Council of Trent: Canons on Justification.

Lutheranism was growing strong in the 1500's.  In response to this, the Roman Catholic church convened the Council of Trent in November of 1544 in an attempt to counter the doctrines raised and supported by the Reformers.  The official opening of the council was on Dec. 13, 1545 and was closed on Dec. 14, 1563.  The council delivered many statements on various subjects.  These Canons have never been denied by the Roman Catholic Church.

Following are several of the doctrinal statements made on Justification at the council of Trent.  After each Canon are scriptures that contradict that Canon.  These scriptures are linked to the KJV on CARM so you can click on them and read them in context.

Finally, you will see the word "anathema" used many times by the Council.  This means that those who disagree with the doctrines of this Council are cursed.  In Gal. 1:8-9, the word "anathema" is used.  The curse must come from God.  Therefore, we conclude that according to Roman Catholicism, anyone who disagrees with the following Canons are cursed of God.  The Roman Catholic church excommunicates those under anathema.  In other words, excommunication means being outside the Christian church.  Being outside the church means you are not saved.

In spite of what Catholicism states, the Bible speaks differently.  Following each Canon is a list of appropriate scriptures countering the Catholic position.

  1. CANON 9:  "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema." 
    1. "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Rom. 3:20).
    2. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;" (Rom. 3:24).
    3. "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Rom. 3:28).
    4. "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." (Rom. 4:3).
    5. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Rom. 5:1).
    6. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God;" (Eph. 2:8).
    7. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost," (Titus 3:5).
  2. CANON 12:  "If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ's sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified . . . let him be accursed"
    1. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name," (John 1:12).
    2. "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Rom. 3:28).
    3. 'For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." (Rom. 4:3).
    4. "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the peoples: for this he did once, when he offered up himself." (Heb. 7:25-27).
    5. "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." (2 Tim. 1:12).
  3. Canon 14: "If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema."
    1. "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." (Rom. 4:3).
    2. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Rom. 5:1).
  4. Canon 23: "lf any one saith, that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he that falls and sins was never truly justified; or, on the other hand, that he is able, during his whole life, to avoid all sins, even those that are venial,--except by a special privilege from God, as the Church holds in regard of the Blessed Virgin; let him be anathema."
    1. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36).
    2. "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40).
    3. "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:28).
    4. "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 5:21).
    5. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." (1 John 2:19).
    6. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God," (1 John 5:13).
  5. Canon 24:  "If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema."
    1. "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Gal. 3:1-3).
    2. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law." (Gal. 5:1-3).
  6. Canon 30:  "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."
    1. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Rom. 5:1).
    2. "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross." (Col. 2:13-14).
  7. Canon 33:  "If any one saith, that, by the Catholic doctrine touching Justification, by this holy Synod inset forth in this present decree, the glory of God, or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ are in any way derogated from, and not rather that the truth of our faith, and the glory in fine of God and of Jesus Christ are rendered (more) illustrious; let him be anathema.
    1. This council declares that if anyone disagrees with it, they are damned.

 

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