“The second ground of the Romish doctrine of justification flows not only from their confounding of the purificatory aspect of regeneration with pardon, but also their idea that Christ only rendered satisfaction for eternal punishments but not for temporal punishments. Trent says: “If any one saith, that satisfaction for sins, as to their temporal punishment, is nowise made to God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, by the punishments inflicted by him, and patiently borne, or by those enjoined by the priest, nor even by those voluntary undertaken, as by fastings, prayers, alms-deeds, or by other works also of piety; and that, therefore, the best penance is merely a new life: let him be anathema”(71) Furthermore: “If any one saith that God always remits the whole punishment together with the guilt, and that the satisfaction of penitents is no other than the faith whereby they apprehend that Christ has satisfied for them: let him be anathema.”(72) The Romanist theologians at Trent in their concept regarding the temporal punishments due for sin were following in the footsteps of the medieval scholastic theologians who made a distinction between the guilt of sin and the guilt of punishment. Romanists teach that Christ did not render a satisfaction or pay the price for the guilt of punishment. Out of this legal obligation of punishment flows the entire system of penance and purgatory. Protestants maintain that God chastises His children to aid them in their sanctification. Roman Catholicism teaches that God actually metes out penal sufferings on His people, that Christians are required “as a satisfaction to God’s avenging justice” to pay for their sins.
Roman Catholicism teaches that Christ’s death did part of what was needed, but that man through prayer, fasting, attending masses, rosary prayers, vows of chastity and poverty, and other “good” works completes the job… In any debate with a Romanist regarding justification, one must always remember that the confounding of justification with sanctification and the Romanist idea of the necessity of human merit stands upon the foundation of their deficient view of Christ’s sacrifice. A biblical view of Christ’s atoning death would instantly render unnecessary the whole anti-Christian popish system (e.g., the mass, works of penance, purgatory, etc.).”
Justification by Faith: An Examination of the Biblical Doctrine of Salvation by Brian Schwertley