Catholic ideas about being in the state of grace?

just a quick question from a non-catholic christian. If im not mistaken, we read the same bible (at least as far as the old and new testaments). how can you lose grace if the bible specifically says “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” -romans 11:5-6.

Please dont take this the wrong way, im just wondering about a different viewpoint on this (highly important issue).

also, where does it say that taking communion without recieving specific forgiveness for a sin is also a sin? what is the difference in a regular sin and a mortal sin? does the bible not say that all sins are equal before the eyes of god?

oops, turned into more than one question didnt it? thanks for the help guys

Theologians equate or connect grace with both love and the Holy Spirit. And scripture tells us that a believer can be like rocky soil where faith sprouts then later withers and dies, or a branch grafted in and later cut off by not remaining in Christ. We’re continuously admonished to be vigilant, keep oil in our lamps, continue to live in the Spirit, invest our talents, persevere, strive, persist in doing good, be unashamed of the gospel, be holy, be perfect, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc, generally with the loss of the kingdom at stake. We must respond to and cooperate with grace; IOW our wills are involved. We can’t be saved without grace, but we can resist or reject it at any step along the way.

The church teaches that receiving Communion is a sin if we’ve committed a mortal sin (see below). The reason is that communion is the sacramental act of man’s restored relationship with God. Partaking of God, being in communion with Him is essential if we’re to have life at all-and have “life abundantly”. Serious sin is already a turning away from God, a break with communion with Him. Repentance is necessary according to scripture after such sin so the church also has the sacrament of reconciliation-where this relationship may be restored and communion can take place again. With the sacraments we don’t merely pay lip device to the need for these acts; God’s provided a “place to go”, so to speak, to ensure we can perform them as needed.

1John 15:16-17 speaks of sin that leads to death, i.e. mortal sin. Mortal sin is said to be sin which is so grave in nature, done with full knowledge and deliberate consent, that it destroys love in us. It constitutes a turning away from God again.


Hi matt,
The story of Adam and Eve being kicked out of the garden of Eden by their disobedience to God’s commandment is a story of the first two human beings losing sanctifying grace and the intimate friendship they had with God in the garden .
Secondly, although we receive sanctifying grace in baptism and thus become the adoptive sons and daughters of God, if after this we murder, steal, commit fornication and adultery, hate our neighbor, curse God and worship idols, in a word, break all His commandments, can we still be considered the friends of God?

1 Cor 11:27 Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.

Matt, the simple answer to your question on Romans 11:6 is that you have to make some finer distinctions than you are accustomed to. Works are not in any way the ground of our justification, but are works entirely independent of our justification? Not at all, as I will attempt to show.

God’s election is without any merit on our part. Therefore, works are not a prior cause to the grace of justification. Therefore, St. Paul says,

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

This is what he is saying: Salvation is by grace, a free gift, totally unmerited on our part. We are saved through faith, which is also an unmerited gift of God and not given because of our works. Furthermore, we have no reason for boasting in our works because all our good works are dependent on God’s grace.

However, good works are necessary for salvation, not as if Christ’s merits were lacking in anything, but because it is necessary to be conformed to his image. St. Paul says, also in Romans,

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath. (Romans 2:4-8)

You see that St. Paul says that we will be judged according to our works, and this not a cherry on top as some suppose, but in reference to the final judgment. Heaven is for those who patiently continue in well doing. Hell is for those who do evil.

Mortal sin is also an important concept to understand because some mistakenly believe that once we receive the grace of justification, our salvation is assured apart from anything we do. St. Paul assures us that this false in Hebrews.

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:22-31)

I would encourage you to read through all the letters of St. Paul (yes, that includes Hebrews) and look hard for places which seem to affirm or deny that salvation can be lost. Then think critically and decide which has the stronger case.

Also, we do read different Bibles. The Protestants almost universally discarded several books from the Old Testament canon of the Christians to conform to the canon of the Jews:

*]Wisdom of Solomon
*]Wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)
*]1 & 2 Maccabees[/LIST]

They also removed portions of Daniel and Esther which are present in the Greek versions but absent in the Jewish versions. Our New Testament canons are the same, although it is worth mentioning that Luther disputed the inspiration of certain books, although his more reasonable friends persuaded him not to reject their canonicity. To this day, many Lutherans teach that these books, if canonical, are to be viewed with a lesser authority than the rest of the New Testament.

2 Peter 2:20-21

20 For if they, having escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of [our] Lord and savior Jesus Christ, again become entangled and overcome by them, their last condition is worse than their first.21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment handed down* to them.

1 John 5:16-17

16 If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.

Both of these passages are written to and about BELIEVERS who have received grace. To suppose that we are somehow unable to fall from the state of grace when we are commit a sin “which is deadly” is unbiblical. Furthermore, we see that St. Paul also believes that we must finish the race to the end. He knew that even though he preached the gospel, even HE could be disqualified.

1 Cor 9:26-27
Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. 27 No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

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