The Pitfall of Catholic Thinking in Christianity
By David J. Stewart
2nd Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
In the first place, there are no Catholics who are Christians. None! If you are trusting Sacramental Salvation to get you into Heaven, then you're going to Hell when you die, plain and simple (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:3-4). I say think respectfully, but honestly as a caring friend.
The term sacrament is NOT even found in the Bible. The Bible never teaches that we must perform sacraments to get to Heaven. Salvation by sacraments is strictly Catholic teaching—a doctrine of devils (1st Timothy 4:1). Genuine Biblical salvation come solely by faith in the Lamb of God, Jesus, the Christ (Galatians 3:26).
So the matter is settled concerning salvation, we are saved by faith alone in the Savior.
Having said that, many believers make the foolish mistake of trying to live the Christian life in their own human strength. Since we are saved by faith, then we ought to continue living by faith. The Bible teaches this TRUTH, i.e., that we walk by faith, not by sight (2nd Corinthians 5:7). John 14:16 and 18, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever... I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
We live the Christian life by faith, meaning that we must trust God continually to help us fulfill His Word. No believer can live the Christian life! We need Jesus Christ to live the Christian life through us by faith. Romans 8:9 refers to the precious Holy Spirit of God as the Spirit of Christ.
The mistake that many believers make is thinking that God is somehow impressed by their good deeds. If good works are done in faith as a Christian, then of course, yes, God is pleased. But don't think that you are impressing God in your own self-righteousness as a believer. Many Christians do this. They get saved by faith; but then think God is impressed with their self-righteousness as a believer. They are carnally-minded, immature believers, and need to stop thinking that way.
The correct attitude is that we desperately need God's Holy Spirit to help us live right, to fulfill the Law of God. We're NOT saved by keeping the Law (Romans 3:20); but now that we're saved God expects us to keep the Law out of love (Romans 3:31). We can only succeed with His help (Ephesians 3:20). I was saved by faith; and I live the Christian life by faith. I relied upon Jesus to save me; and now I rely upon Jesus to help me live for God as His child.
Living for God has absolutely NOTHING to do with my salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation is of the Lord. Jesus paid for all my sins (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23). We are saved solely by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS (Matthew 6:33; Romans 10:3-4; 2nd Corinthians 5:21).
And now that I've been born-again, I live the Christian life day-by-day, trusting God's Holy Spirit to help guide me with the Scriptures; to make a way of escape from temptation, to comfort, rebuke, reprove, strengthen, teach, and help me in every way. The Holy Spirit, i.e., the Spirit of Christ, is God with us (Matthew 1:23).
So don't allow the self-righteousness of Catholicism to creep into your mind as a Christian. You weren't saved by self-righteousness works, and neither can you impress God as a believer in your own self-righteousness. If we are able to live the Christian life at all, it is only because of the wondrous power of God that transformed us and made us a new creature in Christ. 2nd Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Believers who attempt to impress God in their own self-righteousness will never truly find inner joy and peace as a Christian. They are saved, because they fully realize that salvation is completely of the Lord and no self-righteousness of their own can save them. They know that. They came as a sinner and trusted the Savior for forgiveness. That's all God's requires to be saved (Acts 10:43).
Yet, it is so easy to get caught up into the false notion that somehow God is impressed with our own efforts to please Him. Faith is the only thing that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). If I am able to live for God, and I am, it is ONLY because of the presence of God's Holy Spirit in my life the moment I received Jesus as my personal Savior. Christ died, that's history; Christ died for me, that's salvation!
I am not a Catholic Christian, i.e., I don't try to impress God as a Christian day-by-day in my own self-righteousness. God is impressed with my faith in Jesus Christ. God is impressed that I rely and trust upon the presence of the Person of Jesus Christ in my body as the Holy Spirit. If it weren't for the presence of God's Holy Spirit in my body, I absolutely could not live for God. I would be hopelessly enslaved to the lusts, sins and the wickednesses of this world. Only though Jesus Christ can I live for God; just as only through Christ could I have been saved 30-years ago.
This article will change your life if you'll let it. Stop trying to please God in your own efforts. Continually pray and ask the Lord to help you live right. Jesus told the disciples to pray, lest they enter into temptation (Luke 22:46). In Psalm 119:11 David said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” You need God to live the Christian life just as much as you needed Him the day you were saved. We all do. I didn't save myself, Jesus saved me. All I did was BELIEVE (John 20:31).
And likewise, we live the Christian life the same way we were saved, i.e., by yielding our will to God's Word and the Spirit of Christ in us. We need to let go and let God. Let God have the steering wheel. Proverb 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!