Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why is Grace So Hard to Understand?

Why is grace, God's unmerited kindness toward His elect, so hard to understand? Specifically, why is it that people refuse to acknowledge that we cannot enter into Heaven by our own merits? Actually, I do know the answer. It's called pride.

A recent article in the New York Times mentions that charitable donations can be counted as an indulgence that may diminish one's time spent in purgatory for Catholics. Evidently Catholic teaching never really did away with indulgences. Now the problem here is that Catholic teaching does not put much stock in the death of Jesus as being once and for all for the payment for our sins. And here is the rub. Jesus died once for the remission of our sins. Nothing we can do can earn our way into heaven. As an Anglican I don't believe in purgatory. The cross of Christ is sufficient for me to be saved. Whatever good works I do is a fruit of faith, not a bribe to God. The doctrine of purgatory is repugnant to Scripture. When one dies, one will either go to heaven or go to hell. Scripture is clear as to who goes where.

Now watch these next two videos. One is from a Catholic teacher and the other from a Protestant evangelist. And tell me where you want to put your faith, in yourself or in Christ who stood in our place on that first Good Friday granting us eternal life for those who repent. And that my friend is grace!

Now let us be clear what St. Paul taught: But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26

Now hear the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ as proclaimed to a sinner in the street: