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HISTORY of Christian Theology

A person’s right of deserving reward. In Catholicism it consists of two parts, Condign merit (a concept developed by Augustine) referring to good works of love that are performed through God’s grace making a person worthy of the reward of eternal life, and Congruent merit that is an idea developed in the late Middle Ages that prayers and works of penance earn the gift of God extending his first or prevenient grace. Protestants reject the idea of merit and insist that even after believers receive grace, none of their works are meritorious. This term also refers to the good works of Christ and the saints generating the merits found within the treasury of merit in heaven that can be accessed through the Catholic Church sacraments and indulgences.

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