do them as part of the Christian life. -Obedience to Jesus commandsgood worksis essential to our salvation. Any good thing done by a believer, however, is not on his or own initiative but through the power of Gods grace.

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works WORKS (Part 3)


We Will Be Judged by Our Works The Judgment of the Nations. Matt. 25:31-46 When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. 37Then the righteous* will answer him and say, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you? 40 And the king will say to them in reply, Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me. 41 Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me. 44 Then they will answer and say, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs? 45He will answer them, Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me. 46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works WORKS (Part 4) Works of Mercy What must we do to love God, our neighbor, and ourselves? We must keep the commandments of God and the Church and perform spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Corporal Works of Mercy Spiritual Works of Mercy Feed the Hungry Admonish the Sinner Give drink to the Thirsty Instruct the Ignorant -Teachers, Catechists Clothe the Naked Counsel the Doubtful- Help one in Faith To visit the Imprisoned Comfort the Sorrowful Shelter the Homeless Bear Wrongs Patiently Visit the Sick Forgive All Injuries Bury the dead Pray for the Living and Dead St. Paul If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, He will receive a reward. 1 Cor. 3:12-14

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works Merit (Part 1)


In general merit refers to the right of recompense for a good deed, but with regard to God, we of ourselves are not able to merit anything since we receive everything freely from him Yet, God does give us the possibility of acquiring merit through union with Christ. It is no longer I, but Christ living in me. Thus, merit is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, and secondly to mans cooperation. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for sanctification, for the attainment of eternal life, and even for certain temporal needs, according to Gods plan. No one, however, can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion and justification . Illustration of merit 1. a canal (us) which has water flowing through it (grace), the more the water flows the wider the canal (merit and our cooperation with grace) 2. a house (us) to which is added a new addition (merit) so that the family has more room (an increase of Gods life with in us)

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works

MERIT (Part 2)

After earths exile, I hope to go and enjoy you in the fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for your love alone In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works. All for justice is blemished in your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in your own justice and to receive from your love the eternal possession of yourself.
St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of A Soul, 1873-1897AD

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works


Grace (Part 1)
Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit. Man, blinded and bowed, sits in darkness and cannot see the light of heaven unless grace with justice comes to his aid (St. Bonaventure)
Grace and Freedom Grace precedes, prepares and elicits our free response It responds to the deep yearnings of human freedom, calls for our cooperation and leads freedom toward its perfection Sanctifying Grace is the free gift that God gives us to make us participants in his Trinitarian life and able to act by his love--Gods life living within us. CCC 1996 Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life. CCC 1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an "adopted son" he can henceforth call God "Father," in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church. It sanctifies from within and divinizes us: You are in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God really dwells in you Rom 8:9 It is supernatural because it depends entirely on God and surpasses the abilities of the intellect and other powers of human the person Illustration of Sanctifying Grace 1. the water (grace) which fills a pitcher (human person) 2. a three person family (the Trinity) who live in a house (us)

Justification, Merit, Grace, Faith Alone, Works

Grace (Part 2) There are various other forms of grace Actual grace gifts for specific activities and circumstances in life e.g. the ability to say the right thing at the right time, or the strength to make a difficult choice. Sacramental grace gifts proper to each of the 7 sacraments e.g. with the sacrament of marriage comes the grace to live out fidelity Charisms gifts that are intended for the common good of the Church e.g. caring for the poor, teaching, praying for the conversion of sinners

St. Damien of Molokai