Boasting about being saved


I think the misunderstanding is due to our different backgrounds in how we were taught in our belief respectively. The way you said it, it is quite reasonable because you are boasting about Jesus.

From the Catholics perspective, the line that I highlighted would be seemed presumptuous, and anyone who say that would look like he/she is boasting.

We believe in humility and faith is not something that we can claim that we have as a certainty. We begin with small faith and any addition to that would be given by God as he pleases. It is not for us to tell God.

As for being saved, as in the other thread, we also have different understanding of it. We do not have thing like ‘saving faith’, for example.

We cannot claim of being saved as it is not for us to say or give but the prerogative of God. We cannot decide for God.

Besides, as human we are weak and would not measure up to God’s glory. We sin and sometimes sin again. Even our contrition may not be perfect. We can strive only for perfect contrition but we do still have to acknowledge our weaknesses.

So to say that you are saved without knowing it, it seems like a brag. Catholics would frown on any form of presumptuousness.

I think that explains it in some ways.


Our faith is a journey. Like St. Paul says, with fear and trembling. We will stumble and fall along the journey and it is for us to rise again. Thus Paul was saying it is like race. We have to keep on running until the finishing line, which is until we die, not before.


I just wanted to add to what you said here. I understand the point you are trying to make. But the way it is worded makes it sound like from the Catholic perspective we make the first move.

From my understanding God makes the first move and offers us actual grace. This is the free gift of God that brings us to action. Now this grace is not resistible. So our “small faith” is dependent on whether or not we resist this initial free gift of grace, however it is God’s grace, not us, that is the primary cause of this “small faith”.

Sorry to interrupt just wanted to point that out.

God Bless


Although I wouldn’t use the term boasting, the way you state this, it is being a bit presumptuous. You state “am saved” and “saved me”.

These are past tense verbs and can be easily defined the way DarkLight said …

Now I am aware as Itwin says…

Yes this is true. However (in my opinion), why wouldn’t you want to clarify this from the beginning? Sure I understand you shouldn’t have to defend yourself just because some other small group wants to proclaim OSAS. However, you are on a Catholic website, if you are here to defend what you believe then tell us what you believe. We shouldn’t have to ask every time we get into a conversation with a non-Catholic. And if the non-Catholic doesn’t want to come across as being OSAS that should make that evident in their terminology.

Just my 2 cents.

God Bless


No problem and thanks for the clarification. Please feel free to do so,

God bless.


We are taught the same.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Rejoicing of our hope of salvation, we should do. Boasting that we know we are saved smacks of presumption that we are perfect in the eyes of God.

Here is why I don’t think it is Pharisaical. The Pharisees bragged about how great they were, about how the kept all the laws, and about how they are glad they weren’t sinners.

We evangelicals brag on Jesus.

Well, no. I’ve read about and heard the conversations when Catholics aren’t around.

Here’s one I remember very clearly from a homeschooling association meeting. My wife and I thought it was about policy and information for newbies. The fellow got up to the podium and began something like this:

“Hello everyone, I just want to tell everyone that I am saved. I am saved! I was a Catholic and then I saw the light. I am no longer trapped in Satan’s den…”

He went on and on like that. I also have participated in several non-Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical forums where the descriptions of Catholics are even worse and they seem to feel that they are pristine, clean, saved by faith alone.

So, yeah. It comes off as Pharisaical.



cont’d with @lanman87

We realize that we are sinners and that any goodness we have in and of ourselves is filthy rags before God. So when I tell people, “I have faith in Christ and am saved” it is not about what I have done, it is about what Christ has done. It is about giving glory to God. I didn’t save myself, Christ saved me. Any testimony and witness about Christ should have the purpose of helping others see the grace and glory of Christ.

You guys seem to interpret that “filthy rags” verse as though God sees our good works and deems them “filthy rags”.

That’s not true. That verse says that compared to God’s glory, everything else is a filthy rag. Whether it be a cloud, a star, a human being, a good work, whatever. Compared to God it is a filthy rag.

But God doesn’t look upon our good works as filthy rags. Scripture says:

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Now to be fair, being Pharisaical is always a possibility if I take the focus off Christ and put it on myself. But telling others “I’m saved” doesn’t necessarily mean I’m being “a Pharisee”.

Perhaps you aren’t. But here’s what the Catholic Church Teaches with respect to this. In fact, it is one of the anathematized items of Trent.

Canon 16.
If anyone says that he will for certain, with an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance even to the end, unless he shall have learned this by a special revelation, let him be anathema.

It’s called the sin of “presumption”.

The Catechism speaks of sins against hope:

  • Hope

2090 When God reveals Himself and calls him, man cannot fully respond to the divine love by his own powers. He must hope that God will give him the capacity to love Him in return and to act in conformity with the commandments of charity. Hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God’s love and of incurring punishment.

2091 The first commandment is also concerned with sins against hope, namely, despair and presumption:…

2092 There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit).


I understand your point, but a lot of people don’t go walking around thinking “How can I explain my theology to the convenience of Catholics.” I mean, they don’t mean to be inconvenient, but how are we supposed to know what will and will not confuse Catholics?

An additional thought I have about this from my own experience. Groups can use the same terminology but mean different things by it. I have commented on threads where I was quite clear about my beliefs (sometimes it gets to the point where you have to indicate in every post “I believe you can lose/forfeit you salvation” lol) and Catholics still assumed I was OSAS. Sometimes, no matter how precise you are, people see what they want or expect to see.

But, I think its good practice on this site if you are an evangelical to let people know what position you have on eternal security. Just to avoid confusion. So, I agree with you there.

Debating with protestants who just won't listen

Jesus commanded his followers to love as he loved and also said “if you love me you will do what I command.”

To say that any love or goodness we have are filthy rags belies the teaching of Jesus. By saying any love we have in ourselves are filthy rags, you are taking a quote meant to apply to a specific context and group in Scripture to apply to everyone in order to adopt a false humility which relives you of the duty to obey Jesus’ command to love as he loved.


Are you saved sounds like flair. There is so much more than just being saved. Saved is good. The relationship with God and others counts, too. Pushy Savemanship is not very relationship-cultivating.


This is right on man! awesome stuff.


Well said. We’re all human and we speak imperfectly. We each have our idiosyncracies. But, if we talk to and not past each other, we can come to some understanding, by the grace of God.


I’ve been away from the interwebs for a few days. I’m going to try and answer some of the feedback in this thread:

We don’t stand in front of a crowd of folks or even have one on one conversations where we tell someone they are lost. Instead, we tell them what God has done for us. We may ask them questions, not so we proclaim how horrible they are or are not, but so they will realized that they (and we all) are sinners. The goal is to get them to examine themselves and their spiritual state. Not pronounce judgement.

To be honest, I’ve gone back and forth about what I believe about OSAS. I can argue the position from either perspective. However, for this particular conversation it doesn’t really matter. Most of my interaction in church in my life has been Southern Baptist or United Methodist. Southern Baptist believe in OSAS and United Methodist don’t. However, I’ve been in both where people have stood up and said how thankful they are that Christ saved them and heard testimony from folks that were deep into a sinful lifestyle and tell the congregation how they came to faith in Christ and how they have overcome the sinful life they were living due to their faith.

No, we can’t decide for God. However, we can rest on the promises of God in His word. His word says “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;”. We know we are of the truth if we believe in Christ and that belief in our heart comes forward in our actions.
And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. 1 John 3:23-24

If I love God and seek to be obedient that I can know that He abides in me and I in Him. I can know this because God says I can know it and I trust in God and His word. It is not me that is testifying but the Spirit who lives in me.

We are not perfect in the eyes of God due to our own perfection and works of righteousness. We are perfect in the eyes of God due to Christ redemption and His gift of righteousness.

I’m sorry you’ve had a bad experience.

continued below



Actually the “filthy rags” verse is all about our sinfulness. Here is is translated as polluted garments.

Isaiah 64: 5-7 ESV

You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,
those who remember you in your ways.
Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;
in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?
We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

That is our state before we come to Christ and for all of those who never come to Christ. All the righteous acts we do if we do not “call upon His name” are as filthy rags.

But for those of us who are in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit then our righteous acts bring Glory to God and draw us closer to Him and He gives us blessing and reward as we obey Him in faith and love.


With that, I agree. But it’s not about comparing our good works of righteousness to filthy rags in the eyes of God. That idea contradicts the Word of God.

Here is is translated as polluted garments.

Isaiah 64: 5-7 ESV

You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,
those who remember you in your ways.
Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;
in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?
We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

But you see the difference between what you normally say and that statement. Here you recognize that the works done by the faithful are not considered polluted rags. Only those done by the wicked are considered so.

That is our state before we come to Christ and for all of those who never come to Christ. All the righteous acts we do if we do not “call upon His name” are as filthy rags.

The key words there, if we DO NOT call upon His name.

Amen. I just wanted to clarify that idea. The righteous acts of the faithful are not cast aside. God imbues merit in them because, in reality, they are His works through His chosen instruments.

Glad we agree. Thanks!


Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I have no problem with what you said here and agree with you whole-heartedly.

At that moment I can say I am being saved. A good example for us Catholics is during our Baptism or after going for the Sacrament of Confession.

But that is now. We cannot speak for the future.

The Holy Spirit empowers us and keep us strong in the Lord, but anything can happen later. We know about ourselves; and honestly to say now that we will always be like that is presumptious, proud and arrogant, which is different from not believing that God’s grace does not save us.

It is saying that we can change, liable to change. We see how we have committed sins. We have gone to many Confessions.

It is said that Saint Pope John Paul II, then a Pope, would go for Confession at least once a week. Sometimes we wonder, how could such a holy man sinned? Then we realize that God’s standard is far and high above us that we must be on our toes everytime. As humans we would inevitably fall to sin, some more often, some less so.

In a crunch, being saved is when we are actually being saved, that is when we are called to God’s Kingdom in heaven.

God bless.


But saying you are saved is pronouncing judgement on yourselves, no?


I believe that when Jesus said if we believe in Him and follow Him then we are saved that He meant it. My judgement I have that I’m saved isn’t based on my feelings or understanding. It is one thing to say I’ve saved myself. It is another to say the Christ saved me. I believe Christ has saved me.


One heck of a paraphrase, do you mind if I ask where Jesus says this?

But, you are saying you have followed Him and believe in Him. You are making that judgement. Further, you are declaring you will continue to do so all your life.
"To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life."
We must persist. It’s not a one and done thing. No get saved quick scheme.


Sanctification and satisfaction what should always point to Calvary is a great topic and should be helpful. In general, for Catholics the ordinary means are the path that should be identified first. So, I claim to be saved because my parents were willing to raise me in the faith and I was baptized. God certainly acting first as I was an infant receiving this efficacious grace.
Am I entitled to boast of this? I would say, pun intended, absolutely. As long as I repent of my sins and with the unearned grace of absolution obtained in the sacrament of Reconciliation. If I go and make a sincere confession. Really, the ordinary means is essentially that simple.
What this means in theological terms is extraordinarily mysterious. I just understand Jesus founded a church to help us find the way He taught.

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