Catholics veer off the gospel message


This topic was taken from the Faith Alone thread that went over it’s limit.

[quote=moondweller] Then you agree with me that your so-called “sacred works” don’t save you. Those works Paul refers to in verse 10 are prepared for those who are now “created in Christ Jesus.” Those described in verses 8 and 9 as having been saved by grace through faith…not as a result of works…

Heb. 4:10 is about the believer entering "His rest."
Heb 4:10 "For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His."
It’s so simple only unbelief denies it.

Do you believe that you have entered your “rest” on this earth?


St. James is CRYSTAL clear on the subject.

**“Faith, without work, IS DEAD.”!! **



How about ‘Marriage alone’?
I look at the girl of my dreams and say:
“What do we need with a piece of paper and bent piece of steel around our fingers? Just declare we are married! I’ll move in, sleep in your bed without all that ‘ceremony’.
I won’t help with the housework, the kids when they come along, the finances. In fact, I won’t give you any of the money I earn from my job. Why should I ‘work’ at marriage? Works aren’t important, love doesn’t need to be ‘proved’.”

How long do you think that ‘marriage’ will last?

“Faith, without work, IS DEAD, being alone.”

Which is what this fellow will end up being.


Actually, that is my interest in this topic. What is the role of “work” in salvation?

If we are to use your analogy, the “faith alone” folks say that the “marriage” is sealed forever from the moment of the vows, and it is so because it has been declared or “imputed” to be so.

I think marriage is a very good example with which to consider this view of salvation. I agree that the marriage begins at the moment of vows. I also agree that it is intended to last a lifetime (just as eternal life into which we enter is to be permanent). However to say that entrance into that relationship is “passive” as has been suggested on the Faith Alone thread from which the above quotes are taken seems absurd to me.

The participants in the marriage are not “passive”. They actively receive the promise of their spouses, and give their own.


I don’t know how far you want to take the illustration. I was under the influence of a lot of caffinee at the time. :smiley:


James is very clear. The faith & works idea is the core of the writings of James!


The believer does abide in faith, hope and love, but he is saved only by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

Faith saves and good works are an essential part of an enduring faith.

By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, who will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness. (Rom 2:5-8)


I don’t know how many times non-Catholics are going to miss Jesus’ message just to satisfy their own laziness.

Jesus Christ issued TWO commandments: Love God above all else and love your neighbors as you love yourself.

This is in line with the fact that we need Faith AND Works.

One loves God above all else. That is Faith.

One loves one’s neighbors as one would oneself. That is works.

God does not need our works, and yet it is there to help show our love for Him. It’s like a child offering all his savings and piggy bank to his Dad. All that money came from him but the fact that the child offers shows his love for his father.

What kind of love is that which does not manifest itself by works? What does it serve my neighbor for me to tell him that I love him and not give him bread to eat when he’s hungry or encouraging words when he’s downtrodden? God does not need our works, but our neighbors do.

No matter what seemingly contradictory statement can be derived from Hebrews, or Corinthians, or Romans, from Peter or Paul or James (that non-Catholics seem to follow over the Gospel itself), they will NEVER contradict what Christ said. And I am a follower of Christ. I hope non-Catholics would do the same.


I don’t think all of them are “lazy”. I am concerned that some are taught that, if they have “faith”, they will be saved no matter what they do. It is also a mystery to me that, when one “asks Jesus into her heart” all future sins are also forgiven. :confused: :confused:

I am not sure I agree with you here about loving God being faith. I don’t think that we are able to love God as we should - especially in the beginning, while we were yet sinners and He died for us. We are basically self centered, and before we are infused with His Spirit, we are at enmity with Him.

I agree that loving others is faith working through love. But, what would you say about all those people who are kind (like some Wiccans and athiests) to their neighbors, but don’t think they need Jesus?

Then we have done all that is commanded of us, and are unworthy servants.

A better question is, what kind of faith is one that does not manifest in work? The Reformers will say that we are not saved on the basis of works, therefore, works have no place in salvation.

Have you not read here on the fora that only Paul talks about the real nature of salvation,and that is why what he has to say about it is more important than the words of Jesus?

I was told by one Reformer that Jesus really did not have a lot to say about salvation, since He had not yet been crucified. :bigyikes:


John 6:29
Jesus answered and said unto them
this is the work of God
that ye believe on him whom he hath sent

believe = pisteuhte

isn’t belief / faith itself a work?..not sure


I think it is, but there was a lively disagreement with this on the Fatih Alone thread. That is the main reason I started this one. I can’t understand the notion that faith is “passive”. It seems to be to be opposite of faith that works.


Brilliant analogy! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I think of Abraham as that child who offers his son, Isaac, (saved pennies) to God out of loving obedience after God had graciously granted an only son to him and his barren wife Sarah ( the empty piggy bank).

Pax vobiscum
Good Fella. :cool:


I’d like to present a simple idea about faith and works to our confused but well meaning Protestant brothers.

Salvation as a Lifesaver
Think of salvation and belief in Jesus as a life preserver tossed from the boat (The Church) to “save” a person who finds themselves floundering to stay afloat in a gravely disturbed and disordered sea. This person must do two things to be saved: 1) The must cooperate with their rescue and must have the will and desire to live and trust that the lifesaver will keep them afloat and 2) the person must hold onto that life preserver and not abandon it least they perish.

Believing in the face of raging danger and continuing to hold on for dear life are both works of faith. Ergo, faith and works are connected and always paired. If one has true faith one must have works also. Its impossible to believe in one’s salvation and believing and trusting in Christ without also working and cooperating with one’s salvation. Think about it - its a real work of faith to believe and trust in a promise when one faces setbacks and danger all around them. It takes work to believe. Given that the alternative is trusting in one’s own abilities to hold their self above water one is not saved if one believes in their self since they will either drift away from the boat (the Church) or swim away and be left alone in a raging sea. If such left alone service the waves they are eventually going to die from lack of food and water (sacraments), or exhaustion (limitations of self) or become food to the sharks (the garbage collectors).

Of course Charity (love of God and Neighbor) requires that we perfect our works and work not for just our own salvation but for the salvation of others. In fact we are required to sacrifice our own interests for the sake of others when called to that just like Christ did on the cross.



Thanks James! I really like that. I can’t fit that together so well with salvation being on the basis of faith and not works. It seems to me that faith is a work. You give a good example of the kind of work it is! When Jesus said “this is the work of God, that you believe…” I think what you have demonstrated here is what He meant. :thumbsup:


I can call myself a firefighter, but if I don’t fight fires…

I can say I respect my parents, but if I don’t clean up my room when they tell me to…

I can say I believe in Christ and call myself a Christian, but if I don’t love my neighbor enough to treat him as Christ would…



Then one can fall into, how much is ‘enough’?

How can a person tell if he is treating his neighbor as he would treat Christ?

Who is the arbiter?

Isnt’ it just more simple to say “saved by faith, and not works, lest any man should boast”?


** St Paul completes the lesson. Even he HOPED for salvation, yet he professes to have worked harder than any of the ‘original’ twelve!

Salvation is NEVER assured, lest anyone boasts

We place our faith in Christ but have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling for the Arbiter cometh soon!**



I agree with everything you said here.

This is in line with the fact that we need Faith AND Works.


One loves God above all else. That is Faith.

This is justification. We receive that faith through Grace alone, through the actions of Christ alone.

One loves one’s neighbors as one would oneself. That is works.

That is part of sanctification, growth in grace.

So, yes, We do in fact need both. We are justified by grace through faith. We are then obligated to obey His commands, though we should willingly do so with great joy and energy.



Personal Opinion… take it for that…

I think the big problem here is how Catholics and Non Catholics Define Work…

It seems to me that most protestants categorize Work as simply things like feeding the poor, clothing the naked, etc…

Thing like praying, reading the bible, studying the ECF, evangelizing are often NOT seen as work in Protestant Circles…

To a Catholic, our definition of Works is far simpler… Doing what is right… period… It is all inclusive from donating money, to even the simple act of Believing…

I personally find James as very clear in a different passage…

“If you know what is right, and do not do it… you sin…”

Tie that in with revelations, “No sin shall enter heaven…”

And there you go… If you don’t do what is right… Works… you cannot enter heaven BECAUSE no sin can enter heaven…

however, we are offered repentance Through Christ…

So, how can you get into heaven if you have an unrepentant sin?

“Not all sin leads to death…”

If we die with a sin that does not lead to death… Christ will still use his forgiving power so that we CAN enter heaven without sin…

In Christ


The Church has always taught that salvation is by grace, which we receive through faith in Jesus, when we are baptized and again which we receive through the other sacraments and we receive more of this grace (we are further justified) when we obey God, and we can lose this grace through mortal sin, but gain it back through repentance in confession.
There are many scriptures which are a witness to these teachings.

Luther kind of watered down the sacraments, depending on his mood, and implied we receive the grace of salvation just by believing in Jesus and trusting that He died for our sins.
But his big error was in denying that we receive more of this grace when we obey Jesus and by denying that we can lose this grace and our salvation by mortal sin.

In order to do that Luther took some of St. Paul’s teachings out of context.
St. Paul often responded to a few Jewish Christians who taught that Christians still had to keep the ceremonial and ritual parts of the law of Moses in order to be saved.
St. Paul responded in two ways.

  1. The Law of Moses could not give the grace of salvation. Only Jesus could do that. Thus the Law of Moses could not save anyone (free anyone from the slavery of sin, give them the right to heaven, etc.) But of course, Jews still had to obey it the best they could and repent constantly. If they refused to obey it, and gave in to sin, then they would end up in hell.
    Since the law of Moses could not save anyone (give the grace to free from the slavery of sin) then it was useless to go back to it.

  2. Since Christians were no longer under the law of Moses, but they were now under the Law of Christ, then following the works of the Law of Moses, (circumcision, sabbath observance) was NOT obeying God. There was no teaching of Jesus that Christians were also still under the law of Moses. And St. Paul taught over and over that Christians were NOT under the law of Moses. Of course both the law of Moses and the law of Christ had the same moral teachings, though Jesus expanded upon them greatly.
    Therefore following the Jewish rituals of circumcision, sabbath observance, the “works of the law” by Christians who already had received the grace of salvation, was NOT obeying God, thus it could NOT give grace to Christians and justify them further. So following the “works of the law” of Moses could not further justify Christians. And not following these ritual laws could NOT result in loss of grace, because it was not a sin to disobey a law that God never commanded Christians to follow.
    Thus, when St. Paul condemned the idea that Christians had to follow the “works of the Law”, he did so because following the works of the law of Moses was NOT OBEYING GOD.

James said we are justified by “works” and not by faith alone, because by works he meant OBEYING GOD. Notice the context. James was referring to keeping the commandments, obeying God.
St. Paul was referring to the false idea that Christians had to follow the ritual “works” of the law of Moses. Since following these ritual practices by Christians was never required by Christians then these were NOT works of obedience, thus they could not justify further.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit