Being "Saved" and Scripture


#1

I understand as Catholics the verses

James 2:24: “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

JAMES 2:14-26 “What good is it, my brothers, if
someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?”[v.14] “For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”[v.26]

Romans 13:11: “…For our salvation is nearer now than when
we first believed”,

But how do we explain away

Ephesians 2:8-9:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not
from works, so no one may boast.”

when it clearly says “IT IS NOT FROM WORKS”

I need help with this one- I’m learning in the apologetics department;)


#2

We don’t explain it away. In fact I have seen that verse quoted so many times by Cathoics on this forum that I have it memorized.

Take the verse apart. First it is Grace that saves us.

Some Protestant groups-not all but certainly the most vocal- define faith to mean mere belief.

Mere belief isn’t enough. Your faith must be active or contain works. Yet it isn’t those works that save you. Its God’s grace.


#3

That merely means that there are no works one can perform that will obligate God to save us. There is nothing we can do such that God owes us salvation. It is always a gift, never a “just reward”.

What it does not say is that works play no part in our salvation. Only that we cannot compel God to save us via works (or any other means). We can only accept (or reject) His gift, and any works we do are a component of our acceptance.


#4

There’s nothing to explain away. Paul says that we are saved by grace without works. He is speaking of our becoming Christians, from children of Adam to children of God. That happens, by faith, through grace, with nothing to do with works. Once we are in Christ, we are further justified (made holy; sanctified) by our works, done through grace (cf. Eph 2:10). No contradiction. Both are accounted for in the Catholic scheme.


#5

Hello friend,

Another way to look at it is that Faith and Works do not exist apart from each other. If faith without works is dead, then works without faith are dead as well.
Grace is the mystery of faith and works co-existing for the glory of God, offering us salvation apart from what we do or who we are.
I commend you for seeking answers to your faith.


#6

Lets just look at two verses that you showed that both are comeing from Paul

No one should boast. But Catholics who like to take the bible as a hole we read on to the next verse 10. “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” It says we should. And we know why we should with the rest of Pauls teachings. “Eternal life to those who persevere in good works.” also notice “works God has prepared in us”
These works are the will of the Father that we should be doing.

this is a good expenation of what catholoics teach and it is from Paul

(Gal 5:6) “only faith working threw love counts for anything.” That is how we put faith in action WORKING threw love. Faith has to work to count for anything it cant be by itself.

One more from Paul
(1 Cor 13:2-13) If I have all faith as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. So faith hope love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.

As to move mountains that is a lot of faith but that faith means nothing if it does not have love. These three but the greatest is love. Well if faith alone is all we need to be righteous why is it not the greatest instead of love.

peace be with you keep studing the faith


#7

Faith is not mere belief… it is more than that. Remember, “the devils also believe and tremble”.

To have faith in something is to trust something. I have faith that when I hit “submit reply” this message will be posted (kind of :wink: ) .

Here, in Ephesians 2:8 the faith that is required for salvation is faith in that plan of salvation - that the mode of salvation is correct that you are trusting. Yes, it requires belief… but also faith.

True faith will encourage someone to act upon a belief. But it is quite a stretch to say that Ephesians 2:8 reeeaally means works.

Wes


#8

#9

The “intellectual faith” you described, I think would be more appropriately described as “mis-informed” faith. All faith has an intellectual dimension.

The Pharisee’s believed in God, and they had faith that their system of religion would gain them favor with God… but they were mis-informed. They had faith in the wrong thing.

We are called to believe in Christ… and to have faith in His plan of salvation.

After we are saved we are then empowered to have faith in God, because He has showed us His “faithfulness” to keep His word.

"Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;) "

Wes


#10

First you have to ask what works Paul is envisioning. What works were Jews doing that they believed could attain paradise?

Circumcision?
Cleansing bodily defilement? (walking around graves, can’t touch gentiles, can’t enter their houses, wounds, bodily functions, etc.)
Particular cleansing of utensils?
Strict adherence to no work on the sabbath? (can’t even aid others)
Strict adherence to dietary codes?
All of the above (and the levitican prescriptions)?

Or is Paul talking about all works, most in particular charity?

What are works of the law? What is the law of liberty?

There is a vast difference between what Paul thinks works are and what people are projecting onto the text to justify themselves.

Peace and God Bless
Nicene


#11

Alternatively, if we see our neighbor in need are we bound to help him? If we decide not to is there a consequence to that?

The sacraments (oaths of fidelity to God) have been called works of the law by some protestants. If they are only symbolic then it is a work of the law. If baptism for example, is as we believe, to be God pouring out his grace to seal us and wash us from original sin and being born again,: is it a work of the law?

Is Marriage a work of the law?
Is Holy Orders a work of the law?
Is the eucharist a work of the law?
Is annointing of the sick a work of the law?
Is confirmation a work of the law? (reception of the Holy Spirit, laying on of hands)
Is Reconciliation with God and the Body of Christ a work of the law?

If they are graces as we believe, then they aren’t works of the law. If all the above are symbolic they are works of the law.

Now by the same token isn’t it a work of the law that you produce the gifts of speaking in tongues, prophesying, healing, evangelizing etc. and if you don’t you aren’t saved?

Peace and God Bless
Nicene


#12

The Catholic notion of salvation is threefold.

  1. Past tense (one was saved): If one were to die the very moment after their baptism they would be saved through faith alone. Keeping in mind that “faith” itself is a conscious act and does indeed constitute “work”.

  2. Present tense (one is being saved): One must live every day in faith, avoid apostasy, and live out the Gospel through our good works

  3. Future tense (one will be saved): Because God will carry out final judgment “on that day” we are not yet saved at all. One will only be assured of salvation once God spares them from hell upon their death


#13

John Henry’s explanation is a good summary.

I would add that the Council of Trent doesn’t cite Ephesians 2:8-9, but based on how it uses James 2, we would say that the Ephesians 2:8-9 refers to the event of being *initially *justified-- the
"[FONT=&quot]. . . [/FONT]translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God[FONT=&quot] . . . "[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] The Council cites James 2:17 to refer to the gift of charity (along with faith and hope) that is given to a person when he is initially justified.

The Council then cites James 2:22 and 2:24 to refer to the increase in justification after one has *already *been initially justified.[/FONT]

To put it another way, [LIST=1]
*]Ephesians 2:8-9 describes *the *“moment of conception”.
*]James 2:17 refers to the gifts that are given *at *that moment.
*]Finally, James 2:22 and 2:24 refer to what happens *after *that moment: maturation— growing up.[/LIST]


#14

Our works are evidence of your faith, not the cause of it

allischalmers


#15

[Born2win;1986945]The “intellectual faith” you described, I think would be more appropriately described as “mis-informed” faith. All faith has an intellectual dimension.

I’m assuming you were talking to me, so I’ll respond. Sola fide informis is unformed faith. I didn’t say formed faith doesn’t have an intellectual component, yes both types of faith have an intellectual component.

The Pharisee’s believed in God, and they had faith that their system of religion would gain them favor with God… but they were mis-informed. They had faith in the wrong thing.

Yes, the Pharisees did try to gain favor with God, but didn’t because they didn’t obey the moral law of God and but thought because they obeyed the Mosaic law, that would obligate God to give them salvation, simply because they circumcised, obeyed the dietary laws or did works of the law (or works of the Torah). The Pharisees did NOT obey the moral law of God because they didn’t obey the moral law and do those works of mercy, i.e., take care of the widows, but would declare corban, which was a legal way of attempting to circumvent the moral law and ignoring the poor, suffering and weak. By not obeying the moral law (something NO one can ignore and expect salvation) Jesus said they appeared clean on the outside but were dirty on the inside. We see the parrellel of this in Mt 25. Jesus speaks of the righteous in vs 34-40 who obeyed the moral law of God (or moral law of Christ) and did so by faith and obedience and for God’s glory. Verses 41-46 describes the “Pharisial” type
of works that people do, yet do so without grace and charity and attempt to obligate God to save them.

We are called to believe in Christ… and to have faith in His plan of salvation.

And you would agree that to believe is to obey, I’m sure as Paul speaks of “the obedience of faith” in Romans 1:5 and 16:26, that we don’t merely believe as you said before but also obey by faith. :slight_smile:

After we are saved we are then empowered to have faith in God, because He has showed us His “faithfulness” to keep His word.

"Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;) "

Wes

Yes I see your point and agree. The model is God gives us the grace to have the faith to do the works of charity.


#16

No kidding. Now there’s a shocker. :rolleyes:

Peace and God Bless
Nicene


#17

Right and the Catholic Church back in 529 AD at the council of Orange condemned the palegianistic idea that one did good works first and then received grace…

CANON 18. That grace is not preceded by merit. Recompense is due to good works if they are performed; but grace, to which we have no claim, precedes them, to enable them to be done.


#18

Just be careful not to say that “the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof.”


#19

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