The Catholic Defender VS SolaFide Part II
OSAS If in Rom. 4:1-5 faith alone is “extra biblical”, could you tell us what Abraham was doing besides believing in Gen. 15:1-6 in order to receive justification at that point?
CD ( Actually it was Romans 3:28) “Abram’s faith in God’s promise was regarded as an act of righteousness, i.e., as expressing the “right” attitude of man toward God. In turn, God credited this to Abraham, i.e., gave him the title to the fulfillment of God’s promises. St. Paul makes Abraham’s faith a model for that of Catholics (Romans 4:1-25; Gal 3:3-9).
Abraham did not work to earn the promise of the Covenant; he was justified in his faith in God’s promise. “What can be more fair than to admit everyone into divine presence on the basis of forgiveness grasped by faith”.
We are no longer under the “law of circumcision” but a “New and Everlasting Covenant” planting the law of grace into the whole world. Abraham received the “sign of circumcision as a seal on the righteousness received through faith while he was uncircumcised”. We of the New Covenant receive grace through the sign and seal of Baptism which our sins are forgiven and we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. A Sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace that we receive through faith. Neither Abraham, nor us did anything to receive the free gift. Salvation is a free gift from God, you do not earn it.
The issue is not really faith, which is to be understood. The real difference it you’re defending of faith as “SolaFide” or faith alone. I speak of Grace, Faith, and Good works as proceeding from one to another and they are interconnected. Their importance places us within the New and Everlasting Covenant. Baptism is necessary for Salvation because this is the sign and seal of the Holy Spirit. He transmits His sanctifying grace through them. That is why the households of Lydia, the Jailer, and St. Paul were baptized.
Faith also needs to be nurished or it can be drowned out through disobedience, those who heard the word of God but allowed the Devil to steal them away, those who recieved the word with joy, only to fall away because of trials, and yet still others are choked because of worldly anxieties and riches and pleasures of this life.
OSAS My opponent did not name one other thing Abraham was doing besides believing God at this justification. That proves faith alone! A later circumcision does not change that fact.
CD This does not prove “faith alone”, you have not disproved “Grace” and “Good works” that are part of the New Covenant. Do you think that Faith was all that was necessary to follow God under this Covenant of circumcision? Do you think Abraham would have thought that if one of his servants or people were to reject him that this would have been tolerated? God told Abraham, “On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you that you and your descendants after you must keep: every male among you shall be circumcised”. What almost happened to Moses (Exodus 4:24)? They needed just a little more than faith in this scene. Zipporah saved his life? Was this your rebuttal?
OSAS Yes, it was my rebuttal. We are only limited to 200 chars and I was at the limit. It was your turn to ask a question, not rebut However, since you did rebut I get the last word before you ask a question.
You seem to be confused on the different types of means/causes of justification. I don’t want to disprove “grace” or “good works” under the New Covenant because I believe in both of them. The debate is supposed to be over the instrumental means of our justification. You are all over the place while I’m standing right here waiting on you to enter the real debate on the real issue. It is your turn to ask a question.
CD You say you “believe” and have “faith” in the Lord Jesus Christ. Can you believe and have faith when at the same time you deny his Church’s teachings?
OSAS I don’t deny His church teachings. You error is that every time you see Church you think of the Bishop in Rome and those Bishops in communion with Him. However, this is a not a biblical definition of the church. Furthermore, the Word of God is the highest authority that we will all have to give an account for obeying and disobeying.
CD So, for you, are you saying that the bible is the pillar and foundation of truth? Furthermore, if, from your own mind, the Catholic Church is not the biblical church, where and what is the biblical church?
OSAS No the church is that, the Scriptures are part of the truth that the pillar and foundation should be holding up. There are many biblical churches. Biblical churches are those that adhere to Scriptures as their highest authority, because they are God speaking. They also rightly preach the Gospel and administer the sacraments.
CD The Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth, from the scripture, Jesus founded only one Church, the Apostles called for no divisions. St. Paul instructs the Church to hang on to the traditions given it through the oral tradition and the written word. This is the basis of our faith.
You are correct, within Protestantism there are “many biblical churches” all beginning in the 16th century. 90% of them are under 100 years old. They “rightly teach the gospel” according to whom? Who is the authentic interpreter of scripture? In fact, who decides what is scripture? In order to have faith, what do you put your faith in?
St. Paul believed – he addressed Jesus as “Lord” and asked what Jesus wanted him to do, but he was later told to be baptized for the forgiveness of his sins. Why would Jesus send him to Ananias, to be baptized if he already believed and that’s all that is needed.
OSAS First, no where is Paul told to be baptized for the forgiveness of his sins, you are reading your theology into the text. Second, based on Paul’s teaching in Romans 4:5-8 it is clear that he believed forgiveness of sins took place when one put faith in Christ(i.e. credited with righteousness). Third, I’ve never argued anywhere at anytime that only faith is needed for the entire Christian life. Faith is the sole instrumental means for justification. So your entire question is based on a straw man.
CD That is why St. Paul teaches, “I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bonds of peace: one body and one spirit, as you were also called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism”. St. Paul, himself was called from this One Lord, to this “one faith, one baptism”! The straw man is yours.
Through your “instrumental means for justification” are you now saying that both faith and baptism are necessary? If so, then your not really following “SolaFide” as you recognize that you do need more than faith i.e., Grace, faith, and good works.
OSAS No faith and baptism are not necessary for justification, but faith, baptism, prayer, Lord’s Supper, worship, and many other things are necessary for the entire Christ life.
CD There is a connection between the waters of the Baptism of Moses and those of the time of Noah. The Israelites passed through the sea and were saved just as Noah and his family were saved from the flood. They both prefigure Baptism. The waters of Baptism saves a sinner from their sin through the washing away of the sin. You say baptism if important, do you mean that without it, you cannot be saved?
OSAS No, I do not mean that without Baptism you cannot be saved and neither do you, because you rightfully acknowledge that one maybe saved without it.
Romans 3:30 30since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.
Paul is making the argument at the end of Romans 3 and it continues on in Romans 4 that both Jews and Gentiles are justified by the same means (i.e. faith). However, your position is that we are justified by baptism. Therefore, how are the Jews justified by the same means if we are justified by baptism and they are not?
CD It is faith in the established Covenant. The Jews were saved through the justification process of the Old Covenant. God’s intent was always that men would follow Him from their heart and not the law. The New Covenant continues to a broader definition because our understanding is made know through Jesus Christ. Faith itself is not the issue, the issue is that you include “alone” when the text does not say that. “Are we then annulling the law by this faith? Of course not! On the contrary, we are supporting the law”.
I find it interesting that you push “SolaFide”, yet you exhibit little faith or no faith in the New Covenant? Why is that?
OSAS As we all know the text does not have to say “faith alone” any more than no text says “grace alone” or “Christ alone” yet you affirm them. However, if both Jew and Gentiles are justified in the same way by faith then it logically means New Covenant believers cannot be justified by baptism or faith and baptism unless the Apostle’s statement is not true.
Luke 18:13-14 13″But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14″I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.
Jesus says the sinful tax collector went home justified after he expressed his faith by asking for mercy. If this man was not justified by faith alone, please tell us what other action was taken for his justification?
CD This sinner left with a changed life, a changed heart, and a changed mind. The “sinner” went home justified because of the changed person who then goes and leads a life of faith, hope, and love. None of this makes any sense without living the life of grace.