The Catholic doctrine of the Cross/Work of Christ vs. the Biblical view
In order to know what something means you must know what it is not. In other words, in order for a word to mean something it also must not mean something. Meaning demands discrimination. Therefore, to learn the Biblical meaning of the Cross/Work of Christ you must learn what it does not mean to mature in your growth in what truly happened at the cross. Satan is a master at producing counterfeits. His masterpiece counterfeit of the Cross/Work of Christ is Roman Catholicism. God in His wisdom has chosen to have Satan develop many counterfeits in order to contrast truth with error. The contrast of Satan’s lies juxtaposed with God’s truth develops great discernment in our understanding between what the gospel of Christ is and what it is not.
Purpose: To learn from Scripture the true meaning of the Cross/Work of Christ in order to expose the false view of Roman Catholicism. In addition, this study will give you a greater understanding and appreciation for what your Lord accomplished for you on the cross and this knowledge will help you defend the biblical doctrine of penal substitution.
1a. The Catholic view teaches the Family Model for salvation.
God is not a Holy Judge in this model but a loving Father who allows His Son to abate His anger through Christ sacrifice. However, this sacrifice in and of itself does not save the sinner. It only provides temporal forgiveness and an avenue for the Catholic believer to begin the process of being made righteous through obedience to the Roman/State sacramental system.
1b. The Biblical view teaches the Courtroom Model for salvation.
In the Biblical model God is a Holy Judge who is angry because all sin from His creatures is against His Holy nature. The Scriptures also declare God to be a God of justice and His holy justice demands payment for all sin. No sin goes unpunished in God’s world. Consequently, the biblical view for salvation is legal in nature and not moral in nature because the biblical view represents the Legal Nature of God. The great realities of Christianity are defined in God’s legal, objective, non-experiential system of salvation and not in man’s moral, subjective, experiential system.
1c. The Legal Language of the Bible.
(1) God is Judge.
Gen 18:25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
(2) God is Just.
Deu 32:4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
(3) God is the Law-giver.
Jas 4:12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
Isa 33:22 (For the LORD is our Judge, The LORD is our Lawgiver, The LORD is our King; He will save us);
(4) God wrote the law on men’s hearts to make them guilty before Him.
Rom 2:14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,
Rom 2:15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)
(5) Guilt is a Legal term.
Rom 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
(6) Condemnation and Justification are legal terms.
Joh 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
(7) Imputation is legal in nature.
Rom 5:18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
2Co 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Rom 4:5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
Rom 4:6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
Rom 4:7 “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS ARE FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS ARE COVERED;
Rom 4:8 BLESSED IS THE MAN TO WHOM THE LORD SHALL NOT IMPUTE SIN.”
(8) Adoption is a legal term.
Eph 1:5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
2a. The Catholic view teaches that Christ did not save anyone in and of itself. It only made salvation possible.
2b. The biblical view teaches that Christ Cross/Work actually accomplished what it intended to do, which was to save His people from their sins.
Luk 19:10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Mat 1:21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
Isa 53:11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
Heb 2:14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Heb 2:15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Eph 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Tit 2:14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
Gal 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Heb 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Heb 9:12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Heb 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,
Heb 9:14 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?
Heb 9:26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Col 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
Col 1:22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—
Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Rom 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Act 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
Rev 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
Rev 5:10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
Dan 9:24 “Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.