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  #1  
Old Mar 31, '10, 8:58 pm
Masters Servant Masters Servant is offline
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Default The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

Romans 9:14-24 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." 16 So then it {does} not {depend} on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH." 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And {He did so} to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 {even} us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

1) It is God who makes the decision as to whom He gives to the Son (John 17) - Sovereignty in salvation

2) Why? Verse 23 gives the answer and John 17 also confirms this - to display His Glory to and through His creation to which we all are a part of.

3) Transcends all people regardless of wealth, location, color, or religious affiliation. - verse 24

4) What does it mean when He says "He hardens"; it means He does not remove the veil of unbelief - another Sovereign act.

5) James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. versus Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, {it is} the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.


Okay, we have a contradiction here; so what does this mean? a) the Bible contains error b) the Bible does not have error; therefore we are in error and need to reconcile by understanding what James is saying to reconcile to Paul or Paul needs to be reconciled to James. I am in the side that the Bible is without error. Any good Bible student will first recognize when there is an apparent error; it is us that is misunderstanding what God has said and what He meant. Given the clarity of Paul's statement and agrees with sovereignty of God in salvation and many places that God's total sovereignty in Salvation exists, such as Romans 9 above, then we must examine careful what James is saying. It is quite clear that James complements what Paul is saying because James is having a hypothetical conversation with a person that claims the name of Christ, but in the vernacular, lives like the devil Monday through Saturday. We all know these types; a false profession. We also know that Scripture tells us that God created Christians for good works that we make walk in them, see above Eph. 2:10 above; so the Christian will be known by the "works" that God prepared beforehand that the Christian would walk in them; this is James point and complements what Paul said. The professing Christian, not a real Christian, will have no works that back up their profession; whereas the Christian will because by faith one is a Christian and as a result of being a true Christian the "works" already prepared will prove it...this is the point of James and has nothing to do with the prevalent misnomer that works and faith are "requirements"; no they are compliments. If works were a requirement, then Chapter 11 of Hebrews among many other versus, chapters and books of Scripture would have to be thrown out and Christianity would be just another false religion.
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Old Mar 31, '10, 9:30 pm
benidict benidict is offline
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

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Originally Posted by Masters Servant View Post
Romans 9:14-24 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." 16 So then it {does} not {depend} on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH." 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And {He did so} to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 {even} us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

1) It is God who makes the decision as to whom He gives to the Son (John 17) - Sovereignty in salvation

2) Why? Verse 23 gives the answer and John 17 also confirms this - to display His Glory to and through His creation to which we all are a part of.

3) Transcends all people regardless of wealth, location, color, or religious affiliation. - verse 24

4) What does it mean when He says "He hardens"; it means He does not remove the veil of unbelief - another Sovereign act.

5) James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. versus Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, {it is} the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.


Okay, we have a contradiction here; so what does this mean? a) the Bible contains error b) the Bible does not have error; therefore we are in error and need to reconcile by understanding what James is saying to reconcile to Paul or Paul needs to be reconciled to James. I am in the side that the Bible is without error. Any good Bible student will first recognize when there is an apparent error; it is us that is misunderstanding what God has said and what He meant. Given the clarity of Paul's statement and agrees with sovereignty of God in salvation and many places that God's total sovereignty in Salvation exists, such as Romans 9 above, then we must examine careful what James is saying. It is quite clear that James complements what Paul is saying because James is having a hypothetical conversation with a person that claims the name of Christ, but in the vernacular, lives like the devil Monday through Saturday. We all know these types; a false profession. We also know that Scripture tells us that God created Christians for good works that we make walk in them, see above Eph. 2:10 above; so the Christian will be known by the "works" that God prepared beforehand that the Christian would walk in them; this is James point and complements what Paul said. The professing Christian, not a real Christian, will have no works that back up their profession; whereas the Christian will because by faith one is a Christian and as a result of being a true Christian the "works" already prepared will prove it...this is the point of James and has nothing to do with the prevalent misnomer that works and faith are "requirements"; no they are compliments. If works were a requirement, then Chapter 11 of Hebrews among many other versus, chapters and books of Scripture would have to be thrown out and Christianity would be just another false religion.
so what do we do with hebrews 6:4-9? this chapter is not talking about a mere professing believer, it is talking about someone who has recieved illumination( duay rheims tranlation) have tasted of the heavenly gift, and WERE MADE PARTAKERS OF THE HOLY GHOST. only a true believer could fall under this category. fits right in with james. and im sure paul agreed with james. dont know who wrote hebrews tho. it never says. your turn. go
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Old Apr 1, '10, 4:23 am
greggy53 greggy53 is offline
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

The Sovereignty of God in Salvation is a non-issue. The Church teaches that God is sovereign in all things. He would still be just as much God if he had never created us. But it does not follow that because God is sovereign that humankind has no or an inconsequential role in the salvation process. Indeed if we are made in his image and likeness our free will to choose or reject him is vital. The Church taught me as a child that we are All pre ordained for salvation.
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  #4  
Old Apr 1, '10, 8:33 am
ryanoneil ryanoneil is offline
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

Faith excludes "works of the Law" by definition, because they are done in a system of debt. "Good works" on the other hand are done in faith and they are in a system of grace. They are a requirement because our sovereign God prepaired them in advance. Faith and love (manifested by works) are always connected. Faith (a process of thought) and love (an action) are never separated in the Scriptures.
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Old Apr 1, '10, 9:11 am
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

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Originally Posted by Masters Servant View Post
so the Christian will be known by the "works" that God prepared beforehand that the Christian would walk in them; this is James point and complements what Paul said.
That is not what the text of James says. He does not say that good works are only for the purpose of revealing what God has prepared. He says good works are an inseparable part of faith, just as the body without a spirit is dead. Faith-works is a singular concept. It's not one or the other, and they are not in competition with each other. Ryan's post is spot on with regards to Paul's treatment of "works of law" in Romans which is distinct from works done by the power of grace, which of course has salvific value.
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Old Apr 1, '10, 10:25 am
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KathleenGee KathleenGee is offline
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

Masters Servant,

I do see a sincere debate.

Before returning to debate over Scripture, do you understand the Catholic Church's understanding of the Word of God and how we interpret Scripture? I can share it with you, but then will abstain from CAF for the rest of Holy Week.

The Four Pillars of Catholicism are: The profession of faith found in the Nicene Creed that took nearly 400 years to put together in response to the growing heresy that denied Christ's humanity. The more we deny Christ's humanity, the less we believe He is present in every human being. How we treat our neighbor reflects back to Christ, and on Judgment Day we will finally be held liable...mercy today, judgment later.

The Sacraments of Faith. The great heresy of the early Christians was denying the presence of Christ in the Breaking of the Bread. Jesus instituted the sacrament of penance/confession when He appeared to the Apostles on the night of the Resurrection and gave them the power to forgive sins in His name. To go to another human being to unload in Christ's name is an action of the church. We are not left to ourselves but have our Shepherd Jesus present in our priests.

The Life of Faith and this covers the beatitudes, the ways of reaching it with God's law and grace, the commandments of charity, and the specifics in the 10 commandments.

The four marks of the Church is that it is One, Holy (from Christ Himself in His Word --Jesus is the Word Made Flesh and the Sacraments and our profession of faith in Him), Catholic -- meaning He lived and died for the atonement of sin for all, and that our faith is inculturated into all peoples of the earth, and Apostolic, our understanding of faith comes from the Apostles through the bishops and their successors.
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Old Apr 1, '10, 10:45 am
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KathleenGee KathleenGee is offline
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

Now in regards to the Catholic understanding of Scripture:

God speaks to us in human words.

CCC102: Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely: 'You recall that one and the same Word extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time. St Augustine.

CCC103: For this reason, the Church has always venerated Scriptures as she has venerated the Lord's Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God's Word and Christ's Body.

Continuing on...CCC108, Still, the Christian faith is not a 'religion of the book.' Christianity is the religion of the Word of God, not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living...the Holy Spirit must open our minds to understanding Scripture.'

To understand the sacred authors' intent, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current.

But most important, CCC111, But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. "Sacred Scrpture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by Whom it was written.'

There are 3 criteria....in considering the 4 pillars and 4 marks of Catholicism, CCC'112, 113, and 114....'Be especially attentive 'to the content and unity of the whole of scripture.'.....Different as the books which comprise it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God's plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since His Passover.

'2. Read Scripture within the Living Tradition of the Whole Church...as Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture ('according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church').' Recall CCC111, as it is the Holy Spirit, and not man, Who interprets.

And from CCC114, 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith. By 'analogy of faith' we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.

The Church through the Holy Spirit keeps us one, a mark that Christ always exhorted us to become.

The Catholic tradition is to read a passage or quote from Scripture as part of a whole, and not a part to be dissected. The study of Sacred Scripture is a lifetime work, we never know all of it, it is ever living and will only be fulfilled for us in heaven. It is the book of life for us to feed our faith and souls with the Holy Spirit. It is not to be abused to form divisions and misunderstandings.

So we have the Church who in the end gives the final interpretation that brings us life and continued unity.
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Old Apr 1, '10, 1:58 pm
Masters Servant Masters Servant is offline
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

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Originally Posted by benidict View Post
so what do we do with hebrews 6:4-9? this chapter is not talking about a mere professing believer, it is talking about someone who has recieved illumination( duay rheims tranlation) have tasted of the heavenly gift, and WERE MADE PARTAKERS OF THE HOLY GHOST. only a true believer could fall under this category. fits right in with james. and im sure paul agreed with james. dont know who wrote hebrews tho. it never says. your turn. go
Good questions:
Have you ever been around people or seen a pastor who "played church" and in the end the profession of faith was phony when they left; the Bible refers to this as a TARE. A partaker of the HS is not the equivalent of an indwelling of the HS, which is what you are trying to impose on the text. Hebrews 6 is a person that is very similar to the 3rd soil in the Parable of the Soils/Sower. This is why the passage says after all that exposure and all that head knowledge; you then turn your back on the whole thing, there no longer remains a WAY; the apostate.

As I said before if you believe your interpretation of James, then you must also believe the Bible is with error because it contradicts Paul in Ephesians and the the rest of the gospel. If you believe the Bible is with error, then there is not much more to say.
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Old Apr 1, '10, 2:17 pm
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

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As I said before if you believe your interpretation of James, then you must also believe the Bible is with error because it contradicts Paul in Ephesians and the the rest of the gospel. If you believe the Bible is with error, then there is not much more to say.
Perhaps you could tell us what you think Paul is saying in Ephesians so that we might better know where you're coming from. I know I don't see a contradiction between James and Paul anywhere.
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Old Apr 1, '10, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

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Originally Posted by greggy53 View Post
The Sovereignty of God in Salvation is a non-issue. The Church teaches that God is sovereign in all things. He would still be just as much God if he had never created us. But it does not follow that because God is sovereign that humankind has no or an inconsequential role in the salvation process. Indeed if we are made in his image and likeness our free will to choose or reject him is vital. The Church taught me as a child that we are All pre ordained for salvation.
Greg, to make a statement that the sovereignty of God is a "non-issue" concerning any aspect of salvation or the ability of the creature to choose or reject is beyond words.

Psalms 53:1-6
1 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God," They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; There is no one who does good. 2 God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks after God. 3 Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.

Romans 3:10 as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE." 13 "THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS"; 14 "WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS"; 15 "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, 16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, 17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN." 18 "THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES."

You can talk about the free-will of man, but in that free-will he is stuck to his sin-nature and a sin-nature never seeks after God, but it does seek after sin...look around you and in the mirror for proof; i am no exception. We can only seek after God when God and only God gives us the "will" to do so.

Romans 9 again " So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH." 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Bottom line, like it or not: God's sovereignty in relation to a man being saved is 100% inseparable. If man was given to his own will; he would run as far from God as possible and never toward God. The only reason a person turns to God is because God removed the veil of blindness or another way to say it; he removes the heart of stone and replaces it with a fleshy heart (paraphrased).
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Old Apr 1, '10, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

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Originally Posted by ryanoneil View Post
Faith excludes "works of the Law" by definition, because they are done in a system of debt. "Good works" on the other hand are done in faith and they are in a system of grace. They are a requirement because our sovereign God prepaired them in advance. Faith and love (manifested by works) are always connected. Faith (a process of thought) and love (an action) are never separated in the Scriptures.
What does this do, except reinforce that God is totally sovereign in salvation; as you said He prepared the works that the Christian would walk beforehand. If He did not prepare any works for a particular individual, then works for that person had no relevence to that person's salvation. (ie thief on the cross)
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Old Apr 1, '10, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

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That is not what the text of James says. He does not say that good works are only for the purpose of revealing what God has prepared. He says good works are an inseparable part of faith, just as the body without a spirit is dead. Faith-works is a singular concept. It's not one or the other, and they are not in competition with each other. Ryan's post is spot on with regards to Paul's treatment of "works of law" in Romans which is distinct from works done by the power of grace, which of course has salvific value.
I do not see your point here. Faith is what saves, works are the result or the fruit which God prepared. You cannot walk in the works God prepared beforehand until you are first a Christian can you? Think about it.
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Old Apr 1, '10, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

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Originally Posted by KathleenGee View Post
Masters Servant,

I do see a sincere debate.

Before returning to debate over Scripture, do you understand the Catholic Church's understanding of the Word of God and how we interpret Scripture? I can share it with you, but then will abstain from CAF for the rest of Holy Week.

The Four Pillars of Catholicism are: The profession of faith found in the Nicene Creed that took nearly 400 years to put together in response to the growing heresy that denied Christ's humanity. The more we deny Christ's humanity, the less we believe He is present in every human being. How we treat our neighbor reflects back to Christ, and on Judgment Day we will finally be held liable...mercy today, judgment later.

The Sacraments of Faith. The great heresy of the early Christians was denying the presence of Christ in the Breaking of the Bread. Jesus instituted the sacrament of penance/confession when He appeared to the Apostles on the night of the Resurrection and gave them the power to forgive sins in His name. To go to another human being to unload in Christ's name is an action of the church. We are not left to ourselves but have our Shepherd Jesus present in our priests.

The Life of Faith and this covers the beatitudes, the ways of reaching it with God's law and grace, the commandments of charity, and the specifics in the 10 commandments.

The four marks of the Church is that it is One, Holy (from Christ Himself in His Word --Jesus is the Word Made Flesh and the Sacraments and our profession of faith in Him), Catholic -- meaning He lived and died for the atonement of sin for all, and that our faith is inculturated into all peoples of the earth, and Apostolic, our understanding of faith comes from the Apostles through the bishops and their successors.
If the great heresy of the early church was denying the presence of Christ in the literal physical-sense, then Paul was one of the first heretics, then we can add the rest of the Apostles as well and Jesus for that matter.

However, this has nothing to do with the topic of the total sovereignty of God in salvation. Thank you for your input and I am very aware of the Catholic teaching on this; it is the MASS.
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Old Apr 1, '10, 3:04 pm
Masters Servant Masters Servant is offline
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

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Originally Posted by KathleenGee View Post

The Catholic tradition is to read a passage or quote from Scripture as part of a whole, and not a part to be dissected. The study of Sacred Scripture is a lifetime work, we never know all of it, it is ever living and will only be fulfilled for us in heaven. It is the book of life for us to feed our faith and souls with the Holy Spirit. It is not to be abused to form divisions and misunderstandings.

So we have the Church who in the end gives the final interpretation that brings us life and continued unity.
Unlike the "sectional" dissection you presented above from the CCC. In the bold above; do you understand what you just wrote? Great, then please explain it in the vernacular and perhaps on another thread since it is irrelevant to the topic.

Thanks again for your input.

MS
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Old Apr 1, '10, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: The Total Sovereignty of God in Salvation

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Perhaps you could tell us what you think Paul is saying in Ephesians so that we might better know where you're coming from. I know I don't see a contradiction between James and Paul anywhere.
James says not "works" alone; Paul says it has nothing to do with works and it is strongly implicit throughout Scripture it is by faith alone; you don't see a contradiction? What do you see?

You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone

Verses

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Works is the result, not the means of or the equality to faith.
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