We continue our third annual Reformation Lecture Series by comparing the teaching of Scripture on justification with that propounded in the Council of Trent.

We see in the Bible that our salvation is a free gift of God and cannot be merited in any way by our deeds. In contrast, the Roman Church teaches that there is a preparation we must do prior to receiving God’s grace, and that subsequently we can increase our level of justification by meritorious deeds.

We discover that many protestant churches have embraced a similar teaching by ascribing to man the ability to choose God for salvation or to reject him, and the ability to lose justification and then to regain it. Once more we turn to Scripture and find there is no merit in any of our deeds. Even were we able to live completely perfect lives, Jesus says, we would only have done that which God requires of us and would have to say ‘I am an unworthy servant’.

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Shaun Bryant

Shaun has been Pastor at Grace Church in Modesto since late 1993. His journey to the fellowship took him through churches of various persuasions, during which time he became convinced of a call to the ministry and also of a Reformed view of the Scriptures. Shaun completed his studies for the ministry at Westminster Seminary in California. He is married with 3 children.

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