This is what the Roman Catholic Church teaches about salvation.
By his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all human beings. Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called “original sin”. As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called “concupiscence”). The world has fallen into slavery to sin. However, God in His love sent forth His Son who died and rose from the dead on the third day so that men might be saved, that is, redeemed from sin. But how can a man be saved by Christ? Well, Catholic priests answer this question saying that salvation is obtained by baptism and penance. Therefore, the ‘sacrament’ of baptism and the ‘sacrament’ of penance are necessary for salvation, according to the Roman Catholic theology.
‘Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213 – From now on I will call it CCC). In other words, through baptism a man receives the forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, and becomes a son of God for he experiences the new birth: ‘The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ’ (CCC 1279). Baptism consists in pouring water on the candidate’s head, ‘while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit’ (CCC 1278). Baptism is administered not only to adults but also to infants.
‘Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion …. It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest’s sacramental absolution God grants the penitent “pardon and peace.” It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the life of God who reconciles: “Be reconciled to God.’ (CCC 1422, 1424). ‘Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification’ (CCC 1446). In other words, when a ‘Christian’ commits mortal sins (such as murder, blasphemy, adultery, fornication), he loses his baptismal grace, and thus he is on the way to hell. That’s why he needs to be reconciled to God. How can he be reconciled to God? The answer is this: by the priest’s sacramental absolution, in that the priest has been appointed by God to forgive men their sins and reconcile them to God. So he must go to confess his sins to the priest (at least once a year), who will grant him God’s pardon and peace. So the penitent will escape hell. You may ask me, ‘Why do you say ‘when a Christian commits mortal sins’? Do you mean that there are sins which don’t need to be confessed to the priest in order to be forgiven? Yes, that’s exactly what the Roman Catholic theology teaches, for if a ‘Christian’ commits the so called venial sins (for instance, if he tells a lie in order to have fun, or if he tells a lie to excuse himself, or if he steals a small sum of money from a rich man) he does not need to confess his sins to the priest, for he can obtain the forgiveness of his venial sins by repentance and good works. Otherwise he will expiate his venial sins after death in purgatory, which is a place of torment.
Now let’s come back to the confession to the priest. Even though the Roman Catholic theology says that by the priest’s sacramental absolution God grants the penitent ‘pardon and peace’, the penitent is not completely absolved. Why? Because ‘Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins. This satisfaction is also called “penance.” The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent’s personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ, “provided we suffer with him.” (CCC 1459,1460). That’s why the Roman Catholic theology affirms that a man is not justified by faith alone, but by faith plus good works; because he needs to expiate his sins (committed after baptism) by good works and sacrifices. You may ask now, ‘Can one who has made satisfaction for his sins say that he has been completely absolved and justified and thus when he dies he will go to heaven? Not at all. For in 1547 the council of Trent clearly stated: ‘If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema’ (Council of Trent, Sixth session, Canon XXX). As you can see, even if a Roman Catholic does all the things commanded to him by the Roman Catechism, he will never be able to say, ‘I am saved, and so when I die I will go to heaven to be with the Lord,’ for not all the debt of eternal punishment has been blotted out, that is, he still has some debts of temporal punishment to be discharged both in this world and in purgatory.
Water baptism is to be administered by immersion to those who have repented and believed, and it does not regenerate
In the light of the Holy Scripture, the baptism taught and administered by the Roman Catholic Church is not the water baptism instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ. Here are the reasons.
Water baptism is to be administered by immersion. Here is what the Scripture says about the baptism which was administered by Philip the evangelist to the eunuch: “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:36-39). As you can see, Philip did not pour some water upon the head of the eunuch but he plunged the eunuch into water. On the other hand, to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to ‘plunge’ or ‘immerse.’
Water baptism is to be administered to those who have repented and believed on the Lord, and thus it can’t be administered to newborn babies for they are not able to repent and believe in the Lord. In the early Church water baptism was administered only to people who had believed. Here are some passages of the Scripture which show this. “Then they that gladly received his word [the word of Peter] were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41); “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12); “And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8). As you can see, in the light of these biblical passages, a person can’t be baptized unless he has repented and believed in the Gospel.
Water baptism does not regenerate. For according to the Scripture we have been born again not through water baptism but through the word of God, as it is written: “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23 – NIV), and again: “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created” (James 1:18 – NIV). In other words, it was not through water baptism that we became sons of God, but through our faith in the Word of God. When we believed in the Word of God – which states that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose again for our justification – we were made alive and became sons of God by the power of the Word of God. The Scripture clearly teaches that a man becomes a son of God by faith; John says: “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13 – NKJV). Furthermore, water baptism does not forgive sins nor justify, for according to the Scripture a man is forgiven and justified by faith in Christ, as Peter says: “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43 – NIV), and as Paul says: “Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39 – NIV). Therefore let no one deceive you with vain words.
Now you may ask, ‘Since water baptism does not regenerate nor forgive sins nor justify, why should a believer be baptized? What’s the meaning and the importance of water baptism?’ Here is the answer to your questions.
The apostle Peter says that water baptism is “an appeal to God for a good conscience” (1 Peter 3:21 – NASB). Therefore, since he who believes in God, by accepting to be baptized, wants to have a good conscience before God, water baptism is necessary (on the other hand how could Jesus have ordained an unnecessary thing for those who would believe on Him?).
All of us, after we believed in the Lord, felt we needed to be baptized because we perceived in us by the Spirit that even though we were sons of God washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, we had to obey the Lord’s command concerning water baptism in order to have a good conscience before God. Of course, we were sure that we were both saved and forgiven, but, notwithstanding this, we felt we had to be baptized in water according to the order given by Christ, our Saviour. Therefore, according to the Scripture, by water baptism we obtained a good conscience before God.
At this point, someone may ask: ‘Does a believer have a good conscience before he is baptized? Or does the good conscience follow water baptism?’ Well, according to the Scripture, the conscience of a believer is cleansed from dead works by the blood of Jesus Christ and not by the water in which he is immersed after believing, as it is written: “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:13-14 – NKJV). Therefore, it is when a man believes in the blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross for the remission of our sins that his conscience is purified. In other words, it is by faith in Christ that a man receives the remission of his sins, not ‘by faith and water baptism’, but by faith alone. The apostle Peter said to Cornelius and his household: “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43 – NIV), and Paul confirmed this concept by the following words he wrote to the Romans: “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:25 – NIV). Therefore, every believer has a good conscience before he is baptized. Why then does Peter say that water baptism is an appeal to God for a good conscience? Because after one has believed in the Lord he must strive to have a clear conscience before God, that is to say, he must see that he keeps his conscience clear. How can he do this? Well, he can do it by keeping the commands of the Lord, and among His commands is the command concerning water baptism. The apostle Paul one day said before Felix: “I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men” (Acts 24:16 – NKJV). He was an apostle of the Lord, thus He was a born again Christian, washed in the blood of the Lamb, his conscience had been cleansed from dead works by the blood of Jesus, and he had been baptized as well, yet he stated that he was striving to have a good conscience (or a conscience void of offense) before God and men. Therefore, no wonder that any newborn babe in Christ feels he needs to be baptized in order to keep his conscience clear before God. His conscience bears him witness in the Holy Spirit that he must be baptized. Let me tell you something that happened to me several months after my conversion. In 1984 I went to England and lived there for about six months. I worked for the C. L. C (Christian Literature Crusade). One day I was invited to a baptismal service which took place in a swimming pool; I was a born again Christian, I was sure that all my sins were forgiven, I was sure I was a son of God, however, I had not yet been baptized. During the baptismal service I perceived by the Holy Spirit that my conscience was telling me that I too needed to be baptized together with those people who were being baptized. I had not yet obeyed the Lord’s command concerning water baptism. I wanted to be baptized, but I wanted to be baptized before my parents and those believers who had known me for many years. So several months later, after I returned to Italy, I was baptized in the Lake Maggiore. The day on which I was baptized was a happy day. After I was baptized I perceived that my conscience did not rebuke me any longer.
In addition to this, by water baptism we were buried with Christ, as it s written: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4). And since it is the dead who are buried and not the living, we can say that when we were buried through baptism into the death of Christ we had already died to sin, since we had repented of our sins and believed in the Gospel. In other words, we were already born again, thus, dead to sin, before we were immersed in water; and through baptism our old man was buried with Christ. Just as Christ was already dead to sin when He was buried (“for the death that He died, He died to sin once for all”, says Paul. Romans 6:10 – NKJV), so we also were already dead to sin through the body of Christ when we were buried with Him. We can express this concept also in this way: we were saved from our sins by faith, thus before we were baptized we were already saved (because faith preceded water baptism). Therefore we can call our water baptism ‘an act of obedience to God which sealed the justification we obtained by faith before water baptism’. We can compare it to the sign of circumcision Abraham received, as it is written: “He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith, while he was still uncircumcised” (Romans 4:11 – NIV), because Abraham also was justified by God through faith before he was circumcised. It was not circumcision which was accounted to Abraham for righteousness but his faith, as it is written: “We say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness” (Romans 4:9 – NKJV). Likewise, it was not water baptism which was accounted to us for righteousness but our faith, which we had before we were baptized.
Through water baptism we told the devil and his ministers (as well as the people who were present or heard about our baptism) that we have become disciples of Jesus Christ, and that we do not want to live for ourselves any longer, but we want to live for Him who died and rose again for us. So we proclaimed that we have decided to deny ourselves and the pleasures of sin, which the devil offers us through this evil world. For we should always remember that when we were born again we were delivered from this present evil age, which lies under the sway of the wicked one and we were conveyed into the kingdom of the Son of God; and also that before our new birth we used to serve sin but after the new birth we begin to serve righteousness. Water baptism, therefore, is an act through which we proclaimed that we died to sin and to the world. Just as through the Lord’s Supper we proclaim the death that the Lord died to sin once for all, so through water baptism, which one undergoes once during his life, we proclaimed that we died to sin and to the world. And keep in mind that just as the Lord’s Supper is not the repetition of the Lord’s death, so water baptism was not an act through which we died to sin because our death to sin took place before we were baptized. Consider that in some countries to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ means to be condemned to death by one’s countrymen: this is why many of our brothers in these countries have been killed after water baptism, for thus they proclaimed publicly their decision to follow Christ. That shows that in these countries, according to the enemies of the Gospel, everyone who decides to be baptized has decided to proclaim that he has denied his former religion and embraced a new religion, and thus he deserves to be put to death for he is a traitor or apostate.
Water baptism is an act through which we declared that we are not ashamed of Christ, but we are willing to bear His reproach in this world of darkness. Therefore, the fact that many believers, before their water baptism, have met with strong opposition on the part of their unbelieving parents and relatives is due to the fact that the devil, through those who are under his power, tried to induce them to be ashamed of their Saviour. For the adversary knows that Jesus said: “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
Christians must confess their sins to God so that He may forgive them their sins
As we saw before, the Roman Catholic theology says that ‘Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification’ (CCC 1446). When did Christ institute the sacrament of Penance? When He said to His apostles: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if your retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23 – NKJV). Therefore, according to the Roman Catholic theology Christ gave the apostles the authority to forgive believers their sins committed after baptism; however, in order that their sins might be forgiven believers had to go to confess their ‘mortal sins’ to the apostles. What the Roman Catholic theology says is false, for Christ by those words of His did not institute the ‘sacrament of penance.’ For neither the book of the Acts of the apostles nor the epistles of the apostles hint at the ‘sacrament of penance.’ There is not one hint in these important writings of the New Testament that in the early Church the apostles commanded believers to confess their sins to them. The following incident recorded in the book of the Acts clearly proves that in the early Church the ‘sacrament of penance’ did not exist. Luke says: “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me” (Acts 8:5-24). As you can see, Simon believed and was baptized. However, when he saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money to purchase that authority (bear in mind that Simon, according to the Roman Catholic theology, committed a ‘mortal sin,’ so he had to confess his sin to the apostles). How did the apostles react? What did they say to Simon? The Scripture says that Peter said to Simon: “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.’ Peter did not say to Simon: ‘Repent therefore of this your wickedness and confess your sin to us, for we have the authority to forgive men their sins’, but he said to Simon to repent and to pray God so that He might forgive him his sin.
As you can see, from the above mentioned incident we learn that in the days of the apostles believers had to confess their sins, committed after their water baptism, to God, and not to someone else, in order to obtain the forgiveness of their sins.
This is confirmed by the apostle John, one of the apostles to whom Jesus said: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them”, who wrote in his first epistle: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 – NKJV). To whom did they have to confess their sins? To God, of course, for the apostle said that if they – so he included himself – confessed their sins to God, He in His faithfulness and righteousness, would forgive them their sins and would cleanse them from all iniquities. It could not be otherwise, for John knew that Jesus, when He taught them to pray, had commanded them to say to God: “Our Father in heaven …. Forgive us our debts ….” (Matthew 6:9,12 – NKJV), and thus they had to address their confession to God. A little further, still in his first epistle, the apostle John said: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world!” (1 John 2:1-2). Note that he did not say: ‘If any man sin, you have the apostles of the Lord, or the elders, who can forgive you your sins’, but he said: “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”. That means that John believed that even if a believer sins he will be forgiven by God, coming directly to Him in the name of His Son.
Let me quote also the following words written by James, the brother of the Lord, to the twelve tribes which were scattered abroad, so that you may understand that the ‘sacrament’ of penance did not exist in the days of the apostles: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:1-10). Now, according to the roman catholic theology those believers had committed ‘mortal sins,’ in that they killed, they lusted, they had become friends of the world and enemies of God. So James should have told them to confess their sins to the apostles or to the bishops of the Church; don’t you think? Yet he did not mention the ‘sacrament of penance’ at all, for he said to them: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up”. Therefore, James also exhorted the saints to come to the throne of God, to confess their sins to God and not to an apostle or another minister of the Gospel.
All the above mentioned passages show that Christ gave no authority to the apostles to forgive sins, for the apostles never exhorted the saints to confess their sins to them. But they exhorted the saints to confess their sins to God so that He might forgive them their sins. On the other hand, the early believers had the writings of the Old Testament which confirmed that they had to confess their sins to God and not to men, even though those men (that is, the apostles of the Lord) were holy men who had known personally Jesus. For instance, David said to God in the Psalms: “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5). Do not these words prove that they had to confess their sins to God alone?
In the light of what I have said, therefore, if we sin we must confess our sin to God for God is ready to forgive us in His mercy, and He will certainly forgive us our sin.
Let all those who confess their sins to the priest know that they are wasting their time, for the priest has not the authority to forgive men their sins.
A true Christian has the assurance that God has forgiven him all his sins, therefore he is sure that when he dies he will go to be with the Lord in the Kingdom of heaven
As I said before, when a man repents of his sins and believes in Jesus Christ he obtains the forgiveness or the blotting out of all his past sins, for it is written: “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43 – NIV). Therefore a man’s conscience is cleansed from dead works by faith, and not by water baptism for baptism follows faith (cf. Acts 15:9). Jesus Christ, by His blood, cleanses the repentant sinner from all the sins he has committed, and he becomes as white as snow in the sight of God. The repentant sinner receives not only forgiveness of sins but also eternal life, for Jesus said: “He who believes in Me has everlasting life” (John 6:47 – NKJV). Therefore, he is sure not only that his sins have been forgiven once for all, but also that when he dies he will go to heaven to be with the Lord Jesus Christ.
If anyone sins after his conversion, he must repent of his sins and confess them to God, for John wrote to the saints: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 – NKJV). As you can see, according to the promise of God, every child of God who confesses his sins to God will be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness. This means that there remains no debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened to him. In other words, after a child of God has been forgiven by God, he must not ‘make satisfaction for’ or ‘expiate’ his sins. His debts have been forgiven and blotted out by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, why then should he do something more to make amends for the sins he has confessed to God? If we were to expiate the sins we have confessed to God and which have been forgiven us, that would mean that the forgiveness of sins promised by God to us is a false forgiveness and thus God has told us a lie. However, God cannot lie against the truth, but it is the papal theologians who lie against the truth, as it is written: “Let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4 – NKJV), for they make the Scripture say what it does not say. The truth is that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all iniquities, and it is able to make us whiter than snow: “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7 – NKJV), says David in the Psalms. In other words, after we confess our debts to God they are blotted out by the blood of Jesus, thus there remains no debt of temporal punishment to be discharged. That’s why we have the assurance that when we die we will go to heaven to be with the Lord at once; because when we confess our sins to Him the blood which was sprinkled upon us cleanses us from all iniquities and makes us as white as snow, so that by the blood of Christ we are enabled by God to appear without stain before Him at any moment. Therefore, we are not presumptuous in saying that when we die we will go to heaven, but rather we show our trust in the purifying power of the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no condemnation to those who are sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ; there is no debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in a so called purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened to them, because the blood of Jesus made full satisfaction for all their sins.
Brothers, beware of what the papal theologians teach about salvation, for their teaching is contrary to the sound doctrine. What they teach about salvation is a damnable heresy which has plunged into the torments of hell hundreds of millions of people so far all over the world. Stand firm in the faith, confess your sins to God for He is a faithful and merciful God, and He will forgive you and cleanse you from all iniquities by the precious blood of Jesus.
Venial sins and mortal sins
As we saw before, according to the Roman Catholic theology sins are divided in two classes: venial sins and mortal sins.
The Scripture says that “all unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17 – NKJV), and that when sin – no matter what kind of sin – is full-grown it “brings forth death” (James 1:15 – NKJV). Therefore, the wages of every sin is death. And in order to be forgiven we must repent of our sins, confess them to God, pleading with Him to forgive us our sins, for Jesus told His disciples to say to God: “Forgive us our debts” (Matthew 6:12 – NKJV).
However, there is a sin of which a believer cannot repent, that is, the sin unto death (cf. 1 John 5:16; Hebrews 10:26-27; 6:4-6), which consists in denying the Lord. It is impossible for those who commit this sin to be brought back to repentance for they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. That’s the only distinction which is made by the Scripture between sins.
Salvation by grace and salvation by works
The Scripture says: “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work” (Romans 11:6 – NKJV). Therefore, if salvation is by grace it cannot be by works, while if it is by works it cannot be by grace alone.
According to the Scripture, salvation is by grace alone. In other words, a man is not justified nor delivered from his sins nor does he receive eternal life by works, but by grace alone. However, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that a man is justified, delivered from his sins and receives eternal life by works. By so doing the Roman Catholic Church sets aside the grace of God, and deceives millions of people all over the world. Abhor their teaching and expose it with all boldness.