1. Good works: The Roman Catholic church states that Christians are saved by meritorious works (beginning with baptism) and that salvation is maintained by good works (receiving the sacraments, confession of sin to a Priest, etc.). The Bible states that Christians are saved by grace through faith totally apart from works (Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 3:10-11; Rom. 3:19-24).
2. Baptism: in the New Testament baptism is ALWAYS (till date and forever-until the coming of Christ) practiced AFTER saving faith in Christ. Baptism is not the means of salvation; it is faith in the gospel that saves (1st Cor. 1:14-18; Rom. 10:13-17). The Roman Catholic Church teaches baptismal regeneration of infants, a practice never found in the scripture. The only infant baptism that a Roman Catholic can point out is that the whole household of the Philippian jailer was baptized Acts 16:33. However, the context nowhere mentions infants. Acts 16:31 declares that salvation is by faith. Paul spoke to the entire household in vs. 32, and the whole household believed vs. 34. This passage only supports the baptism of those who have already believed, not of infants.
3. Prayer: The Roman Catholics teaches Catholics to not only pray to God, but also to petition Virgin Mary and the Saints for their prayers. Contrary to this, we are taught in the scripture to only pray to God (Mt. 6:9; Luke. 18:1-7).
4. Priesthood: They teach that there is a distinction between the clergy and the ‘lay people’ whereas the New Testament teaches the Priesthood of all believers (1st Pet. 2:9).
5. Sacraments: They teach that a believer is infused with grace upon reception of the sacrament. Such teaching is nowhere in the scripture.
6. Confession: They believe that unless a believer is hindered, the only way to receive the forgiveness of sins is by confessing them to the Priest. Contrary to this, scripture teaches that confession of sins is to be made to God alone (1st Jn. 1:9).
7. Mary: Among other things, they believe that Mary is the Queen of Heaven, a perpetual virgin, and the co-redemptress who ascended into Heaven. In the scripture, she is portrayed as an obedient, believing servant of God, who became the mother of Jesus on Earth. None of the attributes in the Bible given to her by the Roman Catholics have any basis in the Bible. The idea of Mary being the Co-redemptress and another Mediator between God and man is not only extra-biblical (found only outside the scripture), but is also un-biblical (contrary to the scripture). Acts 4:12 declares that Jesus is the only Redeemer. 1st Tim. 2:5 proclaims that Jesus is the only Mediator between God and Man.
8. Salvation: They also teach that salvation is by baptismal regeneration and is maintained through the Catholic sacraments unless a wilful act of sin is committed that breaks the state of sanctifying grace. The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace which is received through simple faith (Eph. 2:8-9), and that good works are the result of the change of the heart wrought in Salvation (Eph. 2:10; 2nd Cor. 5:17) and the fruit of that new life in Christ (Jn. 15)
9. Assurance of Salvation: They teach that salvation cannot be guaranteed or assured. 1st Jn. 5:13 states that the letter of 1st john was written for the purpose of assuring believers of the CERTAINTY of their Salvation.
Many other examples could be given. These issues alone clearly identify the Catholics as being un-biblical. They even support the use of candles and burning of incense on the Holy alter (practice of the Old Testament Priest which the blood of Christ has cancelled. Now we no longer need the burning of candles and incense for our sins to be forgiven or be purified; but we just need to give our lives to Christ, confess our sins to Him, repent and be free forever).
· Reasoning from the scriptures with Catholics. By Ron Rhodes.
· Dickson Teachers bible Commentary.