Christian Apologetics Society

Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."
- Matthew 22:29

Isaiah 55:11
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it
Gen 1:3
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light
Matthew 26:26
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body."
Malachi 1:11
My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.
John 20:23
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 2:14
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Luke 20:38
For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.
Rev 21:27
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
1 Cor 3:15
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
1 Timothy 3:15
but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Acts 22:16
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Outside The Church There Is No Salvation

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. "Outside the Church there is no salvation."

Who wrote this? Pope Benedict? Hardly. While long thought to be a Catholic doctrine due to its repetition throught out the ages by 4th Latern Council, the Papal Bull Unum Sanctum and most recently by Pope Benedict XVI, the origins of this doctrine are much, much earlier and are surprisingly Christian.

Scripturally, this ancient Christian doctrine is based on John 15 and the metaphor of the vine and the branches. Recall that from the earliest days the Church was beset with imitators trying to cash in on the Christian movement in an attempt to make a fast shekel. The first centuries of the Church would see the introduction of dozens of attractive heresies which lured many Christians far from the faith of the Apostles. The early Church wrote often on the unity of the Church and the need to remain in the one true Church handed on from the Apostles.

Today, few Christians outside the ancient Churches have bothered to read the early Church fathers. For if they had, they would have found among them these doctrinal statements:

    "Be not deceived, my brethren: If anyone follows a maker of schism [i.e., is a schismatic], he does not inherit the kingdom of God; if anyone walks in strange doctrine [i.e., is a heretic], he has no part in the passion [of Christ]. Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of his blood; one altar, as there is one bishop, with the presbytery and my fellow servants, the deacons"

    Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Philadelphians [A.D. 110]

    "In the Church God has placed apostles, prophets, teachers, and every other working of the Spirit, of whom none of those are sharers who do not conform to the Church, but who defraud themselves of life by an evil mind and even worse way of acting. Where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church and all grace".

    Irenaeus, Against Heresies [A.D. 189]

    "If someone from this people wants to be saved, let him come into this house so that he may be able to attain his salvation. . . . Let no one, then, be persuaded otherwise, nor let anyone deceive himself: Outside of this house, that is, outside of the Church, no one is saved"; for, if anyone should go out of it, he is guilty of his own death".

    Origen, Homilies on Joshua 3:5 [A.D. 250]

    "Let them not think that the way of life or salvation exists for them, if they have refused to obey the bishops and priests, since the Lord says in the book of Deuteronomy: ‘And any man who has the insolence to refuse to listen to the priest or judge, whoever he may be in those days, that man shall die’ [Deut. 17:12]. And then, indeed, they were killed with the sword . . . but now the proud and insolent are killed with the sword of the Spirit, when they are cast out from the Church. For they cannot live outside, since there is only one house of God, and there can be no salvation for anyone except in the Church"

    Cyprian of Carthage, Letters 61 [A.D. 253]

    "When we say, ‘Do you believe in eternal life and the remission of sins through the holy Church?’ we mean that remission of sins is not granted except in the Church"

    Cyprian of Carthage, Letters 61 [A.D. 253]

    "[O]utside the Church there is no Holy Spirit, sound faith moreover cannot exist, not alone among heretics, but even among those who are established in schism".

    Cyprian of Carthage, Treatise on Rebaptism [A.D. 256]

So, if your church does not hold and teach this ancient Christian doctrine, why not?

Source: Salvation Outside the Church

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Blogger DR said...

Great post.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Peter Albert said...

I fully agree that the question of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Sallus has been too often a matter of contemporary polemics against the supposed novelty of 'Feeneyism' while its clear patristic roots have been forgotten. I am happy to link this post to my blog, which is dedicated to the discussion of the EENS dogma:

8:35 AM  

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