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How can I explain the Catholic teaching on justification to Protestants who have a different understanding?

Full Question

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “justification includes the remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man” (CCC 2019). Protestants deny that the last two of these are part of justification. How can I show that they are?

Answer

Look up Romans 6:7. All standard English translations render this verse as some variation on the statement, “He who has died has been freed from sin.” The topic here is one of sanctification, the making the believer holy, or freeing him from sin.

What is significant about Romans 6:7 is that when it says the one who has died has been freed from sin, the word for freed is actually the Greek word for justified. What it literally says is, “He who has died has been justified from sin,” yet the context is so obviously sanctificational that all standard English translations of the Bible rendered “justified from sin” as “freed from sin.” This shows that for Paul there was not a rigid wall between justification and sanctification. The meanings of the two terms overlap in his mind.










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3 comments

  1. Merry Jo Parker Reply

    Protestants do not deny sanctification and renewal of the inner man. It is the opposite. Catholics deny sanctification by professing that the remission of sin requires the “sacrament” of confession in order to be forgiven! Christ did it all and the only requirement for remission of sin, sanctification, and rebirth or renewal of the inner man is to believe that He did it for us because we can’t do it for ourselves! AMEN!

  2. Mike Reply

    Because Christ your God gave authority to his Church to forgive sins. Just read the bible, bible along guy. John 20:23 23″If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

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