being saved


#1

Hi,
Christ taught many apostles and people and it can be assumed most of those people were saved. The apostles also taught many people, directly from the teachings of Jesus. I presume many of those people were saved. As Christ is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow, why can’t people be saved by those teachings? Why is it necessary to follow all the teachings and laws that have accumulated over the past 2 centuries? Christ was taught by the Holy Spirit. Can we be taught by the Holy Spirit?
Christ be with you
Walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif


#2

[quote=edwinG]why can’t people be saved by those teachings? Why is it necessary to follow all the teachings and laws that have accumulated over the past 2 centuries? Christ was taught by the Holy Spirit. Can we be taught by the Holy Spirit?
Christ be with you
Walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
[/quote]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
“Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.” (CCC, 847)

If a person is invincibly ignorant of “the teachings and laws” of the Catholic Church, that person “may achieve eternal salvation”. On the other hand, anyone who knows and follows the teachings and laws of the Catholic Church will be saved. Do you see the difference? It is the difference between a possibility of being saved and a certainty of being saved.

Here are a few points to consider in support of “all the teachings and laws”:

Not all of the teachings of the Jesus and the Apostles were written down in the Bible. (John 21:25; 2 Thes 2:15) What about those teachings that were only passed down orally?

Those teaching that were written down in the Bible are easily misunderstood. (2 Pet 3:16) How will you know that your personal interpretation of the Bible is correct?

Not every idea that pops into our heads is from the Holy Spirit; some are from our own imaginings and some are from the evil one. How will you discern which of your ideas is from the Holy Spirit?

Jesus established an authoritative, hierarchical Church: “And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles.” (Eph 4:11-14)

[size=1]“Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Heb 13:17)[/size]

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#3

[quote=edwinG]Why is it necessary to follow all the teachings and laws that have accumulated over the past 2 centuries?
[/quote]

The teachings that have accumulated are really nothing new, they are simply deeper understanding of the truths Christ taught. The Church believes that public revelation (i.e. “new” teaching) ended with the death of the last Apostle. So in 2000 years, the Church has simply gained vast insight into the laws that already existed. With this better understanding, it is more equipped to define sin and set boundaries that appear to be new teaching and law, but in reality are simply a more advanced theology in keeping with the gospels.


#4

catholic encyclopedia puts it this way: justification in the catholic tradition comes about by means of faith in christ,and in a life of good works lived in response to god 's invitation to believe… catholic faith holds that faith without good works is not sufficient to merit justification, for good works show one’s willingness to cooperate with the initiatives of grace…what is necessary for salvation is a faith that represent itself both externally through acts and internally through faith. the parables of the wise and foolish builders(mt7:24-27), the two sons(mt21:28-32), the good samaritan(lk10:25-37) and others teach of faith and works for salvation. god bless :slight_smile:


#5

Great job! You just proved ‘SOLA SCRIPTURA’ false!

The Dogma of the Church was handed down to us by Jesus through His Catholic Church, His Body here on earth. They did not have computers or planes or guns, etc… It is the Churches job to relate the Gospel of Christ to events today like stem cell research.

The Church does not invent theology it only clarifies or brings it to us in modern ways or for subjects that were not around in the time of the Nazerian.


#6

[quote=edwinG]Hi,
Christ taught many apostles and people and it can be assumed most of those people were saved. The apostles also taught many people, directly from the teachings of Jesus. I presume many of those people were saved. As Christ is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow, why can’t people be saved by those teachings? Why is it necessary to follow all the teachings and laws that have accumulated over the past 2 centuries? Christ was taught by the Holy Spirit. Can we be taught by the Holy Spirit?
Christ be with you
Walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
[/quote]

Just as the apostles taught many, so does the Pope and the priests and bishops. This is the essence of apostolic succesion. Our teachers were taught by others who were taught by others and it goes all the way back to the apostles who taught many. We are taught what the apostles taught. We must stand by it.


#7

[quote=edwinG]Hi,
Christ taught many apostles and people and it can be assumed most of those people were saved.
[/quote]

I believe a careful reading of John 6 would lead you to the opposite conclusion.

After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.
[right]John 6:66

[/right]
[left]Many today consider the words Christ, through His Church, “hard sayings”. [/left]


#8

Hi,

Thank you so much for responding and helping me. Every post gave me cause for consideration and reflection and I am better for them. To reply to a couple of points, ( I do not know how to cut and paste here) How will I know if the interpretation is from my own imaginings, and evil spirit or from the Holy Spirit? The answer to that is prayer,faith and patience. I of course am constantly being bombarded by my own imaginings and go through bouts of being attacked by satan and on one occasion I was fooled completely by an evil spirit for many months over a gift but I just trust in Christ and measure things against the bible. I feel very secure in my future knowing my path may be rocky.
Sola Scripture, I have seen it mentioned many times here but I do not know what it is, but guess it is some foundation for belief by some section of the protestant church.
once again thank you very much.
Christ be with you
Walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif


#9

edwinG: Sola scriptura is foundational to all of Protestantism…that and sola fide. These are the two basic tenants of Protestantism, that virtually all of the many denominations, schools of theology, and sects share in some form or another.

Sola scriptura means “Scripture alone” in Latin. It is the idea that all of God’s revelation to man is contained in Sacred Scripture; that is, that the Bible alone contains everything we need to know. The Catholic and Orthodox position is that Divine Revelation is contained in Sacred Scripture AND Sacred Tradition (the oral teachings that have been passed down from the apostles through the bishops). If you look at the writings of the early Church Fathers, starting with the few we have in the late first century, into the second century, and all the way through, you’ll see that they taught some very “Catholic” ideas…which is strong evidence that the Holy Spirit has indeed ensured that Sacred Tradition has been faithfully passed down.

Sola fide means “faith alone” in Latin. It is the idea that salvation comes from faith alone, and that works have no role in salvation. The Catholic Church agrees with sola gracia (grace alone) but rejects sola fide. Our salvation is possible only because of Christ’s grace, but we must accept this grace. To accept Christ through faith and repentance is a work, in the sense that it takes human effort. So if you believe that we must accept Christ to be saved (and I’m sure you that you do) then you already acknowledge that there is something we must do to be saved. Christ has done all that is necessary for our salvation, but because of free will we must co-operate with God. True faith comes from grace, and true faith leads to good works. These good works are only possible because of grace, as they flow from our grace-empowered faith. These works thus become pleasing to God…and are the fruits of our salvation. By doing these works we are choosing to co-operate with God’s plan of salvation and receive the grace He freely offers us. It is not enough to say one time that ‘yes, Lord, I accept you and repent of my sins’ and then do nothing about it. We must ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling’ (Phil. 2:12) for ‘every tree that does not bear good fruit shall be cut down and thrown into the fire’ (Matt. 7:19). I invite you to read the book of James. What does he say about faith without works? Does he not say that “justification is not by faith alone”? Is there any reason to believe that this is a different sort of justification than the sort St. Paul spoke of?

Let me ask you something…what is the pillar and foundation of truth that Christ has left us? Is it the Bible? Well the Bible is an inspired, living, wonderful, book of Truth—the Word of God—but to ensure that Christ’s teachings are faithfully passed down to all generations, Christ has left us His Church…which St. Paul calls the “Pillar and Foundation of Truth” (1 Tim 3:15). The bishops, in union with the pope, are guided into all truth as Christ promised the apostles ( Jn 16:13).

God bless,
Tyler


#10

Concerning ‘sola scriptura’, let’s consider several verses (these verses were all referenced on Catholic Answers—catholic.com):

“I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:2).
Oral teachings are very important…can you demonstrate that this has changed after the end of apostolic era?

“Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us” (2 Tim. 1:13-14).

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” (2 Thess. 2:15, emphasis added)
Both oral and written teachings are important, the NT gives no indication that Christianity is a religion of the book (alone).

“You, then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:1-2).
If after the apostolic era, the Bible alone would suffice, why did Paul believe that the continuation of sound doctrine required special teachers entrusted with the deposit of faith?

“First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21).

“‘Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink, but I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete” (2 John 12).
The written word was not enough, John wanted to teach them more orally.

“…and came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets, that he should be called a Nazarene.” (Matt. 2:23, ASV).
It’s interesting that this prophecy can not be found in Scripture…Matthew must have been relying upon the oral teachings of the prophets that was passed down. Also on this note…obviously the prophets spoke for God, but do you think that all the words of every prophet God sent is recorded in the OT? Were the words that are not recorded unauthoritative?

“…but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15, ASV).
The Church, not the Bible alone, the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth…but how can it remain so if the church can not agree what truth is (on many issues)? Look how splintered Christendom becomes when apostolic succession is rejected. (I.e. Protestantism).

The Council of Jerusalem shows an authoritative church (in Acts 15) making a decision relevant to that time binding on all the faithful…can you demonstrate that this authority vanished with the death of the apostles? If you assume that Christianity’s sole authority became the Bible after the apostles died, how can you know this for sure?

(Edwin: I don’t know for sure that this is your position…so sorry if I’m assuming).


#11

There are other reasons to reject the doctrine of sola scriptura, especially for the Old Covenant. I highly recommend that you listen to ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/resolve.asp?rafile=iq_496.ra, which is an audio file where Tim Staples, a former Protestant, discusses the doctrine of sola scriptura. He makes some generalizations about Protestants, so I apologize for that, but it makes a good case anyway.

Please take a look at these articles as well:
catholic.com/library/What_Your_Authority.asp
catholic.com/library/Scripture_and_Tradition.asp
catholic.com/library/Apostolic_Tradition.asp

The Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, tells us what traditions are apostolic in nature. I ask you again to listen to that audio file I linked to, and to look at a few of those articles. Also remember the verses I posted…Paul and Peter both knew that sound doctrine can not be maintained (completely) without Spirit-inspired guidance…

Here’s another verse to add to those above:
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. (Jn. 16:13, ASV).
I agree that the Spirit leads us all…but we do not all hear Him clearly, as Protestantism proves (so many varying doctrinal views)…it is the Church, the Pillar and Foundation of Truth, that is guided infallibly by the Spirit—this was true in the apostolic era, I again challenge you to demonstrate that this ceased to be after the apostles died. (Why, in the verses I used in the last post, did Paul see it necessary for certain men to be appointed that would ensure that sound doctrine was passed down? The Bible, by itself, is not enough to discern all sound doctrine. The Church Fathers also knew that apostolic succession was the true test of canonicity of a Christian community. Please, in addition to those referenced in the earlier post, see for some Biblical evidence for apostolic succession, or authority transferred through the laying on of hands:
scripturecatholic.com/apostolic_succession.html#apostolic-II and ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ262.HTM)

Consider also 2 Peter 1:15 (ASV)
"Yea, I will give diligence that at every time ye may be able after my decease to call these things to remembrance."
Again we see that Peter’s letters are not enough by themselves (though they are wonderful inspired writings)…if sound doctrine is to be passed down, Spirit-guided leadership with apostolic sucession is required.

The early Church knew that the apostles had appointed bishops to suceed them in their ministry. Ask yourself why your church does not have this apostolic line.


#12

[quote=edwinG] I of course am constantly being bombarded by my own imaginings and go through bouts of being attacked by satan and on one occasion I was fooled completely by an evil spirit for many months over a gift but I just trust in Christ and measure things against the bible. I feel very secure in my future knowing my path may be rocky.
[/quote]

It is good that you trust in the LORD. The Bible says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart…” but, it also says, “…and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Prov 3:5 KJV) And, you don’t have to lean on your own understanding of the Bible because the LORD said, "[size=2]And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. " (Jer 3:15 KJV) [/size]
[size=2][/size]
[size=2]Jesus did not leave us stranded here in the jungle of life with just a 2000-year-old map (the Bible) to try to interpret as best we can. One only has to look at the thousands of “I … measure things against the Bible” Christian denominations going off into completely contradictory doctrinal directions to see that the Bible is not sufficient of itself to lead Christians to the truth. That is why Jesus also gave us trustworthy human guides, i.e,. pastors. Who are these trustworthy pastors? They are the bishops of the Catholic Church, who received their ordination through the laying on of hands of those who were ordained bishops before them, all the way back to the Apostles. [/size]
[size=2][/size]
[size=2]It was Jesus’ gift to his Church “[size=2]that some should be … pastors and teachers”[/size] as St. Paul said in Eph 4:11-14. So, it is really a sin of pride to say, “I … measure things against [my own personal interpretation of] the Bible,” instead of trusting in the Lord and obeying and submitting to the bishops whom he has given to us to watch over our souls (see Heb 13:17). We would all be better off if we were “[size=2]with the bishops” (Philippians 1:1) [/size]instead of going off on our own and getting lost in the jungle.
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#13

HI TWF,

I thank your very much for your loving reply. In Christ let us seek the truth above all else. That is my hearts desire and every post and letter adds to my experience. The Holy Spirit can “reveal” a truth at any time and in any place, but it is true that if you are seeking the truth you have a better chance of finding it.

In a poor way I may be a little like Peter and I will use his experiences to answer your question to me about the infallibility of the church continuing after Jesus and after the apostles. However even in Jesus presence they floundered.

Just after Peter was edified by Christ , Christ said to him, Get behind me satan. Obviously satan had entered Peter to tempt and weaned Christ. Just a little further on Peter argued with Christ and disagreed with Him. Christ said to Peter. You will deny me three times. Was Peter aghast No way, he disagreed and said, No I wont. Then he cut of the man’s ear, not understanding the spiritual nature of the new world since John and then again he had to be admonished by Paul in public because he and his actions were making hypocrits of some of the leaders when they ate with the gentiles when the jews wern’t present but would’t eat with them when the jew were present.

We are all fallible. My bible tells me that satan can change himself into an angel of light. Only trusting in the Holy Spirit do we have any chance. We need to love and support one another and seek the truth above and beyond all else.
Christ be with you,
Walk in love.http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#14

Hi again TWF,

I am sorry if I have conveyed the wrong impression and if I have then I am guilty of arrogrance. I maintain and support the necessity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which includes teachers etc. How would anyone learn if no one went. But I feel that once individuals have a keen grasp on those first apostolic teachings then the Holy Spirit will take over because he is Christ , Jesus left us then sent the Holy Spirit, Jesus is our priest He is alive really really alive, and has consencrated Himself to meet our every need in spiritual growth. Now I have to acknowledge I am blessed and I have to be careful because we are all given varying amounts of faith and I shouldnt shove mine at anyone.But if every person keeps seeking answers from people they are depriving themselves of wonderful opportunities to grow in Christ. I hear so many people asking questions of your clergy and I feel it is sad. Let me give you an example. I live in Thailand and used to catch a van to work. It holds 14 passengers ( I think). At one point the van can either go over an overpass or go to the intersection, and a couple of bus stops, but the bus stop is a gamble on time because the lights are slow. The vans are private and earn their income by making round trips. For a while I needed to access the bus stop near the lights and so the overpass was unacceptable to me. So I used to ask the van driver before I got onto the van if he wanted to stop at the bus stop before the lights. Now I try very hard to walk with the Holy Spirit and such He always organises my seat, I dont speak any Thai and I am a bit shy so He always finds me a seat where I can just pass my money to the driver and smile and he pulls up at the next stop. I dont sit in the front seats because the Holy Spirit told me not to, so only 2 or 3 seats are suitable to me unless the van is nearly empty.

Now this morning, and mornings are always busy , my seat was not available and I had to sit in the back of the bus. Then a huge fat man came in and sat between me and the door. Oh no , Well when the van came close to where it would have to veer left to go via the intersection the van driver caught my eye in the rearview mirror and I shook my head. He just sailed straight over the overpass and I went to the next major stop and caught another bus back. Now why was it wrong for me to ask the bus driver to stop at a legitimate bus stop that other people ask him to. And can any clergy answer this for me. Maybe some can but you see it is an individual thing and only the Holy Spirit can give me MY ANSWER. The reason it is wrong for me to ask the driver to stop is because when I am in the van and someone else asks the driver to stop I am impatient and wish the van had gone straight ahead." DO UNTO OTHERS" Additionally even if the driver approves the passengers might not.
Walk in the Spirit , practise walking in the Spirit.
Chirst be with you,
Walk in love
edwinG


#15

Edwin: In your second response, I think you may have been responding to Todd Easton, because I didn’t mention anything about pride, that was in his post.

I’m sorry, I was not clear. You are misunderstanding the concept of infalibility. No one in the Church is impeccable. Popes can and do make mistakes. Popes can and do sin. (Including Peter). Popes can even be downright crooked. Infallibility has nothing to do with this. As well, popes are not inspired. They don’t know exactly what to say at any given time. The charisma (spiritual gift) of infallibility is a special gift Christ has given to the Church to ensure that the deposit of Faith is faithfully handed down. It means that when the Pope speaks ex cathedra, that is, in his official capacity as Supreme Pastor of the Church, when speaking on matters of faith and morals, as binding on the Universal Church, the Holy Spirit will not allow him to proclaim heresy. It does NOT mean he can not sin. It does NOT mean that he can’t make mistakes. It does NOT mean that he has all the answers. Only when proclaiming official dogma will the Spirit protect him from error, to safegaurd the Church. The Church will never fall, because we will always be grounded on the Truth. 2000 years later, despite human sinfulness, and even crooked popes, the Church is still going, and has not compromised one official teaching, because the Spirit will simply not allow it.

*And can any clergy answer this for me. Maybe some can but you see it is an individual thing and only the Holy Spirit can give me MY ANSWER. *
You’re completely right. In this matter, it is a matter of conscience. We seek the advice of clergy because they are often wise, and their job as pastors is to guide us, and to give us advice. There are many matters, as the Church teaches, that we must discern for ourselves though. Clergy can give us advice in personal matters, but it is only advice. Only the official doctrines of the Church are infallible and immutable. The Spirit will not allow His Church to fall. If the Church is the Foundation and Pillar of Truth, then how can it be led astray into heresy? Obviously Protestant churches disagree on many issues…how is that a Pillar and Foundation of Truth?

In the New Testament, like I said before, did all the people discern the full truth by themselves? No! They were devoted to the teachings of the apostles. A council was called to settle a major dispute, and letters were sent other times. The Apostles called the shots in matters of faith and morals. If you look at history, since the very beginning, Christians have believed that the Apostles handed down this ministry to the bishops. “…He shall guide you into all Truth.”

God bless you.


#16

Edwin, did you wish to discuss this further?


#17

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