Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #17: “Sanctified For All Time”

Today, we continue with our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. With this next chapter, the Catholic apologist completes his six-part section on Salvation by countering evangelical Protestants’ claim that they are “Sanctified For All Time.”

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In the previous two chapters, Broussard attacked the doctrine of the assurance of salvation for the believer based upon faith in Jesus Christ alone, and continues the assault in this chapter. Broussard opens by presenting Hebrews 10, verses 10 and 14 as Protestants’ proof texts for eternal security:

10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

Evangelical Protestants declare from God’s Word that people are genuinely born-again in a moment in time when they repent of sin and place their trust in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone. Christ’s sacrifice washes away all sins – past, present, and future – of those who trust in Him.

In contrast, Catholicism teaches that a person is born-again/regenerated at baptism and that they must then continue with a lifetime of receiving sacramental grace and obeying the Ten Commandments in order to hopefully merit salvation at death. Eternal life is forfeited, according to Catholic theology, upon every occasion a person commits a mortal sin. The person must then confess the mortal sin to a priest to gain absolution/forgiveness, and the cycle begins again.

Broussard argues that Hebrews 10:10,14 “cannot mean that all future sins are automatically forgiven because the Bible elsewhere teaches that there are conditions for having our future sins forgiven” (p. 93). Broussard then presents his two proof texts for conditional/merited salvation:

Matthew 6:12,14-15: 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 18:21-35, is the parable of the unforgiving servant: 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Since his proof texts are alleged to support conditional/merited salvation, Broussard then returns to Hebrews 10:10,14. He suggests that verse ten’s “once for all” should be interpreted to mean that “Christ’s one (author’s italics) sacrifice is sufficient to take away our sins (whenever we repent)” (p.95). As for the “perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” in verse 14, he suggests the meaning to be that “Christ’s sacrifice makes complete provision (author’s italics) for Christians of all times (epochs) to achieve their goal of perfection” (pp.95-96).

Going back to Broussards’ proof texts:

Matthew 6:12, 14-15: Jesus is not suggesting conditional justification, but that a born-again believer must maintain sweet fellowship with the Lord, by continually confessing known sin, including grudges against others. Confessing known sin as part of our daily walk is like the analogy of the washing of just the feet rather than a full-body bath, as referenced in John 13:10. Believers are born-again only once, but need to maintain their close fellowship with the Lord by confessing sin and cleansing away the sinful influences of the world. Believers are justified once, in a moment of time, when they repent of sin and accept Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone. Christ’s perfect righteousness is imputed to them and they are forensically, objectively declared righteous before Holy God, but sanctification continues in this life as the believer walks continuously closer to the Lord.

Matthew 18:21-35: Broussard would have the reader believe that the phrase, “the master delivered him (the unforgiving servant) to the jailers,” signifies that believers forfeit their salvation when they sin and are sent to hell. But several Bible passages, such as the one below, declare that the Lord chastens His disobedient children:

“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” – Revelation 3:19

When Broussard returns back to Hebrews 10:10,14, he grasps at straws with fanciful interpretations. We choose, rather, to believe the clearly intended meanings of the texts. When we accept Christ as Savior by faith alone, all of our sins are forgiven, past, present, and future.

Important: In these last six chapters, Broussard has zealously defended the Roman Catholic works-righteousness salvation system whereby its members are taught they must merit their salvation by strictly obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and by adhering to the church’s 1752 canon laws. In contrast to all of this exacting and imposing legalism, the RCC at the same time dichotomously grants that all non-Catholic religionists AND EVEN ATHEISTS may also merit salvation if they nebulously and indefinably “follow the light they are given” and are “good.”

Works-righteousness, pseudo-Christians of all stripes (Catholics, Mormons, JWs, etc.) cherry-pick Bible verses/passages to support their false gospels of merited salvation. Some Bible verses/passages, pulled out of context, can be construed to teach merited salvation so that “seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (Matthew 13:13). It is the Holy Spirit Who gives sight to the blind and reveals in the pages of the Bible the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Next up: Broussard begins a new section on Sacraments with “Up out of the Water”

25 thoughts on “Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #17: “Sanctified For All Time”

    1. Thanks, Gersom. Looking forward to the new series. The conflict between salvation by God’s grace vs. man’s attempt to merit salvation goes all the way back to Cain and Abel.

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  1. Broussard has to make this claim because Trent taught that the atoning sacrifice on the cross was not enough, and that the mass is a propitiatory sacrifice.

    Council of Trent Session 22, CANON III.–If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.

    But Hebrews 10 is very clear that the sacrifice on the cross is a once and for all atonement and none of our works contribute to it. There is no ongoing atoning sacrifice and the mass is utter blasphemy.

    John Chrysostom would disapprove of the claims of Broussard on Hebrews 10.

    John Chrysostom: [1.] In what has gone before he had shown that the sacrifices were unavailing for perfect purification, and were a type, and greatly defective. Since then there was this objection to his argument, If they are types, how is it that, after the truth is come, they have not ceased, nor given place, but are still performed? he here accordingly labors at this very point, showing that they are no longer performed, even as a figure, for God does not accept them. And this again he shows not from the New [Testament], but from the prophets, bringing forward from times of old the strongest testimony, that it [the old system] comes to an end, and ceases, and that they do all in vain, “alway resisting the Holy Ghost.” ( Acts vii. 51.)

    And he shows over and above that they cease not now [only], but at the very coming of the Messiah, nay rather, even before His coming: and how it was that Christ did not abolish them at the last, but they were abolished first, and then He came; first they were made to cease, and then He appeared. That they might not say, Even without this sacrifice, and by means of those, we could have been well pleasing unto God, He waited for these sacrifices to be convicted [of weakness], and then He appeared; for (He says) “sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not.” Hereby He took all away; and having spoken generally, He says also particularly, “In burnt-offerings and [sacrifice] for sin Thou hadst no pleasure.” But “the offering” was everything except the sacrifice. “Then said I, Lo! I come.” Of whom was this spoken? of none other than the Christ.

    Here he does not blame those who offer, showing that it is not because of their wickednesses that He does not accept them, as He says elsewhere, but because the thing itself has been convicted for the future and shown to have no strength, nor any suitableness to the times. What then has this to do with the “sacrifices” being offered “oftentimes”? Not only from their being “oftentimes” [offered] (he means) is it manifest that they are weak, and that they effected nothing; but also from God’s not accepting them, as being unprofitable and useless. And in another place it is said, “If Thou hadst desired sacrifice I would have given it.” ( Ps. li. 16.) Therefore by this also he makes it plain that He does not desire it. Therefore sacrifices are not God’s will, but the abolition of sacrifices. Wherefore they sacrifice contrary to His will. What is “To do Thy will”? To give up Myself, He means: This is the will of God. “By which Will we are sanctified.” Or he even means something still further, that the sacrifices do not make men clean, but the Will of God. Therefore to offer sacrifice is not the will of God. NPNF1 Vol 14, Homily XVIII., Hebrews X. 8–13, Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Pg 841-842

    John Chrysostom: [2.] And why dost thou wonder that it is not the will of God now, when it was not His will even from the beginning? For “who,” saith He, “hath required this at your hands?” (Isa. i. 12.)

    How then did He Himself enjoin it? In condescension. For as Paul says, “I would that all men were even as I myself” ( 1 Cor. vii. 7 ), in respect of continence, and again says, “I will that the younger women marry, bear children” ( 1 Tim. v. 14 ); and lays down two wills, yet the two are not his own, although he commands; but the one indeed is his own, and therefore he lays it down without reasons; while the other is not his own, though he wishes it, and therefore it is added with a reason. For having previously accused them, because “they had waxed wanton against Christ” ( 1 Tim. v. 11 ), he then says, “I will that the younger women marry, bear children.” ( 1 Tim. v. 14.) So in this place also it was not His leading will that the sacrifices should be offered. For, as He says, “I wish not the death of the sinner, as that he should turn unto [Me] and live” ( Ezek. xxxiii. 11 ): and in another place He says that He not only wished, but even desired this: and yet these are contrary to each other: for intense wishing is desire. How then dost Thou “not wish”? how dost Thou in another place “desire,” which is a sign of vehement wishing? So is it in this case also.

    “By the which will we are sanctified,” he says. How sanctified? “by the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.” NPNF1 Vol 14, Homily XVIII., Hebrews X. 8–13, Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Pg 842

    John Chrysostom on Heb 10:14-18: [3.] “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifice.” (To stand therefore is a sign of ministering; accordingly to sit, is a sign of being ministered unto.) “But this [man] after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.” ( Ver. 14, 15 ) “For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us.” He had said that those [sacrifices] are not offered; he reasoned from what is written, [and] from what is not written; moreover also he put forward the prophetic word which says, “sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not.” He had said that He had forgiven their sins. Again this also He proves from the testimony of what is written, for “the Holy Ghost” (he says) “is a witness to us: for after that He had said,” ( ver. 16–18 ) “This is the covenant, that I will make with them, after those days, saith the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is there is no more offering for sin.” So then He forgave their sins, when He gave the Covenant, and He gave the Covenant by sacrifice. If therefore He forgave the sins through the one sacrifice, there is no longer need of a second. NPNF1 Vol 14, Homily XVIII., Hebrews X. 8–13, Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Pg 842-843

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie! It’s hard to keep debating this Catholic apologist who is bound and determined to merit his salvation. It’s like being in a lifeboat and calling to the passengers of a sinking ship to jump overboard, but they keep insisting they’re fine.

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    1. Catholics believe baptism regenerates and that all Christians can commit mortal sins and become “unregenerated” although they would call it “fallen from a state of grace.” Catholics therefore give themselves a very wide berth regarding mortal sin (i.e. breaking one of the Ten Commandments) justifying themselves saying they never killed anyone or robbed a bank.

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    1. Yeah, it’s insane that ANY believer would embrace Roman Catholicism as Christian when, as demonstrated by this zealous apologist, it unabashedly propagates salvation by merit.

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      1. Good question. I wonder what a poll would indicate? After close to 60 years of interreligious initiatives by the RCC, I’m guessing most Catholics would be comfortable with the concept. The exceptions would be the old school conservatives and traditionalists.

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      2. Re:  I wonder what a poll would indicate? 

        I’m actually more interested to poll ecumenical evangelicals to see how many of the are aware that Romanism teaches Yahweh = Allah, and how many of them are comfortable declaring Romanism as Christianity, despite being aware.

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      3. It seems that ecumenical evangelicals purposely go out of their way to avoid disturbing Catholic doctrines such as Yahweh = Allah. Then again, we see universalism also creeping into the evangelical church via such sources as “The Shack.”

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  2. Heresy and spiritual abuse. That’s all I can say. I have a better understanding why you feel so strongly of informing Protestants that Catholicism teaches a false gospel. I started following this series with the next post so I probably won’t add anymore comments. I will however still read the material and hopefully this Friday I will have some intelligent thought or question for you!

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    1. Mandy, thanks very much for this batch of comments you submitted. All great feedback. I appreciate that you’re thoughtfully reading this series.
      BTW, there won’t be an apologetics post this coming Friday because of a special post, but the series will be returning back on the 24th.

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      1. I love your posts Papa Tom, I really do! In regards to a comment you made the other day, I have struggled with the blogs that use The Message translation but have tolerated it. I am learning through this exchange how vital it is to stay closer to the text. With that I said, I am NOT nor will I ever be KJV only. I also have no issue with the NIV. We are to live up to Scripture’s standards not the other way around! Thank you Tom for allowing me room to think and process all of this!

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      2. Mandy, I truly appreciate the support and encouragement.
        Yes, it’s disconcerting for me to see bloggers quoting The Message. No need for such a spurious faux-translation when the ESV is very readable. Pastors are derelict by not warning the sheep. Yeah, cults and apostate churches are arguing textual details while unwitting evangelicals are using bogus versions.
        RE: KJV- Only
        I started out at an indy fundy Baptist church that used the KJV but the pastor didn’t follow KJV Onlyism. A lot of my Baptist friends did. Some WordPress bloggers also adhere to KJVO and I try to avoid debates about it. I don’t know how familiar you are with the controversy. James White wrote an excellent rebuttal of KJVO.

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