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The Difference Between Roman Catholics and Christians.

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by Jason Smathers on August 7, 2009


I am often asked to explain the difference between Roman Catholics and Christians. Although we could create a long list, I find a quick explanation of the 5 solas to be quite helpful:

1 Sola scriptura (by Scripture alone)
Roman Catholics believe in their verbal tradition. Christians believe in scripture as the ultimate authority.

2 Sola fide (by faith alone)
Roman Catholics believe that good works are required for justification. Christians believe that good works are done because of salvation and faith is the only requirement to be justified.

3 Sola gratia (by grace alone)
Roman Catholics believe salvation can be earned. Christians believe salvation is entirely of God, a free gift that was not earned.

4 Solus Christus or Solo Christo (Christ alone)
Roman Catholics pray to saints, Mary in particular, and ask them to intercede for them with God. Christians believe this is sinful idolatry. Christians believe Jesus is the only mediator between man and God. All prayer should be done in the name of Jesus and directed to God.

5 Soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone)
Roman Catholics wish to glorify saints and angels along with God, they also share in God’s glory when they say that they earned or contributed to salvation through works. Christians believe God gets all the glory.

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