Assurance of Salvation

I was thinking. For those non-Catholics who accept Once Saved Always Saved I have a serious question. Catholics believe we can have reasonable, but not absolute, assurance of our salvation because we cannot predict the state of our souls at the point of death. We accept this as the infallibleteaching of the Church. Of course, Protestants, not accepting the authority of the Church or the Pope deny the infallibility of the Church. The argument will be made that no one is infallible, even the Pope, even with the restrictions applied to Papal Infalliblility. You make this declaration as dogmatically as any pronouncement made by any Pope. So how do you know that you are not in error? By saying that no one is infallible, you must include yourself. You have to accepth that there is a chance that you are mistaken. After all, if no one is infallible, then neither are you. Moreover, have you ever thought about the consequencesif you are wrong. Your own soul is not the only one in danger, but also the souls of any you have taught. What assurance do you have that you are right? Catholics have the belief that the Holy Spirit prevents the Pope from teaching in error on matters of faith and morals when acting as the Bishop of the earthly Church. Just something to think about. What if you are in error, which, by your own arguments must remain a possiblilty.

CW I’m not an OSAS believer but I feel I can be assured of my salvation because I consider scripture to be infallible. Scripture tells me if I believe in Christ I am assured of my salvation. I’m not infallible but scripture is. I take John 3:16 for exactly what it states.

PEACE

Doing so is looking at one thread and ignoring the tapestry

But it is your own interpretation of said verse on which you base your beliefs. Your own fallible interpretation. And you are also basing it on the translators, who, by Protestant theology must also be fallible. Without an infallible, earthbound authority (the Church), we can know nothing for sure. It comes down to waht we think.

John also tells us:

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
(1 John 5:13 NASB)

We may not know if we will persevere until the end but we should be able to know our status with confidence at any particular moment.

I can say with reasonable assurance that I am currnetly in a state of grace at this exact moment. But what i am questioning is really authority. Without the infallibility of the Church, how can one be absolutely sure that they are not teaching, or being taught, in error.

The Bible is pretty clear. Believe in Jesus and show our faith through works. I have confidence that God loves us enough that if we don’t get everything right He is not going to condemn us. He wants to save us, not condemn us.

How can you tell that the Catholic Church is infallible without relying on the Bible. I am ruling out the Bible because of the claim that we can’t know the Bible without the Church. You can’t use something that depends on your authority to establish your authority.

No I don’t base it on translators alone. The original Greek is quite clear as well. You’re sort of grasping at straws here by trying to discount my ability to read and understand what scripture states. I’ve never met a Roman Catholic that didn’t believe we have assurance of our salvation if we are followers of Christ. The difference comes when we question can you lose it. If I were to become a mass murderer and die never repenting of sin then I don’t care what my faith may have been at an earlier time of my life. I would be jeopardizing my salvation using my free will by choosing those actions.

PEACE

This is a very typical Catholic arguing point. The idea is to dumb down the reader as much as possible to make it appear that the very Scriptures one is reading cannot be at any point trusted to be as the reader is interpreting them to be. This is not only wrong, but ridiculous. God gave us a conscience and he gave us reason for many purposes, one being to read and discern his holy Word. If only the Catholic church knew the correct interpretation of the Bible and only the Catholic church period, then only the Catholic church would realistically have Bibles instead of all the faithful that supposedly rely upon it for correct interpretation.

There is only one authority, one teacher, one father, one God…

Ask him. He answering your prayer, is the only salvation you will ever need.

And, you do need…

However, your authority is yourself. As a result we have thousands of differrnt inrtpretations. Each adherent claiming that his is the “right” one. I am trying to show that everyne who says that no one is infallible is lying to themselves, because each deems their own interpretation to be infallible.

Carl,
How about those who clearly know they are fallible, and rely on His saving grace to forgive.
We all make choices, and all of us who are regenerate have free will. Some people do rely on their own personal interpretation, and believe it infallible based on the belief that the Holy Spirit grants them the ability to properly discern. You and I, however, rely on the Church - you yours, me mine - to guide our understanding. I do not depend on my church (or my own discerning) to be infallible, however. I instead depend upon the saving grace of God for me, and for you.

Jon

Now that is a reasonable answer.

Thanks, Carl. I’m honored.

Jon

I didn’t mean to suggest that I am infallible. However, I do think the points I stated are pretty clear in the Bible. Both Augustine and Chrysostom agree that the necessary things are clearly set out in Scripture. And no, they don’t say what the necessary things are.

Is the entire Bible clear? No it is not and I am constantly reading commentaries including those by Catholics and the Church fathers to help me understand. Such sources are not infallible either but can provide great guidance.

I do not consider any institutional church to be infallible including the Catholic Church but that does not mean I do not listen to what they say. When Jesus says that gates of Hades will not prevail against His Church, I believe that He means that there will always be true believers, not that a particular church would be free from error. It is similar to when Elijah asked to die since he was the only one in Israel who remained true. God answered him that He had kept 7000 free from Baal.

Who said anything about authority? Paul specifically says that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Who needs specific authority to read that Biblical statement by St. Paul?? This authority thing has gotten way to exclusive and way too weird. And where are these thousands of Bible interpretations that so many here want to throw out there. How many ways can St. Paul’s statement be taken for God’s sake?

In Hebrews, I believe he simply states that you must have faith that God does exist and has the power to save you…

I suggest you switch your religion on your profile. You are certainly not Catholic. If you were you would realize that the CHurch has authority, and we are not to rely on the Bible alone.

And here’s where your fallible interpretation fails: you assume that just because you are “saved” that you therefore must go to heaven. You are mistaken - being saved and ending up in Heaven are related but not necessarily so. Someone can be saved and then lose their salvation through sin. Simply because you are saved now does not mean that you will actually inherit the kingdom of God when you actually die. Christ tells us point blank: “If you do not forgive others…neither will your Father in Heaven forgive you…” You must persevere to the end in forgiving in order to be forgiven by God…
Paul also tells us point blank: Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomitesnor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Believing in Jesus is a necessity of salvation, but its not the only necessity. You must “abide in” him as well… thats why the NT is much longer than simply John 3:16 and why Christ instituted a Church and not merely a collection of writings.

Nobody said anything about relying upon the Bible alone, but I am saying that you cannot discount Scripture and yield it to another authority. I’m surely not the only Catholic that feels this way.

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