Answering Roman Catholicism

13 - Rome's Counterfeit Salvation: Paying for Sins With A Worthless Currency

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
The Roman Catholic church tells its people that they can use what is, in fact, a worthless currency in the courtroom of God to pay for their sins.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part thirteen of a series. Read part twelve.

The Roman Catholic church tells its people that they can use what is, in fact, a worthless currency in the courtroom of God to pay for their sins. What is it? What does Scripture say?

If you went to an automobile dealership, chose a new car, and then insisted on paying for it with play money from your child's Monopoly game, what would happen? At first the salesman might think you were joking. But if he realized that you were serious, he would have good reason to think you were insane. And if you insisted on getting into the car and driving it home after you left a stack of worthless Monopoly money on his desk, he would call the police, who would soon appear at your door and arrest you for car theft. You cannot pay for something as valuable as a car, or even a simple cup of coffee, with a worthless currency.

But in the spiritual realm, the Roman Catholic church tells its people they can do such a thing every day regarding their sins. As we have noted in previous articles, Rome's counterfeit Christianity says that people must continually pay for "mortal" sins by performing acts of penance, and spend hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years in Purgatory to pay for their "venial" sins. Rome falsely claims that its priests have the power to pass sentence on the sinner in the "tribunal" of the Confessional. The priest tells the individual what he must do to pay for his sins - repeating prescribed prayers, visiting so-called holy sites or shrines, making financial contributions to the church, or doing other kinds of "good works".

If you cannot pay for a car or even a cup of coffee with your child's Monopoly money, it is far more ridiculously impossible to pay for your sins - or as Rome would say, add a payment to Christ's atonement - by the worthless currency of good works. There is only one currency that will pay the price for sin at the judgment seat of God, and it is the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture tells us that "without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins" (Hebrews 9:22). Furthermore, Scripture declares that not just anyone's blood is acceptable in God's court as payment for sin:

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He [Jesus] came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure." (Hebrews 10:4-6)

But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:11-15)

Scripture clearly declares that only the blood of Christ could propitiate God's wrath:

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:18-21)

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:19-26)

Our works are a worthless currency in the courtroom of God:

They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be like refuse; their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord (Ezekiel 7:19)

You are indeed angry, for we have sinned - in these ways we continue; and we need to be saved. But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:5-6)

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. (Philippians 3:7-9)

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage...You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:1 & 4)

...knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. (Galatians 2:16-21)

Jesus, as our great High Priest, has offered His incorruptible blood in the heavenly sanctuary. His blood is there on the mercy seat forever. As long as we live on this earth, and as long as we live in the New Heavens and New Earth - for eternity - the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ will be there, as the full and final payment for our sins. His blood - the full price of our redemption - will remain on the altar of heaven throughout eternity, so that we will never, ever, have to add one thing to that great ransom price.

Throughout all eternity the redeemed ones will be able to point to that heavenly sanctuary and say, "That is why I am here. The blood of Jesus Christ God's Son has cleansed me from all sin, forever! Worthy is the Lamb!"

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:8-10)

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)

God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel... (2 Timothy 1:8-10)

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

If good works do not save - if they can add nothing to the redemption purchased for us by Christ with His own blood - then what is the purpose of the good works for which God has created us in Christ? We shall consider that question as we continue.

Next: God's Purpose for Good Works: Not What Rome Claims It Is


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