One of the primary discriminators between Romanists and Protestants regards the ‘sufficiency’ of the work of God. RCs believe the Bible is the Word of God, but also rely in tradition and the teaching office of the church as equal authorities. Protestants learn from great teachers of the past and present, but ultimately, our confidence depends on the ‘sufficiency’ of the Scriptures and their ability to clearly communicate everything needful for our salvation.
Another area where Roman Catholics and Protestant disagree is on the sufficiency of the atonement. Roman Catholics believe that Christ’s death removes the guilt of sin, but that the sinner must endure the temporal (post-baptismal) punishments for our sins, either in this life, or the next. The Protestant on the other hand, believes that Christ’s atonement is ‘sufficient’ of itself, and provides a perfect satisfaction for both our eternal guilt and temporal punishment for sin.
Says John Murray –
Protestants rightly contend that the satisfaction of Christ is the only satisfaction for sin and is so perfect and final that it leaves no penal liability for any sin of the believer.
No Remaining Guilt of Sin in Believers
Those that have received the Spirit of God in regeneration, have no condemnation before God. Christ made satisfaction for our guilt and removed our condemnation.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. …But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. (Romans 8:1-9)
The Atonement Was Made Once For All
Christ’s atonement was made once for all. There is no need for a continual sacrifice, the work has been perfected and is complete!
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]. …Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. …So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
(Hebrews 9:12, 25-26, 28)
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
What Do Baptists Believe
London Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 8, Para 5 states –
The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience and sacrifice of Himself which He, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up to God, has fully satisfied the justice of God, has procured reconciliation, and has purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of Heaven for all those whom the Father has given to Him.