Being "saved"?


#1

Hello all,

I’ve heard from people in other religions that have said, “If one isn’t saved they won’t go to heaven.” What exactly is being “saved” and is it true (the above said)? I’ve been a Catholic all my life and have never heard a priest talk about this. Are there any Catholics here that are “saved”?

Thanks in advance and I’m hoping you all have a happy New Year! :slight_smile:


#2

Lorrie,

First, welcome to the Forum. I hope you stay awhile and post with us. I’m so glad you ask the question about being “saved”. I gave a teaching on this once and would like to share it with you. Sorry, it is long. I hope you enjoy it.

Salvation by Works
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, independently of the works of the law." (Rom. 3:28).

Outside the Catholic Church the average person has an entirely erroneous idea of the Catholic Church’s position on the question of good works.

No Catholic has ever taught that a person can be SAVED by good works. Certainly he can be JUSTIFIED by faith, but not by faith alone.

"We are justified by a faith that worketh by charity. Gal. 5:6

We believe that the human race was redeemed by the death of Christ on the cross, but that more than the acceptance of this is necessary.

It is necessary for each individual to personalize this atonement of our Lord by his own co-operation, i.e., by faith, baptism, the keeping of the commandments and observing all things that Christ has taught.

Furthermore, good works are necessary in order to help a person persevere in the state of grace or friendship with God.

He has told us this when He said that he who gives a glass of water in His name, gives it to Him; that we must love our neighbors as we love ourselves; that we must do good to those who hate us and persecute us; that we must feed the hungry and clothe the naked; and perform all the other corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

For God to ignore these good works, and not attach merit to them, would be unjust. He Himself says this through St. Paul.

“For God is not unjust that He should forget your works.” Hebrews 6:10

Those who are doubtful about the place of good works in the plan of Redemption should read the Epistle of St. James, Chanter 2:

(14) “What will it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but does not have works? Can the faith save him?”
(17) “So faith too, unless it has works, is dead in itself.”
(18) “But someone will say, ‘Thou hast faith, and I have works. Show me thy faith without works, and I, from my works, will show thee my faith’.”
(20) “But dost thou want to know, O senseless man, that faith without works is useless?”
(24) “You see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
(26) “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith also without works is dead.”

Likewise, in I Corinthians 13:2

“And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith, so as to remove mountains, yet do not have charity, I am nothing.”

Therefore, although a man is not SAVED by works, yet works are pleasing in the sight of God, and HAVE VALUE since they are done for Him.

They thus help the individual to preserve in the state of grace or friendship with God.


#3

**

Are You Saved?
That is the founding question for most Evangelicals. They will say, you are saved by Grace and Grace alone.

Grace:

Eph 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Christ could not have made mere “acceptance” of Himself sufficient for salvation since the observance of some of the commandments is required by natural law.

His plan included not only hope or “acceptance” but also the observance of the commandments, faith, baptism, etc. But not only do we have to participate in the sacraments, we have to believe in them.

I can put on a wedding ring and say, “I’m married.” But unless I believe and actively participate in the sacrament, I’m not really married. I can also go through the sacrament, but unless I believe in and work at the marriage, it’s useless and will fail.

Are you saved?

Baptism:

I have Received the Sacrament of Baptisim in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit in keeping with :

Mt 28:19 - Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,

Are you saved?

Reconciliation

I have received the Sacrament of Reconcilliation and confessed and repented my sins before God in keeping with:

James 5:16 - Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Are you saved?

The Eucharist: The Lord’s Supper

I received the Sacrament of the Eucharist and I have eaten the flesh of the Son of man and drank his blood in keeping with:

John 6:53 Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves.

Are you saved?

Confirmation

I have been received the Sacrament of Confirmation and renewed and received the Holy Spirit in keeping with:

Eph 1:13 - In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised holy Spirit

Titus 3:5 - He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit

Rom 8:9 - Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Are you saved?

Works

My faith is alive becuase I work for the Lord for it is written:

Eph 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith … "

James 6:26 “Faith without works is dead.”

Are you saved?

I have held fast to the teachings of the Church in which Christ, himself, initiated.

1 Cor 15:2 - Through the gospel you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

Mt 10:22 - … but whoever endures to the end will be saved.

Mk 13:13 - But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.

The Catholic response to "Are you saved?"

"YES I’M SAVED, ARE YOU?"

**[font=Arial]Mt. 7:21 - “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father in heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” [/font]


#4

“Are you saved?” asks the Fundamentalist. The Catholic should reply: “As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8), but I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13).”

catholic.com/library/***…f_Salvation.asp

Reward and Merit - Catholic Answers Tract - catholic.com/library/Reward_and_Merit.asp

Paul tells us: “For [God] will reward every man according to his works: to those who by perseverance in working good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. There will be . . . glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality” (Rom. 2:6–11; cf. Gal. 6:6–10).


#5

“Are you saved?” asks the Fundamentalist. The Catholic should reply: “As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8), but I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13).”

Evangelical Protestants have taught as the Church has always taught that salvation is past, present, and future as well. Evangelicals, when they are speaking about salvation, usually are referencing justification as an event. Justification, to the evangelical is the event when God declares the believing sinner righteous while still in his sinning state. It is when Christ’s righteousness is imputed (reckoned) to the account of the sinner. Therefore, we are not clothed in our own righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ. Romans 4 is the clearest reference to this exact concept. Therefore, we are justified by faith and the finality of our salvation is yet future in the resurrection when death is swallowed up in victory.

Michael


#6

Michaelp,

Your explanation of the Evangelical position does not square with the position of my closest friend, who is an Evangelical. Perhaps it would be more helpful if you gave more specifics as to what “kind” of Evangelical you are, as there are obviously different varieties.


#7

[quote=Sherlock]Michaelp,

Your explanation of the Evangelical position does not square with the position of my closest friend, who is an Evangelical. Perhaps it would be more helpful if you gave more specifics as to what “kind” of Evangelical you are, as there are obviously different varieties.
[/quote]

I am not a flavor of Evangelicalism. (At least I don’t necessarily identify with any evangelical denomination.

Evangelical have the habit of equating justification with salvation. Therefore, the laity will sometimes use terminology that reflects this. It is clear that he Bible teaches that there is a salvation that yet awaits us and that we are being saved in the present. Justification, however, is the act by which we are declared righteous (we have been saved). The process of sanctification then begins (we are being saved). When Christ comes, the resurrection will occur and death will be overcome in actuality (we will be saved).

Michael


#8

Have you heard a priest talk about the importance of baptism?

Mark 16:16 says: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.”

1 Peter 3:21 says: “[size=2]Baptism … now saves you.”[/size]
[size=2]
[/size]Titus 3:5 says: “he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration [size=2]and renewal in the Holy Spirit.[/size]” This refers to baptism.

[size=2]John 3:5 says: “[size=2]Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’” This refers to baptism.
[/size][/size]


#9

[quote=michaelp]I am not a flavor of Evangelicalism. (At least I don’t necessarily identify with any evangelical denomination.

Evangelical have the habit of equating justification with salvation. Therefore, the laity will sometimes use terminology that reflects this. It is clear that he Bible teaches that there is a salvation that yet awaits us and that we are being saved in the present. Justification, however, is the act by which we are declared righteous (we have been saved). The process of sanctification then begins (we are being saved). When Christ comes, the resurrection will occur and death will be overcome in actuality (we will be saved).

Michael
[/quote]

Well you are coming around to the catholic postion.
Classical Evangelical thought beleives justification is a one time event when you are legally declared righteous as in contract.
There is no process in the justification of on an evangelical.
Salvation as process and in stages of past. present and future is what the church fathers taught and what the catholic church still teaches today of course we beleive the New Testament teaches this as well.


#10

[quote=Maccabees]Well you are coming around to the catholic postion.
Classical Evangelical though beleives justification is a one time event when you are legally declared righteous as in contract.
There is no process in the justification of on an evangelical.
Salvation as process and in stages of past. present and future is what the church fathers taught and what the catholic church still teaches today of course we beleive the New Testament teaches this as well.
[/quote]

But Evangelical Protestants have always taught this. Read any systematic theology by an evangelical.

The Bible tells us that justification (which is a part of salvation) is an event by which God declairs the believing sinner righteous while still in his sinning state.

What then shall we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh, has discovered regarding this matter? 4:2 For if Abraham was declared righteous by the works of the law, he has something to boast about—but not before God. 4:3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited*** to him as righteousness***.” 4:4 Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation. 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, his faith is credited as righteousness.

This is justification. It is an event.

Sanctification is also part of being saved. It is part of the redemption process in which we are formed into the likeness of Christ.

Finally, we will be saved when Christ defeats death through the resurrection when we will be fully like Him (humanly speaking).

Michael


#11

[quote=michaelp]But Evangelical Protestants have always taught this. Read any systematic theology by an evangelical.

The Bible tells us that justification (which is a part of salvation) is an event by which God declairs the believing sinner righteous while still in his sinning state.

What then shall we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh, has discovered regarding this matter? 4:2 For if Abraham was declared righteous by the works of the law, he has something to boast about—but not before God. 4:3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited*** to him as righteousness***.” 4:4 Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation. 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, his faith is credited as righteousness.

This is justification. It is an event.

Michael
[/quote]

The Bible does not say it a one time event.
Catholic beleive Justificationis the acceptance of God’s righteousnees through faith in Jesus Christ.
You are in error when you say justificaion is still in effect while in a sinning state. Venial sin will cut you off from the state of grace and thus you are attached to the very sin that the original state of Justification detatched you from. I have no qualms with your view of Santification its very catholic.
However your limiting justification to a one time event is error.
CC 1993 Justification establishes cooperation between God’s grace and man’s freedom. On man’s part it is expressed by the assent of faith to the Word of God, which invites him to conversion, and in the cooperation of charity with the prompting of the Holy Spirit who precedes and preserves his assent:
When God touches man’s heart through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man himself is not inactive while receiving that inspiration, since he could reject it; and yet, without God’s grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God’s sight.[42]

James 2
20But are you willing to recognize, (A)you foolish fellow, that (**(“http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/index.php?search=James%202:20-26&version=49#cen-NASB-30314B”))faith without works is useless?
21(C)Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
22You see that (D)faith was working with his works, and as a result of the (E)works, faith was perfected;
23and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “(F)AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called (G)the friend of God.
24You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
25In the same way, was not (H)Rahab the harlot also justified by works (*(“http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/index.php?search=James%202:20-26&version=49#cen-NASB-30319I”))when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
26For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also (J)faith without works is dead.

Abraham’s justification was not a complete one time event as you claim James says it was fulfilled later by his works. Catholics beleive in a free will during the intial state of justification and after.
Calvinist don’t beleive in free will of any kind. Evangelicals beleive in free will during the intial decision of justification but don’t beleive in the free will after that will affect grace or justification. For Catholics free will continues and cooperates between God’s grace and man’s freedom which invites him to continous conversion and to continous santification that works with justification not set apart from it.


#12

I’m a little confused about some catholic statements. I have heard some catholics in this forum say that they don’t have a works based salvation, but are saved through grace (which comes through the sacraments).

This seems to be a conflicting statement. If you have to partake in certain rituals like baptism, then this is a work!

I don’t understand why catholics believe grace comes through sacraments.
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, {it is} the gift of God;Eph 2:9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

The thief on the cross had no opportunity to be baptized or partake in any sacraments and yet Jesus told him that he would be with Him in paradise that day.

Josiah


#13

[quote=Lorrie]Hello all,

I’ve heard from people in other religions that have said, “If one isn’t saved they won’t go to heaven.” What exactly is being “saved” and is it true (the above said)? I’ve been a Catholic all my life and have never heard a priest talk about this. Are there any Catholics here that are “saved”?

Thanks in advance and I’m hoping you all have a happy New Year! :slight_smile:
[/quote]

No. There are no Catholics living that are “saved.” Salvation is something that is determined upon death. Catholics do not presume to be saved as evangelical Protestants do. We hope to be saved, but we can never, ever be certain that we will be saved. That’s why you haven’t heard a priest talk about it.


#14

[quote=4 marks]No. There are no Catholics living that are “saved.” Salvation is something that is determined upon death. Catholics do not presume to be saved as evangelical Protestants do. We hope to be saved, but we can never, ever be certain that we will be saved. That’s why you haven’t heard a priest talk about it.
[/quote]

What about 1 Jn 5:13
13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.


#15

Michaelp,

I am not a flavor of Evangelicalism. (At least I don’t necessarily identify with any evangelical denomination.

Evangelical have the habit of equating justification with salvation. Therefore, the laity will sometimes use terminology that reflects this. It is clear that he Bible teaches that there is a salvation that yet awaits us and that we are being saved in the present. Justification, however, is the act by which we are declared righteous (we have been saved). The process of sanctification then begins (we are being saved). When Christ comes, the resurrection will occur and death will be overcome in actuality (we will be saved).

Michael

Michael,
You do a good job of explaining the Evangelical position. I would buy it, really, I would go ag with it if I wasn’t aware of a truth you leave out. I live in Nashville tennessee and have had alot of success talking to denominational Christians like you. Your explanation might fly, except for the fact that there is something called deadly sin. To debate with a Protesting Christian who doesn’t believ there is deadly sin is a wast of time. NOT ALL SIN IS DEADLY! Some is. It’s just a fact.

Catholics are Bible Christians and we use the whole Bible. You need to study about deadly sin.

Obedience,
John


#16

[quote=josiah]What about 1 Jn 5:13
13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
[/quote]

With all due respect, any appeal to the scriptures as the final word will not fly with a Catholic Christian like myself. This verse from the First Epistle of Saint John does not say that one is promised salvation simply by believing in Jesus. In fact, use of the terminology that is translated as “in the name of the Son of God” is telling.

What this verse is saying is: "To you who believe in the name of the Son of God (the authority established in His name), these things have been written so that you may realize that in the Son of God is found eternal life.

As Catholics, we look to the whole Deposit of Faith entrusted to us through the Apostles, not just the scriptures, to understand and properly interpret what is meant by salvation.


#17

[quote=john654]Michaelp,

Michael,
You do a good job of explaining the Evangelical position. I would buy it, really, I would go ag with it if I wasn’t aware of a truth you leave out. I live in Nashville tennessee and have had alot of success talking to denominational Christians like you. Your explanation might fly, except for the fact that there is something called deadly sin. To debate with a Protesting Christian who doesn’t believ there is deadly sin is a wast of time. NOT ALL SIN IS DEADLY! Some is. It’s just a fact.

Catholics are Bible Christians and we use the whole Bible. You need to study about deadly sin.

Obedience,
John
[/quote]

John, give me a definition of “deadly” and back it up with exegesis. I am interested in your interpretation of it. I assume you are talking about the 1 Jn occurance?


#18

michaelp - as we all know, it’s very difficult to say what evangelicals believe, as it’s different from group to group, church to church, even member to member. as i’ve mentioned earlier, i have a degree in baptist theology, from before i converted to catholicism.

i WAS taught process salvation (in a baptist university). but i was also taught punctiliar salvation - and it is what most baptists i know believe in. i’m not talking about the ‘laity’, i’m talking about friends of mine who are pastors of churches.

the gist of my post here is just to say that we both, those of you in the protestant camp and those of us in the catholic camp, need to be careful when using broad strokes to describe the evangelical position. generalizations either way will only make the other cite exceptions.

hopefully one day our camps will merge into one camp. let us pray.


#19

[quote=jeffreedy789]michaelp - as we all know, it’s very difficult to say what evangelicals believe, as it’s different from group to group, church to church, even member to member. as i’ve mentioned earlier, i have a degree in baptist theology, from before i converted to catholicism.

i WAS taught process salvation (in a baptist university). but i was also taught punctiliar salvation - and it is what most baptists i know believe in. i’m not talking about the ‘laity’, i’m talking about friends of mine who are pastors of churches.

the gist of my post here is just to say that we both, those of you in the protestant camp and those of us in the catholic camp, need to be careful when using broad strokes to describe the evangelical position. generalizations either way will only make the other cite exceptions.

hopefully one day our camps will merge into one camp. let us pray.
[/quote]

Amen, my brother! (Sorry, I am a former baptist as well!)


#20

[quote=josiah]I’m a little confused about some catholic statements. I have heard some catholics in this forum say that they don’t have a works based salvation, but are saved through grace (which comes through the sacraments).

This seems to be a conflicting statement. If you have to partake in certain rituals like baptism, then this is a work!

I don’t understand why catholics believe grace comes through sacraments.
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, {it is} the gift of God;Eph 2:9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

The thief on the cross had no opportunity to be baptized or partake in any sacraments and yet Jesus told him that he would be with Him in paradise that day.
Josiah
[/quote]

Jesus established the sacraments as means of grace. However, God has not limited grace to only the sacraments; He can give grace to whomever, however and whenever He wishes, such as the good thief.

Concerning baptism in particular, it is clear in the New Testament that baptism was established by Jesus as a means to obtain, among other things, the forgiveness of sins and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. For instance, Acts 2:38 says:

38And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Now, let me ask the question: When you go to the barber and get a haircut, who does the work, you or the barber? The barber, right? If the haircut is done well, it is the barber’s boast not yours.

Baptism is not something you do to yourself but something done to you by another. Therefore, there is no cause for your boasting. Likewise for all the other sacraments, you are on the receiving end, not on the working end:
In Confirmation, a bishop lays hands on you and anoints you that you might receive the grace of the seal of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:17)
In Confession, a priest acting in Christ’s name absolves you of your sins that you might receive the grace of the forgiveness of sins. One cannot absolve his own sins. (John 19:19)
In Eucharist, a priest transsubstantiates bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus and gives them to you to eat and drink that you might receive the grace of participating in the body and blood of Christ. (1 Cor 10:16)
In Holy Order, one or more bishops lays hands on you to ordain you. (1 Tim 4:14)
In the Anointing of the Sick, a priest anoints you with oil that you might receive the grace of healing. (James 5:14-15)
In Marriage, you and your spouse marry each other. Without your spouse’s vow, you would have no marriage and no marriage graces. (Matt 19:5-6)


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