Pristine Grace

On the Occasion of The Papal Visit
January 26-27, 1999
St. Louis, Missouri
by Mike Dickmann

Come, Let us Reason Together Concerning Three Essential Areas of Christian Truth

Spiritual Authority : Who will rule over God's people?

The Pope Teaches...

  1. Peter was the head of the apostles. (552, 765, 880) 
  2. The Pope, as the successor of Peter, with the bishops, rule the people of God. (882, 883, 936, 894-896) 
  3. God has entrusted revelation to the Roman Catholic Bishops. (81, 86) 
  4. The Magisterium is the authoritative teacher of God's people. (85-87) 
  5. The Magisterium is the infallible interpreter of the Bible. (890-891, 2034-2035) 
  6. The Pope is infallible in his authoritative teaching. (891) 

(Numbers in parentheses are paragraphs in the Roman Catholic Catechism.)
 

The Bible Teaches...

  1. Christ was the Head of the apostles. (John 13:13
  2. Christ, the Head of the body, rules the people of God. (Colossians 1:18
  3. God has entrusted revelation to his redeemed people. (Jude 3
  4. The Holy Spirit is the authoritative teacher of God's people. (John 14:26, 16:13) 
  5. God alone is infallible. (Numbers 23:19
  6. Every one of God's people, aided by the Holy Spirit, has the ability and the right to interpret the Bible. (Acts 17:11, 1 Corinthians 2:12-16

(References in parentheses are to specific Bible verses.)
 

The Pope Teaches...

  1. Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin from her conception. (490-492) 
  2. Mary, the all-holy, lived a perfectly sinless life. (411, 493) 
  3. Mary was a virgin before, during and after the birth of Christ. (496-511) 
  4. Mary is the co-redeemer, for she participated with Christ in the painful act of redemption. (618, 964,968,970) 
  5. Mary is the co-mediator to whom we can entrust all our cars. (968-970) 
  6. We should entrust ourselves to Mary, surrendering "The Hour of our Death" wholly to her care. (2677) 

The Bible Teaches...

  1. Mary, a descendant of Adam, was born in sin. (Psalm 51:5, Romans 5:12
  2. Mary was a sinner; God alone is all-holy. (Luke 18:19, Romans 3:23, Revelation 15:4
  3. Mary was a virgin until the birth of Christ. Later she had other children. (Matthew 1:25, Matthew 13:55,56, Psalm 69:8
  4. Christ alone is the Redeemer for He alone suffered and died for sin. (1 Peter 1:18&19) 
  5. Christ Jesus is the one and only Mediator to whom we can entrust all our cars. (1 Timothy 2:5, John 14:13&14, 1 Peter 5:7
  6. We should entrust ourselves to the Lord Jesus, surrendering the hour of our death wholly to His care. (Romans 10:13, Acts 4:12

The Pope Teaches...

  1. Justification is a transformation of the soul in which original sin is removed and sanctifying grace infused. (1987-1995) 
  2. Initial justification is by means of baptism. (1262-1274) 
  3. Adults must prepare for justification through faith and good works. (1247-1249) 
  4. Salvation from the eternal consequences of sin is a lifelong process. (161-162, 1254-1255) 
  5. Salvation is attained by cooperating with grace through faith, good works, and participation in the sacraments. (183, 1129, 1815, 2002) 
  6. Faith is a belief in God and the firm acceptance of all that the church proposes for belief. (181-182, 1814) 
  7. The sacraments are necessary channels for the continual infusion of grace. They bestow grace in virtue of the rite performed. (1127-1129) 
  8. Grace is merited by good works. (2010, 2027) 
  9. Eternal life is a merited reward. (1821, 2010) 
  10. The Roman Catholic Church is necessary for salvation. (846) 

The Bible Teaches...

  1. Justification is an act of God in which He declares a sinner to be righteous in God's sight, having forgiven his sins and imputed to the sinner the righteousness of Christ. (Romans 3:21-4:8) 
  2. Justification is through faith alone. (Romans 3:28
  3. God justifies ungodly sinners who believe on Christ. (Romans 4:5
  4. Salvation from the eternal consequences of sin is an instantaneous and secure act of God coinciding with justification. (Romans 5:9
  5. Salvation is obtained by grace through faith apart from works (Ephesians 2:8,9
  6. Saving faith is the entrusting of oneself to Christ as Lord and Savior. (Romans 10:8-17
  7. The child of God is the constant object of the Father's grace. (Romans 5:1,2
  8. Grace is a free gift. (Romans 11:6 "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.") 
  9. Eternal life is the free gift of God. (Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.") 
  10. There is salvation in no one, including the Pope and his church, but the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:12 "For there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.") 

Come Let Us Reason Together:

As our comparison study makes clear, the teachings of the Pope and the Bible are in complete contradiction on three essential truths of the Christian faith. Go ahead and see for yourself by lookup up the Bible references and comparing them to the Catholic Catechism. Make no mistake, you must choose between these two sources of authority. Both cannot be right.

God has given us the Bible. He expects us to read it and learn from it what to believe and how to live. If we would spend eternity with God in heaven, we must reject the teaching of the Pope and embrace the Truth as it is revealed in the Bible. The only way a guilty sinner can be saved is through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, freely given and received by grace through faith alone, not by works that no man should boast. If you are trusting in your works and Jesus Christ, you will not be saved, but eternally lost. God will not share His glory with anyone. God alone is the Author and Finisher of our salvation. Hear the Word of God:

Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 10:9-10, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


Please consider these things, read your Bible, pray to God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, ask God to reveal the truth to you. You will find Him ever true and full of mercy to forgive.