It seems that just about every week a new book comes out on the subject of how we are getting the Gospel wrong. I am getting tired of it. Once I read a book and adjust my thinking to getting the Gospel right, I find out in the next book I read that I got it wrong again! Is the Gospel that difficult? Does every generation get the Gospel wrong, thus requiring the next enlightened generation to get them back on course?

Last week, I wrote a post about whether or not Roman Catholics are saved. I chose this topic because, within the past couple of weeks, I had been asked this question (or some variation of it) four times. It is an important question, which caused quite a conversation. I had to close the comments down on this blog topic within 24 hours of posting it!  The reason for closing the comments was not so much the belligerence of Roman Catholics who did not agree with what I had written, but because of some very (ahem…) committed Protestants who were being less than gracious. James White did a thoughtful Dividing Line broadcast, where he strongly disagreed with me. Over the last week, the most common objection I received about what I had written was that I had been asking the wrong question. What is the right question? Well, the consensus seemed to be this: “Does the Roman Catholic Church have the right Gospel?”, not, “are Roman Catholics Saved?” There are myriad ways I could have phrased it:

“Are Roman Catholics saved?”

“Can Roman Catholics be saved?”

“Does the Roman Catholic Gospel save?”

“Does Roman Catholicism have the right Gospel?”

All of these require a slight variation in response. Most of my Protestant friends are more than willing to admit that Catholics could be saved, and that some are saved. However, they are quick to point out that “Rome’s Gospel does not save.” Of course, in order to make such a comment, the assumption is that we already have the “right” Gospel, which begs the question: “How much of the Gospel do we have to get right?” Another way to put it: “How much of the Gospel can we get wrong and still have the right Gospel?”

Head hurt? Mine too. But stay with me.

The Gospel is simply the “good news” of God. However, there is so much to it. We can boil the Gospel down to its basic essentials, or we can expand it to include all of its implications and benefits. If we take the former, then it is absolutely necessary to have the right Gospel. However, if we take the latter, how can we ever expect to have the “right” Gospel? I don’t have everything right. I don’t necessarily know what I have wrong, but I like to think that I am open to change, and am willing to nuance my views as I learn. In other words, “Do we have the right Gospel?” is not as black and white an issue as we may be inclined to assume. There is so much of the Gospel in which all of us can improve our understanding.  In other words, I think we could all have a “righter” Gospel today than we did yesterday.

Paul speaks of the Gospel in two ways. His letter to the Romans, the entire book, is the Gospel (Rom. 1:15-17). Romans 1:17 makes it clear that, in this context, the vindication of God’s righteousness (which is, I believe, the essence of chapters 1-11) is part of the Gospel message. Here, sin (Rom. 3:23), justification by faith alone (Rom. 3:21), imputation of sin (Rom. 5:18), imputation of righteousness (Rom. 4:1-5; Rom. 5:18), the vindication of creation (Rom. 8:16), the freedom from bondage (Rom. 7), the power of the Spirit (Rom. 8), the security of the believer in Christ (Rom. 8:28-39), and, I believe, the eternal elective decree of salvation which vindicates God’s faithfulness (Rom. 9-11) are all part of the Gospel message. However, in 1 Cor. 15:1-8, Paul seems to suggest that there are issues within the Gospel that are of “first importance.” These issues surround Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Was Paul saying that these were the only issues which were of “first importance”? Here, he does not mention (much less emphasize) faith, grace, imputation, Christ’s humanity and deity, or Christ second coming. All of these, we would say, are integral parts of the “good news.”  All of us would say that getting the Gospel “right” needs to include these things.

We could also do a study based on the sermons in Acts. I count thirteen evangelistic sermons in Acts (meaning they were speeches given to those who were unbelievers). Most likely, Luke summarized these sermons, frequently giving just the essence of what the Apostle taught (Acts 9:20; Acts 10:42; Acts 20:21).  Therefore, it is difficult to make too many theological conclusions, or even draw out a definite kyrugma (essential preaching).  Similarly, these sermons were highly contextualized, often being given exclusively to Jews, Gentiles, philosophers, or kings. For example, I can only identify one place where freedom from the law is explicitly mentioned (Acts 13:39).  In a similar sense, I don’t find substitutionary atonement explicitly mentioned in any sermons recorded in Acts. In addition, it is interesting that the deity of Christ, in the strictest sense of the term, is mentioned on just one occasion (Acts 9:20). In all but two sermons, I find the subject of the death and resurrection of Christ addressed. In about half of the sermons, I find repentance and forgiveness being part of the focus. And in many messages (especially to the Jews), Christ’s messiahship (kingship) is mentioned. It is of further interest to note what aspects of the Gospel are included, but it is just as interesting to see which are left out.

What does all of this mean? How do we know when we have the right Gospel? Are we supposed to find the least common denominator and then focus exclusively on that? Or are we supposed to see letters, like Romans, as the most developed and comprehensive of all, and use them as models?

When we ask questions like, “Does Rome have the right Gospel?”, I am not sure what is being implied. “Do they have a right enough Gospel?” Right enough for what? Normally, we mean “right enough to save.” Which aspects of the Gospel are we questioning? Are we getting the essence of the Gospel from Acts? If so, then yes, Catholics seem to be OK.  Are we getting it from Paul in Romans? If so, I would say comme si, comme ca. However, if that is the case, one could just as easily assert that Arminians receive the wrong Gospel, since they fail to see (generally speaking) the “good news”  of security and/or the “good news” of sovereign election. Furthermore, is a Gospel that does not support the doctrine of the security of the believer really a Gospel at all? Well, yes and no. It could be “more right”. It could be “better news.”  Finally, to those who deny these aspects of the Gospel (security and eternal election), using the standard above, one could call upon them to experience a “righter” Gospel.

When it comes to the Gospel, I believe Calvinist Evangelical Protestants have the “rightest” points of view, but I think there are certain aspects of the Gospel we can overemphasize to such a degree that we lose focus on more central components.  Moreover, I think we can also lose sight of important (not central) components that other traditions are more faithful to preserve. For example, I believe that substitutionary atonement is the essence of the “for” in Christ, who gave himself up “for me” (Gal. 2:20) as payment for sin. Protestants and Catholics do well to see this doctrine, while the Eastern Orthodox church outright deny this substitutionary aspect of the Gospel in particular.  Do they have the wrong Gospel? In one sense, yes. However, in another sense, I think they have a “righter” Gospel in that they call upon people to see the “recapitulation” aspect of Christ’s life. Protestant and Catholics, in my opinion, are very deficient in understanding how Christ qualified to be our substitute. Therefore, Eastern Orthodox traditionally have “better news” with regard to the humanity of Christ.

What is the solution? Well, I don’t like the least common denominator approach, since it suggests that having the entire Gospel is not that important, i.e., only those things to which we can boil it all down (i.e. sin, messiahship, death, burial, resurrection, faith). The entire message is the Gospel. Therefore, “getting the Gospel wrong” is not an option. Yet, it has to be. Catholics miss grace and, in this sense, have a different Gospel. Their Gospel needs to be “righter”, and this causes serious concern.  Preterists, who deny Christ’s future coming, have a different Gospel. Their Gospel needs to be “righter” and their position should be considered serious. Universalists, who deny the reality of an eternal punishment, have a different Gospel. Their Gospel needs to be “righter” and its ramifications are similarly serious. Arminians, who deny sovereign election, have a different Gospel. Their Gospel needs to be “righter”, and it is (Are you getting my point?) serious. From a charismatic perspective, cessationists, who do not believe in the continuation of certain gifts of the Spirit, have a different Gospel. Maybe our Gospel needs to be “righter.” Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox all have different Gospels in some respects. All of these traditions emphasize different aspects of the Gospel and need to be anathematized in some ways.

So, “Does the Roman Catholic Gospel save?” is such a loaded question for me. People can antagonistically ask everyone all of these questions: “Does the Calvinist Gospel save?”  “Does the Arminian Gospel save?”  “Does the fundamentalist Gospel save?”  “Does the Church of Christ Gospel save?”  “Does the Eastern Orthodox Gospel save?” “Does the Universalist Gospel save?”  I don’t even know what the Roman Catholic Gospel is these days. It has quite a bit of dynamic progression throughout history. Is there one sentence you could write which would clearly articulate the essence of their Gospel? I doubt it. And if you did, the next Roman Catholic apologist would write it down differently. “Does Rome have the wrong Gospel?” Certain aspects of their doctrines are wrong, yes. However, in the real world, people are not asking these questions. They are asking something more specific. Concerning Calvinism, what one is really saying is, “Can one deny libertarian free will and be saved?” Concerning Arminianism, “Can one believe that salvation can be lost, yet still be saved?”  Concerning fundamentalism, “Can one who is a separationist be saved?” Concerning the Church of Christ, “Can one believe in baptismal regeneration and still be saved?” Concerning Eastern Orthodoxy, “Can one believe in deification and be saved?” Concerning Universalism (of the Christian variety), “Can one deny hell and be saved?” And concerning Roman Catholics, “Can one who believes that works contribute to their justification be saved?”  That is what people are really asking.

The broader question is always: “Can one have bad doctrine and be saved?”  All but the most ardent maximalists would say “yes.”  But where do we cross the line? And I don’t really like the false dichotomy which says, “doctrine does not save . . . God does.” That misses the point of the conversation, as it discredits the necessity of faith in God altogether. If faith is necessary in any sense, that faith must have content. And it is that very content on which this discussion centers. In other words, if faith is important, then content is, as well.

There is definitely a line that can be crossed. I can’t always tell you where that line is, exactly. I know that the center of the Gospel is the person and work of Christ. In addition, I would contend that one must accept who Christ is (the God-man), and what he did (died for our sins and rose from the grave).  Acceptance of these requires, I believe, the presence of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14). I believe that it is a “wronger” Gospel when works are added as a factor to justification. I believe that Protestant Evangelicals have the “rightest” Gospel. I think that Evangelical Protestants have a better answer for the history of the church, the development of doctrine, and the systematic nature of canonical truth. That said, I also know that we can all have a “righter” Gospel. Indeed, one day we will all stand before God and see this “righter” Gospel more clearly. Does the Roman Catholic Gospel save? To the degree that the individual Catholic is trusting in the God-man who takes away the sins of the world, it can. All of us (Protestant and Catholic) can and should trust Christ more, but Catholics need to get the Gospel “righter” by abandoning their denial of justification by faith alone. Their application of the Gospel is not very good news.

Grace is incredibly mind blowing.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    224 replies to "Does the Roman Catholic Gospel Save? or “Getting the Gospel ‘Righter'”"

    • @Peter: I have seen little dialogue on “doctrine” here at all? And again you have not “placed” Augustine, either! Again, maybe a blog problem? Or just maybe I am an old man, and I have missed it? 😉

    • Btw Peter, it is “nonsense” to even ask if in R. Catholic doctrine sexual sin is not moral! Roman has a whole place for “Moral Theology”! Don’t uncork my “Catholic” mind now! 😉

    • Just a note Peter. Though I am in the US right now and mainly for my wife’s health, I have very little to do with ECUSA! I am semi-retired at 62, and I mostly do hospital chaplain work. My dear wife (younger than me) also suffers from chronic COPD. I am hers daily also. Though I do get to preach some, mostly with Lutherans and some FV Presbyterians.

    • *Peter: Here is a nice link about Augustine’s Theology.. I hope Michael does not mind?

      Augustine and the Varieties of Monergism
      by Phillip Cary, Ph.D.
      Synergism is just a Greek way of saying “co-operation,” which in turn is just a Latin way of saying “working together.” Paul uses the corresponding Greek verb when he describes himself and his colleagues as “co-working” (2 Cor. 6:1) with God as ambassadors for Christ, through whom God urges people to be reconciled to himself (ibid., 5:20). Monergism, a much more recent term, means to work alone, having no co-worker. So monergists are those who think that in some respect God works alone.
      The crucial question is: in what respect? The standard Protestant view is monergism with respect to justification: God alone renders us just or righteous in his sight, without our co-operation. But most Protestants would add that sanctification is a co-operative enterprise in which our will and work have a necessary role to play, working…

    • Peter Sean Bradley

      Father Robert,

      With a 1,000 character limit, I can’t do a lot of recapping.

      At 1:10 pm on April 6 – just above one of your posts – wrote:

      “Augustine suggests a longer answer in On Faith and Works 27 when discussing the rich young man:

      “It should be evident to our opponents that he did not tell him to believe and be baptized – according to them a man would not have to do any more than this to obtain eternal life. On the contrary, He gave them precepts of morality which, certainly, one cannot observe unless he has faith also. For we do not want anyone to think that, because the Lord says nothing here about faith, we say and maintain therfore that it is not necessary to instruct a person who desires to obtain eternal life in anything but morals. Both are necessary, morals and faith, for they are mutually connected, as I said before. A man who does not love God does not love his neighbor; and he who does not love his neighbor does not love God.”

    • Peter Sean Bradley

      Father Robert,

      Here’s another text from “On Faith and Works” that I have cited throughout this thread.

      At 11:02 am – just above another one of your posts – I wrote:

      “Was Augustine – the person the Reformers relied on for their understanding of grace – just having a bad day when he wrote, “In the first place, we feel that we should advise the faithful that they would endanger the salvation of their souls if they actd on the false assurance that faith alone is sufficient for salvation or that they need not perform good works in order to be saved.” On Faith and Works, 21.”

    • @Peter: Of course the context is also important, but we can see the same in 1 John chapter 4.

    • @Peter: So what is your “persuasion” of faith, theologically?

    • Peter Sean Bradley

      Father Robert,

      First, I have no idea what you mean by “Roman” and “moral.” Typos?

      Second, I assumed you weren’t Episcopalian. However, what does that have to do with my point that TEC is teaching that sins are not sins and is doing so on the basis that of “faith alone”? TEC thinks that it has faith in Christ and so – like those who wanted to baptize divorcees in Augustine’s day – that was secondary to issues of sin and morality.

      Third, I’m a Prof. Cary fan, but having reviewed his TC courses several times, he goes too far in denying that Augustine included morality as a component of faith.

      Fourth, please explain to the Protestants who have been sending me to Hell for including “works” in salvation that their system includes works as part of salvation. I know that; they don’t. My argument during this entire thread is that works matter. I agree with that; Augustine agrees; Cary agrees. Do you agree? If so, tell everyone else.

    • Greg.

      @ Fr Robert:

      ” I think we can see that R. Catholicism certainly has the basis of the Gospel, with the biblical & theological Christ, incarnate.. God & Man, etc., and again the basic doctrine of Christ’s death for sinners, and the resurrection, etc. We have not mentioned the Trinity, which Rome certainly believes, as also most other orthodox Christians. But, we can certainly disagree with Rome’s lack of sufficiency and assurance from the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. And their lack of Christ’s medatiorship, alone!…”

      Robert..a Christ that does not give you assurance from his work and a Christ that needs someone else to mediate for us between us and him is not the biblical Christ. Not even close. Why are you defending the indefensible Robert. Shall we sift through their doctrines one by one for clarity sake? Starting with the sacrament of baptism perhaps? Or maybe the RC doctrine of sainthood? which denies one can be a saint and be living? “to the saints in…

    • Greg.

      @ Fr Robert:

      Contd from above: “to the saints in Ephesus”

      how does the doctrine of canonisation fit in there Robert?? To deny the act of living sanctification which produces living saints is to deny salvation while one is alive. If Christ does not save while one is alive he is not the biblical Christ.


    • @Peter: I am certainly Reformed on soteriology, but I also did my D. Phil. on Luther’s Ontology of the Cross, and I just love the man Luther! His doctrine of “theologia crucis”, and his Hidden God (Deus Absconditus), etc. But I am really more of a Calvinist, with Law/Gospel in Calvin’s sense. But, that big “but”, I am also always an Anglican, which is classically both “reformed” and “catholic”. And I also read Barth, though I am no Barthian! Note, too as I said I am friendly with the FV or Federal Vision ideas. I am very “eclectic” really! But, always a conservative also. Funny, I heard the term Post-conservative recently.. not sure what that is? lol I am not post there for sure! I was a Royal Marine, and mustang there.. so that still runs in my blood too. 😉

    • @Greg: The doctrine of the Biblical Christ and the fulness of Salvation therein, seems to be a very different reality and definition between us. It seems for you salvation is a “knowledge” alone, or foremost. I love theology and doctrine, but to “know” Christ is to simply love HIM! And thankfully many Roman Catholic love the Savior-Jesus! Its just that simple! And though I am a Calvinist and certainly Reformed toward the Doctrines of Grace, it is Christ alone that “saves” me! I think many of our Roman Catholic brethren would say Amen here also, at least to the Person and mercy of God In Christ! Yes, again the ecclesiology of Rome is not my bag, either, but we worship the same “Christ Jesus”, even if they miss many things in the sufficiency of Christ – prophet, priest & king, etc. Indeed from here Christ is Mediator and in His Sessions above!

    • That was *Rome there Peter. And have you not heard of “Moral Theology” in Roman Catholicism?

    • Peter Sean Bradley


      Catholicism unquestionably teaches “sanctification during life” and “living saints.” Certainly, you’ve heard such things said about Mother Teresa, Padre Pio and Pope John Paul II?

      But Catholicism teaches – as does most of the Protestantisms – that sanctification culminates in the beatific vision (“B.V.”), the presence of God. When people refer to “saints,” they normally mean those in the B.V.

      For some reason, Protestants are uncomfortable with the saints in the B.V. But their blessedness and superiority to the state of “living saints” is biblically attested.

      Read Col. 1:12 – “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

      Note, “saints in the light.”

    • Btw, the literal Greek in Col. 1:12 is, “Giving thanks to the Father, the one, having qualified you for the share of the allotment of the saints in the light.”

      Here “qualified” is the Greek word: Hikanoo, and it is or has made meet or sufficient, or able, by God the Father. And the “allotment” or “partakers” (sunkoinonos), is partaking jointly or together, it is more of fellowship. But the action is with the Gospel itself, as co-operating in its activity. The focus is the Father-God, and the Gospel itself, as the gift of His or “the Son of His love”! Here is “the light”! Here “light” (Phos) is that place and glory of God’s dwelling-place, itself.

    • Peter Sean Bradley

      Fr. Robert,

      IColossians 1: 12 refers to the movement of the believer to the kingdom of light. As part of that movement, the living believer shares a community with the “saints in light”, i.e., those who enjoy God’s presence directly in the Beatific Vision.

      Certainly, we can talk about believers who share the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Colossians 1:12 also seems to be gesturing towards another group, the “saints in light” with whom the living believers share fellowship.

      Hebrews 12:1 refers to a “cloud of witnesses” of whom Aquinas says, “658. – We have this cloud of witnesses over our head, because the lives of the saints impose on us the need of imitating them: ‘Take, my brethren, for an example of suffering evil, of labor and of patience, the prophets’ (Jas. 5:10).”

      The “saints in light” matter, even though they are dead, especially because they are dead and have ended their race in glory.

    • @Peter: I had guessed you were Roman Catholic, but I was not sure, now I know. Thanks.

      I have read the Old Ox, Aquinas is always worth the read. He was something of an Augustinian as you perhaps already know. But, the information you give, especially from the Text itself in Col. 1:12, is of course more than the Text itself allows. This is more than exegesis, but certainly “Catholic” doctrine and dogma. Fine, I will not argue against such here, but it is well beyond the basic text here in Col. 1:12, etc. Again, this is simply “Catholic” Doctrine. But again, the exegesis is toward the “Father”, and the “qualification” of the Gospel itself, as it moves toward verse 13, and “the kingdom of the Son of His (the Father’s) love”. Again, this whole piece moves down into verse 14, and futher into the Christology of Christ..thru or to verse 1:20.

    • Peter Sean Bradley

      Father Robert,

      A few questions.

      First, insofar as there is “private interpretation,” how can I be “wrong”?

      As I mentioned, I’ve read McGrath’s paen to private interpretation, “Christianity’s Dangerous Idea.” So that’s a serious question.

      Second, are you denying the Beatific Vision (“BV”)?

      Third, are you denying that the separated souls – and you should be getting a feel for my Thomistic background – experience the BV prior to the Resurrection?

      Fourth, do you think that “clouds of witnesses” and “saints in light” can in no way possibly be referring to saints enjoying the beatific vision?

      I’m not denying your interpretation. I’m suggesting that a permissible interpretation of Col. 1:12 is not limited to your interpretation.

      Are you claiming some authority to interpret scripture for me. If so, where do you get that authority from? I can read. I’ve got the internet.

      At least that’s what I hear when I quote Augustine. 🙂

    • @Peter: The whole “private interpretation” thing must be seen in what heresy really means, wanting “my” own will, over the whole and revealed will and doctrine of God! As an Anglican I of course see the need for the so-called proper authority of the Church, and the general revealed and “catholic” doctrines of God. But Holy Scripture is still the sola, of course “in spirit & truth”!

      I read and have that McGrath book too, but it has been awhile, and I read so much. And seeing how I can’t find it right now? lol I will refresh.

      And yes, I believe in the “Beatific Vision”, but I don’t see a text absolutely, save perhaps Matt. 5: 8, and perhaps 1 John 3:2? My point is that it is just beyond our comprehension, save our nice scholastic definitions. Which are certainly not the reality itself! And no, I don’t see the exegetical idea to move beyond the Texts. Even the aspect of Heb. 12:1, etc. is general, and the focus is really on Heb. 12: 2, etc. I am not saying your…

    • I was out of space! 😉 I am not saying your completely wrong, just perhaps using more theological ideas than full revelation, and the complete understanding!

    • 2 If By SEA: Rhonda Lee Welsch

      Unless one is born again he can not see the kingdom of God….who said this? What does it mean and how does the Gospel answer these questions?
      John 3:3
      Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
      John 3:7
      Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
      1 Peter 1:23
      having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
      It is not the name of the Church, but the individuals relationship to the person of Jesus Christ and the fulness of the miracle of having been drawn unto Him,by faith which comes from having heard the word of God, accepting His forgiveness and the laying down of one’s life as Jesus did on the cross, to be born of the seed of the Living God through faith in Christ. This is the “only” way. We are drawn to Him, we then must choose His life over our own. The free will is involved in this decision… It is a positional reality based on being “in Him”, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
      Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    • […] Does The Roman Catholics Gospel Save? […]

    • brad dickey

      Nicely said.

      First, if someone thinks the gospel is about being saved, they are leaving out the most important parts of the Gospel. Salvation only teaching is like trying to spend the heads side of the quarter with the tails side removed.

      Second, I think a nice verse to throw into the chat would be Eph 4:11-17. The brad-a-phrase has it something like this:

      The God gifted and appointed leaders of the Church are to lead the people to WORKS OF SERVICE (see also gal 5:6) for the building up of the church, and also all it’s members, until it’s in unity and grows in understanding of Christ. This makes a perfect man/mature man, fully developed in the faith, even to the fullness of the development of Christ.
      Just in case people want to poo poo the last of it away, the description Paul gives is…
      If Christ’s maturity was measured in a glass then:
      Our glass is the same size.
      AND it’s the filled to the same level as Jesus’ was. That’s what Spiritual maturity looks like.

      Key words, this comes through works. Not individual study. OR application of Agapao, not reading about it.
      You can no more learn, intellectually to love as God does (matt 5:48) by reading, than you can learn how to throw lefty instead of righty by watching film. You need application.

      Rome gets that down better than the west. somewhere after the reformation, the Western Churches seem to focus more on what you know, than how you live. I think we miss out a lot because of that, in our finished understanding. Example, if you never touch hot water, reading about how hot it is, doesn’t mean much.

      This is my third post, and I’m afraid I need to turn away from the threads. I love hearing your thoughts, but I’ll never shut up. So I don’t wanna impose.
      TY for your ministry.

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