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Assurance is Anathema

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Definition:   The Catholic Church condemns to hell anyone who says for certain that they are going to heaven. According to the Council of Trent, Session 6, Canon 9: “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema.” In Catholicism, justification is a lifelong process of conversion. One must become inherently righteous by cooperating in salvation through good works and participation in the sacraments. To be assured of salvation is to commit the sin of presumption.

Discussion: The Bible defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). In reality, it is the poor Catholic who is under the anathema of God: “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 abide by all things written in the book of the law to perform them’” (Gal. 3:10). We must submit to the righteousness of Jesus, and not trust in our own righteousness (Rom. 10:3).

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