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    June 3, 1895

    “Catholicism V. Christianity” The Bible Echo 10, 22, pp. 170, 171.

    ATJ

    A. T. JONES

    THE article on the Catholic doctrine of penance, which makes every man his own Saviour, closed last week with the statement: Thus by her own showing, the god of the Papacy is of such a disposition and character that it is necessary for men, wicked men, to do “good acts” in order to move him; and then, after they have thus moved him, it is still essential that they shall pay “a debt of temporal punishment” in order to induce him to allow them the justification which they have so hardly earned.BEST June 3, 1895, page 170.1

    THE FREE SALVATION OF GOD

    But such is not the God of the Bible, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Such is not his way of justifying men, His way of salvation. Here is His own announcement of His name, which is simply the proclamation of His character and His disposition toward all mankind: “I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee.... And the Lord passed by before him and proclaimed: The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” This is the true God.BEST June 3, 1895, page 170.2

    GOD A MERCIFUL BEING

    “Merciful”—full of the disposition to treat people better than they deserve. It is not to treat people as they deserve. It is not to treat people better than they deserve, in an outward way. It is not to wait till one is “moved” by good deeds and punishments to grant what has been thus already caused. No, no. It is the disposition, the very heart’s core of the being, to treat all persons better than they deserve.BEST June 3, 1895, page 170.3

    This is the Lord, the true God. “He doth not afflict from the heart, nor grieve the children of men.” Lamentations 3:33, margin. “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.” Psalm 103:10-14. His mercy is great above the greatness of the heavens. Psalm 103:4.BEST June 3, 1895, page 170.4

    RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH

    “Gracious”—extending favour. And that without measure; for it is written: “Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Ephesians 4:7. And the measure of the gift of Christ is but the measure of “all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” And this is the measure of the full and free favour that God has extended to every soul on this earth, just where he is, and just as he is. And this boundless grace to every one, brings salvation to every one in the same measure as is given the grace, which is the measure of the gift of Christ. For again it is written: “The grace of God, that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11. The salvation of God is full and free gift to everyone; but He will compel no one to take it. The receiving of the free gift of God is the exercise of the faith which He has also freely given to every man. “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8. “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed.” Romans 4:16.BEST June 3, 1895, page 170.5

    This is God’s way of justification; by grace, through faith; and of faith, that it might be by grace. “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 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.” Romans 3:24, 25. Justification is the free gift of God through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, who is altogether the free gift of God. For “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 to justification of life.” Romans 5:18. And the receiving of this gift of justification, this gift of righteousness, as the free gift of God, which it is, this is the exercise of the faith which God has given. And this is justification, this is righteousness, by faith. “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.” Romans 3:22. The faith being the gift of God, the righteousness which it brings and which it wrought by it is the righteousness of God. And this is righteousness, justification, by faith alone, of which, by her own boast, the Catholic Church knows nothing; and in so boasting advertises her utter lack of Christianity.BEST June 3, 1895, page 170.6

    TRUE REPENTANCE

    True, men are to repent, and they will repent when they find God as He is in truth, as He is revealed in Jesus Christ. For “it is the goodness of God” that leads men to repentance; and repentance itself is the gift of God. Romans 2:4; Acts 5:31. True repentance, being the gift of God, is perfect in itself, and needs no punishing of ourselves to compensate for the imperfection in it. But when the repentance is of ourselves, it has no merit that can bring to us any good, and all the punishment of ourselves that could ever be inflicted by ourselves or in ten thousand purgatories never could compensate for the imperfection of it. For it is simply impossible for any man to save himself by punishment or in any other way.BEST June 3, 1895, page 149.1

    The salvation, the justification, offered to mankind by Christianity is altogether of God by faith. The salvation, the justification, offered to mankind by the Papacy, is altogether of self by penance. The salvation offered by Christianity saves to the uttermost all who will receive it. The salvation offered by the Papacy brings to utter destruction all who follow after it. And yet the professed Protestantism of to-day recognises “Christianity” in the Papacy! Than this, nothing could possibly show more plainly how completely apostate such Protestantism is, not only from true Protestantism, but also from true Christianity.BEST June 3, 1895, page 149.2

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