"The Roman Catholic doctrine of justification contradicts the Scriptures in several areas.
First, the biblical terms used to speak of justification, dikaioo, always means to declare righteous and never means to make righteous (see Lk. 7:29; 10:29; 16:15; Mt. 11:19; Rom. 3:4). Justification is a judicial, forensic term and is often contrasted in Scripture with judicial condemnation (see. Dt. 25:1; Pr. 17:15; Isa. 5:23; Job 34:17).
Second, when speaking of justification the Bible speaks of the imputation of righteousness and not the infusion of righteousness (see Rom. 4:12, 22-24).
Third, the Bible describes justification as something achieved in an instant of time. It is never described as a long process (see Jn. 5:24; Lk. 18:14; 23:43; Rom. 5:1).
Fourth, the Scriptures repeatedly declare that all that a person needs to be saved is to believe in Jesus Christ. “Everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Ac. 13:39; cf. Ac. 16:31; Jn. 3:15-16; 5:24; 11:25-26; Rom. 10:9; 1 Th. 4:14).
Fifth, the apostle Paul says that God “justifies the ungodly” (Rom. 4:5). This proves that God does not justify people because they are personally righteous but because of the imputation of Christ’s perfect righteousness.
Sixth, God’s word makes a clear distinction between justification and sanctification. “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11). Justification deals with the guilt of sin and the merits needed for eternal life, while sanctification deals with the pollution of sin. Sanctification proves that a person has already been justified but does not contribute one iota to a person’s salvation.
Seventh, the Bible teaches that the good works of believers are tainted with sin and are non-meritorious (Is. 64:6; Lk. 17:10; Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:15 ff.; Phil. 3:8-9). This side of heaven not one believer is without sin (1 Jn. 1:8).
Eighth, the Scriptures say that faith alone is the instrument which appropriates Jesus Christ and His saving work (Rom. 3:22, 25-31; 4:5-25; 5:1, 18; 9:30-32; Gal. 2:16; 3:11-13, 24; 5:1-4). After one is justified, the sacraments and other means of grace are used in order to help the believer grow spiritually (i.e., for sanctification not for justification).
Ninth, God’s word teaches that Jesus Christ actually accomplished a perfect redemption for His people, the elect (Mt. 1:21; Jn. 10:11-29; Ac. 20:28; Eph. 5:25-27). Romanism erroneously teaches that Christ merely made salvation a possibility if people cooperate with grace. But, as noted, such a view must presuppose that either Christ’s death was insufficient to save or that God is unjust by punishing the same sins twice. Both options are thoroughly unscriptural."
"The Roman Catholic system of salvation is a combination of biblical terminology and human invention. In their councils and catechisms there is much talk about the grace of God and the merits of Christ. Also, there are a few fairly evangelical-sounding statements, but the bottom line is that man must save himself: partly with Christ’s merits, partly with the merits of the saints, partly from the Mass, partly from his own merits, and partly from penance and purgatory. Buchanan says the papal church “did not recognize One only Mediator, and One only sacrifice for sin: it taught the merits and mediation of the saints,—the repetition of the one sacrifice on the Cross by the sacrifice on the Altar,—and addition satisfactions for sin in the austerities of penance, and the pains of purgatory. It made the pardon of sin dependent on the confession of the penitent and the absolution of the priest,—thereby placing the church in the room of Christ, and interposing the priest between the sinner and God: and when absolution was granted on condition of penance, or some other work of mere external obedience, it led men to look to something which they could themselves do or suffer, instead of relying by faith simply and solely on Christ and His finished work.”93 The beauty and perfection of Christ’s completed work are replaced by the filthy, stinking rags of human merit. Roman Catholicism offers a deadly mixture of faith and works in the matter of justification but labels this mixture “pure grace.” One can label a bottle of deadly poison anything he wants to, but the contents remain the same. To offer up a system of salvation by works and excuse the whole thing by saying it all flows from grace is contradictory and deceptive. Paul says that as soon as works of any kind enter the picture, grace is no more grace. “Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt” (Rom. 4:4). “You who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4)."