Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Sermon on Justification and Sanctification from When I Was a Protestant

This is a sermon I wrote back in 2010 and preached when I was a ruling elder at Christ Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, UT.  As I explain here, "in 2000 or 2001, I came to hold what I called an 'Augustinian' doctrine of justification and to oppose what I considered the classic 'Protestant' doctrine.  Mostly, this had to do with the question of imputation vs. infusion with regard to the righteousness of Christ.  I felt concerned that the Protestant doctrine of justification too much separated imputation from infusion, insisting that we are right with God wholly by means of the imputation of Christ's righteousness apart from the infusion of Christ's righteousness that constitutes regeneration and sanctification.  I held, rather, that it is both the imputation of righteousness and its infusion and effects in us that makes us right with God.  Until Summer of 2003, I felt myself to be at odds with the Protestant position on these matters.  This was resolved when I came to see that I could reasonably interpret the Protestant doctrine and language in such a way as to avoid this conflict.  This is a large subject, and I won't go into details here, but suffice it to say that I felt reconciled with the Protestant position after the Summer of 2003."

So after the Summer of 2003 I felt that I could understand the Protestant position in such a way as to resolve my concerns, but I always felt that Protestants often have a rough time understanding the proper relationship between justification and sanctification.  Many of the sermons I wrote up and preached at Christ OPC were written with the intent of helping the congregation to gain a better understanding of various theological topics, and I wrote this sermon to help provide a better grasp of how justification relates to sanctification--or how the imputation of Christ's righteousness relates to the infusion of Christ's righteousness and the good works that flow from that.

Since then I have become Catholic, and have therefore embraced as my official terminology the Catholic way of articulating justification, which is the Augustinian way.  So my substantial views on this topic--the relationship between imputation and infusion--have not changed, though my terminological habits have to some degree.  Also, now that I do not self-identify as Protestant, there is no longer the pressing need to articulate my views in the context of classic Protestant articulations and I am free to contrast typical understandings of Protestant language with a more accurate Augustinian view, although I am also free still to express my own views in more Protestant language.  I hope both to challenge Protestants to reconsider certain popular ways of understanding their own position and to reconsider their animosity to the Catholic point of view, as well as to try to show both Catholics and Protestants that there are ways of construing the Protestant position that don't require the Protestant and the Catholic positions to be in substantial conflict with each other, thereby aiding fruitful dialogue.

So I put forward this sermon, unchanged (except formatted for this blog, with some changes of biblical quotations to the KJV) from when I wrote it, as an example of the same basic view I hold currently but expressed in Protestant terminology in a Protestant doctrinal context and for a Protestant audience.  May it aid the dialogue.

Romans 6:  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

It has been my experience that many Christians are confused as to the relationship between justifications and sanctification.  We know that we are justified because Christ has paid for our sins through his satisfaction of God’s justice on the cross.  We know that he lived a life of righteousness for us, in our place, and that, through faith, his righteousness is imputed to us, so that although we have no merit of our own and no ability to satisfy God’s justice, we are counted righteous because we are clothed by imputation with the righteousness of Christ.  God accepts us as righteous, not because of our own good works or any merit in them, but solely because Christ’s satisfaction and righteousness have been counted ours.  We also know that, as a result of this, we are given the Spirit who sanctifies us, and we are to live holy lives through the Spirit, in order to please God and because we love him, and as an expression of our gratitude for his salvation.  However, I think that many of us are a bit confused about the purpose of sanctification, and how it fits in with justification.  If we are fully justified in Christ, why do we have sanctification at all?  What is the point of it?  If we cannot add to the imputed righteousness of Christ, then what is the point of the internal righteousness that is the product of sanctification?  It almost can seem like the holiness of sanctification is an afterthought, or an addendum, that doesn’t seem to fit in.  It is like someone coming to pay the bill after the bill has already been fully paid.  God is fully satisfied with the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us; he regards us as wholly just, and heirs of his kingdom.  But, then, for some inexplicable reason, he tells us he wants us to be internally righteous as well, and even makes a big deal of it--Speaking of the deeds of the flesh, Paul says, “those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”  The Book of Hebrews says that “without holiness no one shall see the Lord.”  But why?  It is almost as if God forgot that he had imputed Christ’s righteousness to us, and went back to asking us for our own righteousness.  Why, if God is fully satisfied with the righteousness of Christ, does he seem so concerned that we be internally righteous as well?

Some of the answers Christians sometimes give to this question simply increase the conundrum rather than solving it.  They will say, “Well, God is wholly satisfied with Christ’s imputed righteousness, so he doesn’t need anything else.  Nothing else is required.  But shouldn’t we say ‘thank you’ to him for such a great salvation?  We’ll give him a little something extra, not because it is required, but just to say ‘thanks!’.”  It is like the tip given to the waiter after the meal has been fully paid for--a gratuity.  But the problem is that such a gratuity is, well, gratuitous--that is, unnecessary.  And yet the Bible, as we have noted, doesn’t seem to think of holiness of life as something unnecessary, as simply an add-on after the real stuff has been fully accomplished in justification, like the cherry on top of the dessert.  It treats it as something essential.  And yet it is hard to see how that could be so.  Isn’t Christ’s righteousness enough?

This conundrum leads many Christians towards antinomianism.  Not seeing a need for sanctification, and emphasizing the finished work of Christ and the completed justification, they decide that sanctification must be optional--as Pastor Wallace sometimes puts it, they see it as an a way to “accessorize their salvation”--perhaps by gaining some higher place in heaven, or some greater rewards, but not as essential to eternal life.  But the Bible talks about sanctification as an essential part of our salvation, without which “no one shall see the Lord.”

So what is going on here?  What is sanctification?  How does it relate to justification?  Why is it so important?  What is it for?  Our text before us this morning, in the context of the rest of the Bible, provides the answers to these questions.  The basic answer, as we are going to see, is this:  Our status in justification is inseparably bound up with our internal state in sanctification.  They are necessary to complete each other.

Let’s look how Paul spells this out in our passage before us.  Paul, in the preceding chapters, has been outlining the basic position of justification by faith in the imputed righteousness of Christ.  The basic summary of this can be found in Romans 3:21-4:8:

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.  Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.  Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.  What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?  For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Here Paul makes it crystal clear that we not at all justified through out own righteousness, our own works, or our own merit.  Rather, our justification is wholly by means of the righteousness of Christ.  He took our sins upon himself when he died on the cross, becoming a propitiation for our sins.  That is, he suffered for our sins, removing them from us, and imputing therefore his perfect righteousness to us.  Christ satisfied the justice of God and was resurrected, showing that he had merited the divine favor.  That merit is counted ours through faith, by which we lay hold onto the righteousness and satisfaction of Christ.  Paul says we are justified by faith apart from works, that is by faith alone, because we look only to the righteousness of Christ and not at all to our own works or righteousness as the entire basis for our justification, for our being made right with God and his law, so that we no longer merit his wrath but are heirs of eternal life.

In chapter six, Paul begins to apply the doctrine of justification to its implications in the doctrine of sanctification.  He is switching gears.  Up to this point, he has focused pretty much all of his attention on outlining justification by faith.  Now, he begins with a new question--the very question I have posed as the subject of our lesson this morning:  6:1: “What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”  This is a very logical question.  If you’ve been following Paul up to this point, that is the next logical question that will have occurred to your mind.  “Doesn’t this doctrine of justification by faith through the imputed righteousness of Christ alone do away with any need for internal, personal holiness of life?”

Here is Paul’s answer:  6:2-11:

God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul’s basic answer is that the status of righteousness given to us in our justification implies the state of holiness given to us in our sanctification.  Not just that one tends to be followed by the other, as if it is simply an arbitrary and possibly dissolvable connection.  No, Paul sees sanctification as logically entailed by justification.  “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”  Paul’s reasoning goes like this:  “In justification, we were united to Christ in his death.  He took our sins upon himself, uniting himself with us so that his death will be counted ours.  When he suffered for our sins, the result was that, as he said on the cross, “It is finished.”  Once he had finished dying for our sins, death no longer had any dominion over him.  He was declared fully justified, ‘for he who has died has been freed--literally, justified--from sin.’  Christ, having died to sin, rose from the dead, both spiritually and physically, and morally, being vindicated as righteous by God and his Law, and declared worthy of eternal life--thus, he was lifted up and exalted to God’s right hand.  That was the implication of the fact that he had completed his death to sin.  Now that has implications for us as well.  If his death is our death, then his resurrection is also our resurrection by the same unity that unites us to Christ.  Christ was not only legally declared freed from sin, but he was given all the implications and fruits of that freedom.  Sin no longer had dominion over him, he was free of it, free to be raised up, to be with his Father, being united to him in the eternal bonds of love.  So we, too, having died to sin through the body of Christ, are raised up with him and enjoy with him all the fruits of his vindication--we are restored to right fellowship with God, made children of God, raised up and seated with God in the heavens, made partakers of his holiness, able to be pleased with him and to please him.  "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Think about the implications of our having been guilty before God and under his law, and think about the implications of having been justified from sin and reconciled to God and his law through the sacrifice and righteousness of Christ, and we can see the logic of Paul‘s reasoning here.  Being in a state of guilt before God, and alienation from God, implied that we were estranged from him.  This would not be compatible with having an internal state of holiness, which could not but be pleasing to God (although not meritorious).  God cannot but love love to himself.  To love God is a good thing, wherever it may be found, and it is something that delights God.  Also, to love God implies that we attach ourselves to him and make him our all, our portion in this life and forever, which implies that we will be delighted in his victory over evil and that he is glorified in all things.  Therefore, a state of guilt and condemnation before God in our legal status would be incompatible with a state of holiness and love to God in our internal state.  It is a manifest contradiction to imagine the damned in hell full of love to God, rejoicing in his glory.  No, they are full of weeping and gnashing of teeth, full of eternal cursing of the God they hate with all their being.  That is at least partly why the first sin of Adam led not merely to a state of condemnation in terms of guilt to himself and his descendants, but also to a state of unholiness and sinful nature.  That is why when Adam’s sin is imputed to his descendants, not only guilt, but a corrupted nature is also passed down.  That is why total guilt is always associated with total depravity--they logically imply each other.  Likewise, it would be a contradiction to be saved from the guilt of sin and legally declared reconciled to God and his law, and yet remain in an internal state of total depravity, without sanctification.  The fruits and benefits of justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ include actual friendship with God, an ability to be pleasing to him and to be pleased with him, to love him and be loved by him, to glorify and enjoy him forever.  This would be impossible if we were to remain in a state of “unsanctification.”  Without regeneration and sanctification, we would remain haters of God.  We would reject him and loath him.  We would not be able to enjoy him or enjoy the benefits of union with him.  Also, he could not be fully pleased with us.  Just as God must love love to himself, as it is something that is inherently good and pleasing to him, so he must likewise hate hatred to himself, as something inherently displeasing.  If we remained unsanctified, God would legally be reconciled to us, but in actuality he would loath all that we are and do to all eternity.  Just as it was impossible to imagine the damned in hell as loving God, so it is impossible the saved in heaven hating and spitting upon him.  The two pictures are both equally absurd and contradictory.  Once again, drawing on my philosophical personality with its tendencies to look for odd, but I trust helpful analogies, think of this analogy:  We’ve all heard fairy-tales of the prince who gets turned into a frog, and then (hopefully) back again into a prince.  What if the prince gets legally declared to be a frog, with the status of a frog, but remains in the state of being a prince, with all the appearance of a prince?  Surely this would be absurd.  His status as a frog would be unrealistic.  The princess would still want to marry him, because having a legal status of being a frog surely doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t have any practical effect on one’s actual state and life.  And, likewise, if when the princess kissed the frog (isn’t that how it’s supposed to go?), he got legally declared to have the status of a prince, but remained in his state as a frog, it wouldn’t really do him much good.  His legal status would end up being largely fictional and unrealistic, since he would not gain any of its appropriate fruits in his actual life.  The princess probably would not be satisfied with his legal status and would not marry him, since in his actual state he would be just as frog-like as ever.  This is the sort of logic that Paul has in mind in our passage (well, basically anyway, not in the specifics in terms of frogs and princesses probably).  “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”  How shall we who have been justified and hence freed from sin, still live in it with all of its evil implications?

Paul goes on to continue to work out the implications of the fact that sanctification is logically connected to justification.  In verses 12-14, he gives us a practical application that we are to take up, based on what he has just said:

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

This is sometimes called the relationship between the indicative and the imperative.  That is, between the fact and the duty that arises from it.  The fact is that we are “dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  The duty that arises from this is that we are to live as if this is really so!  “Therefore, let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”  Notice the almost paradoxical-sounding conclusion in verse 14:  Sin shall not have dominion over you, why?  Because you are under the law, and its demands are still upon you?  That’s what we might expect him to say.  But rather he says we should be righteous and not live in sin, because we are not under law but under grace.  Antinomians, those who wish to use grace as an excuse for sin and licentiousness, think of the dominion of grace and the dominion of sin as being the same thing.  To be under grace and not under law, they think, is to be free from righteousness so that they can enjoy being slaves to sin.  But just the opposite is really true.  To be free from the law and under the dominion of grace means to be set free from sin so that we can be holy in our lives.  A couple of chapters later, in 8:2-4, Paul puts it this way:

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The whole point of Christ’s satisfying the law on our behalf was not so that we could be free from the law, but so that we could be reconciled to the law, so that in our lives “the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us.”  Titus 2:11-14 puts it this way:

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

In reliance on the grace of God, therefore, we should live in such way as to “put to death the deeds of the flesh” and live according to holiness.  In Romans 8:5-17 spells this out clearly:

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

In the rest of our chapter, Paul goes on to repeat what he has said and to make it even more clear, spelling out its implications:  6:15-23:

 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul reaffirms what he has already said.  We cannot sin because we are under grace, because grace does not leave us in bondage to sin, but frees us from sin and makes us slaves of righteousness.  Therefore, we should live is such a way that we turn away from our sin and live our lives as the righteous people God has declared us to be in Christ through the power of his Spirit, whom he has given to us as a fruit of our union with Christ.  Paul adds an important point here.  He points out that “sin leads to death,” and righteousness leads to eternal life.  “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.”  Sin has a natural tendency to lead to death.  If we were justified from sin without being sanctified from sin, although we would be free from sin with regard to our legal status, yet in our actual state, sin would still dominate us.  If that were so, it would lead us to death, as it always does.  Justification is not enough to save us from eternal death.  The internal logic of sin means that if it still dominates us, no matter what our legal status is, it will produce death for us.  It will make us enemies to God.  He would continue to be displeased with what we are and we would continue to be displeased with what he is.  It would be unfitting for God to respond to sin in any way other than displeasure and to cause suffering to be the result of it.  Imagine if we were in heaven, standing before God, justified by Christ’s righteousness, yet totally unsanctified.  We are standing before God, and we spit in his face.  In response, he says to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into my rest.”  Is this not the height of absurdity?  Such a situation would make a mockery of God, his justice, and his honor.  Surely such an attitude must receive rebuke from God, not reward.  God must hate hatred to himself and must reward it according to what is fitting.  It would therefore be entirely unfit, as well as logically impossible, for God to reward us with eternal life while we are still in a state of sin.  Sin, therefore, if it remains in us, must lead to death.  We are not perfectly sanctified in this life, and that brings to us God’s chastisement, what the Westminster Confession calls God’s “fatherly displeasure.”  God is not wholly pleased with what we are in this life, although we are fully justified in Christ.  We have not yet received in our state what is fully ours by grace according to our status.  One day our state shall fully match our status.  But that requires sanctification.  Paul’s logic here is that sin, by its very nature, inherently leads to death, and therefore we must be freed from its presence is us and dominance over us by sanctification in order to be fully freed from death.  But is not justification enough?  Does it not grant us full freedom from death, which is the curse of the guilt of sin?  How can sanctification add to that?  Yes, it is true that justification grants us all that we need to be entirely free from sin and death and wholly reconciled to God and worthy of eternal life.  It is not the sanctification adds to justification; rather, it is that sanctification is the working out of the implications of justification in us, bringing us into the enjoyment of the inheritance we have been legally granted solely on the basis of Christ’s imputed merits.  To use another analogy:  If I buy a software program for my computer--say, Microsoft Word--my payment of the money to the storekeeper makes that program wholly mine (ignoring for the moment the complexities of Microsoft’s attitudes towards ownership--let’s pretend it’s simply than it is for the sake of the illustration).  However, it doesn’t do me any good until I actually install it into my computer.  My need to install it doesn’t imply that it is not fully mine; it doesn’t “add” anything to my possession of it.  It simply is a working out of the implications of my possession of it.  Similarly, sanctification does not add anything to Christ’s imputed righteousness, as though that righteousness were insufficient and we needed more righteousness; rather, sanctification is the practical outworking of justification, bringing us into the full enjoyment of all the blessings that are already ours solely through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness.  This is what the Apostle James is talking about in his much-misunderstood passage in James 2:14-26:

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

James has been misconstrued to be saying that the imputed righteousness of Christ, received by faith alone, is not enough.  Our own works must be added to that righteousness.  But if you understand what Paul is saying in Romans 6, it becomes plain what James is saying in James 2.  It is not that works complete faith in the sense of adding to it, but rather in the sense of working out its full implications, bringing it into its own, into the fulfillment of all that it implies.  Abraham was fully justified by Christ’s imputed righteousness when he believed God, but that status was brought to completion when it resulted in the change of state that was manifested by Abraham’s obedience in offering his son Isaac on the altar.  “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”  Then the Scripture was fulfilled, and he was called the friend of God.  “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”  Without sanctification, justification remains a hollow promise, without substance.  It remains a promise of reconciliation to God, without the fruit of that reconciliation and the reality of it in our actual lives.  But with sanctification, justification produces its fruit and brings us into the actual enjoyment of its promises.  Sanctification brings to fruition all that justification implies.  It is its substance and fulfillment.  Therefore, we need not hesitate to affirm the necessity of sanctification for eternal life.  We need not add it as a cherry on top, a gratuitous addition to an already complete salvation.  It is, rather, an essential component of the process, without which our justification would be a hollow fiction.  That is, by the way, also why the Bible can in one breath talk about our being justified by faith apart from our own merits, and then turn around in the next breath and tell us that we will be rewarded with eternal life “according to our works.”  These are not contradictory, because the reality of Christ’s imputed righteousness is manifested in the internal holiness the Spirit works in us.  So, as Augustine famously said, when God crowns our works, he is really crowning his own merits.  Our works are the fruit, the manifestation, in our state, of our status of justification.  Hence, without holiness, no one shall see the Lord.  But because we have been reconciled to God though Christ’s righteousness, we have “[our] fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Comforts:  Christ does not just make us legally righteous.  He fulfills that legal status in our actual state, and promises to complete it in the future.  Exhortation:  We should live righteously, realizing the holiness is not a gratuity, but essential to our salvation and our relationship with God.  We want to be pleased with him and to please him.

For unbelievers and antinomians:  Grace is not a cloak for licentiousness.  If you do not have sanctification, you do not have justification either.  Your faith is dead, as James said.  It is the faith of demons.

For more, see herehere and here.

Published on the feast of St. Philip Neri

Clearing Up Some Concerns about Molinism

See here for a general account of the Dominican-Molinist controversy.  I will assume a basic knowledge of that controversy here.  And see here for some previous thoughts of mine on Molinism.


Some of the Molinists held that the predestination to eternal life of individuals is not unconditional but is rooted in God's foresight of the use these individuals would make of the grace God would provide them.  Other Molinists, the Dominicans, and others, argued that predestination to eternal life is unconditional, not based on any foreseen good acts of the will.  Some of these latter accused the former group of compromising the sovereignty of God and salvation by grace by their theory, but I am not convinced that is the case.

The Dominicans argue that predestination to eternal life must be unconditional, because the very reason why God gives efficacious grace to some people is in order to bring them to eternal life.  Any good use of the will towards salvation individuals possess is a product of efficacious grace, and therefore an effect of predestination, since efficacious grace is given in order to fulfill the purpose of predestination.  Some Molinists respond that God may decide first of all to grant efficacious graces to certain individuals for a variety of reasons, and then having decided that, he sees that they will therefore make a good use of the graces given and on that ground decides to predestine them or elect them to eternal life.

My opinion is that this argument is actually, for the most part, absurd and unnecessary.  The reason is that both sides are trying to decide which parts of history God ordained first and which parts he ordained secondarily in order to accomplish the things ordained first.  But this is a fallacious way of envisioning God's ordination of the events of history.  In fact, God sees all things as a complete, unified whole, in one single vision.  That means that he doesn't first see one part of history and then, after that, see other parts.  He sees all the parts at once, including their connections to all the others.  So, for example, he doesn't envision an individual's attainment of eternal life and only after that envision means to attain that goal.  Nor, on the other hand, does he see the gifts of grace he will give in a person's life and only after that see the end that these graces will lead to--eternal life.  Rather, he sees both of these at once and in the light of each other.  Therefore, it is absurd to ask which one was made for the other.  The real answer is that both were made in light of the other, without any having any priority.  God didn't just ordain a person to eternal life, nor did he just ordain efficacious graces for a person.  Rather, he ordained an entire life history for that individual involving both the efficacious graces given and the eternal life these graces will lead to.  What God envisioned in his ordination is not one part or another by itself, but the whole thing altogether, with all of its parts functioning as parts of the larger whole.  So there is no point arguing about which part has first priority.  They are all parts of one whole in God's vision, and are never seen separate from the others.

What we do need to say is that, in formulating his plan by which he ordains all that comes to pass, including the efficacious graces he will give, who will attain eternal life, and all other things, he does not receive input ultimately from some source outside of himself.  Since God is the First Cause of all reality, there can be no such thing as any reality that is not ultimately rooted in him.  He does not learn something new from some source coming ultimately from outside of himself.    This includes the free choices of creatures as well.  Our choices are not First Causal events which derive their existence ultimately from something outside of God--whether that be ourselves, or chance, or whatever.  Any positive being or goodness in our choices ultimately derives its existence from God, while any negative thing or evil derives from God's free and sovereign permission by which he allows defect to exist.  If we grant this, we can say that, in an ultimate sense, predestination is unconditional, because the ultimate explanation for why some people are saved and others are not is God's plan rooted in God, not in anything coming from outside of him.

Molina agreed to this.  Fr. John Hardon, in the article linked to at the beginning of this post, quotes Molina acknowledging as much:

[P]redestination has no cause or reason on the part of the use of the free will of the predestined and the reprobate, but is to be attributed solely to the free will of God. This follows logically from the fact that the will to create a certain order of things and to confer upon individuals certain aids, provides the basis for the predestination of adults, which depends on the use that God had foreseen they would make of their free will.  (Taken by Fr. Hardon from Luis de Molina, Concordia Liberi Arbitrii cum Gratiae Donis, Divina Praescientia, Providentia, Praedestinatione et Reprobatione [Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1876), p.549)

In other words, predestination is ultimately unconditional because, although God elects certain people to eternal life on the basis of the good use he foresees that their free will will make of his grace, yet the entire plan of history which includes all the graces given, the good use of that grace by free will, and the attainment of eternal life by those who make good use of grace, is a plan freely chosen by God based only on his sovereign will.


Another controversy was engendered by Molina's argument that God and his grace cannot force the will to do anything, so that no matter what graces God gives, it must be possible for the will to accept or reject them.  One thing Molina certainly had in mind when formulating this idea is the teaching of the Council of Trent, which said this (page number removed):

The Synod furthermore declares, that in adults, the beginning of the said Justification is to be derived from the prevenient grace of God, through Jesus Christ, that is to say, from His vocation, whereby, without any merits existing on their parts, they are called; that so they, who by sins were alienated from God, may be disposed through His quickening and assisting grace, to convert themselves to their own justification, by freely assenting to and co-operating with that said grace: in such sort that, while God touches the heart of man by the illumination of the Holy Ghost, neither is man himself utterly without doing anything while he receives that inspiration, forasmuch as he is also able to reject it; yet is he not able, by his own free will, without the grace of God, to move himself unto justice in His sight. Whence, when it is said in the sacred writings: Turn ye to me, and I will turn to you, we are admonished of our liberty; and when we answer; Convert us, O Lord, to thee, and we shall be converted, we confess that we are prevented by the grace of God.

So grace is needed to move the will to choose God, but that grace may be rejected.  The will is not moved as if it were an inanimate object, and so is always capable of consenting or refusing to grant consent.

Molina took this idea and worked out a system.  Fr. Hardon describes Molina's system (footnote removed):

According to Molina, “God knew before the free act of His will what the crated [sic] will would do in all circumstances, if He, God, decided to place such created wills (men and angels) in a particular set of circumstances. And to the contrary, He also foreknew if the created will should decide on an opposite course of action. On the basis of this principle, the freedom of the will is compatible with divine foreknowledge.” This means that through the scientia media God knows from eternity what reaction a created will would make to every conceivable grace He might confer. When, therefore, in the light of this knowledge, He actually bestows a grace, this grace will turn out to be efficacious or merely sufficient, according as God foresees whether a man will freely accept or resist the divine aid. He has absolute power to give or withhold His graces in each individual case, depending on His own free decision.

The idea is this:  In every situation, the will can move however it wills.  So when grace is given, the will can either accept or reject it, choose to cooperate with it or to resist it.  If the will resists the grace, the grace remains merely sufficient and not efficacious (that is, it provides only the power to act but not the act itself).  If the will cooperates with it, the grace becomes efficacious.  God, as he determined upon his overall plan for all history, decided freely what situations to put all his creatures in and what graces to give them, and he knew from eternity how his creatures' free will would respond in every possible situation.  Thus, his plan from eternity included all the free decisions of his creatures without his determining those free choices in such a way as to nullify their freedom.  This idea of God knowing what creatures would do in any situation Molina called scientia media, or "middle knowledge."

The Dominicans objected to this because they thought that Molina was implying that God cannot turn the will, but that the will is a First Causal power that can only turn itself, so that it is not grace that gives us a good will but rather the goodness comes ultimately from the will itself and not from grace.  They were also concerned that attributing such First Causal power to the will violates the sovereignty of God over creation and his status as the one First Cause.

But I think the Dominicans got it wrong here.  I have not seen any indication that Molina intended to attribute First Causal power to the will, or deny that grace is the cause of goodness in the will.  Molina believed himself to be in accord with St. Augustine on these matters.  He had no intention of denying established Catholic doctrine, which clearly affirms the sovereignty of God, his unique First Causal status, and the attribution of good salvific will to the supernatural grace of God merited through Christ.  All Molina was attempting to do was to safeguard the freedom of the will as that was defined by the Council of Trent--a concern the Dominicans fully shared.  In fact, Molina's idea of the scientia media actually precludes the human will being a First Cause in its own right.  If God can foreknow how we would certainly react in any situation, our choices cannot be First Causes, free from all prior causal determining of any sort.  If they were, then God could not know what we would choose without actually watching us make the choice, so that middle knowledge, which is only hypothetical and not actual, would be impossible.  If God knows how different circumstances will produce different choices, it can only be because our choices are not independent of those circumstances but are in some way determined by them.  This is why those who really do want to see our choices as First Causal, like the Open Theists in the Protestant world, often object to the concept of middle knowledge (and even to any foreknowledge of the future by God).  They think--rightly--that it smacks too much of the horrid idea that God predestines all things that come to pass, including our free choices, by his own sovereign will and that he can change a will from bad to good efficaciously.

I think the confusion arose because it is very difficult, using human language, to describe adequately how the will is both free and moved.  To say that God "causes" or "determines" the will to choose good can easily make it sound like the will is being treated as an inanimate object, and that it has no power to resist God's causal power or determination.  On the other hand, Molina found that describing the will as able to consent to or resist grace can make it sound like grace is not the cause of the good will.  So we have the Molinists objecting to the Dominicans, accusing them of denying the freedom of the will, and we have the Domincans accusing the Molinists of denying the efficacy of divine grace.  But I don't think that either of them were right in their accusations of the other.  (The Domincans might have taken a hint from the fact that Calvinist Protestants had always objected to Trent's language on the very same grounds that the Dominicans objected to Molina's language.  The Calvinists tend to read Trent as affirming the freedom of the will in such a way as to deny the efficacy of divine grace, even though the Dominicans would protest--rightly, I believe--that that was not Trent's intention.)

Both sides, I think, wanted to hold together the efficacy of grace (so that the good will can be attributed to the grace of God, as St. Augustine so strongly emphasized against the Pelagians and the Semipelagians) and the true freedom of the will.  Let me try to express the congruence of these two things by distinguishing between "causing" and "motivating."  Let's use "to cause" to mean "to bring something to pass without the cooperation of the will," either because there is no will involved (as in the moving of an inanimate object) or because the will is circumvented or even opposed and the action is accomplished anyway.  On the other hand, let's use "to motivate" to mean "to bring motives to bear on the will such that the will is persuaded to embrace a certain course of action freely without being circumvented or forced."  Motivation can be just as infallible as causality, but it leaves the will free to refuse consent.  I think Fr. Hardon articulates this well in another article:

By a truly efficacious grace is meant one that will be (is) infallibly followed by the act to which it tends, e.g. contrition. If you receive such a grace, even before your will consents to it, that grace is infallibly “sure of success;” it will infallibly procure your consent, produce that act – of contrition. But although it infallibly procures your consent, it does not necessitate you to consent: it leaves you free to dissent. Your will will infallibly say "yes" to it, but it is free to say "no.”

So, using my language defined above, we would say that grace does not "cause" the will to choose good, but it infallibly "motivates" it to do so.  The will can always say no, but if the grace is efficacious it will always say yes, successfully persuaded by the grace.  I think both sides in the Molinist-Dominican controversy would have agreed with this, and I think they could have granted that given this agreement, the fundamental points of Catholic faith need not to have been seen to be in conflict between them.  Both sides acknowledged, in accordance with established Catholic doctrine, that the good will is a gift of grace, granted efficaciously and supernaturally, and also that grace leaves the essential freedom of the will intact.  (I have defined "cause" and "motivate" in a special way here, but once we've seen what is being said by both sides, I don't think it is necessarily required that we must use the terms in this way.  In fact, I think that it is necessary for useful dialogue that everyone learn to recognize the flexibility of language and not jump to conclusions about the other side merely because of the difficulties of word choice.  Surely, in a broader sense, "motivation" is a kind of "cause," in the sense that when the will is motivated to do something we can say that that which persuaded it produced the effect of the will actually doing the action, but in a way consistent with the nature of the will.  Inanimate objects are "moved" or "affected" in certain ways, and free wills are "moved" or "affected" in other ways, consistent with their various natures.)

A good hint that we are on the right track can be seen in the fact that even Calvinists recognize the need to be careful with our language in order to preserve the balance between efficacious grace and free will.  A great example is the famous Calvinist philosopher Jonathan Edwards.  He was concerned in his time and place about people using Calvinist ideas about grace and free will to excuse themselves in their refusal to obey God.  So he was concerned, as Molina was, to show carefully how efficacious grace does not destroy free will.  To do this, he distinguished between what he called (and others had called before him) "moral" vs. "natural" inability:

We are said to be naturally unable to do a thing, when we cannot do it if we will, because what is most commonly called nature does not allow of it, or because of some impeding defect or obstacle that is extrinsic to the Will; either in the Faculty of understanding, constitution of body, or external objects. Moral Inability consists not in any of these things; but either in the want of inclination; or the strength of a contrary inclination; or the want of sufficient motives in view, to induce and excite the act of the Will, or the strength of apparent motives to the contrary. Or both these may be resolved into one; and it may be said in one word, that moral Inability consists in the opposition or want of inclination. For when a person is unable to will or choose such a thing, through a defect of motives, or prevalence of contrary motives, it is the same thing as his being unable through the want of an inclination, or the prevalence of a contrary inclination, in such circumstances, and under the influence of such views.  (Jonathan Edwards, Freedom of the WillPart I, Section IV)

In other words, Edwards is saying, there is a difference between a situation where a person is truly unable to do a thing even if he wants to (or, in reverse, if he is forced to do a thing that he does not want to do), and a situation where it is certain that a person will do or not do a thing but only because he wants to or doesn't want to.  But in both cases, there can be an infallibility, a certainty that certain things will happen.  As Edward says, "Moral Necessity may be as absolute as natural Necessity. That is, the effect may be as perfectly connected with its moral cause, as a natural, necessary effect is with its natural cause."  This happens when we are effectively persuaded of something, so that it is certain that we will do what we are persuaded to do, such as when God's efficacious grace converts the will.  But Edwards notes that language can be misleading here:

But it must be observed concerning moral Inability, in each kind of it, that the word Inability is used in a sense very diverse from its original import. The word signifies only a natural Inability, in the proper use of it; and is applied to such cases only wherein a present will or inclination to the thing, with respect to which a person is said to be unable, is supposable. It cannot be truly said, according to the ordinary use of language, that a malicious man, let him be never so malicious, cannot hold his hand from striking, or that he is not able to show his neighbor kindness; or that a drunkard, let his appetite be never so strong, cannot keep the cup from his mouth. In the strictest propriety of speech, a man has a thing in his power, if he has it in his choice, or at his election: and a man cannot be truly said to be unable to do a thing, when he can do it if he will. It is improperly said, that a person cannot perform those external actions, which are dependent on the act of the Will, and which would be easily performed, if the act of the Will were present. And if it be improperly said, that he cannot perform those external voluntary actions, which depend on the Will, it is in some respect more improperly said, that he is unable to exert the acts of the Will themselves; because it is more evidently false, with respect to these, that he cannot if he will: for to say so, is a downright contradiction; it is to say, he cannot will, if he does will. And in this case, not only is it true, that it is easy for a man to do the thing if he will, but the very willing is the doing; when once he has willed, the thing is performed; and nothing else remains to be done. Therefore, in these things, to ascribe a non-performance to the want of power or ability, is not just; because the thing wanting, is not a being able, but a being willing. There are faculties of mind, and a capacity of nature, and every thing else, sufficient, but a disposition: nothing is wanting but a will.

Because of the difficulty of human language on this point, it is easy to get confused about what is being said.  If a person says that the will cannot resist grace, he may mean that the will is forced to a certain action in such a way as to circumvent its freedom, or he may mean simply that grace efficaciously persuades the will to do something freely.  Only context can tell, which is why we have to be very careful.  I think that this kind of difficulty in communication may account for much of the Dominican-Molinist controversy on this question of the efficacy of grace and the scientia media.  So long as it is recognized that supernatural grace is the source of the good will, and that the human will does not act in a First Causal manner but is under the sovereignty of God and does not constitute a power coming ultimately from outside of God, there need be no fundamental argument, although there might be disagreement on lesser matters.  This is, in fact, what Pope Paul V seems to have concluded and was one of the reasons why he decided to leave the controversy alone after spending a huge amount of time considering it:

I postponed making a decision in the matter of de auxiliis for three reasons: . . . The second, because both parties are in substantial agreement with Catholic truth, namely that God through his efficacious grace makes us act and turns us from unwilling to willing subjects, bending and changing human will. There is disagreement about that, but only concerning the manner in which God does this:  (Guido Stucco, The Catholic Doctrine of Predestination from Luther to Jansenius [Xlibris, 2014], 198)

By the way, having brought up the Calvinist position, I should note that I believe that Catholics have often seriously misrepresented the Calvinist position by saying that it denies free will, makes the will to be forced by grace, etc.  In fact, I think the same kind of language confusion is at work here as well.  Listen to how the Westminster Confession, a premier Calvinist statement of faith, describes the working of efficacious grace (footnotes removed):

All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by His almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.

Calvinist theologians like Francis Turretin have always made distinctions on these matters similar to those made by Catholic theologians.  There is much more agreement here than is often acknowledged.


There is one more point I wish to address before concluding.  The Molinists often speak about how, in his middle knowledge, God sees how people will respond in various situations.  Some of them sometimes make comments to the effect that sometimes the same grace might be given to two individuals but in one case it is efficacious and in the other it is not.  This raises a red flag with the Dominicans, who reason, "If the same grace is given to two people, and one is converted and the other not, grace must not be the cause of the good will, contrary to Catholic teaching."

But this need not be the case, and I have not seen evidence that these Molinists wished to oppose settled Catholic doctrine on this matter.  On the contrary, as I've mentioned, Molina believed his view would be acceptable to St. Augustine.  The fact that two people in different circumstances might be given the same grace and yet one is converted and the other not does not necessarily mean that it is not grace which produces the good will to convert.  In order to have its full effect on the will, grace must actually reach the will.  Whether it reaches the will or not depends on all kinds of circumstances, such as whether the gospel has been heard and understood, whether it is seen in its true and full light, etc.  Imagine Fran and Marie.  Both of them are in a position to encounter the gospel and its grace.  But when that encounter occurs, Fran is in such a state of mind, or in such external circumstances, that the full power of grace never really hits her head on.  Perhaps she doesn't understand the gospel, or she is distracted, or her mind is cluttered up with other things in a way that she only absent-mindedly considers what is being presented to her (whether by the gospel externally presented or by her own mind presenting her with reasons to follow God), or any number of things.  Marie, on the other hand, is in the right external condition, frame of mind, etc., so that grace comes home to her mind with all its power, and so, unlike Fran, Marie is persuaded and converted.  It is grace indeed which had the power to move both their wills, and which actually produced conversion in Marie.  It didn't produce conversion in Fran not because it lacked efficacy but because there were obstacles external to it which prevented it from being able to exert its full effect on Fran.  I think this is the kind of thing Molinists have in mind when they talk about the various circumstantial factors that can influence the will to resist or cooperate with grace.  Efficacious grace is still efficacious, and conversion and non-conversion are still under the sovereignty of God (because it is God, ultimately, who determines what external obstacles exist when grace is presented to any person, this being a part of his larger plan which includes all the details of history).  So I think that here as well, there need be no cause of concern about the Molinist position.  It is fully in accord with fundamental Catholic teaching.

For more on predestination and efficacious grace in Catholic doctrine in general, see here.

Published on the feast of St. Philip Neri

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Couple of Emails on Arguments for Catholicism

I've been having some correspondence with some Protestant friends, and I sent them a couple of emails with some resources.  I thought I'd share those emails here as well since they provide a lot of resources that could be useful to many people.

Email 1:

Hi ----,


In light of our conversation, I have some articles to share: - This is my autobiographical article describing why we moved in the Catholic direction. - This is a general article on the Catholic doctrine of salvation.  At the end it also has links to other articles on more specific things, including indulgences. - This one talks about predestination and efficacious grace, attacks Semipelagianism.

Since I never can get myself to stop with the giving of articles :-) , here are a couple more on justification.

Feel free to ask anything else that comes to mind, etc.

Have a good night!


Email 2:

Hi ----,

I wanted to provide just a few more resources for you.  Of course, there is a lot to think through, and you will consider these things as you wish and at the pace that you wish.  What I'm doing in this email and the last is simply providing you with some resources that you can tuck away and get out when you want to research these things further.  Again, feel free to ask any other questions, make any comments or arguments, etc.--or not!

With regard to the evidence from the early church in terms of what it held regarding Scripture, Tradition, and the authority of the Church, here are a couple of articles from William Webster, a Protestant apologist, arguing that the early fathers taught Sola Scriptura, so you can see some of the best Protestant arguments on this point:

Now, here is an article by a Catholic, showing, I think, that the Protestant interpretation of the Fathers is skewed and taken out of context.  I think he illustrates well that the early church did not hold to Sola Scriptura, but to the sort of paradigm held by Catholics and Orthodox:

That last article provides a number of resources, also cited by William Webster who wrote the other two articles, which explore the doctrine of the early church on these matters, such as Jaroslav Pelikan's work, J, N. D. Kelly, and other scholars of church history (many of them Protestants of some sort).  One of the most helpful resources I have found is J. N. D. Kelly's book, Early Christian Doctrines.  Kelly is a Protestant--an Anglican, I believe.  Kelly has a chapter on "Scripture and Tradition" which I think lays out well the overall position of the early church on these matters.

So these resources will help you do some research on the early church.  If it cannot be proved in a non-question-begging manner that the Bible or the Fathers teach Sola Scriptura clearly and definitively as their doctrine, then this is where the "default" issue comes in.  We have no basis to break from denominational, empirical continuity with the early church unless we can prove that we have to to preserve true teaching, etc., but if we can't prove that, it would be schismatic to break and we should stick with the original Church and the Church descending from it, accepting its take on these matters rather than breaking from it on the basis of asserting contrary claims without sufficient evidence.

Here is something I've written up responding to Greg Bahnsen trying to prove Sola Scriptura from Scripture.  There are also some other resources linked to at the end:

With regard to the doctrine of the papacy in the early church, I would highly recommend a work by an Anglican scholar, Edward Giles, entitled Documents Illustrating Papal Authority AD 96-454.  You can find it here online.  It is sometimes available to buy by various places as well (I have a hard copy, lent currently to someone else).  I would also recommend this article from an Eastern Orthodox member who is convinced of papal claims and presents some interesting historical insights into the papacy in the Eastern churches:

I have written up an article, with a number of addendums, on why Catholicism over Eastern Orthodoxy.  There is a lot there, and a lot of resources linked to as well:

I would also highly recommend a book written in the 16th century by St. Francis de Sales entitled The Catholic Controversy.  It makes some pointed observations and raises some pointed questions about Protestantism's claims to authority, Sola Scriptura, the early church, etc.  You can find it here to buy and here and part of it here online.

Well, there you go!  šŸ˜Š  Just jump in somewhere that looks interesting and see what you find as you have interest and opportunity.  Let us know if you have any interesting developments, or have any questions, comments, etc.  I should add that I added a bit to my "Necessity of Unconditional Predestination and Efficacious Grace" article showing further how these ideas are rooted in Catholic doctrine.

Talk to you later!  Have a good day!


Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Necessity of Unconditional Predestination and Efficacious Grace (Original)

Note: A newer version of this article, which mostly overlaps in content but is more clearly organized, can be found here.

Imagine two individuals: Sarah and Suzie.  Both of them are humans, descendants of Adam and Eve, inheritors both of human nature in general and of original sin in particular.  Of themselves, therefore, considered apart from the grace of God, they are in a state of mortal sin and can only end up in hell for all eternity in the righteous justice of God, for this is the condition original sin has brought all men into.  However, God has sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world to redeem it, and Christ has given the world grace through his sacrifice and merits, redeeming men from the curse of sin.  This salvation is made available and offered to all the world through the preaching of the gospel by the Church.  Sarah and Suzie, during their lives, both heard the message of salvation.  Sarah, at some point in her life, made a decision to gladly accept it and was baptized, taking Christ upon herself and washing away her sins in his blood.  She also chose to persevere to the end of her life in a state of grace, and then died and went to heaven, and she will be blessed in the presence of God for all eternity.  Suzie, however, refused to accept the gospel, and died in a state of mortal sin.  When she died, she went to hell, and she will suffer God's wrath and the privation of the blessed vision of God for all eternity.

Now I want to ask a very important question:  What, ultimately, made the difference between these two women?  Of course, the divergence of their ultimate courses came about because of the different decisions each of them made, particularly Sarah's decision to accept the gospel and continue in it until the end of her life (with all that that means and implies) and Suzie's decision to reject it.  But this is not the end of the matter.  What is it that made it so that Sarah would accept the gospel and Suzie would reject it?


One answer might go something like this:  God in every way and sense equally willed the salvation of Sarah and Suzie, and he gave them all in every way and sense the same graces, but Sarah made a good use of her resources and Suzie made a bad use of them.  In this scenario, the ultimate source of the difference between Sarah and Suzie is within these two women themselves.  What God gave both of them was exactly the same in all relevant respects, but out of that same set of opportunities and graces Sarah produced a right response to God's grace and Suzie produced a wrong response.

The problem with this scenario is that it contradicts fundamental Catholic teaching in two areas.  First, it contradicts the Catholic doctrine that God is the creator of all things and is therefore sovereign over all things.  If God's contributions to both Sarah and Suzie are truly exactly the same in all relevant respects, then Sarah, in producing her good will to embrace the gospel, has brought about the existence of something out of nothing.  She has produced something which does not in any way have its root in God.  She has exhibited a First Causal power not ultimately traceable to God, the one First Cause.  "But God gave her the ability to choose," one might say, "and so her choice did come from God."  Yes, that would explain Sarah's general ability to make choices; but it would not explain why she made the particular choice she did.  It would explain Sarah's general will, but not her good will.  A good will (that accepts the gospel) and a bad will (that rejects it) are two significantly different things--so different as to result in exactly opposite eternal consequences.  If God's contribution explains why Sarah had a will but not why she had a good will rather than a bad one, then all the aspects of Sarah's will that differentiate it from Suzie's would not be in any way traceable back to God, but would be created ex nihilo by Sarah herself apart from God.

Also, if God in every way and sense wills salvation equally to Sarah and to Suzie, then God's will is defeated when Suzie rejects the gospel and ends up in hell.  On the whole, the universe will not turn out exactly as God wants it to be.  We must picture God, observing the whole of space and time, and concluding, "I got some of what I wanted, but not everything.  My ideal and what actually happened are not the same.  They are different in some very significant ways, in that some people have gone to hell when I wanted everyone to go to heaven."  But if the universe is not ultimately completely in accordance with God's will, then God is not the creator of all of reality.  There are aspects of reality, laws governing it, causes at work in it, that aren't traceable to God and which defy him and win.  Instead of the idea of one supreme God who is the creator of all things and rules over all in accordance with his sovereign will, we end up with the idea of a universe partly uncreated by God, ruled partly by God and partly by forces beyond his control which can thwart his desires and ideals.  We have abandoned monotheism for a polytheism in which God is merely one god in the midst of other ultimate realities that are at the root of existence.

God is the fullness of Being and of every perfection, without origin and without end. All creatures receive all that they are and have from him; but he alone is his very being, and he is of himself everything that he is.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church #213
Of all the divine attributes, only God's omnipotence is named in the Creed: to confess this power has great bearing on our lives. We believe that his might is universal, for God who created everything also rules everything and can do everything. . . .  
The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God. He is called the "Mighty One of Jacob", the "LORD of hosts", the "strong and mighty" one. If God is almighty "in heaven and on earth", it is because he made them. Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will. He is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is master of history, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will: "It is always in your power to show great strength, and who can withstand the strength of your arm?  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #268-269--footnotes removed) 
The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God's absolute sovereignty over the course of events: "Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases." And so it is with Christ, "who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens". As the book of Proverbs states: "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established."  (Catechism #303--footnotes removed) 
The truth that God is at work in all the actions of his creatures is inseparable from faith in God the Creator. God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes: "For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."  (Catechism #308) 
God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it: . . . 
For almighty God. . ., because he is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself. . . . 
St. Thomas More, shortly before his martyrdom, consoled his daughter: "Nothing can come but that that God wills. And I make me very sure that whatsoever that be, seem it never so bad in sight, it shall indeed be the best." . . . 
We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us. Only at the end, when our partial knowledge ceases, when we see God "face to face", will we fully know the ways by which - even through the dramas of evil and sin - God has guided his creation to that definitive sabbath rest for which he created heaven and earth.  (Catechism #311, 313, 314--footnotes removed)

Secondly, Scenario 1 contradicts the Catholic doctrine that all good that we have relative to salvation is a gift of God coming from his grace through the sacrifice and merits of Christ.  It is not only the completion of good actions that comes from God, but also the very beginning of our good actions all the way down to the basic good will itself.  If we have a good will, it is entirely a gift of God's grace.  As the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it (#2001--footnotes removed):

The preparation of man for the reception of grace is already a work of grace. This latter is needed to arouse and sustain our collaboration in justification through faith, and in sanctification through charity. God brings to completion in us what he has begun, "since he who completes his work by cooperating with our will began by working so that we might will it:"

Then follows a quotation from St. Augustine:

Indeed we also work, but we are only collaborating with God who works, for his mercy has gone before us. It has gone before us so that we may be healed, and follows us so that once healed, we may be given life; it goes before us so that we may be called, and follows us so that we may be glorified; it goes before us so that we may live devoutly, and follows us so that we may always live with God: for without him we can do nothing.

This was a major point emphasized by the Church in its opposition to Semipelagianism, which affirmed the necessity of God's grace for salvation (unlike pure Pelagianism) but which wanted to attribute some part of salvation--such as the very beginnings of a good will--to ourselves apart from the grace of God.  The Church made its response to this back in 529 at the Second Council of Orange, the canons of which were confirmed by Pope Boniface II.  As the Catechism says (#406--footnotes removed), "[t]he Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529) and at the Council of Trent (1546)."  Here is Canon 5 from the Canons of Orange:

If anyone says that not only the increase of faith but also its beginning and the very desire for faith, by which we believe in Him who justifies the ungodly and comes to the regeneration of holy baptism — if anyone says that this belongs to us by nature and not by a gift of grace, that is, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit amending our will and turning it from unbelief to faith and from godlessness to godliness, it is proof that he is opposed to the teaching of the Apostles, for blessed Paul says, "And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). And again, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). For those who state that the faith by which we believe in God is natural make all who are separated from the Church of Christ by definition in some measure believers.

St. Augustine put it this way:

Men, however, are laboring to find in our own will some good thing of our own, -- not given to us by God; but how it is to be found I cannot imagine.  The apostle says, when speaking of men's good works, "What hast thou that thou didst not receive?  now, if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"  But, besides this, even reason itself, which may be estimated in such things by such as we are, sharply restrains every one of us in our investigations so as that we may not so defend grace as to seem to take away free will, or, on the other hand, so assert free will as to be judged ungrateful to the grace of God, in our arrogant impiety. . . . 
Unless, therefore, we obtain not simply determination of will, which is freely turned in this direction and that, and has its place amongst those natural goods which a bad man may use badly; but also a good will, which has its place among those goods of which it is impossible to make a bad use:—unless the impossibility is given to us from God, I know not how to defend what is said: “What hast thou that thou didst not receive?”  For if we have from God a certain free will, which may still be either good or bad; but the good will comes from ourselves; then that which comes from ourselves is better than that which comes from Him.  But inasmuch as it is the height of absurdity to say this, they ought to acknowledge that we attain from God even a good will.  It would indeed be a strange thing if the will could so stand in some mean as to be neither good nor bad; for we either love righteousness, and it is good, and if we love it more, more good,—if less, it is less good; or if we do not love it at all, it is not good.  And who can hesitate to affirm that, when the will loves not righteousness in any way at all, it is not only a bad, but even a wholly depraved will?  Since therefore the will is either good or bad, and since of course we have not the bad will from God, it remains that we have of God a good will; else, I am ignorant, since our justification is from it, in what other gift from Him we ought to rejoice.  Hence, I suppose, it is written, “The will is prepared of the Lord;” and in the Psalms, “The steps of a man will be rightly ordered by the Lord, and His way will be the choice of his will;” and that which the apostle says, “For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of His own good pleasure.”  ("On the Merits and Remission of Sins, and On the Baptism of Infants," found in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 1st Series, Vol. V: Saint Augustine: Anti-Pelagian Writings, ed. Philip Schaff [Edinburgh: T&T Clark, (1887); Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, reprinted 1987], 56 [footnotes removed])

In Scenario 1, as I noted above, since God's contributions to Sarah and Suzie are exactly the same, Sarah's good will (at least the particularly good aspects of that will) is not ultimately traceable to God, and therefore cannot be conceived of as a gift of God's grace.  Rather, it is something Sarah has produced from herself, and the difference between her and Suzie is that Sarah did produce from herself and Suzie didn't produce from herself a good will.  But, as St. Augustine indicated in the quotation just above, our very justification is ultimately rooted in our good will.  It is our good will which allows us to be reconciled to God and therefore makes the difference between heaven and hell.  To say, then, that the part of a good will that distinguishes it from a bad will is not ultimately attributable to God's grace but fully and ultimately to ourselves is to blaspheme God by taking to ourselves the highest credit for our salvation.  This is the heresy of justification by works that St. Paul so strenuously argued against in his letters to the Romans and the Galatians and which the Church so strenuously resisted in its battles with Pelagianism and Semipelagianism.


But we can look at things in a different way:  Sarah and Suzie are both human and descendants of Adam and Eve, and so both are inheritors of original sin.  Both would therefore be doomed to hell apart from God's grace.  However, God has sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world to redeem it, and Christ has given the world grace through his sacrifice and merits, redeeming men from the curse of sin.  This salvation is made available and offered to all the world through the preaching of the gospel by the Church.  Thus, God has provided sufficient grace to both Sarah and Suzie, and both can freely avail themselves of it if they will.  There is no hindrance to the salvation of either of them outside the potential refusal of their own free will.  From all eternity, God has ordained everything that has come or will come to pass in time, including all events both good and evil.  Good (like light) is a positive thing, produced by God's positive power and working, while evil (like darkness) is a negative thing.  God positively brings about all good but permits or allows evil, as he has determined to use both to fulfill his glorious purposes in history.  (See the Catechism of Pius X, for example, questions 10-12.)  Therefore, nothing happens which defeats his ultimate goals or purposes for the creation.  Evil is a thing displeasing to God in its own nature, but its presence in history is not a defeat of his sovereignty, for it only exists at his sufferance to the extent and in the form that he has wisely and freely determined to permit in every detail.  God's free ordination of all things includes who will and who will not be saved, as it includes every other detail of history.  From all eternity, God freely decided that, in addition to making sufficient grace available to both Sarah and Suzie, he would give Sarah a special efficacious grace that would move her will to accept the gospel and persevere in that acceptance to the end of her life and so arrive at ultimate salvation, while he determined not to give that particular gift to Suzie.  In other words, God chose to give Sarah a good will but not to give that gift to Suzie.  He predestined Sarah to salvation by his grace.  He did not predestine Suzie to damnation, in the sense of forcing her to reject the gospel or infusing into her evil that caused her to reject the gospel.  He simply refrained, of his own free and wise will, for his good purposes, from moving Suzie's will to accept the gospel, allowing her to continue to reject it of her own free will until her death.

Why would God do this?  He did not elect Sarah to salvation because she was any better than Suzie, for both were equally in need of grace due to original and actual sin.  He did not refrain from moving Suzie's will to salvation out of any malice or hatred or lack of compassion, but rather because he saw that it would be better, all things considered, to give a grace to Sarah that he did not give to Suzie.  (This issue, then, is simply part of the larger question of why God allows evil and suffering to exist in his creation.  He does not do so because he loves or approves of evil, or because he is incapable of keeping evil out of his creation, but because he sees, in his infinite wisdom, that it is ultimately better overall to allow certain evils to happen than to stop them from happening.  As Pope Leo XIII put it in his encyclical Libertas, "God Himself in His providence, though infinitely good and powerful, permits evil to exist in the world, partly that greater good may not be impeded, and partly that greater evil may not ensue.")  God did not do any injustice to Suzie in not granting her the same efficacious grace that he gave to Sarah, for he granted her sufficient grace for salvation which she could have availed herself of if she had wished to do so.  Nothing outside of her will was impeding her acceptance of salvation.  In rejecting it, she acted with full freedom of will--as did Sarah, who was moved and inspired but not forced to accept the gospel by God's efficacious grace.  Nor did Suzie (or Sarah) do anything to deserve or merit God's efficacious grace.  All human beings since the Fall deserve God's damnation rather than his grace, and any grace received is an unmerited gift rather than something owed to us.

A scenario that goes something like the above is a logical corollary to the Catholic doctrines of God as sovereign creator and salvation by the grace of God.  In this scenario, although Sarah and Suzie make themselves to differ by their own free choices, yet those choices do not happen in a vacuum that exists independently from God and his grace.  Sarah's good will, but not Suzie's bad will, comes from God and is a free gift of his grace, purchased by the sacrifice and merits of Christ.  Although Suzie is not saved, and this is a great evil, yet it is not a defeat of God's sovereignty over the creation and history, for God has freely permitted this event according to his infinitely wise and good purposes.  Accordingly, this scenario has historically been the one promoted by the greatest Doctors of the Catholic Church through its history, such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Isidore of Seville, and many others.  For a couple of examples, let me quote from St. Isidore and St. Augustine.  First, here is a succinct statement from St. Isidore (Guido Stucco, God's Eternal Gift: A History of the Catholic Doctrine of Predestination from Augustine to the Renaissance [Xlibris, 2009], pp. 317-319.):

Between the infusion of divine grace and the faculty of the human will there is the following element: the decision stemming from a human choice, which is capable of spontaneously desiring good or bad things. Grace is the free gift of divine mercy, through which we evidence the beginning of a good will and its fruits. Divine grace anticipates man, so that he may do what is good; human free will does not anticipate God's grace, but grace itself anticipates an unwilling person, so that he may want what is good. Because of the burden of the 'flesh,' man finds it easy to sin, though he is slow to repent. Man has within himself the seeds of corruption but not of spiritual growth, unless the Creator, in order to raise him up, stretched his merciful hand to man, who is prostrated as a result of the Fall. Thus, through God's grace human free will is restored, which the first man had lost; in fact, Adam had free will to do what is good, even though he did it with God's help. We obtain our will to do what is good and embrace God perfecting us, thanks to divine grace. We receive the power to begin and to perfect what is good from God, who gave us the gift of grace; as a result of that, our free will is restored in us. Whatever good we do, it is God's, thanks to his prevenient and subsequent grace; but it is also ours, thanks to the [God-made] obedient power of our wills. But if it isn't God's, why do we give him thanks? And if it isn't ours, why do we look forward to the reward of good works? Insofar as we are anticipated by God's grace, it is God's; insofar as we follow prevenient grace to do what is good, it is ours. Nobody anticipates God's grace with his merits, thus making him almost indebted to us. The just Creator chose in advance some people by predestining them, but justly abandoned the others to their evil ways. Thus, the truest gift of grace does not proceed from human nature, nor is the outcome of our free will, but is bestowed only in virtue of the goodness of God's mercy. In fact, some people are saved by a gift of God's mercy which anticipates them, and thus are made "vessels of mercy;" but the reprobates are damned, having been predestined and made "vessels of wrath." The example of Jacob and Esau comes to mind, who, before been [sic] born, and again, after being born as twins, shared the bond of original sin. The prevenient goodness of divine mercy drew one of them to itself through sheer grace, but condemned the other through the severity of divine justice. The latter was abandoned in the mass of perdition, being 'hated' by God; this is what the Lord says through the prophet: "I loved Jacob but hated Esau" (Mal 1:3). From this we learn that grace is not conferred on account of any pre-existing merits, but only because of divine calling; and that no one is either saved or damned, chosen or reprobated other than by decision of God's predestination, who is just towards the reprobates and merciful towards the elect ("All the paths of the Lord are faithful love" Ps 25:10).

Here is a longer statement from St. Augustine from his Enchiridion, chapters 98-100 (taken from the St. Takla Haymanout Coptic Orthodox Website--footnotes removed):

And, moreover, who will be so foolish and blasphemous as to say that God cannot change the evil wills of men, whichever, whenever, and wheresoever He chooses, and direct them to what is good? But when He does this He does it of mercy; when He does it not, it is of justice that He does it not for “He hath mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.” And when the apostle said this, he was illustrating the grace of God, in connection with which he had just spoken of the twins in the womb of Rebecca, “who being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.” And in reference to this matter he quotes another prophetic testimony: “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” But perceiving how what he had said might affect those who could not penetrate by their understanding the depth of this grace: “What shall we say then?” he says: “Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.” For it seems unjust that, in the absence of any merit or demerit, from good or evil works, God should love the one and hate the other. Now, if the apostle had wished us to understand that there were future good works of the one, and evil works of the other, which of course God foreknew, he would never have said, “not of works,” but, “of future works,” and in that way would have solved the difficulty, or rather there would then have been no difficulty to solve. As it is, however, after answering, “God forbid;” that is, God forbid that there should be unrighteousness with God; he goes on to prove that there is no unrighteousness in God’s doing this, and says: “For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Now, who but a fool would think that God was unrighteous, either in inflicting penal justice on those who had earned it, or in extending mercy to the unworthy? Then he draws his conclusion: “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.” Thus both the twins were born children of wrath, not on account of any works of their own, but because they were bound in the fetters of that original condemnation which came through Adam. But He who said, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,” loved Jacob of His undeserved grace, and hated Esau of His deserved judgment. And as this judgment was due to both, the former learnt from the case of the latter that the fact of the same punishment not falling upon himself gave him no room to glory in any merit of his own, but only in the riches of the divine grace; because “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.” And indeed the whole face, and, if I may use the expression, every lineament of the countenance of Scripture conveys by a very profound analogy this wholesome warning to every one who looks carefully into it, that he who glories should glory in the Lord. 
Now after commending the mercy of God, saying, “So it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy,” that he might commend His justice also (for the man who does not obtain mercy finds, not iniquity, but justice, there being no iniquity with God), he immediately adds: “For the scripture saith unto Pharoah, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” And then he draws a conclusion that applies to both, that is, both to His mercy and His justice: “Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.” “He hath mercy” of His great goodness, “He hardeneth” without any injustice; so that neither can he that is pardoned glory in any merit of his own, nor he that is condemned complain of anything but his own demerit. For it is grace alone that separates the redeemed from the lost, all having been involved in one common perdition through their common origin. Now if any one, on hearing this, should say, “Why doth He yet find fault? for who hath resisted His will?” as if a man ought not to be blamed for being bad, because God hath mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth, God forbid that we should be ashamed to answer as we see the apostle answered: “Nay, but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?” Now some foolish people, think that in this place the apostle had no answer to give; and for want of a reason to render, rebuked the presumption of his interrogator. But there is great weight in this saying: “Nay, but, O man, who art thou?” and in such a matter as this it suggests to a man in a single word the limits of his capacity, and at the same time does in reality convey an important reason. For if a man does not understand these matters, who is he that he should reply against God? And if he does understand them, he finds no further room for reply. For then he perceives that the whole human race was condemned in its rebellious head by a divine judgment so just, that if not a single member of the race had been redeemed, no one could justly have questioned the justice of God; and that it was right that those who are redeemed should be redeemed in such a way as to show, by the greater number who are unredeemed and left in their just condemnation, what the whole race deserved, and whither the deserved judgment of God would lead even the redeemed, did not His undeserved mercy interpose, so that every mouth might be stopped of those who wish to glory in their own merits, and that he that glorieth might glory in the Lord.  
These are the great works of the Lord, sought out according to all His pleasure, and so wisely sought out, that when the intelligent creation, both angelic and human, sinned, doing not His will but their own, He used the very will of the creature which was working in opposition to the Creator’s will as an instrument for carrying out His will, the supremely Good thus turning to good account even what is evil, to the condemnation of those whom in His justice He has predestined to punishment, and to the salvation of those whom in His mercy He has predestined to grace. For, as far as relates to their own consciousness, these creatures did what God wished not to be done: but in view of God’s omnipotence, they could in no wise effect their purpose. For in the very fact that they acted in opposition to His will, His will concerning them was fulfilled. And hence it is that “the works of the Lord are great, sought out according to all His pleasure,” because in a way unspeakably strange and wonderful, even what is done in opposition to His will does not defeat His will. For it would not be done did He not permit it (and of course His permission is not unwilling, but willing); nor would a Good Being permit evil to be done only that in His omnipotence He can turn evil into good.

One of the most important Catholic writers on the subjects of predestination and efficacious grace in the 20th century was Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange.  His book, Predestination, discusses these matters in great detail.  In Part I, Chapter 2, in the context of a discussion of the Semipelagian controversy in the 5th and 6th centuries, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange makes some insightful comments pointing out the havoc Semipelagian doctrine wreaks on the sovereignty of God and salvation by grace, and how their doctrine was opposed by St. Augustine and the Church:

The Semipelagians, as we see from the letters of SS. Prosper and Hilary to St. Augustine, admitted: (1) that man does not need grace for that beginning of faith and good will spoken of as the "beginning of salvation," and that he can persevere until death without any special help; (2) that God wills equally the salvation of all, although special graces are granted to some privileged souls; (3) consequently predestination is identical with the foreknowledge of the beginning of salvation and of merits by which man perseveres in doing good without any special help; negative reprobation is identical with the foreknowledge of demerits. Thus predestination and negative reprobation follow human election, whether this be good or bad. 
Such an interpretation eliminates the element of mystery in predestination spoken of by St. Paul. God is not the author but merely the spectator of that which distinguishes the elect from the rest of mankind. The elect are not loved and helped more by God. . . . 
Against these principles, St. Augustine, especially in his writings toward the end of his life(1), shows from the testimony of Holy Scripture that: (1) man cannot, without a special and gratuitous grace, have the "beginning of salvation," and that he cannot persevere until the end without a special and gratuitous grace; (2) that the elect, as their name indicates, are loved more and helped more, and that the divine election is therefore previous to foreseen merits, which are the result of grace; (3) that God does not will equally the salvation of all. . . . 
It [that is, Canon 9 of the Council of Orange] concerns efficacious grace by which we not only can but actually do what is right. The fact that God operates in us, enabling us to act, is verified in every free act disposing us to salvation. We cannot at all see how this free determination disposing us to salvation, as a free determination, should escape the divine causality. The obvious sense of the text is, that God works in us and with us, as St. Paul says: "It is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish."(19) There is a grace that is efficacious in this sense that it is effective of the act, although it does not exclude our co-operation, but in a mysterious way starts it. Canon twelve formulates the principle of predilection: "God so loves us, as we shall be by the gift of His grace, not as we are by our own merit." Taken from Prosper's fifthy-sixth sentence, it follows immediately from this that God so much the more loves us, as we shall be better by the gift of His grace. In other words, no one would be better than another, if he were not loved more by God. In the quotation of this canon,(20) there is reference in the margin to the "Indiculus" on the Grace of God,(21) where it is said: "There is no other way by which anyone is pleasing to God except by what He Himself has bestowed." Therefore, one is not more pleasing to God than another, without having received more from Him. If, on the contrary, grace became efficacious in actu secundo by our consent, then it would follow that of two men who received equal help, one would become better, and this without having been loved more, helped more, or having received more from God. This is not what the Council of Orange declares, or the "Indiculus" on grace, which latter is a collection of the declarations of the Roman Church, compiled in all probability by the future pope St. Leo I. This collection of declarations by the Church met with universal reception about the year 500.(22) If it be so, how is it possible for the salutary act, in so far as it is a free determination, not to depend upon the efficacy of grace, but to be the cause of this efficacy?

It is sometimes suggested that the theology of Molinism, which has been promoted by a number of Catholic theologians since it was first proposed by Luis de Molina back in the 16th century, endorses in effect (though not necessarily in intention) something like Scenario 1 above.  (Dominican theologians, following Domingo BaƱez,  historically opposed Molinism due to their sense that Molinism smacks of Semipelagianism.)  But it is not clear to me that Molinism, at least in the form in which it was understood by the Church during the days of the Dominican-Molinist controversy, was guilty of what has often been attributed to it.  I discuss this in more detail in this article, and you can read more about the Dominican-Molinist controversy here.  It is interesting to consider Pope Paul V's reasons for not making a formal condemnation of Molinism as he discussed those reasons in a letter to a Spanish ambassador (found in Guido Stucco, The Catholic Doctrine of Predestination from Luther to Jansenius [Xlibris, 2014], 198):

I postponed making a decision in the matter of de auxiliis for three reasons: the first, in order to be conscientious, and also considering that time teaches and shows the truth about everything, acting like a great judge and censor of all things. The second, because both parties are in substantial agreement with Catholic truth, namely that God through his efficacious grace makes us act and turns us from unwilling to willing subjects, bending and changing human will. There is disagreement about that, but only concerning the manner in which God does this: the Dominicans say that he predetermines our wills in a physical manner, namely, really and efficaciously, while the Jesuits claim that he does so congruously and morally. Both opinions can be defended. The third reason is that in our day and age, in which there are many heresies, it is most appropriate to preserve and uphold the reputation and credibility of both religious orders, since to discredit either one may turn out to be greatly harmful. If we were to ask what we are to believe in this matter, I would say that we must uphold and follow the teachings of the Council of Trent, Session VI, On Justification, which are very clear and straightforward about what was the error and heresy of Pelagians and Semipelagians, as well as Calvin's.  This session also teaches the Catholic doctrine according to which it is necessary for human free will to be moved, excited and helped by God's grace, and that the will can freely assent or dissent.  The Council did not entertain the question of how grace works, but merely touched upon it and left the explanation alone, regarding it useless and unnecessary, thus imitating Pope Celestine, who, having, defined some issues or propositions on this matter, said he did not want to condemn or elaborate on more difficult or subtler ones.  (Footnote 114:  "Denzinger, 1997 a.")

Note that the Pope did not condemn Molinism (which was championed by the Jesuits) because they, like the Dominicans, held the doctrine that God's efficacious grace turns the will from bad to good--in other words, they granted that the good will is a gift from God and is produced by his causal agency.  This would seem to rule out Scenario 1 in favor of Scenario 2, and we see that the Pope considered it "Catholic truth" to affirm efficacious grace.

I have taken some time to explore this topic in some detail because I think it is very important, touching upon central aspects of our faith, our relationship with God, our understanding of ourselves, and many other matters, and that it is all too often a neglected topic among modern Catholics.  Although discussions of predestination and efficacious grace can sometimes become arcane and too complex to be useful to many people, and these doctrines raise many questions and issues that can be difficult to think through and require a great deal of care to get right, yet these topics deal with matters that often cross the minds of many thoughtful people, and I believe that discussion of them and putting in the effort to wrestle with them can often be of great benefit in helping us to understand and appreciate more fully our faith and our salvation.

Published on the feast of St. Matthias the Apostle

ADDENDUM 5/16/16:  The Catholic Encyclopedia article on "Predestination" sums up Catholic doctrine on predestination in this way (embedded links removed):

We may now briefly summarize the whole Catholic doctrine, which is in harmony with our reason as well as our moral sentiments. According to the doctrinal decisions of general and particular synods, God infallibly foresees and immutably preordains from eternity all future events (cf. Denzinger, n. 1784), all fatalistic necessity, however, being barred and human liberty remaining intact (Denz., n. 607). Consequently man is free whether he accepts grace and does good or whether he rejects it and does evil (Denz., n. 797). Just as it is God's true and sincere will that all men, no one excepted, shall obtain eternal happiness, so, too, Christ has died for all (Denz., n. 794), not only for the predestined (Denz., n. 1096), or for the faithful (Denz., n. 1294), though it is true that in reality not all avail themselves of the benefits of redemption (Denz., n. 795). Though God preordained both eternal happiness and the good works of the elect (Denz., n. 322), yet, on the other hand, He predestined no one positively to hell, much less to sin (Denz., nn. 200, 816). Consequently, just as no one is saved against his will (Denz., n. 1363), so the reprobate perish solely on account of their wickedness (Denz., nn. 318, 321). God foresaw the everlasting pains of the impious from all eternity, and preordained this punishment on account of their sins (Denz., n. 322), though He does not fail therefore to hold out the grace of conversion to sinners (Denz., n. 807), or pass over those who are not predestined (Denz., n. 827). As long as the reprobate live on earth, they may be accounted true Christians and members of the Church, just as on the other hand the predestined may be outside the pale of Christianity and of the Church (Denz., nn. 628, 631). Without special revelation no one can know with certainty that he belongs to the number of the elect (Denz., nn. 805 sq., 825 sq.).

In this article, Dave Armstrong provides some quotations from Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott's book Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1974 {orig. 1952}, 242-245), a classic modern textbook of Catholic theology.  Ott explains (capitalization removed) that it is Catholic dogma that "God, by his eternal resolve of will, has predetermined certain men to eternal blessedness."  Ott goes on:

This doctrine is proposed by the Ordinary and General Teaching of the Church as a truth of Revelation. The doctrinal definitions of the Council of Trent presuppose it . . . The reality of Predestination is clearly attested to in Rom 8:29 et seq: . . . cf. Mt 25:34, Jn 10:27 et seq., Acts 13:48, Eph 1:4 et seq. . . . Predestination is a part of the Eternal Divine Plan of Providence. [ellipses in original]

While Catholic theologians do not entirely agree with regard to all aspects of how to articulate the doctrine of predestination, they agree on certain things.  They agree on the utterly gratuitous nature of predestination, in that we have nothing good which is not a gift of God.  Ott puts it this way:

Only incomplete Predestination to grace is independent of every merit (ante praevisa merita), as the first grace cannot be merited. In the same way, complete Predestination to grace and glory conjointly is independent of every merit, as the first grace cannot be merited, and the consequent graces, as well as the merits acquired with these graces and their reward, depend like the links of a chain, on the first grace . . . [ellipses in original]

Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, in his book Predestination (Charlotte, NC: TAN Books, 2013), p. 10, makes the same point:

But in any case, from this minimum admitted by all we get three propositions to which all Catholic theologians subscribe. They are: (1) Predestination to the first grace is not because God foresaw our naturally good works, nor is the beginning of salutary acts due to natural causes; (2) predestination to glory is not because God foresaw we would continue in the performance of supernaturally meritorious acts apart from the special gift of final perseverance; (3) complete predestination, in so far as it comprises the whole series of graces from the first up to glorification, is gratuitous or previous to foreseen merits. These three propositions are admitted by all Catholic theologians.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#600--footnotes removed) points out that God's plan of predestination includes the free choices of all his creatures.  They do not exist independent of God's plan:

To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of "predestination", he includes in it each person's free response to his grace: "In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place." For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.

The statement quoted above from the Catholic Encyclopedia refers to "God's true and sincere will that all men . . . shall obtain eternal happiness."  How does this square with the fact that God has only predestined some, not all, to salvation, choosing to grant the efficacious grace that creates the good will and perseverance in good only to his elect?  God wills all men to be saved by what Catholic theology calls his "antecedent" will, but not by his "consequent" will.  Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, in Predestination, pp. 74-75 (footnotes retained in square brackets), in the context of describing the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas on these matters, articulates this distinction:

     What metaphysical definition shall we give, then, of the consequent and antecedent wills?  St. Thomas gives us in substance the answer to this question.  He points out that good is the object of the will; now goodness, unlike truth, is formally not in the mind but in things as they actually are.  Hence we will, truly and simply, what we will as having to be at once realized, and this is called the consequent will, which in God is always efficacious.  As St. Thomas says:  "The will is directed to things as they are in themselves, and in themselves they exist under particular qualifications.  Hence we will a thing simply, inasmuch as we will it when all particular circumstances are considered; and this is what is meant by willing consequently. . . .  Thus it is clear that whatever God simply wills, takes place." [Ibid., Ia, q.19, a.6 ad 1um]  As we shall see later on, this principle concerning the will is of supreme importance for St. Thomas as constituting the foundation for the distinction between efficacious and sufficient graces.
     If, on the other hand, the will is drawn to what is good in itself regardless of the circumstances, not to a thing as it actually is, then this is called the antecedent will, which of itself and as such is not efficacious, since good, whether natural or supernatural, easy or difficult to acquire, is realized only with its accompanying circumstances.  As St. Thomas says:  "A thing taken in its primary sense, and absolutely considered, may be good or evil, and yet when some additional circumstances are taken into account, by a consequent consideration may be changed into the contrary.  Thus that a man should live is good, . . . but if in a particular case we add that a man is a murderer . . . to kill him is good." [Ibid., q.19, a.6 ad 1um]  Thus the merchant during a storm would will (conditionally) to retain his merchandise, but he wills to cast it into the sea so as to save his life. [Ibid., Ia IIae, q.6, a.6, c.]  Thus again, God wills antecedently that all the fruits of the earth become ripe, although for the sake of a greater good he permits this not to happen in all cases.  He also wills antecedently that all men should be saved, although, in view of a greater good, of which He alone is the judge, He permits that some commit sin and are lost.

In short, in itself considered, God loves the salvation of all men and hates their damnation, but in his wise providence, all things considered, he sees that it is better not to predestine all to receive the grace that efficaciously leads to salvation.  With regard to Christ having died for all men, of course his atonement was of infinite value and so was sufficient for all men and is truly offered and available to all (thus providing sufficient grace to all), and yet only those who, moved by grace, receive it have its benefits actually applied to them in such a way as to move them from a state of sin into a state of grace (and, with the elect, moving them to persevere in a state of grace to the end of their lives).

The Catholic Encyclopedia article quoted above mentioned several councils that have helped to shape and articulate the Catholic doctrine on predestination.  It will be helpful to cite some specific statements from a few of these to further shed light on what Catholic doctrine has to say.  Of course, the Second Council of Orange (529), already cited above, made a big contribution.  Another important local council was the Council of Quiercy (853).  Here is a selection from its canons (Stucco, God's Eternal Gift, 350-351--footnotes removed):

     Almighty God created man without sin, righteous and endowed with free will.  He placed man in paradise, and wanted him to dwell in the sanctity of justice.  Man, by making bad use of his free will, sinned and fell (from this state of justice), becoming the 'mass of perdition' of the entire humankind.  However, the good and righteous God, according to his foreknowledge (secundum praescientiam suam), chose out of this mass of perdition those whom he predestined through grace (Rom 8:29 ff; Eph 1:11) to eternal life, and likewise, he predestined eternal life for them.  He foreknew that everybody else, whom he abandoned in the mass of perdition according to his just decree, was going to perish, though he did not predestine them to perish; rather, being just, he predestined eternal punishment for them.  Because of this, we speak of only one divine predestination, which pertains to either the gift of grace or to the retribution of justice. . . . 
     We lost the freedom of will in the first man, but got it back through Christ our Lord.  We have free will to do what is good, which is preceded and helped by God's grace; we have free will to do what is evil, as it is abandoned by God's grace.  We [can say] we have free will because it is freed and healed from corruption by grace. . . . 
     Almighty God wants "all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4) without exception (sine exceptione), even though not all will be saved.  The fact that some are saved, is the gift of the saving God; the fact that some perish, is their own fault.

Another important local council was the Council of Valence (855).  Here is part of Canon 3 (Stucco, 363-364):

     In regard to God's predestination, we wished in the past and still faithfully wish to claim in the present, on the basis of the apostolic authority, that: "Does not the potter have a right over the clay to make out of the same lump one vessel for a noble purpose and another for an ignoble one?" (Rom 9:21), and also according to what immediately comes next: "What if God, wishing to show his wrath and make known his power, has endured with much patience the vessels of wrath made for destruction?  This was to make known the riches of his glory to the vessels of mercy, which he has prepared previously for glory" (Rom 9:22).  With confidence, we profess the predestination of the elect to life and the predestination of the impious to death: in the election of those who are to be saved, the mercy of God anticipates their good merit; in the damnation of those who will perish, their guilt anticipates just judgment.  "By means of predestination, God has only established what he is going to do either out of gratuitous mercy, or out of just judgment," as we read in the Scriptures:  "He has done what will be," (Is 45:11 LXX).  In the case of evil people, he has foreknown their malice, which originates from themselves, but has not predestined it, because it does not stem from him . . . [as the] Second Council of Orange said: "That some people have been predestined by the divine power," meaning that they could not be otherwise, "not only we do not believe, but if there are some who wish to believe something so evil, we anathemize and detest them."

Lastly, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange (Predestination, pp. 19-20, taken from here) sums up some of the teaching of the local Council of Thuzey (860):

(1) Whatsoever the Lord pleased He hath done in heaven and on earth. For nothing is done in heaven or on earth, except what He Himself is pleased to do, or justly permits to be done. This means that all good things, whether easy or difficult to accomplish, whether natural or supernatural, come from God, and that sin does not occur, nor in this one rather than in the other, without His divine permission. . . . The other assertions of this synodal letter are derived from this general principle. They are as follows: (2) God wills all men to be saved and no one to perish. . . [ellipsis in original]  nor after the fall of the first man is it His will forcibly to deprive man of free will. (3) That those, however, who are walking in the path of righteousness, may continue to do so and persevere in their innocence, He heals and aids their free will by grace. (4) They who go far from God, who is desirous of gathering the children of Jerusalem that wills it not, will perish. (5) Hence it is because of God's grace that the world is saved; and it is because man has free will that the world be judged. (6) Adam, through willing what is evil, lost the power to do what is good. . . . [ellipsis in original] Wherefore the whole human race became a mass of perdition. If no one had been rescued from it, God's justice would not have been to blame. That many are saved, however, is due to God's ineffable grace.

Regarding the universality of divine providence, the First Vatican Council made these statements (footnotes and number-headings removed):

This one true God, by his goodness and almighty power, not with the intention of increasing his happiness, nor indeed of obtaining happiness, but in order to manifest his perfection by the good things which he bestows on what he creates, by an absolutely free plan, together from the beginning of time brought into being from nothing the twofold created order, that is the spiritual and the bodily, the angelic and the earthly, and thereafter the human which is, in a way, common to both since it is composed of spirit and body. 
Everything that God has brought into being he protects and governs by his providence, which reaches from one end of the earth to the other and orders all things well. All things are open and laid bare to his eyes, even those which will be brought about by the free activity of creatures.

The Catholic Encyclopedia article on "Divine Providence," discussing the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas, further comments (embedded links removed):

Thus things happen contingently as well as of necessity (I, Q. xxii, a. 4), for God has given to different things different ways of acting, and His concurrence is given accordingly (I, Q. xxii, a. 4). Yet all things, whether due to necessary causes or to the free choice of man, are foreseen by God and preordained in accordance with His all-embracing purpose. Hence Providence is at once universal, immediate, efficacious, and without violence: universal, because all things are subject to it (I, Q. xxii, a. 2; ciii, a. 5); immediate, in that though God acts through secondary causes, yet all alike postulate Divine concurrence and receive their powers of operation from Him (I, Q. xxii, a. 3; Q. ciii, a. 6); efficacious, in that all things minister to God's final purpose, a purpose which cannot be frustrated (Contra Gent., III, xciv); without violence (suavis), because it violates no natural law, but rather effects its purpose through these laws (I, Q. ciii, a. 8).

The same article makes these comments regarding the relationship between providence and evil in particular, continuing to discuss the theology of St. Thomas:

St. Thomas' treatment of the problem of evil in relation to Providence is based upon the consideration of the universe as a whole. God wills that His nature should be manifested in the highest possible way, and hence has created things like to Himself not only in that they are good in se, but also in that they are the cause of good in others (I, Q. ciii, a. 4, 6). In other words He has created a universe, not a number of isolated beings. Whence it follows, according to St. Thomas, that natural operations tend to what is better for the whole, but not necessarily what is better for each part except in relation to the whole (I, Q. xxii, a. 2, ad 2 um; Q. lviii, a. 2, ad 3 um; Contra Gent., III, xciv). Sin and suffering are evils because they are contrary to the good of the individual and to God's original purpose in regard to the individual, but they are not contrary to the good of the universe, and this good will ultimately be realized by the omnipotent Providence of God.

Catholic philosopher Alfred J. Freddoso comments here on how the Dominicans (following Dominican theologian Domingo BaƱez) and the Molinists agreed on the absolute nature of God's providence--that everything that happens in history, good and evil, has been specifically ordained by God to come to pass:

According to the traditional doctrine of divine providence, God freely and knowingly plans, orders and provides for all the effects that constitute the created universe with its entire history, and he executes his chosen plan by playing an active causal role that ensures its exact realization. Since God is the perfect craftsman, not even trivial details escape his providential decrees. Whatever occurs is specifically decreed by God; more precisely, each effect produced in the created universe is either specifically and knowingly intended by him or, in concession to creaturely defectiveness, specifically and knowingly permitted by him. Divine providence thus has both a cognitive and a volitional aspect. By his pre-volitional knowledge God infallibly knows which effects would result, directly or indirectly, from any causal contribution he might choose to make to the created sphere. By his free will God chooses one from among the infinity of total sequences of created effects that are within his power to bring about and, concomitantly, wills to make a causal contribution that he knows with certainty will result in his chosen plan's being effected down to the last detail. 
This much is accepted by both Molina and the BaƱezians. They further agree that it is because he is perfectly provident that God has comprehensive foreknowledge of what will occur in the created world. That is, God's speculative post-volitional knowledge of the created world -- his so-called free knowledge or knowledge of vision -- derives wholly from his pre-volitional knowledge and his knowledge of what he himself has willed to do. Unlike human knowers, God need not be acted upon by outside causes in order for his cognitive potentialities to be fully actualized; he does not have to, as it were, look outside himself in order to find out what his creative act has wrought. Rather, he knows 'in himself' what will happen precisely because he knows just what causal role he has freely chosen to play within the created order and because he knows just what will result given this causal contribution. In short, no contingent truth grasped by the knowledge of vision can be true prior to God's specifically intending or permitting it to be true or to his specifically willing to make the appropriate causal contribution toward its truth.

Fr. John Hardon, in his Course on Grace: Part IIA - Grace Considered Intensively, Chapter XV, comments on Catholic dogma regarding efficacious grace:

It is a dogma of the Catholic faith that there exists a truly sufficient but inefficacious grace, and also that there exists a truly efficacious grace which, however, is not necessitating. 
A truly sufficient grace is sufficient for placing a salutary act. It carries with it the power of producing such an act. Jansenius denied "merely sufficient grace." He could not see how a grace could be truly sufficient and yet not be efficacious. He conceded that a grace could be absolutely sufficient for man, if it were viewed apart from his present circumstances and difficulties; but if it were viewed relative to these circumstances and remained "sterile," then it was not sufficient in his present condition. Against him we hold that there exists a grace that is truly and relatively sufficient, and yet inefficacious. 
By a truly efficacious grace is meant one that will be (is) infallibly followed by the act to which it tends, e.g. contrition. If you receive such a grace, even before your will consents to it, that grace is infallibly “sure of success;” it will infallibly procure your consent, produce that act – of contrition. But although it infallibly procures your consent, it does not necessitate you to consent: it leaves you free to dissent. Your will will infallibly say "yes" to it, but it is free to say "no.” . . .
The disagreement between the Dominicans and the Jesuits is, of course, not over Catholic dogma: both sides firmly maintain the existence of a truly sufficient inefficacious grace and of a non-necessitating efficacious grace.

In conclusion, then, we can see that of the two scenarios laid out at the beginning of this article, it is Scenario 2 that is endorsed by Catholic doctrine.