Are works a result of salvation and not a means to salvation?


Would the following statement be consistant with Catholic teaching?:

“Salvation is a free gift of God. Works are a result of salvation, not a means to salvation.”


First, Salvation is a free gift of God. The Catholic Church teaches that “Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life“(CCC 1996).

Second, justification can never be merited. The Council of Trent stated that “none of those things which precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification.” (Session six, Decree on Justification, ch. 8). Works have their role in our salvation, but our initial justification does not come from them. Scripture says, “In Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6).

Third, a lonely faith does not justify----that is, a faith that is apart from works. Scripture says that “faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26). After a person has been justified, God puts his love in the person’s heart (Rom. 5:5), and then the person is able to perform loving actions that please God (Rom. 8:8-9, Col. 1:10, 1 Cor.7:32), and he will reward him on the Last Day (Romans 2:6-10, Gal. 6:6-10).

CCC 1815 The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it.80 But “faith apart from works is dead”:81 when it is deprived of hope and love, faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body.

CCC 2010: Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.

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