Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church - The Key Question
Members of the Roman Catholic Church should ask themselves the same question that all members of any so-called Christian denomination should ask: "Do I have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?" God really doesn't care about the particular rituals, customs and traditions of the "organized" denominations, as long as they don't get in the way of the undeniable foundation of the Christian faith, Jesus Christ. If we have a daily intimate and abiding walk with Jesus, the degree to which we practice our faith in denominational traditions while here on earth will not affect our eternal salvation. Fortunately, God is the perfect judge of the intent of our hearts.
Roman Catholic Church - The Core of Faith
Like all Christians, members of the Roman Catholic Church should be careful not to misplace their faith. For many of us, our faith is not always centered and founded in God through Jesus Christ, but rather in an organization or religion. Christianity must be a process of developing an abiding, growing, organic relationship with our Creator. It cannot be a trust in an institution or religion, nor can it be a cultural heritage. Religion and organizations are the invention of man, not of God. "I'm Catholic/christian because my father or grandfather was a Catholic" is a misguided view of what Christianity is all about. We must always develop and commit to a personal faith in God through Christ. We serve a personal God who cares about the little things as well as the big things in our lives. He desires from us a personal relationship. The relationships we develop on earth are for the purpose of modeling Christ in our character so that the world can see a minute portion of God's love present and moving outward from our hearts. Our neighbors, friends and family should see evidence of our personal relationship with God governing our speech, actions, character and values.
Roman Catholic Church - The Basis of Salvation
Like all Christians, members of the Roman Catholic Church should examine the basis of salvation in their lives. Salvation is not by works, but by grace. The Bible is very clear that we cannot earn our way into eternity with God. Our works are merely evidences of our faith, not the basis for salvation. The reason it's unnecessary to perform good works in order to secure salvation is that God himself, through the work of Christ, has performed all the work necessary. However, one of the very reasons God saved us is so we would perform good works, and if we do not perform good works we are in disobedience to His Word. The Bible is clear on the source of our salvation: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).
Many of us have confused the doctrine of justification with the doctrine of sanctification. According to the Bible, after a man is justified before God, he begins a lifelong process of sanctification where he grows in holiness and obedience to God's law. Justification is the starting point for sanctification (Romans 6). Justification removes the guilt of sin and restores the sinner to a relationship with God. Sanctification eliminates sinful habits and makes the sinner more and more like Jesus Christ. Justification takes place outside of the sinner in the court of God. Sanctification takes place in the soul and the spirit of man. Justification takes place once and for all. Sanctification is a continuous process of growth, as we "run the race" to the end of our lives. The work of sanctification is never complete in the life of a Christian.
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