Biblical Support for Sacraments being a vehicle of grace


#243

Yes, but to do all of those things without faith in Christ is a futile attempt to save yourself because you are trusting in yourself and what you do to justify yourself instead of your faith and trust in Christ and what He has done for you.


#244

I must be misunderstanding your response. It seems you are saying the fathers point of view is the son is automatically righteous for the plain and simple reason he is in the “position” of being the father’s son?

How did the son end up with the righteous position?

Didn’t he first need to have “saving faith” before he could be born again and be given that position?

Didn’t you just define saving faith as “believes the Gospel message and actively responds to Gospel in trust and obedience.”

In my example, the son got the Gospel message (the list) and actively responded (by completing X) but he didn’t trust the father (by thinking the father asked for more than was needed) and was disobedient by not completing steps 2,4,5 & 6.

If our trust and obedience has nothing to do with our righteousness, yet is need for saving faith, then our saving faith also has nothing to do with our righteousness. Which in turn would mean our emotional and intellectual saving faith is not necessary to be born again.

Wouldn’t it?


#245

A saving faith?

For instance, saying I have faith without repentance isn’t really faith. Faith that doesn’t cause a change in our actions and attitudes isn’t the kind of faith that saves because it isn’t really faith. If a person truly has faith then they will have works of love. That is the teaching of most evangelical churches and it is the teaching of historic Protestant Theologians like Jonathan Edwards and John Bunyan.

Well, since that is the Catholic Teaching, as well, what do you see as the misunderstanding? Why do Evangelicals claim that the Catholic Church has got it wrong?


#246

Where is saving faith in the Bible?


#247

So, it’s the order of things.

The real difference is that Faith Alone teaches that those works of love that we do don’t add to or contribute to our salvation. We are saved because of our faith and do works of love as a result of our faith.

I get it.

So, Evangelical doctrine says that a man is first changed and turns to Christ in faith and then produces works of love.

In other words, our work of love flow from who are (A new creation in Christ) instead of what we are trying to get (Final Justification and less time in purgatory and so forth)

So, first we are transformed. And our works flow from the transformation.

Whereas, you describe the Catholic position as trying to get something. I feel like that is the biggest misconception that Evangelicals always “sink to”. You’ll pardon if it is offensive to me.

Whereas, the Catholic Church Teaches love of God and union with Him as the ultimate goal. And our works flow out of that love.

CCC#1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: “He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”

So, I’m curious.

You say that you are changed first. And then seek God in faith.

The Catholic Church says that we are called first, and if we accept this call, then we change (convert) and then seek God in faith. (CCC#2018)

What do you see as the difference in those two positions? I see a lack of a free will in the Evangelical position. In other words, monergism vs synergism.


#248

It is a saving faith that makes someone an adopted son of God. That faith changes our position before God and changes our actions and attitudes to reflect those of our father. Our obedience is a result of faith not an addition to it.

The son ended up righteous not because of his own perfect obedience but because of the perfect righteousness of Christ given to the son when he came to faith.


#249

Please forgive me if I came across as offensive. To understand why we think this you would need to look at how we receive grace from our perspective. My first thought when I heard the term “Sacraments are vehicles of grace” is why are you having to do something to get something that God has already given and keeps giving because of our faith/trust in Christ. From my perspective, all grace comes to me because I have faith in Christ and everything “religious” I do is a result of that grace I receive through faith.

I hope you can see that it is easy to believe that evangelicals believe that they receive grace and salvation because of who we are (positional-declared righteous as adopted Children of God) and Catholics believe that they receive grace and salvation by what they do (faith+sacraments and works).


#250

Good answer. Processing. I’ll see if I can come up with a good response, tomorrow. Thanks.


#251

Well yeah! Thats why we proclaim faith and works justify a person. Good works, devotions, Sacraments, bible studies, ministries, etc amounts to nothing without faith. But faith without these things amounts to faith without charity. And you’re back to nothing.

The topic is grace in the sacraments. And you want to open the “faith” can of worms! We do not deny faith is necessary! But faith seeks out the sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist). And it does so for grace.


#252

@lanman87, I Had a bit more time than I thought.

No problem. I’ll get over it.

To understand why we think this you would need to look at how we receive grace from our perspective. My first thought when I heard the term “Sacraments are vehicles of grace” is why are you having to do something to get something

Basically, because that’s what the Word of God instructs us to do. Heb 13:17; 2 Cor 5:20

that God has already given and keeps giving because of our faith/trust in Christ.

When we express our faith in Him, by submitting to the Sacraments, wherein, He works and completes that which He started in us.

Faith and trust are expressed and acted upon. We express our faith and trust in Christ when we submit to His Sacraments.

From my perspective, all grace comes to me because I have faith in Christ and everything “religious” I do is a result of that grace I receive through faith.

That’s my perspective, as well. Except that Christ said I will receive His grace through His Sacraments. (Mark 16:16; all His signs and healings “i.e. let it be done according to your faith).

I hope you can see that it is easy to believe that evangelicals believe that they receive grace and salvation because of who we are (positional-declared righteous as adopted Children of God)

That’s actually very close to what we believe. Except that we don’t boast about it . We see this boasting attitude as Pharisaical. It’s like boasting of your great faith and declaring yourself saved because you have pronounced it so. (Luke 18:9).

cont’d


Boasting about being saved
Boasting about being saved
#253

cont’d with @lanman87

However, we believe that happens, us becoming children of God, through the Sacrament of Baptism. Wherein, we declare our faith in Christ. And He seeing our faith, declares us righteous (forensic justification) and pours on us His grace, washing our souls of sin and regenerating us, children of God (actual justification).

and Catholics believe that they receive grace and salvation by what they do (faith+sacraments and works).

Let’s look to Scripture.

Here, St. Paul tells the saved believers of Corinth, that if they do these wicked things, they will not “inherit the Kingdom of God.”

1 Corinthians 6:8-10King James Version (KJV)
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Let’s see, here St. Paul tells the saved people of Galatia, that in order to be saved, they must reap what they sow:

Galatians 6:6-8King James Version (KJV)
6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

There are many verses like this. Here’s one from Jesus, Himself:

Matthew 19:17
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

So, Scripture is clear that grace and salvation are received in accordance with what we do.

I hope you can see that it is easy to believe that evangelicals believe that they receive grace and salvation because of who we are (positional-declared righteous as adopted Children of God)

I know I’m repeating this here, but it’s for a reason. You say, “declared righteous”. In other words, you don’t really consider yourselves “made righteous”, do you? This is why I hear say that Evangelicals only believe they are forensically righteous. Covered over but not truly transformed.

Am I correct, or is there something I’m misunderstanding?


#254

Convert would not be my word. You cannot convert the converted. But to unlock scripture to God’s way of doing things is a worthy task.


#255

And you say that God’s way means He does NOT provide grace through the sacraments?

Note: whether we honor that grace or not is beside the point.


#256

please define sacraments.


#257

I’m sorry you totally lost me here. What did I misunderstand? I’m not sure why you think I’m saying in addition to? I thought you said…saving faith included trust and obedience? Now you are saying obedience is a result of saving faith? Since the son didn’t trust the father either I’m guessing you’re going to pull that out as well. Leaving saving faith equals faith. Which brings us back to where this all started, what’s the difference between faith and saving faith?

Did you mean faith or saving faith here? Because I would define faith to be what I said the young girl had that kept her going to church and not when she had the emotional “saving faith” that made her want to be rebaptized.


#258

I think maybe you mean unlocking the minds of Catholics so that they can grasp a Reformed perspective/interpretation of the Scriptures? I am sure you believe your Reformed point of view is “God’s way”.

We are equally pursuaded that what we have received from the Apostles is “God’s Way”. However, I do agree with you, unlocking the Scriptures to better understand and live in the Kingdom is a very worthy task.:+1:


#259

I didn’t know that this was the reason Catholicism considered Confirmation a sacrament.

Thanks


#260

“The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.”

Without the Sacraments a church would be powerless. With seven, they are perfected.

Maybe Samson, and his seven locks of hair is a sign.

Judges 16
When Delilah realized that he had told her all that was in his heart, she summoned the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up this time, for he has told me all that is in his heart.” So the lords of the Philistines came to her and brought the money with them. She put him to sleep on her lap, and called for a man who shaved off the seven locks of his hair. He immediately became helpless, for his strength had left him. When she said “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” he woke from his sleep and thought, “I will go out as I have done time and again and shake myself free.” He did not realize that the Lord had left him.


#261

Well, i didnt mean to imply that. But that it can be seen as a type of Confirmation which the Apostles received.

I actually never thought of that ceremony as confirmation, because it is officially defined as being an institution for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. But the action is also a Confirmation by the Spirit through the Son, to bestow a grace of power in order to excercise Reconciliation.


#262

I’ve read all of your responses guanophore, I will not rebuttal your rebuttal, not because I can’t, but because you don’t actually debate the argument theologically, or textually, you ride on the coattails of all that it means to be Catholic. For you that is enough. Okay…


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