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A Summary of Basic Catholic/Protestant Differences on Justification by Faith

Protestant
Catholic
1. To justify means to reckon as righteous.
1. To justify means to make righteous.
2. Justification comes by the imputation of Christ's righteousness.
2. Justification comes by an infusion of Christ's righteousness.
3. The imputed grace of Christ to the repentant believer declares him acceptable to God.
3. The imparted grace of Christ in the repentant believer makes him acceptable to God.
4. Man is justified on the basis of an extrinsic righteousness (a righteousness wholly outside man in Christ).
4. Man is justified on the basis of an intrinsic righteousness (a righteousness which God puts within man in the Holy Spirit).
5. God justifies the ungodly who believe.
5. God justifies only those who are godly.
6. Justification is God's verdict upon man based upon the sinless Person of Christ.
6. Justification is God's verdict upon man based upon the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.
7. The sinner is justified by Christ's imputed righteousness alone.
7. The sinner is justified by the righteousness of the Holy Spirit poured into his heart.
8. Justification means that God accepts and treats the repentant sinner as if he were good.
8. Justification means that God accepts the repentant sinner because he really has been made good.
9. The believer is pronounced righteous because Christ, his Substitute, is found righteous before God.
9. The believer is pronounced righteous because the Spirit of grace has made him righteous.
10. Justification is a declaration of the fact that Jesus, who stands in the man's place, is righteous.
10. Justification is a declaration of the fact that the man himself has been made righteous.
11. Justification is based upon an act of grace done in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ on the cross.
11. Justification is based upon a sanctifying act of grace within man.
12. Justification is personally received by repentance towards God and faith in Christ's imputed sinless life and atoning death on the cross of Calvary alone.
12. Justification is personally received by repentance towards God and faith in the sacrament of baptism, the Lord's Supper, and absolution by the priest in the confessional and the doing of works of penance.
13. Justification enables God to bring regenerating grace to the heart of the believer.
13. Regenerating grace in the heart of the believer enables God to justify the believer.
14. Sin still remains in man's nature even after justification and regeneration.
14. Justification and regeneration wholly eradicates sin in man's nature and only propensity and weakness remain.
15. The good works of the believer performed by the power of the Holy Spirit are acceptable to God because the imputed righteousness of Christ through the mediation of Christ must still cover these good works due to their lack of perfect righteousness.
15. The good works of the believer performed by the power of the Holy Spirit are acceptable to God because these works are performed by the power of the Holy Spirit within the believer and are thus acceptable because the Holy Spirit has made them acceptable to God.
16. At all times the repentant believer is personally accepted by God because justifying grace in the person of Christ his Substitute is credited to him to reckon him as acceptable to God.
16. At all time the repentant believer is personally accepted by God because sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit within the repentant believer makes him personally acceptable to God.