1/19/2017 7:01:50 AM
Apostolic or Apostate
Is the Roman Catholic Church the one true church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ, or an apostate church that has departed from the faith of the apostles? This question had a very clear-cut answer 500 years ago when the Reformers were set free from religious deception by the truth of God's Word. Today, however, there are many evangelicals who are not sure if the Reformation was even necessary.
Jude warned the church to contend for the faith against apostates who attempt to steal away disciples. In verse 4 of his epistle, he wrote, "For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only sovereign and Lord." Jude identifies the apostates by certain characteristics. They are ungodly because they supplant God's sovereign authority with an authority of their own. They turn the grace of God into a commodity that can be bought, bartered or merited. They pervert the gospel of grace by substituting it with a gospel of works and merit.
Apostates also deny the supremacy and sovereignty of Christ and give His divine attributes and titles to others. They deny the sufficiency of both the word and the work of Christ. It is these impostors who lead people away from "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." All of these characteristics convict the clergy of the Catholic Church as being apostate.