Skip to comments.Council of Trent, On Justification, Ch. VIII and XVI
Posted on 12/15/2012 2:10:56 PM PST by narses
Council of Trent, On Justification, Ch. VIII
When the Apostle says that man is justified by faith and freely, these words are to be understood in that sense in which the uninterrupted unanimity of the Catholic Church has held and expressed them, namely, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, "without which it is impossible to please God" and to come to the fellowship of His sons; and we are therefore said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things that precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification. For, "if by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise," as the Apostle says, "grace is no more grace." The Council also reiterated the relationship of good works to man justified by faith.
Council of Trent, On Justification, Ch. XVI
Therefore, to men justified in this manner, whether they have preserved uninterruptedly the grace received or recovered it when lost, are to be pointed out the words of the Apostle: "Abound in every good work, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. For God is not unjust, that he should forget your work, and the love which you have shown in his name"; and "Do not lose confidence, which hath a great reward." Hence, to those who work well "unto the end" and trust in God, eternal life is to be offered, both as a grace mercifully promised to the sons of God through Christ Jesus, and as a reward promised by God himself, to be faithfully given to their good works and merits.
Heb 10:38 But my just one shall live by faith ... Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him (God) ... The Bible is equally clear on the saving role of good works in the lives of the faithful.
1 Pet 2:12 Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that if they speak of you as evildoers, they may observe your good works and glorify God on the day of visitation. Rev 2:2 I know your works, your labor, and your endurance ... Mt 5:16 Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. Mt 16:27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct. Mt 25:34-36 Then 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. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' The Bible makes it clear that there must be a balanced relationship between our faith and its expression in good works.
James 2:14-18 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, "You have faith and I have works." Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. 1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. Heb 6:10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones. James 2:20-22 Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Mt 16:27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct. 1 Cor 3:8 The one who plants and the one who waters are equal, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor. Col 3:23-24 Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance. The Bible indicates that it is wrong to disturb the balance of works expressing a life of faith. Man is not saved by faith alone.
James 2:24 See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. James 2:26 For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. Nor is man saved by works alone.
Rom 9:31-32 Israel, who pursued the law of righteousness, did not attain to that law ... because they did it not by faith, but as if it could be done by works. Gal 3:11 And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for "the one who is righteous by faith will live." The Bible declares that salvation is a gift of God alone and constantly reaffirms that faith has a primary role in that salvation.
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. Heb 6:1 Therefore, let us leave behind the basic teaching about Christ and advance to maturity, without laying the foundation all over again: repentance from dead works and faith in God, Heb 9:14 ... how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. 2 Tim 1:9 He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, Titus 3:4-5 ... the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy. Rom 3:27-28 What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out. On what principle, that of works? No, rather on the principle of faith. For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Gal 2:16 (We) know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
Here in Advent many who attack the Church do so with falsehoods about what we believe. In an effort to help dispel those, I post this.
[F]aith justifies, not because it is such an outstanding work of God and virtue in us, but because it apprehends Christ, who is our propitiation and righteousness, and relies and confides in Him.”"
But why does Scripture ascribe justification to faith?
First, to show that our righteousness before God is not to be built on our works and merits . . . . Second, . . . that we might be sure how, when, and through what means it might be applied to us, so that it might be ours, and that we might be able confidently to rejoice in it and safely rely on it as on completely sure comfort . . . ."
James 2:24 You all see that it is because of actions that a man is pronounced righteous, and not simply because of faith.
There is a difference between what people see and what God sees. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks at the heart (I Samuel 16:7). From Barnes' Notes on the Bible:
How that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only - Not by a cold, abstract, inoperative faith. It must be by a faith that shall produce good works, and whose existence will be shown to men by good works. As justification takes place in the sight of God, it is by faith, for he sees that the faith is genuine, and that it will produce good works if the individual who exercises faith shall live; and he justifies men in view of that faith, and of no other. If he sees that the faith is merely speculative; that it is cold and dead, and would not produce good works, the man is not justified in his sight. As a matter of fact, therefore, it is only the faith that produces good works that justifies; and good works, therefore, as the proper expression of the nature of faith, foreseen by God as the certain result of faith, and actually performed as seen by men, are necessary in order to justification.
In other words, no man will be justified who has not a faith which will produce good works, and which is of an operative and practical character. The ground of justification in the case is faith, and that only; the evidence of it, the carrying it out, the proof of the existence of the faith, is good works; and thus men are justified and saved not by mere abstract and cold faith, but by a faith necessarily connected with good works, and where good works perform an important part. James, therefore, does not contradict Paul, but he contradicts a false explanation of Paul's doctrine. He does not deny that a man is justified in the sight of God by faith, for the very passage which he quotes shows that he believes that; but he does deny that a man is justified by a faith which would not produce good works, and which is not expressed by good works; and thus he maintains, as Paul always did, that nothing else than a holy life can show that a man is a true Christian, and is accepted of God.
James does not contradict Paul's writing to ALL Christians to understand that:
God who saves us showed how kind and good he is. We were not saved by any good things we did ourselves, but he saved us because he is so kind. He washed us clean. We were born again as a new person. The Holy Spirit has made us new.
God is rich. And he gave the Holy Spirit to us because of Jesus Christ our Saviour. He did this so that we can be put right with God, by his kindness. He did this so that we can become his children. So now we can look forward to everlasting life. (Titus 3:4-7)
Exactly... but no one reads the book of james.. they have one verse out of context and bet their eternity on it... it is a fools bet
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:28-29
The cannon following these doctrines (and doctrines of Islam and LDS) are why I took my screen name.
The RCC is so like the Pharisees, twisting the plain sense of the Word of God to further its own power. The outward signs of works and the self-righteousness of scholarship take precedence over the God given convictions of the heart.
May God bring those who love Him out of such unworthy religions.
I would contend that it is you that are more like those groups in that you and your views are what determines what is correct doctrine. That is ultimately the baby that came out of Protestanstism in that rationalism and individualism became the determinant of what is correct Doctrine. Protestantism is ultimately about Sola EGO, in that it is me and the Bible and I will decide what is sound doctrine. In many instances, your philosophical approach to dermining doctrine is no different than Joseph Smith, who was after all a King James Protestant and eventuall “his reading of the Bible” led to Mormomism.
Catholicism is rooted in the ancient Church as expressed by the Creeds and reflects the constant and consistent teaching of the Church Fathers and great theologians down tru the centuries.
You will not find the Protestant doctrine of justification in the early Church in either of the Latin Fathers or the Greek Fathers, whose writings are foundational for the Greek Orthodox Church and their theology on justification is nothing similar to what you are any other Protestant here posits.
Here is a link from the Orthodox Church [not Catholic] that cites heavily from the the famous Protestant Church History Scholar of the 19th Century, Philip Schaff. I hope you enjoy the read.
Edit to my post, the link is from a lay Orthodox Christian, not an official Eastern Orthdodox Church link. The article does have some of the cited works of the Protestant Church Historian from the 19th century, P. Schaff, all the same.
Essays for Lent: Justification
Joint Declaration on Justification
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH
Catechism: 1987-1995 Justification is a transformation
Catholic, Lutheran and Methodist leaders to mark 10th anniv of Joint Declaration on Justification
Setting the Record Straight [Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification]
The Basic Catholic Doctrine of Justification by Faith
Pope notes progress in Lutheran-Catholic dialogue over justification
On St. Paul and Justification
The Early Church Fathers on Justification - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Thank you for the link, I’ll read it tomorrow, I trust in the Bible before the results of some of these later councils.
When the early Bishops start to order the murder (killing) of those who disagree with them is when the Holy Spirit has left their church.
I am blessed in the ability to actualy read the Word of God and hear it preached in my own language, unlike the Jews of Pharasitical times or the centuries under RCC rule, I am therefore obliged to consider it with my own mind.
You denounce this, God loves it.
Question - how much faith is required to provide the necessary good works? Can one assume the presence of faith due to good works? How many have been shown to have even the mustard seed of faith that Jesus told the disciples they lacked? Can we really qualify God's requirements for entry to Heaven in a definitive way that goes beyond admitting and repenting of our sins to Jesus and proclaiming Him our Savior by inviting Him and the Holy Spirit into our hearts?
There is no "gotcha" in my questions, I realize that those who came up with much of religious doctrine actually studied many documents that did not appear in the Bible and sometimes they appear to belie some of what the Bible tells me. For Instance - Jeremiah indicates that the New Covenant that God is going to bring about will result in an event that allows us to become pure in God's eyes:
The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to[d] them,[e] declares the Lord. 33 This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, Know the Lord, because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
And, Paul lamented how he did that which he would not do and did not do that which he would do - even after having met the risen Jesus and becoming a workhorse in carrying the Word. What amount of Faith/good works is required to tip the scales away from our natural human sinfulness? What caveats did Jesus put on whether His Blood would wash away our sins and cause God to stop recognizing our sinfulness as actual sin?
The Church is a bit confusing when it comes to understanding what it believes. It's a small wonder that it confuses the rest of us. There is much that can be picked on from the Council of Trent; 1) how the teaching of "free will" differs from the Council of Orange, 2) how the doctrinal misunderstanding of working for our salvation is at odds with the concept of grace, or 3) how the interpretation of predestination goes against some of the early fathers teaching on the matter (like Augustine), to name but a few items.
However, in the spirit of Advent one can only simply ponder that if God could save Mary with "special grace" and refrain her from sinning, why doesn't He do the same thing for everyone since He shows no partiality? The world would be a better place for it. Of that I'm sure God would agree. But then, that is another erroneous Church teaching.
One would think that a religion which usurps the name of Christians would at least try to stay a little closer to the Christian Bible...
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Gal 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
Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Catholicism is rooted in the ancient Church as expressed by the Creeds and reflects the constant and consistent teaching of the Church Fathers and great theologians down tru the centuries.
I would posit that your teaching, creeds and great theologians weren't so great after all...We have the plain, clear words in the scripture that are right from the Source, bypassing the opinions of your great theologians...
And it's ludricrous to suggest anyone in your religion is better qualified to understand what God taught in the scriptures than average Christians sitting in pews of churches thruout the world...That's why so many millions of Catholics left your religion when they read the actual words of God in their own languages...
When your church fathers and great theologians disagree with the scripture I posted, they are not to be believed nor trusted with your soul...
And Joe Smith?, obviously he didn't take to the King James Bible like you suggest since he wrote his own to his liking...Kinda like a catechism...
How very telling that you would post a yawn picture when scripture is quoted.
Really, where did Christ say that individuals need to read and determine their own doctrine. God formed a people, the people of Israel and saved them as a community, which prefigured the Church, founded by Christ who was sent by the Father and thus Christ sent the Apostles. THere was no Sola MEO everybody doing their own thing.
As for killing, that has been a problem long before a Bishop did anything, and I am not sure what Bishop ordered the killing of anyone. Do you have cites from academics and Historians?
Of course you will trust the Bible, Arius had his view of the Bible, Nestorius had his view, going back to the 2nd Century, Marcion and the Gnostics had their view. The funny thing is everybody claims that they are reading the Bible and they have the correc interpretation. So, you join a great tradition of folks thinking they have read the Bible and come up with orthodox Doctrine.
1) Catechism is a summary of Faith, it is an summary of Creed [Nicene and Apostles], Sacraments [All Seven], Moral Theology [a teaching on the 10 commandments in depth, i.e. Murder is not just the unjust killing of an innocent, Abortion and Euthansia are also connected here], and Prayer
2) You are still the Iscool I remember, you post Scriptures and never investigate what they mean, you post them as if they mean what you want them to mean, when there are countless down thru the centuries who don’t interpret them the ways that “You” do.
3) You are free to posit that the Creeds and Councils of the early Catholic Church [Both Latin/Roman and Eastern Orthodox] are not correct. That is not surprising. That is why Protestantism at the Theological level is nothing but Chaos and every Sola Meo Prostant for themself. THis does appeal to the modern man, in that Individualism, has been stressed to such a degree what folks that have that philosophy are attracted to the notion that “I Will Read the Bible” and “I will decide what is orthodox in Doctrine” apart from the continuity of the Faith down thru the centuries.
I will stay with the historic Catholic Faith, founded by Christ, then handed on to the Apostles who then handed it on to the 1st group of Apostolic Fathers, i.e. the Church Fathers who new some of the Apostles such as St. Polycarp, along with St. CLement of Rome, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Ireneaus of Lyon. All of these orthodox Fathers believed in the 3-Tier ministry of the Church, Bishop/Presbyter/Deacon, CLement and Ignatius expressed the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome, as did St. Irenaus [stating Rome, because of its founding by Peter and Paul has maintained orthodox doctrine and thus all the Churches should be in communion with it], all had a very stong sacramental theology [particularly St. Ignatius], and on, and on, and on.