A conversation with a Roman Catholic — Mainly about the new birth

It was an interesting conversation in CARM chatroom with a member nicknamed AlertStatusRed. He is a Roman Catholic, so I wanted to know from him how the Roman Catholic doctrines are practically understood by Roman Catholics. We will see how Roman Catholicism is practically antinomianism veiled under formalism that gives an impression of commitment to God… Of course, it is important to understand how each person thinks and understands things in order to help him see the error of the non-biblical doctrines which he follows. I sought to understand AlertStatusRed in order to help him — or any other Roman Catholic present in the chatroom during the conversation — to see the error where he is and thus to seek the truth.

The main conclusive statements whereby I summarized what AlertStatusRed told me, and to which AlertStatusRed answered with affirmative expressions (i.e. he agreed to those summarizing statements), can be presented in the following way:

1. In order to enter into God’s family, one needs to repent and get baptized. Once he is in the family, he’s a son forever.

2. Baptism is the new birth.

3. Each time a born again (means baptized) Christian sins, he is cut off from God’s Vine or from God’s family and from relationship with Him, yet he doesn’t cease to be a son…

4. A thus cut off Christian is a child of the devil per 1 John 3:6-9, and yet he doesn’t cease to be a child of God… AlertStatusRed mentioned for this strange schizophrenia of identity the example of the prodigal son, i.e. the example of a son leaving his father’s house; the son who leaves does not cease to be a son of that father…

5. To turn back and to be reconciled with God, a baptized Christian needs to repent and to confess his sins to a priest. That’s the normative way. No need to get baptized again, because he never ceased to be a child of God.

6. A born again (baptized) child of God may live in sin and in the world, and yet he will never cease to be a child of God. Yet if he doesn’t repent, he will go to Hell. It’s not God who will send him there, because God does not send His children to Hell; it’s the sinner who will send himself to Hell…

7. When asked to comment about 1 John 3:9 and 1 John 5:18 that say a born again Christian cannot live or continue in sin (i.e. he will surely keep repenting and walking in righteousness), AlertStatusRed gave the example of a child who is told that he should not eat the candy: “You should not eat the candy”. This child may eat the candy if he chooses to, but he should not. This is how a Roman Catholic understands 1 John 3:9 and 1 John 5:18… This is why I said Roman Catholicism practically leads to antinomianism… AlertStatusRed also said that this is not just his own understanding, but it is the teaching of the Church of Christ (i.e. The Roman Catholic Church), and that the Church of Christ cannot be in error… He told me that I cannot know better than the Church of Christ… So in Roman Catholic teaching a born again Christian may live in sin continuously and then be lost, and yet during all this time he will not cease to be a son of God…

8. Forgiveness is normally by repentance and confession.

9. Confession erases all the sins committed since the last confession. Remember that, according to AlertStatusRed, the sins committed between two confessions still cut us off from the relationship with God and make us deserve Hell… Of course, AlertStatusRed made a distinction between mortal sins and other kinds of sins, but he didn’t detail that point, so I will not enter in the details of this distinction in this article for now.

10. While the Old Covenant believers had to keep the Law, the Christian has to keep the law of Christ. When he fails to keep this law (and he always fails, as we all sin…), he should confess as seen above…

Now, the main biblical passages that AlertStatusRed used for these beliefs were:

A. John 3:5“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

B. Acts 2:38“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

C. 1 John 1:7“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

D. 1 John 1:9“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”


These beliefs give us a clear picture about the unrighteousness to which leads a false doctrine of justification and the failure to understand the distinction between justification and sanctification. As you see, the way Roman Catholics describe the new birth and Salvation is 180 degrees in opposition to the way the Bible presents these truths. According to the Bible, the new birth is a total change where the sinner receives a totally new nature and becomes a saint. He previously was flesh by nature (i.e. fleshly), now he is spirit (i.e. spiritual): “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6) Note that the Lord Jesus didn’t say that which is born of the flesh is flesh and spirit, but only flesh, i.e. fleshly by nature; and He didn’t say that which is born of the Spirit is spirit and flesh, but only spirit, i.e. spiritual by nature. In the same way, Paul explained that he who is born again is a new creation, and that old things have passed away and that all things are now new: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) So the Bible describes the new life as a totally new creation, a totally new nature that didn’t exist before. We have seen the details of this truth in our article: A true Christian is a saint — Perfection in Christ. Whereas AlertStatusRed presented the new birth as a simple formalistic act (throwing water on a baby) where a man enters into the family of God and yet he doesn’t receive a new nature that cannot live in sin anymore… As in Roman Catholicism it is not a total change of nature but only a change of relationship (one becomes a son of God and yet not like Him in holy nature), so a person may be both a child of the devil and a child of God at the same time as we have seen above…

Let’s see how each of the above mentioned beliefs of AlertStatusRed contradict the Bible. Let’s begin with the main biblical passages which he used in defense of his doctrines.

A. First, John 3:5 is not speaking of baptism. It is speaking of the fact that we are born of the Holy Spirit who uses His Word (compared to water) in order to beget us (make us born again). The Lord used the symbol of water because it is the symbol of purification; the water is used in baptism because baptism is the sacrament of that purification. In the Bible, the sign of a fact is called by the same name of that fact. We have seen the details of this truth in our article What did the Church Fathers believe about baptism? I don’t need to say more here about baptism in relation to the new birth, as we will later see how the results of this wrong understanding of the new birth will prove it wrong: as we have seen, in AlertStatusRed’s definition of the new birth, the life that comes after the new birth does not really differ from the life that was before it… While the Lord spoke about the new birth in John 3 as a total change of nature from fleshly to spiritual (as we have seen above in John 3:6), AlertStatusRed’s understanding of John 3:5 made the new birth a simple formalistic introduction into God’s family, thus contradicting the very next verse (i.e. John 3:6) which talks about a total change of nature…

B. Next is Acts 2:38: this verse makes it clear that repentance is inseparable from baptism, as baptism is the sacrament of repentance and new birth. AlertStatusRed cites Acts 2:38 to defend the necessity of baptism, yet the same verse cites the necessity of repentance also. In the whole New Testament, baptism is inseparable from repentance, because baptism is the sign of repentance and new birth. Church Fathers agree on this, as we have seen in our article What did the Church Fathers believe about baptism? It’s not true that baptism itself is the new birth, as we have seen. Although AlertStatusRed insisted that baptism cannot be repeated because it is the once-for-all introduction into God’s family, yet he could not see that the repentance of which Peter spoke in Acts 2:38 also cannot be repeated, because it is the once-for-all turning from sin and from the world to God by faith in Christ… Later, when the saint sins and comes to God in repentance and confession, that is not a turning back from the world and from a life of sin, but a turning from some particular sins in order that he may not continue in them and thus live in sin. In Christ’s words, the saint is clean and just needs to wash his feet. In AlertStatusRed’s presentation of repentance, when a saint sins he becomes totally unclean and needs to get purified all over again, whereas in Christ’s presentation a saint is totally clean and pure and only needs to wash his feet… Thus the continuous repentance of a saint during his whole life is the fruit of that once-for-all repentance at the beginning of his walk in Christ, and the sacrament of that repentance is again the once-for-all baptism which the Christian received. Each time a Christian repents in his walk (washes his feet), he is turning back to his baptism and to his once-for-all repentance (i.e. his once-for-all turning from sin to God); he’s not getting cleansed all over again, because he is already clean and he does not live in sin, as the Lord explained. We have the details of this truth in our article A true Christian is a saint — Perfection in Christ. Besides this, as this once-for-all repentance is inseparable from baptism which is its sacrament, so the water of baptism cannot save a person unless he has the essence of baptism which is repentance and new birth. So the Roman Catholic definition of baptism as the new birth in Acts 2:38 does not allow Roman Catholics to baptize infants who cannot repent, unless Roman Catholics find a way to avoid the necessity of repentance which is stressed in the same verse (i.e. Acts 2:38) where the necessity of baptism is mentioned… And this is in fact what they do: this once-for-all repentance has lost its meaning in Roman Catholicism, therefore the life that comes after this repentance does not differ for them from the life which was before it; the Christian still sins and his sins can still make him worldly and take him to Hell, as if he never passed from death to life (contrary to what Jesus said in John 5:24)… This Roman Catholic error about the new birth is behind the whole mixed legalism and easy-believism or liberalism that we see in AlertStatusRed’s beliefs… Indeed, if you don’t know what the new birth is, then how will you understand the Christian life that flows from the new birth?… Thus in Roman Catholicism one may be both a child of God and a child of the devil; he may both be born again and live in the world as if he were of the world; and when he wants to calm his conscience, he needs to keep some laws of the church which AlertStatusRed called the law of Christ… Then he fails to keep these laws perfectly, and thus the Roman Catholic is imprisoned in a cycle of formalism and legalism, trying to please a God whom he can never please by his efforts, so he lowers His standard of holiness by making it possible for a born again Christian to be both a son of God and a son of the devil… This is what happened with the Pharisees, as the Lord described: “For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” (Matthew 23:4); “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Matthew 23:23) Thus in Pharisaism, legalism and liberalism meet: they make heavy laws and fail to keep them, and then they excuse themselves by lowering God’s standard of holiness by their human traditions: “But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:3-9) This is what is happening with Roman Catholics. They try to please God by keeping some traditions of the Roman Catholic Church (they call these traditions the law of Christ or of the Church), and thus they have the same righteousness that the Pharisees had (self-righteousness); whereas the Lord said that our righteousness should surpass that of the Pharisees, i.e. it should be God’s Righteousness received by faith (see Matthew 5:20). By the way, for a detailed explanation about what the law of Christ is, you can read our article What is the law of Christ?; in that article you will see how much AlertStatusRed is confused about this truth.

C. Now I pass to 1 John 1:7. Let’s read this verse again: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” We have seen above that AlertStatusRed believes a Christian who sins may live in sin for a long time and thus walk in darkness, and then he may come back to God in repentance and confession, and per 1 John 1:7 Christ will cleanse him from all sin… Yet, 1 John 1:7 puts a condition: that we walk in the light, as He is in the light… As I have explained above, only the saint who is cleansed once-for-all can keep cleansing his feet, and 1 John 1:7 is talking about this feet-cleansing; it is a cleansing that has as goal to keep us in the way of light, and not to turn us back from darkness to light. The Bible calls the Christians “saints” and not half saints and half sinners. Jesus called that which is born of the Spirit spirit, and not half spirit and half flesh (read John 3:6). We are either fleshly by nature or spiritual by nature; we can’t be both. We are either in the flesh or in the Spirit by nature. By the way, the wrong understanding of who a saint is according to the Bible is behind the wrong definition of who a saint is in Roman Catholicism; they think a saint is a Christian with a special life of commitment, while the Bible says that all true Christians are saints who are spiritual by nature and who are separated from the world to be Christ’s own possession. Yes, the Bible calls the Christians “saints”… We are justified sinners, and Justification is not separate from Sanctification. It’s because we are (now) sinners and we are justified (already) that we are saints. Being a saint is not opposite to the fact of being a sinner, on the condition that we are justified by faith in Christ. If we are not justified by faith in Christ, then yes, being a sinner is opposite to being a saint. The Bible calls true Christians “saints”: Read for example Romans 1:7, Philippians 1:1. We are saints, not in ourselves, but saints in Christ Jesus. The Bible calls true Christians “holy”: Read Hebrews 3:1. The Bible clearly says that only the pure in heart will see God (read Matthew 5:8), and that without holiness no one will see the Lord (read Hebrews 12:14). The Bible calls true Christians saints, a holy nation, a kingly priesthood, a people for God’s possession, i.e. a people separated or sanctified for God (saints): “But ye [are] a chosen race, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a possession, that ye might set forth the excellencies of him who has called you out of darkness to his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). True Christians are children of light, people who are by nature light and who walk in light and not in darkness: “for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (Ephesians 5:8). True Christians are people about whom the following words of the Lord are true: “but he that practises the truth comes to the light, that his works may be manifested that they have been wrought in God.” (John 3:21) “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not practise the truth.” (1 John 1:6) But this is where people will say I am a perfectionist, although I am saying the same things that all true Christians in all times always believed. But today easy-believism has become the rule as it seems… We have seen that per 1 John 1:7, only those who walk in the light have their feet cleansed each day. The Lord said: “He that is washed all over needs not to wash save his feet, but is wholly clean; and ye are clean (John 13:10); “Ye are already clean by reason of the word which I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3) True Christians are already clean; they are purified by the blood of Jesus once for all. They don’t need to be washed again and again. They don’t need to be purified again and again. They only need to wash their feet, their walk, to be purified more and more in their walk, but not in their nature. Their new nature is pure once for all; it can’t be purified more; it can grow as they walk in sanctification. They are purified by the blood of Jesus once for all; they are perfected once for all. Their new nature does not need to be cleansed again and again, because it is pure from the very first moment of its birth in regeneration and it is always pure by the blood of Christ. We don’t need animal sacrifices that are offered again and again and that cannot purify the sinner; the once for all Sacrifice of Christ is enough to perfect once for all those who are sanctified: “by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10); “For by one offering he has perfected in perpetuity the sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14) So in 1 John 1:7 John is not talking about the once-for-all repentance in which the sinner originally turns to God for the once-for-all cleansing, but about the continuous repentance that a saint keeps repenting in order not to fall in sin and worldliness. John later explains in 1 John 3:9 that a born again Christian will keep walking in light and in righteousness, so he cannot sin, i.e. he cannot continue in sin, as per 1 John 1:7 he will surely keep repenting and receiving the washing of his feet and thus continue in righteousness. We have detailed explanations of this truth in our articles: 1. A true Christian is a saint — Perfection in Christ, 2. Blameless in Christ… not legalists…, 3. The relation between justification and sanctification.

But does not 1 John 1:7 also have a message for the sinner who does not walk in light? It does: it tells him to leave his way of darkness and to turn to Christ in repentance, the once-for-all repentance that makes a man pass from the way of darkness to the way of light. Thus the sinner will have the once-for-all cleansing that we have seen above, and then he will have his feet cleansed continuously as he walks in the light, as we have seen above. This is the message that 1 John 1:7 gives to the sinner if read in its context, as we will see with the next point which is about 1 John 1:9.

D. 1 John 1:9. Let’s read it again: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is again about the daily continuous cleansing of the saint who keeps confessing his sins and thus keeps walking in the light, as we have seen in our article A true Christian is a saint — Perfection in Christ. But the same condition explained in this verse applies to the sinner who wants to turn from the way of darkness to the way of light: the condition is that he should confess his total sinfulness and thus hope to be cleansed by the blood of Christ only. John explained that this condition applies also to the sinners who are in darkness when he said in the next verses: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) In other words, John is saying: “Any sinner who walks in darkness can also benefit from the propitiation of Christ if he repents and confesses his sins per 1 John 1:9; he will thus have the once-for-all cleansing, and then can benefit of the continuous cleansing of his feet as he walks in the light per 1 John 1:7”.

Thus we see that the main passages that AlertStatusRed used in defense of his doctrines actually speak against his conclusions that we read together at the beginning of this article. Thus a man is not truly a child of God unless he is born of the Spirit and has received a new nature that obeys God’s Will. If he is baptized and yet not born of God, then he is not a true Christian as we have seen in our article What did the Church Fathers believe about baptism? The Apostle John explains this truth in the whole of his first Epistle, as he explains that not all those who are called Christians (i.e. are baptized) are true Christians; he explains that a true Christian is the one who walks in righteousness. When a saint sins, he is not cut off from the Vine who is Jesus Christ, because the Lord keeps cleansing his feet as he confesses his sins, as we have seen above. Thus a saint lives by faith, a faith that walks in repentance, therefore he is not cut off from the Vine; while the one who relies on his own righteousness is cut off from the Vine, because he is not a true branch as the Lord explained in John 15. This false branch relies on his own righteousness and not on the Righteousness of Christ, thus he does not have a living faith. Paul explains in Romans 11:22 (which AlertStatusRed quoted also, by the way) that a baptized gentile should not boast over the Jews who were cut off from the Vine because of their unbelief, because he also will be cut off if he doesn’t have a living faith; his baptism does not make him a true Christian; if his parents are in the Covenant, that does not make him a true Christian; per John 15, all false branches will be cut off from the Vine and thrown in the fire. A true branch continues in God’s kindness, i.e. continues in faith and gives fruits, while a false branch only looks like a true branch, but it does not take its life from the Vine, so it is cut off and thrown in the fire. So if a Christian is cut off from the Vine, that proves he was not a true Christian. As we have seen, a true Christian (or a saint) will surely continue in the way of light and righteousness. A false Christian does not have a true faith, thus he doesn’t walk in righteousness; so he doesn’t really have Christ, thus he is not a child of God spiritually; he is a child of the devil as John explains in his first Epistle. Let me quote some verses from 1 John that clearly state this truth:

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (1 John 1:6).

“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” (1 John 2:3-5)

“He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” (1 John 2:9-10)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)

“If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” (1 John 2:29)

“Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1 John 3:6-10)

So one cannot be both a child of God and a child of the devil at the same time; he either is a child of God and of light, or he is a child of the devil and of darkness. John explains that the one who is now walking in darkness has never known God, i.e. he was never a true Christian. John continues to explain that the one who is born of God cannot live in sin, because he has God’s seed which abides in him as he is born of God; he has a nature that cannot live in sin anymore.

Thus a born again Christian will never stop walking in repentance (i.e. in the light), therefore he will always be in faith, and thus he will never be cut off from the Vine even if he sins. When he sins, his walk (his feet) is cleansed as he confesses his sins and gets the cleansing, and thus he never falls from Christ’s Grace. Only the Christian who relies on his own righteousness falls from Christ’s Grace, as Paul explains in Galatians 5:4. The poor Roman Catholic never experiences this peace with God, as he never experienced the justification by faith alone as explained in Romans 5:1: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). If you are not justified by faith, then you can’t have peace with God, as you keep trying to please God by your own righteousness and you always fail. The Roman Catholic doctrine tells you that you are cut off from Christ each time you sin and thus you deserve Hell… So if AlertStatusRed sins while chatting with us in CARM chatroom, he is cut off from Christ and deserves Hell at that moment… he will have to wait until he finds a priest to whom he may confess and be cleansed again only to be unclean again with the first sin… How can such a person have peace with God?… How can a person be living in the schizophrenic unreal condition of being both a child of God and a child of the devil, and still have peace?… This is the result of the misunderstanding that Roman Catholics have about passages such as 1 John 1:7 and 1 John 1:9: they think such passages are about justification, although they are about sanctification; they think they are about the judicial forgiveness, although they are about filial forgiveness; they think they are about the cleansing of the whole body, while in fact they are about the cleansing of our feet. Roman Catholics believe we are forgiven judicially (i.e. justified) each time we confess and repent, while in fact the forgiveness of sins is itself Salvation or justification (see Luke 1:77 and Ephesians 1:7 and Romans 4:6-8)! Roman Catholics never experience this Salvation, because they never have this full and once-for-all forgiveness of all their sins (past, present, and future); they never have the justification which is by faith alone, as they rely on their own righteousness besides their faith which also is a righteousness in them according to their doctrine. Thus the forgiveness of sins or justification for a Roman Catholic is never a once for all experience, but a daily turning from darkness to light which clearly contradicts 1 John 1:7 as we have seen. For a Roman Catholic forgiveness is by confession and repentance, while according to the Bible forgiveness is by Christ’s blood alone which is received by faith alone, a faith which includes confession and repentance in its nature.

By the way, the parable of the prodigal son is not about a person who is spiritually a child of God who leaves God, but about a person who is a child of God by creation or by the Covenant which the Jews had with God. The prodigal son was a son of his father, and all humans are sons of God by creation. The prodigal son was a son of his father, and all Jews are sons of God by the Covenant. But not all are children of God spiritually; only those who have received Christ by faith are truly the spiritual children of God: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12) So those who never received Christ are not the sons of God; they become sons of God when they have a real faith in Christ. The prodigal son became a real son of his father when he came back, whereas his brother never became a true son of his father although he never went away… So the example of the prodigal son cannot be used to prove that a true Christian may live in sin and then come back, and that such a sinful Christian will still be a son of God…

If a worldly Christian does not repent and turn to God, he will be judged with the rest of the world as an enemy of God and as a child of the devil, because he was never born of God and he never knew God as John explained in his first Epistle (as we have seen above). Yes, it is the sinner who deserves Hell by his sins and his rebellion against God, and yet it is God who is the Judge who condemns him to Hell! Yes, God already condemned all His enemies to eternal fire. And no, God will never condemn His children in Christ. Those Christians who are condemned were never His children; those branches that are cut off and thrown in fire were never true branches and never gave fruit. God is the Sovereign Judge; but AlertStatusRed presented God as an impotent manager of this universe who sees His children going to Hell and cannot do anything about it…

So in brief, only those who are in the light are born of God and are children of God. The one who is born of God will not live in sin, as the Lord will keep him from the evil one, and He will keep cleansing his feet as he walks in repentance and in the light. The one who walks in darkness was never born of God and was never a child of God, but he is a child of the devil, as this is how we know who is a child of God and who is a child of the devil: In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1 John 3:10) John further explains that a child of God (the one who is born of God) cannot sin, i.e. it is not in his new nature to live in sin, so he cannot live in sin: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9); “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” (1 John 5:18). It is true that Roman Catholics may try to dilute the power of such passages by giving the example of a kid who is commanded “you should not eat the candy”, but that interpretation cannot stand: 1 John 3:9 clearly says that whoever is born of God does not commit sin, so the conclusion is that whoever commits sin (i.e. lives in sin) is not born of God. And this is not simply a conclusion that we made, but John himself explains this in the same context: “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:6-8) The passage is clear. Besides this, 1 John 3:9 explains why whoever is born of God does not sin: it is because God’s seed abides in him! So if a true Christian sins (i.e. goes on sinning and thus lives in sin), this proves he doesn’t have God’s seed abiding in him! If the seed is there, then it will surely abide. That’s why he cannot go on sinning, because he is born of God, and this new birth is not just a formalistic passage from a family to another, but a change of nature. So these passages are not just commanding the kid not to eat the candy, but they are explaining that the kid will not even want to eat that candy, because it is not in his nature anymore to do so! 1 John 5:18 is even clearer: we know for sure that the one who is born of God will not continue in sin, because he is kept by the Lord through the seed of God which remains in him, and thus the evil one does not touch him. We know this for sure. If anyone continues in sin, he will prove that he never knew God and was always a child of the devil.

And indeed, AlertStatusRed says his church is the true Church of Christ, and that this church knows the interpretation of the Bible better than anyone else… This is another way to say that the Roman Catholic authorities have a higher authority over God’s Word to interpret it as they see it right… We have seen how the Bible clearly contradicts their interpretations and how the original Church did not believe as they believe today.

These were in brief my comments about what AlertStatusRed said in that conversation. I hope these biblical truths will make any Roman Catholic who reads this article realize how the doctrines of his organization contradict what the Bible says and what the Church originally believed, and thus he will seek the truth as it is in God’s Word. Amen!

Be in Peace!
YAQUBOS†

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Posted in Apologia | Religious Movements | Roman Catholicism and similar heresies | Examine all things | CARM

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One Response to A conversation with a Roman Catholic — Mainly about the new birth

  1. Salpy says:

    Hoping and praying that a Catholic believer reads and understands the Biblical truths. The relation between justification and sanctification is often times neglected; it needs to be highlighted and clearly understood, for it is the starting point of our Faith.

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