The Holiness movement involves a set of beliefs and practices which emerged within 19th-century Methodism. A number of Evangelical Christian denominations, parachurch organizations, movements emphasize those beliefs as central doctrine; the movement is Wesleyan-Arminian in theology, is defined by its emphasis on John Wesley's doctrine of a second work of grace leading to Christian perfection. As of 2015 Holiness-movement churches had an estimated 12 million adherents. Holiness adherents believe that the "second work of grace" refers to a personal experience subsequent to regeneration called "salvation," in which the believer is cleansed of the tendency to commit sin; this experience of "entire sanctification" enables the believer to live a holy life, ideally, to live without willful sin. Reflecting this inward holiness, Holiness Christians have emphasized the Wesleyan doctrine outward holiness, which includes practices such as the wearing of modest clothing and not using profanity in speech.
Holiness groups believe the moral aspects of the law of God are pertinent for today, so expect their adherents to obey behavioral rules—for example, many groups have statements prohibiting the consumption of alcohol, participation in any form of gambling, entertainments such as dancing and movie-going. This position does attract opposition from certain evangelicals, who charge that such an attitude refutes or slights Reformation teachings that the effects of original sin remain in the most faithful of souls. Though it became a multi-denominational movement over time and was furthered by the Second Great Awakening which energized churches of all stripes, the Holiness movement has its roots in Wesleyanism; the Methodists of the 19th century continued the interest in Christian holiness, started by their founder, John Wesley in England. They continued to publish Wesley's works and tracts, including his famous A Plain Account of Christian Perfection. From 1788 to 1808, the entire text of A Plain Account was placed in the Discipline manual of the Methodist Episcopal Church, numerous persons in early American Methodism professed the experience of entire sanctification, including Bishop Francis Asbury.
By the 1840s, a new emphasis on Holiness and Christian perfection began within American Methodism, brought about in large part by the revivalism and camp meetings of the Second Great Awakening. Two major Holiness leaders during this period were her husband, Dr. Walter Palmer. In 1835, Palmer's sister, Sarah A. Lankford, started holding Tuesday Meetings for the Promotion of Holiness in her New York City home. In 1837, Palmer experienced what she called entire sanctification and had become the leader of the Tuesday Meetings by 1839. At first only women attended these meetings, but Methodist bishops and hundreds of clergy and laymen began to attend as well. At the same time, Methodist minister Timothy Merritt of Boston founded a journal called the Guide to Christian Perfection renamed The Guide to Holiness; this was the first American periodical dedicated to promoting the Wesleyan message of Christian holiness. In 1865, the Palmers purchased The Guide which at its peak had a circulation of 30,000.
At the Tuesday Meetings, Methodists soon enjoyed fellowship with Christians of different denominations, including the Congregationalist Thomas Upham. Upham was the first man to attend the meetings, his participation in them led him to study mystical experiences, looking to find precursors of Holiness teaching in the writings of persons like German Pietist Johann Arndt and the Roman Catholic mystic Madame Guyon. Other non-Methodists contributed to the Holiness movement in the U. S. and in England. "New School" Calvinists such as Asa Mahan, the president of Oberlin College, Charles Grandison Finney, an evangelist associated with the college, promoted the idea of Christian holiness and slavery abolition. In 1836, Mahan experienced. Mahan believed that this experience had cleansed him from the inclination to sin. Finney believed that this experience might provide a solution to a problem he observed during his evangelistic revivals; some people claimed to experience conversion but slipped back into their old ways of living.
Finney believed that the filling with the Holy Spirit could help these converts to continue steadfast in their Christian life. This phase of the Holiness movement is referred to as the Oberlin-Holiness revival. Presbyterian William Boardman promoted the idea of Holiness through his evangelistic campaigns and through his book The Higher Christian Life, published in 1858, a zenith point in Holiness activity prior to a lull brought on by the American Civil War. Hannah Whitall Smith, an English Quaker, experienced a profound personal conversion. Sometime in the 1860s, she found what she called the "secret" of the Christian life—devoting one's life wholly to God and God's simultaneous transformation of one's soul, her husband, Robert Pearsall Smith, had a similar experience at the camp meeting in 1867. The couple became figureheads in the now-famous Keswick Convention that gave rise to what is called the Keswick-Holiness revival, which became distinct from the holiness movement. Representative was the revivalism of Rev. James Caughey, an American missionary sent by the Wesleyan Methodist Church to work in Ontario, Canada from the 1840s through 1864.
He brought in the converts by the score, most notably in the revivals in Canada West 1851–53. His technique combined restrained emotionalism with a clear call for personal commitment, thus bridging the rural style of camp meetings and the expectations of
Alcuin of York – called Ealhwine, Alhwin or Alchoin – was an English scholar, clergyman and teacher from York, Northumbria. He became the student of Archbishop Ecgbert at York. At the invitation of Charlemagne, he became a leading scholar and teacher at the Carolingian court, where he remained a figure in the 780s and'90s. Alcuin wrote many theological and dogmatic treatises, as well as a few grammatical works and a number of poems, he was made Abbot of Tours in 796. "The most learned man anywhere to be found", according to Einhard's Life of Charlemagne, he is considered among the most important architects of the Carolingian Renaissance. Among his pupils were many of the dominant intellectuals of the Carolingian era. Alcuin was born in Northumbria sometime in the 730s. Nothing is known of his parents, family background, or origin. In common hagiographical fashion, the Vita Alcuini asserts that Alcuin was'of noble English stock,' and this statement has been accepted by scholars. Alcuin's own work only mentions such collateral kinsmen as Wilgils, father of the missionary saint Willibrord.
In his Life of St Willibrord, Alcuin writes that Wilgils, called a paterfamilias, had founded an oratory and church at the mouth of the Humber, which had fallen into Alcuin's possession by inheritance. Because in early Anglo-Latin writing paterfamilias referred to a ceorl, Donald A. Bullough suggests that Alcuin's family was of cierlisc status: i.e. free but subordinate to a noble lord, that Alcuin and other members of his family rose to prominence through beneficial connections with the aristocracy. If so, Alcuin's origins may lie in the southern part of what was known as Deira; the young Alcuin came to the cathedral church of York during the golden age of Archbishop Ecgbert and his brother, the Northumbrian King Eadberht. Ecgbert had been a disciple of the Venerable Bede. King Eadberht and Archbishop Ecgbert oversaw the re-energising and re-organisation of the English church, with an emphasis on reforming the clergy and on the tradition of learning that Bede had begun. Ecgbert was devoted to Alcuin.
The York school was renowned as a centre of learning in the liberal arts and science, as well as in religious matters. It was from here, he revived the school with the trivium and quadrivium disciplines, writing a codex on the trivium, while his student Hraban wrote one on the quadrivium. Alcuin graduated to become a teacher during the 750s, his ascendancy to the headship of the York school, the ancestor of St Peter's School, began after Aelbert became Archbishop of York in 767. Around the same time Alcuin became a deacon in the church, he was never ordained a priest. Though there is no real evidence that he took monastic vows, he lived. In 781, King Elfwald sent Alcuin to Rome to petition the Pope for official confirmation of York's status as an archbishopric and to confirm the election of the new archbishop, Eanbald I. On his way home he met this time in the Italian city of Parma. Alcuin's intellectual curiosity allowed him to be reluctantly persuaded to join Charlemagne's court, he joined an illustrious group of scholars that Charlemagne had gathered around him, the mainsprings of the Carolingian Renaissance: Peter of Pisa, Paulinus of Aquileia and Abbot Fulrad.
Alcuin would write that "the Lord was calling me to the service of King Charles." Alcuin became Master of the Palace School of Charlemagne in Aachen in 782. It had been founded by the king's ancestors as a place for the education of the royal children. However, Charlemagne wanted to include the liberal arts and, most the study of religion. From 782 to 790, Alcuin taught Charlemagne himself, his sons Pepin and Louis, as well as young men sent to be educated at court, the young clerics attached to the palace chapel. Bringing with him from York his assistants Pyttel and Joseph, Alcuin revolutionised the educational standards of the Palace School, introducing Charlemagne to the liberal arts and creating a personalised atmosphere of scholarship and learning, to the extent that the institution came to be known as the'school of Master Albinus'. In this role as adviser, he took issue with the emperor's policy of forcing pagans to be baptised on pain of death, arguing, "Faith is a free act of the will, not a forced act.
We must appeal to the conscience, not compel it by violence. You can force people to be baptised, but you cannot force them to believe." His arguments seem to have prevailed – Charlemagne abolished the death penalty for paganism in 797. Charlemagne gathered the best men of every land in his court, became far more than just the king at the centre, it seems that he counsellors. They referred to him as'David', a reference to the Biblical king David. Alcuin soon found himself on intimate terms with Charlemagne and the other men at court, where pupils and masters were known by affectionate and jesting nicknames. Alcuin himself was known as'Albinus' or'Flaccus'. While at Aachen, Alcuin bestowed pet names upon his pupils – derived from Virgil's Eclogues. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "He loved Charlemagne and enjoyed the king's esteem, but his letters reveal that his fear of him was as grea
The Nicene Creed is a statement of belief used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the First Council of Nicaea in 325. In 381, it was amended at the First Council of Constantinople, the amended form is referred to as the Nicene or the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed; the Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian churches use this profession of faith with the verbs in the original plural, but the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches convert those verbs to the singular. The Anglican and many Protestant denominations use the singular form, sometimes the plural; the earlier Apostles' Creed is used in the Latin West, but not in the Eastern liturgies. On Sundays and solemnities, one of these two creeds is recited in the Roman Rite Mass after the homily; the Nicene Creed is part of the profession of faith required of those undertaking important functions within the Catholic Church. In the Byzantine Rite, the Nicene Creed is sung or recited at the Divine Liturgy preceding the Anaphora, is recited daily at compline.
The purpose of a creed is to provide a doctrinal statement of correct orthodoxy. The creeds of Christianity have been drawn up at times of conflict about doctrine: acceptance or rejection of a creed served to distinguish believers and deniers of particular doctrines. For that reason, a creed was called in Greek a σύμβολον, which meant half of a broken object which, when fitted to the other half, verified the bearer's identity; the Greek word passed through Latin symbolum into English "symbol", which only took on the meaning of an outward sign of something. The Nicene Creed was adopted to resolve the Arian controversy, whose leader, Arius, a clergyman of Alexandria, "objected to Alexander's apparent carelessness in blurring the distinction of nature between the Father and the Son by his emphasis on eternal generation". In reply, Alexander accused Arius of denying the divinity of the Son and of being too "Jewish" and "Greek" in his thought. Alexander and his supporters created the Nicene Creed to clarify the key tenets of the Christian faith in response to the widespread adoption of Arius' doctrine, henceforth marked as heresy.
The Nicene Creed of 325 explicitly affirms the co-essential divinity of the Son, applying to him the term "consubstantial". The 381 version speaks of the Holy Spirit as glorified with the Father and the Son; the Athanasian Creed describes in much greater detail the relationship between Father and Holy Spirit. The earlier Apostles' Creed does not explicitly affirm the divinity of the Son and the Holy Spirit, but in the view of many who use it, this doctrine is implicit in it; the original Nicene Creed was first adopted in 325 at the First Council of Nicaea. At that time, the text ended with the words "We believe in the Holy Spirit", after which various anathemas against Arian propositions were added. F. J. A. Hort and Adolf von Harnack argued that the Nicene creed was the local creed of Caesarea recited in the council by Eusebius of Caesarea, their case relied on a specific interpretation of Eusebius' own account of the Council's proceedings. More recent scholarship has not been convinced by their arguments.
The large number of secondary divergences from the text of the creed quoted by Eusebius make it unlikely that it was used as a starting point by those who drafted the conciliar creed. Their initial text was a local creed from a Syro–Palestinian source into which they awkwardly inserted phrases to define the Nicene theology; the Eusebian Creed may thus have been either a second or one of many nominations for the Nicene Creed. Soon after the Council of Nicaea, new formulae of faith were composed, most of them variations of the Nicene Symbol, to counter new phases of Arianism; the Catholic Encyclopedia identifies at least four before the Council of Sardica, where a new form was presented and inserted in the Acts of the Council, though it was not agreed on. What is known as the "Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed" or the "Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed" received this name because of a belief that it was adopted at the Second Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople in 381 as a modification of the original Nicene Creed of 325.
In that light, it came to be commonly known as the "Nicene Creed". It is the only authoritative ecumenical statement of the Christian faith accepted by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and the major Protestant denominations, it differs in a number of respects, both by addition and omission, from the creed adopted at the First Council of Nicaea. The most notable difference is the additional section "And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver-of-Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the prophets, and in one, holy and Apostolic Church. We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."Since the end of the 19th century, scholars have questioned the traditional explanation of the origin of this creed, passed down in the name of the council, whose official acts have been lost over time. A local council of Constantinople in 382 and the third ecumenical council made no mention of it, with the latter affirming the 325 creed of Nicaea as a valid
Council of Ephesus
The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus in AD 431 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius II. This third ecumenical council, an effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom, confirmed the original Nicene Creed, condemned the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who held that the Virgin Mary may be called the Christotokos, "Birth Giver of Christ" but not the Theotokos, "Birth Giver of God", it met in July 431 at the Church of Mary in Ephesus in Anatolia. Nestorius' doctrine, which emphasized the distinction between Christ's human and divine natures and argued that Mary should be called Christotokos but not Theotokos, had brought him into conflict with other church leaders, most notably Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria. Nestorius himself had requested the Emperor to convene the council, hoping that it would prove his orthodoxy; the council declared Mary as Theotokos. Nestorius' dispute with Cyril had led the latter to seek validation from Pope Celestine I, who authorized Cyril to request that Nestorius recant his position or face excommunication.
Nestorius pleaded with the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II to call a council in which all grievances could be aired, hoping that he would be vindicated and Cyril condemned. 250 bishops were present. The proceedings were conducted in a heated atmosphere of confrontation and recriminations and created severe tensions between Cyril and Theodosius II. Nestorius was decisively outplayed by Cyril and removed from his see, his teachings were anathematized; this precipitated the Nestorian Schism, by which churches supportive of Nestorius in the Persian Empire of the Sassanids, were severed from the rest of Christendom and became known as Nestorian Christianity, or the Church of the East, whose present-day representatives are the Assyrian Church of the East, the Ancient Church of the East, the Chaldean Syrian Church, the Chaldean Catholic Church. Nestorius himself retired to a monastery. McGuckin cites the "innate rivalry" between Alexandria and Constantinople as an important factor in the controversy between Cyril of Alexandria and Nestorius.
However, he emphasizes that, as much as political competition contributed to an "overall climate of dissent", the controversy cannot be reduced to the level of "personality clashes" or "political antagonisms". According to McGuckin, Cyril viewed the "elevated intellectual argument about christology" as one and the same as the "validity and security of the simple Christian life". Within Constantinople, some supported the Roman-Alexandrian and others supported the Nestorian factions. For example, Pulcheria supported the Roman-Alexandrian popes while the emperor and his wife supported Nestorius. Contention over Nestorius' teachings, which he developed during his studies at the School of Antioch revolved around his rejection of the long-used title Theotokos for the Virgin Mary. Shortly after his arrival in Constantinople, Nestorius became involved in the disputes of two theological factions, which differed in their Christology. McGuckin ascribes Nestorius' importance to his being the representative of the Antiochene tradition and characterizes him as a "consistent, if none too clear, exponent of the longstanding Antiochene dogmatic tradition."
Nestorius was surprised that what he had always taught in Antioch without any controversy whatsoever should prove to be so objectionable to the Christians of Constantinople. Nestorius emphasized the dual natures of Christ, trying to find a middle ground between those who emphasized the fact that in Christ God had been born as a man, insisted on calling the Virgin Mary Theotokos, those that rejected that title because God as an eternal being could not have been born. Nestorius suggested the title Christotokos, but this proposal did not gain acceptance on either side. Nestorius tried to answer a question considered unsolved: "How can Jesus Christ, being part man, not be a sinner as well, since man is by definition a sinner since the Fall?" To solve that he taught that Mary, the mother of Jesus gave birth to the incarnate Christ, not the divine Logos who existed before Mary and indeed before time itself. The Logos occupied the part of the human soul, but wouldn't the absence of a human soul make Jesus less human?
Nestorius rejected this proposition, answering that, because the human soul was based on the archetype of the Logos, only to become polluted by the Fall, Jesus was "more" human for having the Logos and not "less". Nestorius argued that the Virgin Mary should be called Christotokos, Greek for "Birth Giver of Christ", not Theotokos, Greek for "Birth Giver of God". Nestorius believed that no union between the divine was possible. If such a union of human and divine occurred, Nestorius believed that Christ could not be con-substantial with God and con-substantial with us because he would grow, mature and die and would possess the power of God that would separate him from being equal to humans. According to McGuckin, several mid-twentieth-century accounts have tended to "romanticise" Nestorius. Nestorius's opponents charged him with detaching Christ's divin
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent, held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent, was the 19th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation; the Council issued condemnations of what it defined to be heresies committed by proponents of Protestantism, issued key statements and clarifications of the Church's doctrine and teachings, including scripture, the Biblical canon, sacred tradition, original sin, salvation, the sacraments, the Mass, the veneration of saints. The Council met for twenty-five sessions between 13 December 1545 and 4 December 1563. Pope Paul III, who convoked the Council, oversaw the first eight sessions, while the twelfth to sixteenth sessions were overseen by Pope Julius III and the seventeenth to twenty-fifth sessions by Pope Pius IV; the consequences of the Council were significant in regards to the Church's liturgy and practices. During its deliberations, the Council made the Vulgate the official example of the Biblical canon and commissioned the creation of a standard version, although this was not achieved until the 1590s.
In 1565, a year after the Council finished its work, Pius IV issued the Tridentine Creed and his successor Pius V issued the Roman Catechism and revisions of the Breviary and Missal in 1566, 1568 and 1570. These, in turn, led to the codification of the Tridentine Mass, which remained the Church's primary form of the Mass for the next four hundred years. More than three hundred years passed until the next ecumenical council, the First Vatican Council, was convened in 1869. On 15 March 1517, the Fifth Council of the Lateran closed its activities with a number of reform proposals but not on the major problems that confronted the Church in Germany and other parts of Europe. A few months on 31 October 1517, Martin Luther issued his 95 Theses in Wittenberg. Luther's position on ecumenical councils shifted over time, but in 1520 he appealed to the German princes to oppose the papal Church, if necessary with a council in Germany and free of the Papacy. After the Pope condemned in Exsurge Domine fifty-two of Luther's theses as heresy, German opinion considered a council the best method to reconcile existing differences.
German Catholics, diminished in number, hoped for a council to clarify matters. It took a generation for the council to materialise because of papal reluctance, given that a Lutheran demand was the exclusion of the papacy from the Council, because of ongoing political rivalries between France and Germany and the Turkish dangers in the Mediterranean. Under Pope Clement VII, troops of the Catholic Holy Roman Emperor Charles V sacked Papal Rome in 1527, "raping, burning, the like had not been seen since the Vandals". Saint Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel were used for horses. This, together with the Pontiff's ambivalence between Germany, led to his hesitation. Charles V favoured a council, but needed the support of King Francis I of France, who attacked him militarily. Francis I opposed a general council due to partial support of the Protestant cause within France. In 1532 he agreed to the Nuremberg Religious Peace granting religious liberty to the Protestants, in 1533 he further complicated matters when suggesting a general council to include both Catholic and Protestant rulers of Europe that would devise a compromise between the two theological systems.
This proposal met the opposition of the Pope for it gave recognition to Protestants and elevated the secular Princes of Europe above the clergy on church matters. Faced with a Turkish attack, Charles held the support of the Protestant German rulers, all of whom delayed the opening of the Council of Trent. In reply to the Papal bull Exsurge Domine of Pope Leo X, Martin Luther burned the document and appealed for a general council. In 1522 German diets joined in the appeal, with Charles V seconding and pressing for a council as a means of reunifying the Church and settling the Reformation controversies. Pope Clement VII was vehemently against the idea of a council, agreeing with Francis I of France, after Pope Pius II, in his bull Execrabilis and his reply to the University of Cologne, set aside the theory of the supremacy of general councils laid down by the Council of Constance. Pope Paul III, seeing that the Protestant Reformation was no longer confined to a few preachers, but had won over various princes in Germany, to its ideas, desired a council.
Yet when he proposed the idea to his cardinals, it was unanimously opposed. Nonetheless, he sent nuncios throughout Europe to propose the idea. Paul III issued a decree for a general council to be held in Mantua, Italy, to begin on 23 May 1537. Martin Luther wrote the Smalcald Articles in preparation for the general council; the Smalcald Articles were designed to define where the Lutherans could and could not compromise. The council was ordered by the Emperor and Pope Paul III to convene in Mantua on 23 May 1537, it failed to convene after another war broke out between France and Charles V, resulting in a non-attendance of French prelates. Protestants refused to attend as well. Financial difficulties in Mantua led the Pope in the autumn of 1537 to move the council to Vicenza, where participation was poor; the Council was postponed indefinitely on 21 May 1539. Pope Paul III initiated several internal Church reforms while Emperor Charles V convened with Protestants at an imperial diet in Regensburg, to reconcile differences.
Unity failed betw
In the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, an indulgence is "a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sins". It may reduce the "temporal punishment for sin" after death, in the state or process of purification called Purgatory; the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes an indulgence as "a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has been forgiven, which the faithful Christian, duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and all of the saints". The recipient of an indulgence must perform an action to receive it; this is most the saying of a specified prayer, but may include the visiting of a particular place, or the performance of specific good works. Indulgences were introduced to allow for the remission of the severe penances of the early Church and granted at the intercession of Christians awaiting martyrdom or at least imprisoned for the faith.
They draw on the treasury of merit accumulated by Christ's superabundantly meritorious sacrifice on the cross and the virtues and penances of the saints. They are granted for specific good works and prayers in proportion to the devotion with which those good works are performed or prayers recited. By the late Middle Ages, the abuse of indulgences through commercialization, had become a serious problem which the Church recognized but was unable to restrain effectively. Indulgences were, from the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, a target of attacks by Martin Luther and all other Protestant theologians; the Catholic Counter-Reformation curbed the excesses, but indulgences continue to play a role in modern Catholic religious life. Reforms in the 20th century abolished the quantification of indulgences, expressed in terms of days or years; these days or years were meant to represent the equivalent of time spent in penance, although it was taken to mean time spent in Purgatory. The reforms greatly reduced the number of indulgences granted for visiting particular churches and other locations.
"When a person sins, he acquires certain liabilities: the liability of guilt and the liability of punishment." A mortal sin is equivalent to refusing friendship with God and communion with the only source of eternal life. The loss of eternal life with God, the eternal death of hell, the effect of this rejection, is called the "eternal punishment" of sin; the Sacrament of Penance removes the guilt and the liability of eternal punishment related to mortal sin. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow. An example of this can be seen in 2 Samuel 12 when after David repents of his sin, the prophet Nathan tells him that he is forgiven but, "Thus says the Lord God of Israel:... Now, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife."In addition to this eternal punishment due to mortal sin, every sin, including venial sin, is a turning away from God through what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls an unhealthy attachment to creatures, an attachment that must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called purgatory.
"The process of sanctification and interior renewal requires not only forgiveness from the guilt of sin, but purification from the harmful effects or wounds of sin." This purification process gives rise to "temporal punishment", not involving a total rejection of God, it is not eternal and can be expiated. "While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off the'old man' and to put on the'new man."The temporal punishment that follows sin is thus undergone either during life on earth or in purgatory. In this life, as well as by patient acceptance of sufferings and trials, the necessary cleansing from attachment to creatures may, at least in part, be achieved by turning to God in prayer and penance and by works of mercy and charity. Indulgences are a help towards achieving this purification.
An indulgence does not forgive the guilt of sin, nor does it provide release from the eternal punishment associated with unforgiven mortal sins. The Catholic Church teaches that indulgences relieve only the temporal punishment resulting from the effect of sin, that a person is still required to have his grave sins absolved, ordinarily through the sacrament of Confession, to receive salvation. An indulgence is not a permit to commit sin, a pardon of future sin, nor a guarantee of salvation for oneself or for another. Ordinarily, forgiveness of mortal sins is obtained through Confession. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "The'treasury of the Church' is the infinite value, which can never be exhausted, which Christ's merits have before God, they were offered so that the whole of mankind could be set free from sin
In Christian theology, justification is God's act of removing the guilt and penalty of sin while at the same time making a sinner righteous through Christ's atoning sacrifice. The means of justification is an area of significant difference among Catholicism and Protestantism. Justification is seen as being the theological fault line that divided Catholic from the Lutheran and Reformed traditions of Protestantism during the Reformation. Broadly speaking, Catholic and Orthodox Christians distinguish between initial justification, which in their view ordinarily occurs at baptism, final salvation, accomplished after a lifetime of striving to do God's will. In Catholic doctrine, forgiveness of sin exists and is infused, in the Protestant doctrine, sin is "covered", righteousness imputed. Catholics believe faith as is active in charity and good works can justify man, Protestants believe faith without works can justify man because Christ died for sinners, but that anyone who has faith will produce good works as a product of faith, as a good tree produces good fruit.
For Lutherans justification can be lost with the loss of faith. In Lutheranism and Calvinism, righteousness from God is viewed as being credited to the sinner's account through faith alone, without works. Jesus used redemption when referring to his work on earth. Christ's death and resurrection provide justification for believers before God, his righteousness becomes theirs, his death becomes an offering to God in their place, to pay for all of their sins. According to Protestants this justification is by faith alone – not through good deeds – and is a gift from God through Christ. According to Catholics and Eastern Orthodox we are justified by God's grace, a free gift but is received through baptism through the faith that works for love in the continuous life of a Christian and through the sacrament of reconciliation if the grace of justification is lost through grave sin; the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, signed by both the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church on 31 October 1999 stated that "consensus in basic truths of the doctrine of justification exists between Lutherans and Catholics."
In Roman Catholic and Lutheran doctrines, as expressed under section 4.7 no.37, "we confess together that good works – a Christian life lived in faith and love – follow justification and are its fruits. When the justified live in Christ and act in the grace they receive, they bring forth, in biblical terms, good fruit. Since Christians struggle against sin their entire lives, this consequence of justification is for them an obligation they must fulfill, thus both Jesus and the apostolic Scriptures admonish Christians to bring forth the works of love." The declaration states that several theological views on justification held by Lutherans and Catholics, though not similar to each other, are in fact explaining the same "basic truths of the doctrine of justification" at different angles. An example can be cited from section 4.7 no. 38-39, "when Catholics affirm the'meritorious' character of good works, they wish to say that, according to the biblical witness, a reward in heaven is promised to these works.
Their intention is to emphasize the responsibility of persons for their actions, not to contest the character of those works as gifts, or far less to deny that justification always remains the unmerited gift of grace", in comparison with "the concept of a preservation of grace and a growth in grace and faith is held by Lutherans. They do emphasize that righteousness as acceptance by God and sharing in the righteousness of Christ is always complete. At the same time, they state; when they view the good works of Christians as the fruits and signs of justification and not as one's own'merits', they also understand eternal life in accord with the New Testament as unmerited'reward' in the sense of the fulfillment of God's promise to the believer." Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well. In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead, but someone will say, "You have faith. Show me your faith without deeds, I will show you my faith by what I do.
D. James Kennedy explains this verse: James is dealing with people who profess to be Christians, yet they don't evidence the reality of their faith by their works. Over, over again... people will say they have faith and they don't have works, James is saying that real faith always produces works as a result... The question is,'A man may say that he has faith, but will that faith justify him?' If it is just a'said' faith—no, it won't! It was Paul. Justification is a major theme of the epistles to the Romans and to the Galatians in the New Testament, is given treatment in many other epistles. In Romans, Paul develops justification by first speaking of God's just wrath at sin. Justification is presented as the solution for God's wrath. One is said to be'justified by faith apart from works of the Law'. Further, Paul writes of sin and justification in terms of two men and Christ. Through Adam, sin came into the world bringing death.