In relation to convert from Protestantism to Catholicism, Francis Beckwith saying that justification, getting right with God, salvation, being cleansed of sin and saved for God, are correctly understood only in Catholic theology Webster points out that St Paul did not say that getting right with God means that he also makes you good.  This subject is important in theology for Jesus said that a Pharisee thanking God for making him holy unlike the tax collector is legalism and cursed by God.  Catholic doctrine is that God fixes you and makes you worthy of salvation which in practice means you think there are people beneath you.

Let Webster continue.
"What you find in Paul’s writings is that salvation includes both justification and sanctification. But justification is not sanctification. In scripture, justification is a separate and complete work in its own right. It is not to be equated with sanctification though in the experience of salvation through union with Christ justification and sanctification are inseparably joined together. In scripture, salvation is comprised of regeneration, justification, sanctification, conversion, adoption and glorification experienced through union with Jesus Christ by a repentant faith alone. Scripture teaches us explicitly that salvation and justification are not by works but by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone based on his all sufficient work of atonement (which is a forensic work because he is dying to fulfil the penalty of a transgressed law) and perfect life of righteousness. And once a person is united to Christ and regenerated and justified the inevitable result will be the works of sanctification as a fruit of the relationship. Those works do not merit justification and salvation but are the result of justification and salvation. The works are done out of love for God. Saving faith is a living faith that works through love but all the merit belongs to Jesus Christ. So in salvation an individual is regenerated by the sovereign grace of God, completely justified through the imputed righteousness of Christ and infused with righteousness in sanctification through regeneration and the indwelling Spirit. This person is also adopted into the family of God and glorified with Christ.
But the Church of Rome confuses biblical categories where she subsumes sanctification into justification and in so doing completely destroys the biblical integrity of justification. Thus Rome teaches that a person earns or merits justification and eternal life through his own personal works. Dr. Beckwith , however, seeks to convince his readers that Rome does not teach salvation by works:"

…a Christian’s good works are performed in order that the grace that God has given us may be lived out so that we may become more like Christ. As I have said, the purpose of “good works” for the Catholic is not to get you into heaven, but to get heaven into you. The Catholic already believes that he or she is an adopted child of God wholly by God’s grace. For the practicing Catholic, good works, including participating in the sacraments, works of charity and prayer, are not for the purpose of earning heaven. For good works are not meant to pay off a debt in the Catholic scheme of things. Rather, good works prepare us for heaven by shaping our character and keeping us in communion with God so that we may be “holy and blameless and irreproachable before him” (Col 1:22).

These statements are a complete contradiction to what Rome officially teaches. In fact, what Beckwith has written here is in perfect harmony with Protestant teaching and has been anathematized by the Council of Trent:

If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof: let him be anathema.

If any one saith, that the good works of one that is justified...does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life— if so be, however, that he depart in grace,—and also an increase of glory: let him be anathema.

This teaching is further endorsed in harmony with Trent by the following Roman Catholic authorities:

The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism:

1074. What is habitual or sanctifying grace?
Habitual or sanctifying grace is a supernatural quality that dwells in the human soul, by which a person shares in the divine nature, becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit, a friend of God, his adopted child, an heir to the glory of heaven, and able to perform actions meriting eternal life (emphasis added)

" The works that come from grace must prove grace but they cannot be grace."

John Calvin: Why, then, are we justified by faith? Because by faith we grasp Christ’s righteousness, by which alone we are reconciled to God. Yet you could not grasp this without at the same time grasping sanctification also. For he ‘is given unto us for righteousness, wisdom, sanctification, and redemption’ (1 Cor 1:30). Therefore Christ justifies no one whom he does not at the same time sanctify. These benefits are joined together by an everlasting and indissoluble bond, so that those whom he illumines by his wisdom, he redeems; those whom he redeems, he justifies; those whom he justifies, he sanctifies. But, since the question concerns only righteousness and sanctification, let us dwell upon these. Although we may distinguish them, Christ contains both of them inseparably in himself. Do you wish, then, to attain righteousness in Christ? You must first possess Christ; but you cannot possess him without being made partaker of his sanctification, because he cannot be divided into pieces (1 Cor. 1:13). Since, therefore, it is solely by expending himself that the Lord gives us these benefits to enjoy, he bestows both of them at the same time, the one never without the other. Thus it is clear how true it is that we are justified not without works yet not through works, since in our sharing in Christ, which justifies us, sanctification is just as much included as righteousness.

Martin Luther: From all this it is easy to perceive on what principle good works are to be cast aside or embraced, and by what rule all teachings put forth concerning works are to be understood. For if works are brought forward as grounds of justification, and are done under the false persuasion that we can pretend to be justified by them, they lay on us the yoke of necessity, and extinguish liberty along with faith, and by this very addition to their use they become no longer good, but really worthy of condemnation. For such works are not free, but blaspheme the grace of God, to which alone it belongs to justify and save through faith. Works cannot accomplish this, and yet, with impious presumption, through our folly, they take on themselves to do so; and thus break in with violence upon the office and glory of grace.

We do not then reject good works; nay, we embrace them and teach them in the highest degree. It is not on their own account that we condemn them, but on account of this impious addition to them and the preverse notion of seeking justification from them. It is not from works that we are set free by the faith of Christ, but from belief in works, that is from foolishly presuming to seek justification through works. Faith redeems our consciences, makes them upright, and preserves them, since by it we recognise the truth that justification does not depend on our works, although good works neither can nor ought to be absent.

If Protestantism thought that a sinner could be saved without becoming godly, it would be an absolute, damning lie. His name is ‘Jesus’ for He saves His is people from their sins, not in them. And He saves His people not only from the guilt of sin but from its dominating power as well. If a believer is not changed, he is not a believer. No one can have Christ as Savior for one moment when He is not Lord as well. We can never say too often: ‘Justification is by faith alone, but NOT by a faith that is alone.’ Justification is by a WORKING faith. Why does Rome continue to make that centuries–long misrepresentation of justification by faith alone? Because:

First, she knows that faith without works is dead. Second, she hears Protestantism teach justification by faith alone ‘apart’ from works. Third, she doesn’t listen when Protestantism explains that ‘apart from works means ‘apart from the merit of works,’ not ‘apart from the presence of works.’ Fourth, she hears some Protestants, who also misunderstand Protestantism, teaching ‘easy–believism.’ Fifth, she knows ‘easy–believism’ is an utterly overwhelming argument against Protestantism (which it would be it were true).

Let me explain, therefore, once again what the Protestant biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from works means. Justification with God is apart from the merit of works. That does not mean that justification is apart from the existence of works. Christianity teaches justification apart from the merit of works. Easy–believism teaches justification apart from the existence of works. Faith without the existence of works is dead...Faith with the merit of works is legalism.


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