Catholics DO NOT teach a works based salvation and that we DO NOT believe we can earn our way to heaven!

What did the Council of Trent really say on Justification? Here are some points on Justification that Protestants may not be aware that Catholics are bound to hold as an article of faith.

The Council of Trent - The Sixth Session

CHAPTER VIII.
In what manner it is to be understood, that the impious is justified by faith, and gratuitously.

And whereas the Apostle saith, that man is justified by faith and freely, those words are to be understood in that sense which the perpetual consent of the Catholic Church hath held and expressed; to wit, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation, and the root of all Justification; without which it is impossible to please God, and to come unto the fellowship of His sons: **but we are therefore said to be justified freely, because that none of those things which precede justification-whether faith or works-merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace. **

CHAPTER IX.
Against the vain confidence of Heretics.

But, although it is necessary to believe that sins neither are remitted, nor ever were remitted save gratuitously by the mercy of God for Christ’s sake; yet is it not to be said, that sins are forgiven, or have been forgiven, to any one who boasts of his confidence and certainty of the remission of his sins, and rests on that alone; seeing that it may exist, yea does in our day exist, amongst heretics and schismatics; and with great vehemence is this vain confidence, and one alien from all godliness, preached up in opposition to the Catholic Church. But neither is this to be asserted, that they who are truly justified must needs, without any doubting whatever, settle within themselves that they are justified, and that no one is absolved from sins and justified, but he that believes for certain that he is absolved and justified; and that absolution and justification are effected by this faith alone: as though whoso has not this belief, doubts of the promises of God, and of the efficacy of the death and resurrection of Christ. For even as no pious person ought to doubt of the mercy of God, of the merit of Christ, and of the virtue and efficacy of the sacraments, even so each one, when he regards himself, and his own weakness and indisposition, may have fear and apprehension touching his own grace; seeing that no one can know with a certainty of faith, which cannot be subject to error, that he has obtained the grace of God.

CANON I.-**If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema. **

The council taught the grace of God and the necessity of faith. They also acknowle the need to press onward toward the high calling in Christ Jesus, which is also taught by Paul.

Interesting, so you’re saying that Sola Fide has actually been the Catholic belief since before the reformation. I guess we now only have five Sola’s to debate.

All works done in Christ are done in faith, just not alone. The Catholic position does not diminish the role of faith in a believer’s life - ‘the just shall live by faith’ and that faith is active, ‘faith without works is dead.’ Works that are salvific are works ‘done in Christ.’

Sola Fide does not teach that we do not need to do good works. It teaches that salvation proceeds those works and thus those works are not salvific in nature. However, someone who truly believes what Christ taught will keep His commandments, which is one of the things Christ taught us to do, and thus will perform works. But, this person is already saved by their faith. Allow me to demonstrate the point through an example:

Let’s say an old, and terminally ill, man has been an atheist for his entire life. He has even worked to further atheism and argued against Christianity vehemently and publicly. Then, on his death bed, he hears the Gospel, accepts Christ as his savior and is baptized. Immediately following this the man dies of natural causes. Is this man saved? If so, what salvific works did he complete to ensure this salvation? If not, then how close to death is to close to be saved?

If you believe this man is saved, then you believe in Sola Fide.

Therein lies your mistake. One’s saved state is not determined until death. I offer this person as an example.

Let’s say an old, and terminally ill, man has been an atheist for his entire life. He has even worked to further atheism and argued against Christianity vehemently and publicly. Then, on his death bed, he hears the Gospel, accepts Christ as his savior and is baptized. Immediately following this the man dies of natural causes. Is this man saved? If so, what salvific works did he complete to ensure this salvation? If not, then how close to death is to close to be saved?

If you believe this man is saved, then you believe in Sola Fide.

And what about a baby who dies without any personal sin, and also without accepting Christ as his savior? Does that baby go to heaven because of his lack of personal sin, or does he go to hell because of his lack of faith (which was not a personal choice, but a consequence of his young age)?

Besides, most Christians do not become Christians on their deathbeds, and so you should be careful of drawing conclusions regarding the nominal Christian life from such extreme examples.

You believe that faith alone saves and works follow. James in particular says that faith and works justify a person. We don’t see ‘salvation’ as a one-time event, but a process, with the final end to be determined.

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Phil 2:12-13 (RSV)

Paul beleived Salvation is a process, NOT a one-time event.
I find Trent’s Canons on Justification to be wonderfully balanced.
Certain points are often highlighted and taken out of context by those outside the Church to make Trent seem extreme and condone a ‘works salvation’ - but actually, the opposite is true.
As Catholics, we hold that the initial grace of faith is a gift of God, and totally unmerited - so we would agree that any works done must be done in Christ, by no works of the Law will any Catholic ever be justified.
It is by Grace Alone we are saved.

Just because a baby lacks an ability to articulate faith in God does not mean that a baby lacks a faith in God. As the baby also cannot articulate a belief in atheism we can draw no conclusions about this baby’s belief or lack their of. Therefore this is not a cogent example.

Besides, most Christians do not become Christians on their deathbeds, and so you should be careful of drawing conclusions regarding the nominal Christian life from such extreme examples.

I think you are mistaken. I am attempting to demonstrate to you that Sola Fide isn’t really a question of do we have to do works. It isn’t really a matter of faith without works being dead – because Protestants believe that as well. Sola Fide is a question of which comes first salvation or works. Catholics believe that works come first. Protestant believe that salvation comes first and works demonstrate that.

The point I am making here is that arguing about works is really holding up a straw man. If you want to do that – fine. However, if you really want to address the difference in beliefs then you need to first understand what Sola Fide really is so you can counter what it actually is.

Thus, Protestants do not believe that we can just sit around and say I’m saved because I have faith. We believe that we are saved through our faith – and only our faith (just like Catholics as demonstrated by your quotes in the OP) – however, now that we have this faith we must keep Jesus commandments. Which includes doing good works. Which includes not becoming one of the goats in Matthew. etc. etc.

Sola Fide is not about not doing works it is about which comes first works or salvation. If you wish to address Sola Fide please address, with biblical references, where it says that our works proceed our salvation (not that we must do works).

Additionally, could you please point out where in scripture is says that it matters what we believe about this. If someone believes and does works do you really believe that Jesus will send them to hell because they thought that salvation proceeded works?

I wouldn’t agree that salvation is a process, but I would not say it is a one-time event either. Having faith is what saves – when someone has faith their are saved – the struggle is keeping that faith. If your faith falters for one second and that is the second you die – therein is the problem. By calling it a process you are implying a couple of things that I think are not true of salvation.

First of all, if it is a process it will be completed. No process goes on eternally without completion. Therefore this implies that at some point we can stop working. I know you would say of course you can – at death. But, I think it becomes easy to see the process ending before that – let’s say with confirmation. I’m not saying this is true, or that this is a teaching of the Catholic Church. I’m saying it is an easy trap to fall into when one calls salvation a process.

Secondly, if it is a process then a certain amount of things need to be completed before we get to be saved. Thus we fall back to the example of the old man I mentioned earlier.

This is why I prefer to view salvation a a struggle more than a process. Any moment in which I have complete, total, and true faith in Jesus as my savior is a moment that I am saved. Any moment in which that faith falters I am not saved. The struggle is to keep that faith all the time.

Paul beleived Salvation is a process, NOT a one-time event.

Please provide the Paul actually uses the word process (or its Greek equivalent) to define salvation.

I find Trent’s Canons on Justification to be wonderfully balanced.
Certain points are often highlighted and taken out of context by those outside the Church to make Trent seem extreme and condone a ‘works salvation’ - but actually, the opposite is true.
As Catholics, we hold that the initial grace of faith is a gift of God, and totally unmerited - so we would agree that any works done must be done in Christ, by no works of the Law will any Catholic ever be justified.
It is by Grace Alone we are saved.

I agree with everything that you have written here. What I disagree with is which comes first works or salvation. I also agree about people taking Trent (and many other Catholic writings) out of context in order to hold up straw men about the Catholic Church. However, you should realize that this is not a phenomenon unique to the Protestants. Catholics do it to us all the time.

In this thread you’ve said Sola Fide is in opposition to “faith without works is dead”. (I’m paraphrasing.) Which is simply not true when you really understand that Sola Fide doesn’t teach anything about what someone must do once they are saved. It teaches which comes first salvation or works. Sola Fide never says that we don’t have to do works – that would clearly be anti-bibilical. Sola Fide says that we are saved through faith and that is all. Once we are saved through this faith we still have to keep Jesus commandments, one of which is to do good works.

So again, if you’d really like to address Sola Fide please show where, in Scripture, it says that work proceed salvation not that works must be done.

Never said he used the word, any more than he used the word Trinity. The concept behind the word remains however. Focusing only on Paul’s writings, we see this:

I Have Been Saved (past event)

Rom. 8:24 - for in this hope we were saved (but, again, why “hope” if salvation is a certainty?)

Eph. 2:5,8 - for by grace you have been saved through faith.

2 Tim. 1:9 - He saved us and called us through grace and not by virtue of our own works outside of His grace.

Titus 3:5 - He saved us in virtue of His own mercy, and not by our deeds.

I Am Being Saved (present event)

1 Cor. 1:18 - for the word of the cross is folly to those perishing, but for to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.

2 Cor. 2:15 - for we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved. Salvation is a continual process.

Phil. 2:12 - we are working out our salvation through fear and trembling. Salvation is an ongoing process.

I Will Be Saved (future event)

Rom. 5:9-10 - since we are justified by His blood, we shall be saved.

Rom. 13:11 - salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.

1 Cor. 3:15 - he will be saved, but only as through fire.

1 Cor. 5:5 - Paul commands the Church to deliver a man to satan, that he will be saved in the day of the Lord.

2 Tim. 2:11-12 - if we endure, we shall also reign with Him. This requires endurance until the end of our lives.

Heb. 9:28 - Jesus will appear a second time to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.

I Save (by participating in Christ’s salvific work)

Rom. 11:13-14 - I magnify my ministry to make the Jews jealous and thus save some of them. Paul says that he is the one doing the saving, but he really means that he participates in Christ’s work of salvation.

1 Cor. 7:16 - Paul indicates that a wife can save her husband and vice versa. We are lesser mediators in Christ’s salvific work.

1 Cor. 9:22 - Paul says he has become all things to men that he might save some. Only God saves, but His children participate in their salvation.

Actually I think the problem here is Protestants and Catholics may have different concepts for faith. This was revealed to me when I was reading the Catholic Encyclopedia.

It is quite fruitless to go on in debate if the definitions of the most basic terms to be used are not agreed on. So, let us clear this up first: What does faith mean to a Catholic and a Protestant? And when we go further into discussion, what will we agree on as the definition of faith?

I will start by posting what I read from the Catholic Encyclopedia. I do not know if the Protestant view on faith as explained by the Catholic Encyclopedia is accurate, so please comment:

Protestant view: Fiduciary Faith
According to Luther (and Calvin also), the faith that justifies…is the infallible conviction (fides fiducialis, fiducia) that God for the sake of Christ will no longer impute to us our sins, but will consider and treat us as if we were really just and holy, although in our inner selves we remain the same sinners as before. Cf. Solid. Declar. III, sec. 15: “Through the obedience of Christ by faith the just are so declared and reputed, although by reason of their corrupt nature they still are and remain, sinners as long as they bear this mortal body.” This so-called “fiduciary faith” is not a religious-moral preparation of the soul for sanctifying grace, nor a free act of cooperation on the part of the sinner; it is merely a means or spiritual instrument (instrumentum, organon leptikon) granted by God to assist the sinner in laying hold of the righteousness of God,* thereby to cover his sins in a purely external manner as with a mantle.*** For this reason the Lutheran formularies of belief lay great stress on the doctrine that our entire righteousness does not intrinsically belong to us, but is something altogether exterior. Cf. Solid. Declar., sec. 48: “It is settled beyond question that our justice is to be sought wholly outside of ourselves and that it consists entirely in our Lord Jesus Christ…” Faith, which alone can justify, is also the only requisite and means of obtaining salvation.** Neither repentance nor penance, neither love of God nor good works, nor any other virtue is required, though in the just they may either attend or follow as a result of justification…**
Source

Catholic view: Dogmatic Faith
The Catholic Church teaches faith to be a firm belief in God’s revealed truths and promises (fides theoretica, dogmatica).
Source

Objectively, faith stands for the sum of truths revealed by God in Scripture and tradition and which the Church presents to us in a brief form in her creeds; subjectively, faith stands for the habit or virtue by which we assent to those truths…

**Faith shown by works has ever been the doctrine of the Catholic Church **and is explicitly taught by St. James, ii, 17: “Faith, if it have not works, is dead.” The Council of Trent (Sess. VI, canons xix, xx, xxiv, and xxvi) condemned the various aspects of the Lutheran doctrine, and from what has been said above on the necessity of charity for “living” faith, it will be evident that faith does not exclude, but demands, good works, for charity or love of God is not real unless it induces us to keep the Commandments; “He that keepeth his word, in him in very deed the charity of God is perfected” (1 John 2:5). St. Augustine sums up the whole question by saying “Laudo fructum boni operis, sed in fide agnosco radicem” — i.e. “I praise the fruit of good works, but their root I discern in faith” (Enarration on Psalm 31).
Source

Since our Divine adoption and friendship with God is based on perfect love of God or charity (cf. Galatians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 13; James 2:17 sqq.),** dead faith devoid of charity (fides informis) cannot possess any justifying power.** Only such faith as is active in charity and good works (fides caritate formata) can justify man, and this even before the actual reception of baptism or penance, although not without a desire of the sacrament (cf. Trent, Sess. VI, cap. iv, xiv).
Source

Nice post Nuntym!

It seems to me that Catholics and Protestants should generally agree on a balance between faith and works. A person may say that they have faith and perform works and yet God will know his/her heart. He will know if they are simply going through the motions. That is works without faith and this person might not be saved.

But a person may also have imperfect faith and, believing that they only need faith to be saved, fool themselves into disregarding works that should have been a natural result of their faith had their faith been more perfect (perhaps “mature” is a better word.) This “apparent” faith without works and this person also might not be saved.

Now these are merely examples of the extremes and I don’t think that most people, Catholic or Protestant, would follow either of these paths. For me the bottom line is that you must have both faith and works because there are traps in either extreme. Catholics want to be sure that Protestants don’t disregard "living their faith.” Protestants want to be sure that Catholics don’t get too focused on a heavenly score card. In the middle somewhere, we are very close to saying the same thing sometimes.

That’s just my opinion. :smiley:

The Catholic teaching is that we are saved by Grace through Faith and Works.

Salvation is by the Grace of God. A free gift, unearned.

We accept the Gift of Salvation but our salvation is the Work of God alone. God then gives us the gift of Faith and inspires us to do His work.

From the Catechism:

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3.htm#1697
1697 Catechesis has to reveal in all clarity the joy and the demands of the way of Christ.22 Catechesis for the "newness of life"23 in him should be:

  • a catechesis of the Holy Spirit, the interior Master of life according to Christ, a gentle guest and friend who inspires, guides, corrects, and strengthens this life;
  • a catechesis of grace, for it is by grace that we are saved and again it is by grace that our works can bear fruit for eternal life;<…>

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c3a2.htm#2005
2005 Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved.56 However, according to the Lord’s words "Thus you will know them by their fruits"57 - reflection on God’s blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.

A pleasing illustration of this attitude is found in the reply of St. Joan of Arc to a question posed as a trap by her ecclesiastical judges: "Asked if she knew that she was in God’s grace, she replied: ‘If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.’"58

III. MERIT

You are glorified in the assembly of your Holy Ones, for in crowning their merits you are crowning your own gifts.59
2006 The term “merit” refers in general to the recompense owed by a community or a society for the action of one of its members, experienced either as beneficial or harmful, deserving reward or punishment. Merit is relative to the virtue of justice, in conformity with the principle of equality which governs it.

2007 With regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man. Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality, for we have received everything from him, our Creator.

2008 The merit of man before God in the Christian life arises from the fact that God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace. The fatherly action of God is first on his own initiative, and then follows man’s free acting through his collaboration, so that the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful. Man’s merit, moreover, itself is due to God, for his good actions proceed in Christ, from the predispositions and assistance given by the Holy Spirit.

2009 Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God’s gratuitous justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us “co-heirs” with Christ and worthy of obtaining "the promised inheritance of eternal life."60 The merits of our good works are gifts of the divine goodness.61 "Grace has gone before us; now we are given what is due. . . . Our merits are God’s gifts."62

2010 Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God’s wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.
<…>

I am reminded of the account of St. Paul’s conversion on the way to Damascus:
[1]But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
[2] and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
[3] Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him.
[4] And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
[5] And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting;
[6] but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.
Acts 9:1-6 (RSV)

More compelling is St. Paul’s account of his own conversion while defending himself against the Jews:
[6] “As I made my journey and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me.
[7] And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?' [8] And I answered, Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.' [9] Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. [10] **And I said, What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, `Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’”**
Acts 22:6-10 (RSV)

As one can see from reading this, faith is a gift totally unmerited, a grace, from God. And yet faith demands action, cooperation with the grace of God. True faith and good works cannot be separated.

Scripture, Trent, and the Catechism are the clearest explanations of Catholic teaching on justification and salvation. I only wish that our non-Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ would read all of the Canons of Trent and also the CCC on this important topic.

Scripture makes it clear that we will not be saved without faith, but scripture also makes it explicitly clear that we are not “saved by faith alone.” Faith is the root of our salvation, but there is much more to salvation than the claims of sola fide.

The biggest problem that I have with the argument that we are saved by faith “alone” is as follows:

First of all scripture never says that we are saved by faith alone, but it does say that we are “not saved by faith alone”.[James 2:24]

Beyond this we can see from scripture that arguments can be made that we are saved by means other than faith. I will present a number of arguments using scripture that follow the pattern of the argument for salvation by faith “alone.” All of the arguments have similar logic in that they focus on only one item and they all depend on selective use of scripture.

So how are we saved?
faith? grace ? baptism? hope? works? obedience? Love? sanctification?]

BY FAITH
1 Cor 1:21
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe.

Rom 3:28
For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.

Rom 10:10
For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.

BY GRACE
Eph 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God–not the result of works, so that no one may boast.

Rom 3:24
they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

Eph 2:4-6
the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved-and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ

WORKS–
Matt 16:24-27
Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? "For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done.

1 Tim 4:16
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

James 2:24
You see that a person is justified by works…

James 1:21-22
Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save. But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.

James 5:20
you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

BY BAPTISM
Acts: 2:40-41
And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.

Rom 6:4
Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

1 Peter 3:21
And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you-not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ

John 3:5
Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.

continued on next post:

continued from prior post.

BY HOPE
Rom 8:24
For we are saved by hope:

Eph 1:11-12
In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.

Col 1:5-6
You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God.

Titus 3:6-7
This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Heb 3:6
Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope.

Heb 6:11 And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end,

BY OBEDIENCE
Deu 7:9-10
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, and who repays in their own person those who reject him.

John 3:36
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.

Acts 5:32
And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."

Heb 5:9
and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,

Matt 7:21
"Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

1 Peter 1: 2
to the exiles…who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood:

Rev 12:17
Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.

BY LOVE
1 Cor 8:3
…but anyone who loves God is known by him.

2 Thess 2:10
and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

1 Cor 16:22
Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come!

Jam 1:12-15
Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 2:5
Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?

Luke 10:25-37
“Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

1Cor 2:9
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”

1Cor 13:1-2
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

1 Cor 13:13
And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

BY ENDURANCE
Luke 21:19
By your endurance you will gain your souls.

Heb 10:36
For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Matt 24 :12-13
And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

BY SANCTIFICATION
Heb 13:12
Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood.

Acts 20:32
And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified.

1Cor 1:2
To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

Rom 6:22
But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life.

Heb 2:11
For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,

HEB 10:9
And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

1Peter 1:2
who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood:

2 Thess 2:13
But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

It is quite clear that all of these passages are speaking about salvation and they cannot be ignored. While all of the arguments contain truth about salvation none of them is complete. Attempting to say that we are saved by faith “alone” using scripture is no more valid than saying that we are saved by love “alone” or that we are saved by obedience “alone.” Each argument has some truth in it about salvation, but none of the arguments can be used to establish a doctrine that includes the word “alone.”

I hope this helps.

we don’t believe in ‘faith alone’. the OP was talking about grace alone, not faith alone :slight_smile: these are two different concepts. we do believe in grace alone.

THANK YOU :thumbsup: so many people think Catholics believe we can earn our salvation…it’s frustrating sometimes :frowning:

I’d have to disagree :slight_smile:

we believe there are two types of works…works under the law, and under grace.

works under grace help us in many ways and are important for our salvation.

which is why we don’t believe in sola fide… but we do believe in salvation by grace alone, because these good works are done under grace, out of love for God

we need both faith and works to be saved, but not because we earn our salvation…

we also don’t see salvation as a one time time event

as for your example, yes this person can be saved, by God’s mercy, but good works weren’t expected in this case cause the man was an atheist. We however are not atheists so we don’t have that excuse :wink:

God bless

No no, the Church absolutely denies that works “come first”. Initial salvation is entirely unmeritable. We can do nothing without supernatural grace to please God. When a person is first saved, it is entirely the work of God. It is “operational grace”. After that you can talk about “cooperational grace” where God gives us more grace depending on how we cooperate with Him. But even our cooperation with grace is aided by grace.
But just to repeat, salvation comes first in the Catholic scheme.

We do not claim that works come before our salvation…

The problem I have in trying to discuss this is that almost every Portestant has a different definition of Sola Fide. I had understood it to mean a belief that Faith Alone Saves and nothing else is needed thereafter. All a person has to do is ‘believe’. It no longer matters what they do. They can continue living an evil life, because all their sins are already forgiven, even the ones they haven’t committed yet.

Now, you tell me that it just means that faith comes first and that works come from faith.

I also disagree with that. Neither Faith nor Works is first. Grace comes first. It is initiated by God. Faith and Works follow Grace.

I believe because God granted me the grace to believe. I mean, the whole story is patently ridiculous and is 2,000 years old to boot. A virgin gives birth to a boy who grows up to be executed and rise from the dead. Yeah, right. If God had not acted directly in my life, if He had not Touched me, I would not believe.

Grace is first, the free gift from God to believe.

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