Catholic way of salvation vs Protestant way

What is the catholic way salvation, as a protestant christian i repented of sin and put my faith into jesus and confessing when i sin. what is the catholic way, once saved always saved?

What is the catholic way salvation, as a protestant christian i repented of sin and put my faith into jesus and confessing when i sin. what is the catholic way, once saved always saved?

If you repent once of your sins then what happens when you sin again? Does repenting of your sins at a single point in time forgive any sins that you have not yet committed and therefore are not repenting?

Catholics believe that in order to achieve Salvation you must die in a state of grace, free from unrepented mortal sin. Membership of the catholic Church is not enough to ensure Salvation, a person needs to endeavour to live as Christ taught us to, and repent sins along the way.

This is being addressed in another thread, here: Have a read, as it is quite informative.

OSAS is man-made, and violates the virtue of hope.

Technically speaking, Catholics agree that you can’t lose salvation. It’s just that we don’t say someone’s been saved until they’re in Heaven*. Where we differ is whether you can do anything to prevent that here on earth. From a Catholic perspective (and Orthodox, and some Protestants, I think), if you sin too badly** you can lose that metaphorical ticket into Heaven. Of course, though, God is infinitely forgiving, and any sin can be forgiven while still on earth. As I put it, the only sin that can’t be forgiven is the only sin you won’t let be forgiven.

Admittedly, I’ve even heard Protestants expressing a similar sentiment. The difference, though, is that we specifically have lexical distinctions there, while they would just dance circles with their words. Compare “He’s no longer justified***” to “He was never really saved”.

*There’s also Purgatory, but I chose not to mention it for clarity and brevity. Contrary to what a lot of non-Catholics seem to think, it’s not actually a third location in the afterlife. I’m sure most people would agree we’re in a sinful, fallen state here on earth. And I’m sure most people would agree that nothing sinful can be in Heaven. Purgatory’s that final cleansing, where we become completely sinless and worthy to enter Heaven.

**Mortal v venial sins. 1 John 5:16-17 “16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.” Mortal sin is the sin that leads to death; venial sin is the sin that does not lead to death.

***Yeah… I’m still iffy about the theology and the terminology. If someone could check me.

Catholic way of salvation: Jesus of Nazareth.

Believing in him, being baptized into him and in full communion with his Church, following him, remaining living in him …etc

(he gave us a great deal that is part of our life as Christians …such as of great importance he himself in the Eucharist as he feeds us…and the Sacrament of Confession where he restores us to the life of grace if we should fall etc etc)

In him is true life.

The difference is that between imputed and infused righteousness. According to Protestant doctrine, we are declared righteous by grace through faith alone. With faith, Christ is imputed over our sins and disfunction. The Catholic doctrine teaches that we are made righteous by grace through faith and so acknowledges a transformative process of cooperating with this grace so the divine life can be perfected. That is, Christ is infused in us and, by his grace, makes us righteous with our cooperation so that the divine life can grow in us and become perfected.

Check out this video by Father Robert Barron that I think summarizes the differences quite well:

If you want a more complete understanding, I would just read the council of Trent.

I don’t think protestant declared they are righteous through faith. I think we think the same. We try to strive to be righteous but we all fell to temptation to sin.

This won’t be a popular answer on this forum, trust me. I will be called a “Heretic” among other things and possibly even banned from further posting.

Jesus was very concerned about legalism: He condemned the Pharisees and all who taught strict laws that no man (Human) could ever follow (because who could know them all, as in: have I memorized the Catechism???) He said He was “the way, the truth and the life” and that all who believed in Him and lived their lives according to his TWO COMMANDMENTS (replacing the Old Testament so-called commandments that were impossible to keep):

Matthew 22:37-40:

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’* 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”**

Here you see it. And it is far from simple, it is enormously complex. Loving God with “all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” is something most people don’t even vaguely consider, yet alone ATTEMPT, yet alone LIVE BY. The second: there is enormous judgment one against the other, it is ubiquitous in Human community of any sort; “Love your neighbor as yourself”…again, extremely difficult. DO YOU LOVE YOURSELF? Not from pride, not from Human ego, not from some false self worth based upon the material world, but you, yourself, your soul, what’s in your heart, what’s in your mind? Very very hard to do.

I do not believe or accept that anyone who acknowledges God, maintains a communication with God (the true God, not a make believe one that tells us to fly into buildings), and strives to follow the Lord Jesus is condemned in any way. There are huge gaping flaws in Roman Catholicism, things that contradict other teachings. The “truth” appears to be that WE DO NOT, AND PERHAPS CANNOT, know the “truth” because God’s ways are not our ways. There’s an old joke (and you can use any Christian philosophy or dogmatic teaching): St. Peter is showing a soul around heaven. He comes to one door where he shushes the questions of the soul who he is guiding: “This is where the (name your denomination) are, they think they’re the only ones here.”

Enough said. Go ahead, Ban me. Wake up. Y’all don’t really think “we” have all the “answers”, do you?*

Not exactly, Carter12. We do both strive to be righteous and we do both sin. But our concept of salvation is different.

Catholics believe that Jesus redeemed them on the cross, but that they will receive salvation only if they die faithful and in a state of sanctified grace. We believe that Jesus will judge our faith when we meet Him. That judgment will be based on whether we truly loved God which is demonstrated by the good works we have done during our lives.

Many Protestant denominations believe that when Christ died on the cross they received salvation. This is sometimes known as “Once Saved, Always Saved” (OSAS). They need only to be baptized and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. They do not believe that good works on earth are required.

As we can see, there is no “protestant” position, as they are highly fragmented and disagree with each other. There may potentially be a consensus, but certainly nothing approaching universal agreement. Seeing this, I can only wonder at Jesus’ words “I will not leave you orphans.”

No the Catholic way is not OSAS…We believe it is possible for one to lose ( or toss away) salvation.

That said…ours is pretty much the same as yours - believe, repent, be baptized, have faith…and live a Christian life - which of course involves many actions (works).
Where we differ will be in some of the WAYS of our faith - what we believe and how we put these things into practice…and some of these things can be quite significant…like the real presence…and the unity and authority of the visible Church.

Just some quick thoughts.


I get tired of this Catholic vs Protestant talk because in the end especially when discussing established protestant denominations, it implies who is right and who is wrong. It is time to stop pointing this finger.

In this context if you look at the protestant view in faith alone, it’s implication is similar to the Catholic viewbecause although it requires faith, it also takes work because without doing working or searching or questioning etc. Although some don’t see it, it is there.

MrPizzaDude #1
once saved always saved?

As Jesus the Christ founded His Church on St Peter there is ONLY ONE WAY – His Way through His Church. Thus, just as without Christ there is no salvation, so without the Church there is no salvation. *Catechism of the Catholic Church *# 846 - # 848]. The Catholic Church, regardless of whether or not a person knows of its divine origin and founding, is the body through which ALL salvation comes to anyone whom God deems worthy to receive it.

So private interpretation is a denial of Christ who wrote nothing and used quotes from the OT, as He established His Church and explicitly made** four promises to Peter alone**:
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18o
I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven.” ( Mt 16:19)
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) [Later, also to the Twelve].

**Sole authority: **
“Strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:17).

And the promises were fulfilled: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:15-18). So, “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in My name, He will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” (John 14:26) “But when He comes, the Spirit of truth, He will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that He will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-15).

Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours." (2 Thess 2:15).

“Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, with faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.” (2 Tim 1:13-14). Again St Paul writes: “And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.” (2 Tim 2:2).

In Colossians 2: 4-23, St Paul calls on his flock to follow Christ “as you were taught” and warns against merely "human precepts and teachings."
1 Cor 1:10: I urge you brothers, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.

**We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1Jn 4:6).

“That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive.” (Eph 4:14). Further, “For there will come a time when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but having itching ears, will heap up to themselves teachers according to their lusts. And they will turn away their hearing from the truth and turn aside rather to fables.” (2 Tim 4:3).**

Povero #4
There are huge gaping flaws in Roman Catholicism, things that contradict other teachings. The “truth” appears to be that WE DO NOT, AND PERHAPS CANNOT, know the “truth” because God’s ways are not our ways.

As all can now see, such foolishness knows neither the Truths of Jesus nor of His Church.

Who dares to deny St John and St Paul Too?
The Church is “the pillar and bulwark of the truth (1 Tim 3:16).” St. Paul says also, “through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Eph 3:10).” The Church teaches even the angels! This is with the authority of Christ! We are redeemed by Christ’s Passion and Death (heaven was opened); we are not saved until we co-operate with Him.

Or do you doubt St Paul again? “I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His Body which is the Church.” (Col. 1:24). What is lacking in Christ’s suffering is precisely what only we can do – take up our cross and suffer, repent and ask forgiveness, following the dictates of our conscience. We see here that Christ’s Catholic Church (the Bride of Christ) is His Mystical Body through whom all salvation comes.

The foundation of the Catholic Church by Jesus was His complete Way of enabling you and I to attain salvation after His redemption of mankind – through participating in His sacrifice on the Cross and receiving His Body and Blood in Holy Communion, through His sacraments of Confession and the other six according to our state – through Her teaching enabling us to live holy lives and repent of transgressions.

Well, there are a few different ways the Protestants believe salvation comes about, and there is one Catholic way. I’ll start off with the Catholic way. As Catholics, we believe the process of salvation starts at baptism, where our original sin (and if you were baptized as an adult) past personal sins (both mortal and venial) and washed away. (If one dies without baptism but wants to be baptized, he will go to heaven. If one is martyred and has not been baptized but wants to be, he will go to heaven. If one is ignorant of the faith and teaches that baptism does not save but he seeks to understand the truth of God, he might go to heaven when he dies, if a un-baptized baby/aborted baby dies he/she might go to heaven.) We believe that after we are baptized we must stay in a state of grace to go to heaven. If one dies in a state of mortal sin he will go to hell, if one dies in a state of grace he will go to heaven. You can get out of a state of mortal sin by going to confession and after confession get back in a state of grace. With the sacraments we are able to avoid mortal sin more and are able to stay out of the state of mortal sin, and stay in a state of grace more. And then, like I said, if we end up dying in a state of grace we will go to heaven, if it’s a sate of mortal sin it’s hell. And if it’s a state of grace, but we are not 100% pure we will go to purgatory before entry into heaven. It’s also possible to make a perfect act of contrition, while promising to go to confession ASAP, and be put in a state of grace. Also, if you’re on your way to confession, and maybe die on your way, you will go to heaven. Basically, we Catholics see salvation as a process. Now Protestants see it as a one time thing. Depending on the Protestant, they may say that we are saved as soon as we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, or when we’re baptized. But they will say that all your future sins will be forgiven without confession, your faith will cause all your future sin to be forgiven. Depending on the Protestant, if you leave the faith, all your future sins will be un-forgive and you will loose salvation unless you come back. Or if you leave the faith all your future sins will still be forgiven and you will always be saved no matter what. As I said, for Protestants salvation happens only once. As for Catholics, salvation is a process.

From my blog. How Is A Catholic Saved?

Repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38 & 22:16 and John 3:1-21) and then following Christ, (John 14:15, Matthew 10:38, 16:24, & 25:31-46, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23 and Revelation 3:5) which is a lifelong journey and not the oversimplified “plan of salvation” as presented by some non-Catholic communities.

Totally agree that we should never put things in a, “versus”, way.
That said - the op asks a legitimate question if they are trying understand the Catholic vis-a-vis the protestant view.

In this context if you look at the protestant view in faith alone, it’s implication is similar to the Catholic view because although it requires faith, it also takes work because without doing working or searching or questioning etc. Although some don’t see it, it is there.

Me-thinks you got to thinking faster than you could type here :D…(Been there, done that:blush:)

In truth we know nothing about the OP’s view on faith alone. Really - all we can say based on the OP is that we too believe in repenting of sin, putting our faith in Christ and confessing when we sin. We do not believe in what is commonly understood as OSAS.

As to faith and works, you are quite right in saying that the Catholic and protestant view is, in many cases, almost identical. We both believe that faith is necessary and that works are a natural consequence of a living and saving faith.

Overall we will have to wait and see if MrPizzaDude returns to elaborate on his OP - and to respond to some of the replies offered.


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