Critique of THE PROTESTANT'S DILEMMA by Devin Rose

Chapter 21 - Sanctification and Purgatory

Page 140: Psalm 24 asks, “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?” The psalmist immediately answers: “He who has clean hands and a pure heart.” Similarly, Jesus tells his listeners in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Purity of heart is a requirement to be able to “see God.” Yet Protestantism maintains that even justified Christians are impure in their hearts, their sanctifying works defiled.
Note: The author is ignorant of the two aspects of sanctification.
“I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:17-18.
Note: Christians are saved, justified, or sanctified through faith in Jesus Christ.

Pages 140-141: Protestants believe that salvation consists of two parts: justification and sanctification. For them, justification is that one-time event in which the unregenerate man accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior and has Christ’s righteousness imputed to him. His sins are forgiven; he is now a Christian. Sanctification now begins.
Note: The second aspect of sanctification involves a process in this lifetime.
But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:20-24.
Note: Are you abiding in Jesus Christ or the traditions of men?

Page 141: This sanctification is an ongoing process whereby the Holy Spirit gives grace to the believer and helps him follow God’s will (see Ephesians 2:10) in order to become more like Jesus. So far, so good. But these works and this grace do not make the Christian truly pure in heart, nor are the works themselves pure and holy.
Note: Christians will not be perfect till they see Jesus Christ at death or His return.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 1 Corinthians 13:11-12.

Page 141: Note that even “their best works” are “defiled in the sight of God,” because it is impossible for the believer, even with the help of God’s grace, to obey God perfectly. Jesus may have said that we must be perfect like the Father, but Protestants deny that this is possible.
Note: People need a Savior to be justified before God or to be viewed as perfect.
What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” Romans 4:1-8.
Note: Have you believed God or do you believe in the traditions of men?

Page 141: Further, we cannot even become pure in heart, for “the remnants of sin” abide in “every part” of us. Our hearts remain defiled, and the works they produce are tainted. Even the most minor of the “many sins” that the Christian falls into on a daily basis are not negligible, for “there is no sin so small, but that it deserves damnation.” All this stems from the root Protestant doctrine of justification – that we are not truly made holy in justification, only declared so. The image of the Christian as a dung mound covered in snow, distilled from Martin Luther’s writings, remains an apt description of how Protestants believe that Christians remain impure, in spite of God’s grace.
Note: The author does not understand that original sin is with people until death.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:21-25.
Note: The author does not understand that a body growing old is evidence of impurity.

Page 142: And if we are impure, then we cannot see God, as both the Old Testament and Jesus testify that we cannot appear before God unless we are pure in heart.
Note: Christians will not be perfect till they see Jesus Christ at death or His return.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will (future) transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20-21.
Note: The author does not understand that a body growing old is evidence of impurity.

Page 142: The Catholic Church teaches that justification is not just a divine legal fiction wherein the Christian is declared to be something he is not (righteous). Instead, by grace through faith united to God’s love, God inwardly justifies the Christian by the power of his mercy, infusing his sanctifying grace into him, making him pure of heart. The tendency to sin, it is true, is still there. The Church calls this concupiscence. But its existence does not render null or tainted the good works that Christians do in God’s grace. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “With justification, faith, hope, and charity are poured into our hearts, and obedience to the divine will is granted us.”
Note: Saved believers good works will remain as a testament to God.
“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” Matthew 16:27.
Note: Jesus Christ will hand out rewards to saved believers at His return.

Page 143: In Catholicism, sanctification is not an afterthought but the process wereby we become holy, so that when our earthly life comes to an end, we are prepared to meet God with a clean heart. This paradigm, which maintains that we can truly become holy by God’s grace, harmonizes with the Bible paradigm.
Note: Saved believers will be focused on Jesus Christ.
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.
Note: Saved believers with no good works will suffer lost but will be in heaven. (Thief on the cross)

Page 143: The end of sanctification is eternal life. But what if the justified Christian fails to become fully sanctified in this life? Simple, he goes to purgatory after death. There the process of sanctification will be completed, his heart purified so that it is fit to see God. All the attachment to sin and selfishness, as well as the temporal punishment due for sin, are purged in the cleansing power of God’s love. The choice for the Christian is clear: either be sanctified in this life, through meritorious works and prayerful endurance of the sufferings and reverses that come your way, or do so in the next life through suffering alone.
Note: Everyone has only this lifetime to confess Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:39-42.
Note: Have you confessed Jesus Christ as your Savior or the traditions of men?

Page 144: Purgatory is that state after death in which Christians are being saved through proverbial fire. Since Protestants reject this doctrine, and further since they reject the biblical teaching that we can fulfill the law of love by God’s grace, the only way they can enter God’s presence is by his waving the magic wand of sanctification over them at death, so that their impure hearts will be automatically purified, rendering them fit for seeing God.
Note: Everyone has only this lifetime to confess Jesus Christ as their Savior.
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. Hebrews 9:27-28.
Note: Have you confessed Jesus Christ as your Savior or the traditions of men?

Page 144: If Protestantism is true, then neither Jesus’ command to be holy nor the grace he offers us to become so have any real meaning. We should also expect to find in the Bible many references to the powerlessness of God’s grace to make us pure in heart, as well as explicit testimony to the instant holiness (waving of the sanctification wand) Jesus grants us right before we walk through heaven’s gate. Instead, Jesus and the apostles tell us we can truly become holy and pure in heart, but God’s grace, and we can do works that are fitting and holy.
Note: Catholics have confused God’s grace with their purity as evidenced by good works.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10.
Note: Christians are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Note: As a result of being saved, Christians will do good works as a testament to God.