Understanding Roman Catholicism
Mary: Saved from Birth
Catholicism asserts that Mary never sinned and, hence, was redeemed (saved) from the moment of her birth:
"By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long." Pg. 124, #493
"Espousing the divine will for salvation whole-heartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son..." Pg. 124, #494
"Mary is the most excellent fruit of redemption (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life." Pg. 128 #508 (See also Pg. 191, #722)
If you are wondering if this doctrine is taught in God's Word, it isn't. The Catechism admits that it is another church tradition:
"Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, 'full of grace' through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception." Pg. 123, #491
But the Bible identifies Jesus as the sinless One, not Mary:
"For he hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21
Aside from the Lord Jesus, the Bible is quite clear that nobody else has ever been sinless:
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10
"They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Romans 3:12
Notice, none of these verses say "all have sinned, except Mary."
"But the scripture hath concluded all under sin..." Galatians 3:22
Mary knew she needed a Savior
In Luke's gospel, Mary herself admits that she was a sinner. Otherwise she would never have concluded that she needed a Saviour:
"And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." Luke 1:46-47
Yet, the Catholic church demands that members worship Mary:
"The Church' s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship." Pg. 253, #971
Did Jesus exalt Mary?
Here's how Jesus referred to His mother when Mary asked to see Him one day:
"Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matthew 12:48-50
Jesus did not say, "Usher in this blessed woman."Rather, He replied that anyone who obeys God' s Word is equal with Mary. Jesus refused to exalt her.
When Others Exalted Mary
When a woman came to Jesus and attempted to exalt Mary, look how the Lord responded:
"... a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it." Luke 11:27-28
Jesus announces that those who hear and obey the Word of God are blessed above Mary. Perhaps the Lord inserted these verses for those today who choose to ignore the Word of God so they can follow church traditions.
True to the pattern we have seen throughout this book, Jesus is again robbed of glory and honor that He alone deserves. Rather than recognizing Him as the only sinless One, Catholicism contradicts Scripture and insists that Mary was also sinless. Why?
Was Mary sinless from birth? Catholic tradition wants you to believe she was, but God' s Word says she wasn' t. Who will you believe?
"For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." Ecclesiastes 7:20
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" Romans 5:12
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Understanding Roman Catholicism © 1995 by Rick Jones