Protestants alike use many of the same words. However,
the Catholic definitions of these words is often different
than the Biblical definition understood by evangelical
Christians. Therefore, before delving to far into
exploring the beliefs of Catholicism, it is important to
understand the different definitions. Below are some
common terms, and how the Catholic definition differs from
the Biblical definition:
should be pointed out, that in order to justify the Catholic
Church's doctrines of prayers for the dead, the Mass,
invocation and intercession of the saints, the worship of
angels, purgatory, the redemption of souls after death, and
other doctrines, the Church added new portions to the Old
Testament books of Esther and Daniel, plus seven additional
books: Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Ben Sirach (or
"Ecclesiasticus"), Baruch, and Wisdom. The Catholic
Church refers to these extra books as "deuterocanonical
works". This means that they are scriptural for
Catholics, but not part of the Jewish Bible.
Protestants call these additions "The Apocrypha," and have
never considered them part of inspired scripture due to their
historical, geographical, and chronological errors, as well
as for their heretical doctrines. In fact, the Catholic
Church itself did not add the Apocrypha to the Bible until
the Council of Trent (held in the 1500's).
God's disposition toward mankind, wherein He expresses
His mercy and love, so that the believer is now treated as
if he were innocent and righteous.
A power - separate from God - which is placed into a
believer. This power enables the believer to perform
works that will earn him or her the "right" to heaven.
The instantaneous reception of an irrevocable
right-standing before God. Salvation is secured by
faith, through the grace of God. It is not given only
to those who have lived in a worthy way. Romans 3:23
tells us that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of
God." No, salvation is given to those the Bible
describes as "ungodly," "sinners," "enemies," and "children
Catholicism: The lifelong process whereby God
and men cooperate in the securing of forgiveness of sin.
This is achieved only after death (and/or cleansing from sin
in purgatory), and is dependant on man's personal securing of
objective righteousness before God; otherwise, there would be
All sins are forgiven at the point of salvation, because
Christ's death satisfied all God's wrath against sin.
(See Colossians 2:13,14)
Catholicism: Sins are only potentially
forgiven, and so must be worked off through a process
mediated by the Church and its sacraments over the lifetime
of the believer.
The instantaneous imparting of eternal life and the
quickening of the human spirit, making it alive to God.
Catholicism: The lifelong process of infusing
grace (spiritual power) to perform meritorious works (in
The legal declaration of Christ's righteousness reckoned to
the believer at the point of faith, solely as an act of God's
Catholicism: Spiritual rebirth and the lifelong
process of sanctification which begins at the point of the
sacrament of baptism.
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