The leadership in the Roman Catholic Church claim that St Peter was the first pope. In addition claim to hold to the most ancient confession and therefore the only true body of Christ. Those two points are debatable to say the least. However, if St Peter was indeed the rock upon which Jesus were to build His church and their confession to be the oldest why have they left the doctrine of St Peter?
2 Peter 1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ ESV
Here we see the introduction of his second epistle to the Christian Church. In this one short statement he says a mouthful. The faith we have is obtained by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Here is a bit of the official teaching outlined by the Council of Trent:
CANON IX.-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.
Here we see the doctrine of cooperative grace whereby it is required that we not only receive grace from God but that it is required that we cooperate with this. This presents grace as a spiritual steroid with which we exercise our faith unto salvation. The teaching goes on to explain that this Justification is completed by our acts of charity. The question remains is how can that Church Body proclaim itself as the oldest and most true representation of the Christian faith when it clearly departs from that faith?
What is most terrifying is that some evangelicals will maintain that it takes more than faith to please God. This is mainly done out of fear that if people believe nothing is required of a Christian to remain one he or she will become lazy and careless in living.
Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba! Father! ESV
This is a total misunderstanding of our relationship to Almighty God. We are His adopted children. As such what adopted child will see all that has been done for him or her and therefore conclude he or she can reject the parent’s love and refuse to help out around the house? Truly as sinners we will be tempted to do this however; the love of Christ constrains us to live lives that please Him. When we fail we repent and receive Our Father’s forgiveness on the account of the innocent and bitter sufferings of our Lord Jesus.
In the Name of Jesus. Amen †