Sunday, December 13, 2009

Apostolic Constitution of Pope Paul VI: Indulgentiarum Doctrina: Part Three

An excerpt from Indulgentiarum Doctrina, Chapter 3:
The Apostles themselves, in fact, exhorted their disciples to pray for the salvation of sinners.(23) This very ancient usage of the Church has blessedly persevered,(24) particularly in the practice of penitents invoking the intercession of the entire commu-nity, (25) and when the dead are assisted with suffrages, particularly through the offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.(26) Good works, particularly those which human frailty finds difficult, were also offered to God for the salvation of sinners from the Church's most ancient times.(27) And since the sufferings of the martyrs for the faith and for the law of God were considered of great value, penitents used to turn to the martyrs, to be helped by their merits to obtain from the bishops a more speedy reconciliation.(28) Indeed the prayer and good works of the upright were considered to be of so great value that it could be asserted the penitent was washed, cleansed and redeemed with the help of the entire Christian people.(29)

It was not believed, however, that the individual faithful by their own merits alone worked for the remission of sins of their brothers, but that the entire Church as a single body united to Christ its Head was bringing about satisfaction.(30)

The ministry of reconciliation: the word of reconciliation is the gospel, the word of God that brings people to repentance; it is done in this life by the gospel, not in the next life by prayer and indulgences and penances of those left behind. We are certainly to pray for people in this life for their salvation, but salvation comes about by hearing the word of God along with the working of the Holy Spirit. We are commanded to make disciples and to share the gospel of the word of God.
Secondly, believers are either saved in this life and go to heaven, or they are not saved and go to hell. Our salvation as sinners is by faith in Christ alone which brings regeneration by the work of the Holy Spirit that makes us immediately a new creation. If we then sin, we are to confess to God and He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We are not saved by the 'eucharistic sacrifice' in this life or the next, but by Christ's finished work on the cross. We don't lose our justification every time we sin and need to be saved again. To believe this is to be in bondage to a religion that makes us do works of confession and penance and indulgences and masses, etc. to save ourselves and others, when in fact, Christ has completed the work of our reconciliation on the cross and we only need to look to Him and believe.

Isaiah 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.

Romans 5:
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 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. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

1 John 5:
10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, THAT YOU MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

No comments: