Hello Rosary Lovers! In this post we will look at the question: Is the Bible a Catholic book?

I’ve compiled a long list of Scriptures from the Holy Bible which strongly teach Catholic doctrines and ideas.

I wrote this a long time ago and now share it for any who may find it useful. Enjoy!

Sola Scriptura?

Scripture alone (sola scriptura) is not the New Testament, apostolic way. Rather, Paul commands Christians to hold just as firmly to oral apostolic traditions as to written Scripture, for both are equally the word of God.

  • ‘So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm, and hold the traditions which you were taught by us [the apostles], whether by word of mouth or by letter.’ (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

By ‘word of mouth’ notice. These are ‘the traditions’ which the apostles taught orally, not simply Holy Scripture. Christians were commanded to ‘stand firm and hold’ to these traditions. This is the Catholic view, not the Protestant view of sola scriptura.

  • ‘Now we [the apostles] command you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother or sister who walks in rebellion, and not after the tradition which they received from us.’ (2 Thessalonians 3:6).
  • ‘Now I [Paul] praise you, brothers and sisters, that you remember me in all things, and hold firm the traditions, even as I delivered them to you.’ (1 Corinthians 11:2).
  • ‘But if anyone seems to disagree with this, let them know that we have no other practice, and neither do the churches of God.’ (1 Corinthians 11:16).

In other words, you can disagree all you want with what I Paul am saying, but we (the apostles) have no other practice, and neither do the churches of God.

That is, both the apostles and the Church combine to form one apostolic way of living the faith. To break with the Church and the apostles is to cease to follow Christ properly. This, again, is the Catholic understanding of the Christian faith.

  • ‘For this cause we [the apostles] also thank God without ceasing, that when you received from us the word of the message of God, you accepted it not as the word of mere people, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you who believe.’ (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Paul’s oral teaching was ‘the word of God’, every bit as much as Holy Scripture. Paul did not believe in the Protestant view of sola scriptura.

The Bible is Often Misunderstood

The Bible is often misinterpreted, and therefore we need an authoritative interpreter if we want to understand precisely what it is actually saying.

  • ‘Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation.’ (2 Peter 1:20).
  •  ‘Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you, as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.’ (2 Peter 3:15-6).

Peter teaches here that Paul’s writings are Scripture, but that they are often hard to understand. Paul’s letters are easy to misinterpret and twist, which results in spiritual ‘destruction’.

  •  ‘Philip arose and went; and behold, there was a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem to worship. He was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading aloud the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit said to Philip, “Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He said, “How can I, unless someone explains it to me?” He begged Philip to come up and sit with him.’ (Acts 8:27-31).

Scripture needs to be explained by someone with the apostolic authority to explain it, such as Philip, or the Bishops.

Jesus Christ Founded the Church, not the Bible

Jesus left the world a visible Church to listen to, not a Bible. The visible Church is God’s ordained way by which Christians learn the faith.

The vast bulk of Christians had no Bibles for the first 1500 years of Christian history, so all they could rely on was the visible Church. This was not a mistake of God’s providence, but it is what God intended from the start.

  • ‘I will build my Church’ (Matthew 16:18).
  • ‘Remember your leaders, men who spoke to you the word of God, and considering the results of their conduct, imitate their faith … Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they watch on behalf of your souls, as those who will give account, that they may do this with joy, and not with groaning, for that would be unprofitable for you.’ (Hebrews 13: 7,17).

One Visible Church

There is only one, visible, united Church that the world is clearly able to recognise as united.

The idea of there being many true churches which are all divided (yet somehow jointed together invisibly) is not biblical.

In other words, we are not ‘all the same’, and it really does matter what Church you belong to.

  • ‘There is one body [the Church] and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all, and in us all.’ (Ephesians 4:6).
  •  Jesus prayed just before his crucifixion: ‘Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me. The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me and loved them, even as you loved me.’ (John 17:20-3).

The Church is the Pillar and Ground of the Truth

The visible Church is the pillar and ground of the truth, the fullness of Christ, the voice of God and Christ on earth, the only authoritative Spirit-filled interpreter of Scripture and Christianity in the world.

  • ‘[This is] how people ought to behave themselves in God’s House, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.’ (1 Timothy 3:15).
  • ‘The Church … is [Christ’s] body, the fullness of him [Christ] who fills all in all.’ (Ephesians 1:22-3).
  • ‘Those who hear you [the apostles, the Church] hear me [Jesus]; those who reject you reject me. Those who reject me reject him [God] who sent me.’ (Luke 10:16).
  • ‘You [the Church] are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all people, being revealed that you are a letter of Christ, served by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not on tablets of stone, but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.’ (2 Corinthians 3:2-3).
  • ‘However when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you [the apostles, the Church] into all truth’ (John 16:13).
  • ‘You [the Church] have an anointing [the Spirit] from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge’ (1 John 2:20).
  • ‘For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us [the apostles and elders, v.23], to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things’ (Acts 15:28).

Peter is the Rock of the Church

Peter in particular is the Rock upon which the Church is built, and Jesus has given the keys of the kingdom of heaven to him. Peter’s faith cannot fail through Christ.

The Catholic Church claims that the Pope is the true successor of Peter, and many quotations from throughout Christian history can be given in support of this notion.

Those who oppose the Catholic Church frequently insist that Matthew 16:18-9 is not teaching that Peter is the Rock upon which the Church is built.

  •  ‘Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. I also tell you that you are Peter [literally Rock], and on this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will be released in heaven.”’ (Matthew 16:17-19).
  •  ‘The Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have all of you, that he might sift you as wheat, but I prayed for you [singular], that your [singular] faith wouldn’t fail. You [singular], when once you [singular] have turned again, establish your [singular] brothers.” (Luke 22:31-2).

Apostolic Succession

Apostolic Succession seems implicit in the New Testament.

This is the idea that the apostles handed their authority over to men, and that these men would then hand their authority onto other men, all the way down to the present-day.

Apostolic Succession was believed by all of the Church Fathers.

  • ‘If you forgive anyone’s sins they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive anyone’s sins, they are not forgiven.’ (John 20:23).
  • ‘Stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.’ (2 Timothy 1:6).
  •  ‘The things which you have heard from me amongst many witnesses, commit the same things to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.’ (2 Timothy 2:2).
  • ‘Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the elders.’ (1 Timothy 4:14).
  • ‘Do not lay hands hastily on anyone.’ (1 Timothy 5:22).
  • ‘As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep which had been ordained by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem.’ (Acts 16:4).
  • ‘As I [Paul] urged you [Timothy] when I was going into Macedonia, stay at Ephesus that you might command certain men not to teach a different doctrine’ (1 Timothy 1:3).
  • ‘I [Paul] left you [Titus] in Crete for this reason, that you would set in order the things that were lacking and appoint elders in every city, as I directed you’ (Titus 1:5).

The Sacrament of Baptism

Baptism and repentance/faith – not faith alone – saves, gives new birth, grants entrance into the Church and Kingdom of heaven, forgives, gives us both Christ and the Spirit, and makes us disciples of Jesus.

  • ‘John came baptising in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins.’ (Mark 1:4).
  • ‘Baptism, which now saves you’ (1 Peter 3:21).
  • ‘Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ (Acts 2:38).
  • ‘Now why do you wait? Arise, be baptised, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’ (Acts 22:16).
  • ‘For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ.’ (Galatians 3:27).
  • ‘Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28:19).
  • ‘Jesus answered, “Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, they cannot enter into God’s Kingdom.’ (John 3:5).
  •  ‘Not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration [new birth] and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.’ (Titus 3:5-7).
  • ‘Let us draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and having our bodies washed with pure water’ (Hebrews 10:22).
  • ‘Then those who gladly received his word were baptised. There were added [to the Church, that is] that day about three thousand souls … The Lord added to the Church day by day those who were being saved.’ (Acts 2:41, 47).
  • ‘For in one Spirit we were all baptised into one body [the Church], whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit.’ (1 Corinthians 12:13).

Infant Baptism

Baptism is the New Testament fulfilment of Old Testament circumcision, and hence is for infants as well as adults.

  •  ‘In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.’ (Colossians 2:11-2).
  • ‘She [Lydia] and her household were baptised’ (Acts 16:15).
  • ‘[The Philippian jailer] was immediately baptised, he and all his household’ (Acts 16:33).
  • ‘I [Paul] … baptised the household of Stephanas’ (1 Corinthians 1:16).

The Sacrament of Confession

God’s forgiveness does not just come to us from God alone, but from God through specially ordained people.

  • ‘If you forgive anyone’s sins they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive anyone’s sins, they are not forgiven.’ (John 20:23).

Confession of sin is apostolic (and pre-apostolic).

  • ‘John came baptising in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptised by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins.’ (Mark 1:4-5).
  •  ‘Many also of those who had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds.’ (Acts 19:18).
  • ‘Confess your sins to one another’ (James 5:16).
  • ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ (1 John 1:9).

The Sacrament of Confirmation

Confirmation (i.e., baptised Christians receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of specially ordained men, such as Peter, John and Paul).

  •  ‘Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for as yet the Spirit had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptised in the name of Christ Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.’ (Acts 8:14-7).
  • ‘While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper country, came to Ephesus and found certain disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They said to him, “No, we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” He said, “Into what then were you baptised?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John indeed baptised with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in the one who would come after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke with other languages and prophesied. (Acts 19:1-6).

The Sacrament of the Eucharist

  • We have an altar from which those who serve the holy tabernacle have no right to eat.’ (Hebrews 13:10).
  • ‘The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?’ (1 Corinthians 10:16).
  • ‘Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in a way unworthy of the Lord will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But let someone examine themselves, and so let them eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. For those who eat and drink in an unworthy way eat and drinks judgement to themselves, not discerning the Lord’s body.’ (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
  • ‘Jesus therefore said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood live in me, and I in them. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so those who feed on me will also live because of me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven – not as our fathers ate the manna, and died. Those who eat this bread will live forever.”’ (John 6:53-8).
  • ‘This is my body … this my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’ (Matthew 26:26-8).

Fasting is normative (not optional) for Christians

The Catholic Church is the only Christian group which commands her faithful to fast.

  •  ‘Moreover when you fast, don’t be like the hypocrites, with sad faces. For they disfigure their faces that they may be seen by others to be fasting. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you are not seen by others to be fasting, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.’ (Matthew 6:16-18).
  • ‘Cornelius said, “Four days ago, I was fasting until this hour, and at the ninth hour, I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing’ (Acts 10:30).
  •  ‘Then John’s disciples came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don’t fast?” Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.’ (Matthew 9:14-5).
  •  ‘There was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity, and she had been a widow for about eighty-four years. She never departed from the temple, always worshipping with fastings and petitions night and day.’ (Lukes 2:36-7).
  • ‘Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.’ (Acts 13:3).
  • ‘I [Paul] have been … in fastings often’ (2 Corinthians 11:26-7).
  • ‘Jesus … fasted forty days and forty nights’ (Matthew 4:2).
  • Advice to married couples: ‘Don’t deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and may be together again, that Satan doesn’t tempt you because of your lack of self-control.’ (1 Corinthians 7:5).

Strive to Be Saints

Asceticism, rigorous spirituality, is the New Testament ideal to which we are all called. The idea of ‘getting saved’ and then sitting back and doing precious little is thoroughly unscriptural.

The New Testament teaches us to make every effort in the faith in order that we might become ready enough to enter God’s presence. As a result, we see much in the New Testament that is of a fervent kind of spirituality.

Such spirituality has been historically found in the monastic movements. Protestantism largely condemned all forms of monasticism as unbiblical, but the New Testament actually teaches it is better to be single and focused totally on God than to get married.

The bottom line: a half-hearted spirituality finds no place at all in the New Testament.

This mirrors beautifully the Catholic emphasis that we must all strive to be saints and to enter heaven.

  • ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled’ (Matthew 5:6).
  • ‘I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.’ (1 Corinthians 9:27).
  •  ‘Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence; and in moral excellence, knowledge; and in knowledge, self-control; and in self-control perseverance; and in perseverance godliness; and in godliness brotherly affection; and in brotherly affection, love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will not be idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For those who lack these things are blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from their old sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble. For thus you will be richly supplied with the entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.’ (2 Peter 1:5-11).
  • ‘Follow after peace with all people, and holiness, without which no-one will see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14).’
  • ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
  • ‘When he had spoken these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.’ (Acts 20:36).
  • ‘In these days, [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and he continued all night in prayer to God.’ (Luke 6:12).
  • ‘Solomon stood before the LORD’s altar in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands towards heaven’ (1 Kings 8:22).
  •  ‘Solomon stood before the LORD’s altar in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands. He had made a bronze platform, five cubits long, and five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the middle of the court. He stood on it, and knelt down on his knees before all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands towards heaven and said, “LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth’ (2 Chronicles 6:12-4).
  • ‘Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.’ (2 Chronicles 20:18).
  •  ‘I [Paul] wish that all of you were like me [i.e., unmarried]. However each person has their own gift from God, one of this kind, and another of that kind. But I say to the unmarried and to widows, it is good for them if they remain even as I am [i.e., unmarried]. But if they don’t have self-control, let them marry. For it’s better to marry than to burn … Therefore I think that because of the distress that is on us, that it’s good for a man to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Don’t seek to be freed. Are you free from a wife? Don’t seek a wife. But if you marry, you have not sinned. If a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in the flesh, and I want to spare you this. But I say this, brothers: the time is short. So from now on, both those who have wives should act as though they had none; and those who weep, as though they didn’t weep; and those who rejoice, as though they didn’t rejoice; and those who buy, as though they didn’t possess; and those who use the world, as not getting entangled with it. For the mode of this world passes away. But I desire to have you to be free from cares. He who is unmarried is concerned for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but he who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife. There is also a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own profit; not that I may ensnare you, but for that which is appropriate, and that you may attend to the Lord without distraction.’ (1 Corinthians 7:7-35).

Sacred Images

Sacred art, images and icons are part and parcel of God-ordained worship.

  •  ‘You shall make two cherubim of hammered gold. You shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end. You shall make the cherubim on its two ends of one piece with the mercy seat. The cherubim shall spread out their wings upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces towards one another. The faces of the cherubim shall be towards the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the covenant that I will give you. There I will meet with you, and I will tell you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the covenant, all that I command you for the children of Israel.’ (Exodus 25:18-22).
  • ‘The LORD said to Moses, “Make a venomous snake, and set it on a pole. It shall happen that everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” Moses made a serpent of bronze, and set it on the pole. If a serpent had bitten anyone, when they looked at the serpent of bronze, they lived.’ (Numbers 21:8-9).
  • ‘So Solomon made two doors of olive wood; and he carved on them carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold. He spread the gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees.’ (1 Kings 6:32).
  • ‘The Word became flesh’ (John 1:14).
  • ‘By this you know the Spirit of God: any spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God; any spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has not come in the flesh is not of God, but is the spirit of Antichrist.’ (1 John 4:2-3).
  • ‘Christ is the image [or icon] of the invisible God’ (Colossians 1:15).
  •  ‘And amongst the lamp stands was one like a son of man [Jesus], clothed with a robe reaching down to his feet, and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace. His voice was like the voice of many waters. He had seven stars in his right hand. Out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest. When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man.’ (Revelation 1:13-7).

Veneration of holy men, women and objects

  • ‘When the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho facing him saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.’ (2 Kings 2:15).
  •  ‘[The wise woman’s] children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you excel them all.”’ (Proverbs 31:28-9).
  • ‘Christ lives in me’ (Galatians 2:20).
  • ‘Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.’ (Joshua 7:6).
  •  ‘[Solomon] stood before the LORD’s altar in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands. (2 Chronicles 6:12).

Relics (e.g., the bones of departed saints) and sacred objects can perform great miracles

  •  ‘Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. As they were burying a man, behold, they saw a band of raiders; and they threw the man into Elisha’s tomb. As soon as the man touched Elisha’s bones, he revived, and stood up on his feet.’ (2 Kings 13:20-1).
  •  ‘By the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done amongst the people … The people even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mattresses, so that as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some of them.’ (Acts 5:12-5).
  •  ‘God worked special miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out.’ (Acts 19:11-2).

Incense and prayers of the saints for us in heaven.

  • ‘Another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer. Much incense was given to him, that he should add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand.’ (Revelation 8:3-4).


Mary, the Mother of God, should be honoured and blessed by believers in her Son, as is natural if God incarnate really has a Mother.

  •  ‘The virgin’s name was Mary. Having come in, the angel said to her, “Hail, you who are full of grace! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you amongst women!”’ (Luke 1:27-8).
  •  ‘[Elizabeth] called out with a loud voice and said [to Mary], “Blessed are you amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how come I have this great honour, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leapt in my womb for joy! Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfilment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!”’ (Luke 1:42-45).
  • [Mary said:] ‘Behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed!’ (Luke 1:48).
  • ‘Doesn’t even nature itself teach you [these things]?’ (1 Corinthians 11:14).
  • ‘A great sign was seen in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child. She cried out in pain, labouring to give birth … She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.’ (Revelation 12:1-5).

Justification by Faith and Works, Not Faith Alone

Justification is not a purely forensic/legal/abstract thing, as the Protestant Reformers taught. Justification also has to do with actually receiving the Holy Spirit and experiencing divine life.

As a result, no-one is justified by faith alone, but by works of love also, for in as much as we participate in acts of love, so we participate in God’s righteousness.

  • ‘You see then that by works, a person is justified, and not by faith alone.’ (James 2:24).
  • ‘For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision amounts to anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love.’ (Galatians 5:6).
  • ‘Not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration [new birth] and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.’ (Titus 3:5-7).
  •  ‘We … know that a person is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. We have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, because no flesh will be justified by the works of the law … I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. I don’t reject the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing! Foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you not to obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly portrayed amongst you as crucified? I just want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? … He therefore who supplies the Spirit to you and does miracles amongst you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? Even as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” Know therefore that those who are of faith are children of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you all the nations will be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.” Now that no-one is justified by the law before God is evident, for, “The righteous will live by faith.” The law is not of faith, but, “The one who does them will live by them.” But Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,” that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.’ (Galatians 2:15-3:14).

Full Assurance of Salvation?

Full assurance of salvation is not possible until we leave this world, for we need to freely choose to press on in the faith, so that we are not disqualified.

  • ‘If by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.’ (Philippians 3:11).
  • ‘I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.’ (1 Corinthians 9:27).

I hope you’ve enjoyed studying these many Scriptures. As can be seen, the Bible truly is an incredibly Catholic book.

God bless.

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