Does Jesus have the Power/Ability to save without faith?


#1

Though Jesus may choose not to, does He still have the Power and Ability to save a soul without faith? We know that there is no way we sinners can go to heaven except through the blood of Jesus. Jesus has no Power to change this. But can Jesus bring a faithless man through His blood into heaven if He chose to? Does He have the Power to? Even if He chooses not to.

What power does faith have over Jesus Power and Ability to bring someone through His blood into heaven?


#2

Ahem, Jesus is GOD, with infinite power. He can do whatever he wants.

Why would he save a person from hell, its where they want to be.

To them Jesus saving them might be even worse torture. I dont know.


#3

There are lots of “things” that God cannot do. God cannot make a square circle, a married bachelor, another God, a rock beyond his ability to lift, or the past not to have been. It is not that these things are too hard for him, but that these “things” cannot exist. They are or entail a contradiction. They are literally nothing, though they “exist” or are “things” on as a form of words. There is nothing God cannot do.

So the question is: Is “salvation without faith” a contradiction, or not? If it is a contradiction, then God cannot do it, though this is no limitation on his power.

This is really the free will problem all over again, it seems to me. Salvation without faith seems like salvation against a person’s free will. I don’t think even God can force a person’s decision, i.e., make someone want to be with Him, or force someone to love Him. He accepted this limitation when he created free creatures. It’s not so much he respects our freedom, but that if he forced our decisions, he would be contradicting his own will.

It is nevertheless true that we cannot desire to be saved without his grace, but this grace strengthens our free will, and it too can be refused. This grace does not force the will, but we do have to cooperate with it.

So, I vote “no”. God cannot save someone who does not want to be saved. As was said above, He gives those in Hell what they want: to be separated from Him.strengthen our will to


#4

[quote=Steven Merten]Though Jesus may choose not to, does He still have the Power and Ability to save a soul without faith? We know that there is no way we sinners can go to heaven except through the blood of Jesus. Jesus has no Power to change this. But can Jesus bring a faithless man through His blood into heaven if He chose to? Does He have the Power to? Even if He chooses not to.

What power does faith have over Jesus Power and Ability to bring someone through His blood into heaven?
[/quote]

We cannot be Saved without our cooperation.


#5

[quote=Steven Merten]Though Jesus may choose not to, does He still have the Power and Ability to save a soul without faith? We know that there is no way we sinners can go to heaven except through the blood of Jesus. Jesus has no Power to change this. But can Jesus bring a faithless man through His blood into heaven if He chose to? Does He have the Power to? Even if He chooses not to.

What power does faith have over Jesus Power and Ability to bring someone through His blood into heaven?
[/quote]

What you SEEM to be asking here is, “Is the Doctrine of Invincible Ignorance valid?”

Yes. Why? Because “invincible Ignorance,” even if it is characterized by nasty condemnations of the Faith, can comprise “faith” for purposes of salvation, because the soul is by definition innocent, and engaged in a valid, praiseworthy “faith journey” which * would* go to God by God’s preferred conduit, Catholic Christianity, but for terrible prejudices arising from circumstances beyond the invincibly ignorant believer’s control.

Some examples of invincibly ignorant souls: Jews who watched German Christians force them at gunpoint into death camps where they were stripped, their hair cut off for use as insulation in German submaries, their teeth yanked-out for the gold, gassed with pest killer, then baked like cookies in ovens.

If, in the course of such treatment, a Jew develops a prejudice against Christianity as one consequence of his treatment, how much will God condemn him? Or, instead, will God join the Jew-torturing-and-murdering Christians at the end of the gauntlet, and toss them, still smoking from the Nazi ovens, into Hell, for having profound doubts about Christianity?

Another example: In one of my cases, a Catholic father raped each of his own female children, in various ways, as his wife, their mother, became unavailable for sex in the later stages of her pregnancies.

How likely is God to become outraged, if these girls, when they grow up, develop a negative attitude toward the Faith as a consequence of their Catholic father’s outrageous sexual behavior? Or, will God toss these little ones, also, into the fires of Hell for doubting that their own father’s faith might be valuable?


#6

Greater love hath no man than if he gives up his life for his friends.

So an acknowledged public sinner is walking down the street and sees a child crossing and a truck bearing down on the child. The driver does not see the child. Acting instinctively, the sinner darts out and rescues the child, but in the process is run over and killed.

Will Jesus save the sinner ?

Is it for us to know?

[P.S. This happens all the time.]


#7

When I read the question, the thing that popped into my head was Atheists. Surely if they lived a ‘perfect’ life (as near-impossible as that may be) and never sinned, then they would go to heaven. And to the person that said ’ We cannot be Saved without our cooperation.’, I would say that those kinds of people (and, I suppose Theists who do not hold with the Christian belief system) would ‘meet’ Jesus immediately after death, and have their chance to embrace the Lord (spiritually/mentally/emotionally not literally/phisically :D) or reject him at that point. That’s how I’ve always thought about the salvation of non-believers, anyway.

And another thing that just popped into my head - what if somebody was a christian but had problems with their faith i.e. struggled to have real faith in Christ, but tried really hard to believe anyway? Surely, they could have done no more for Jesus. In my opinion, on that basis alone, they deserve to end up in the Kingdom of God just as much as a person whose faith was rock-solid. :slight_smile:


#8

Are you considering children before the age of reason, the invincibly ignorant, the retarded, etc.? They can, of course, be saved.


#9

There are lots of “things” that God cannot do. God cannot make a square circle, a married bachelor, another God, a rock beyond his ability to lift, or the past not to have been. It is not that these things are too hard for him, but that these “things” cannot exist. They are or entail a contradiction. They are literally nothing, though they “exist” or are “things” on as a form of words. There is nothing God cannot do.

But then again, what about a pregnant virgin?


#10

There is NOTHING God CANNOT do but lots of stuff God WILL NOT DO.


#11

[quote=Scoobyshme]Are you considering children before the age of reason, the invincibly ignorant, the retarded, etc.? They can, of course, be saved.
[/quote]

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]We cannot be Saved without our cooperation.
[/quote]

We seem to have two conflicting opinions here. Which opinion do you think is correct? Does Jesus have the Power and Ability to save a person without the persons cooperation?


#12

It is not our faith that gives the Lord his power, rather it is his power that should cause us to have faith.


#13

God cannot make a square circle, a married bachelor, another God, a rock beyond his ability to lift, or the past not to have been.

I believe that He can. What might be lacking however is our ability to conceptualise it, not God’s ability to create it :slight_smile:


#14

There is NOTHING God CANNOT do but lots of stuff God WILL NOT DO.

Why does God do so much for me, the least of His creation, a sinner through and through?


#15

When was John the Baptist saved? When he recognized Jesus at the river? Or when he lept in his mother’s womb when the pregnant Mary approached?

When was Saul of Tarsus saved? When he was healed of his blindness by the Apostles or when he went into the desert for two years or when he started his missions or when Jesus tossed him off his horse and said: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

When were the First Nations saved? When they saw God in Creation long before they first saw the blackcoats? Or when the Jesuits told them “God in all Things?”

When was St Francis saved? When he heard God speaking to him? Or when he took in the poor and built his church?

Gosh, as a Catholic I sometimes wonder if there is any one point where one is saved or is it a culmination of many points like a song or a hymn rather than one single note?

So the notion of staying the course certainly has meaning for me.

To save without faith? Is faith any one thing? Is it the same thing for all people? Surely an unborn baby has faith. Otherwise why would John the Baptist leap in his mother’s womb? So faith is not necessary the mind’s road to God. But it could be, for some folks.

So what if I am inordinately dense or stubborn but really want to find God; really want to find goodness, virtue, holiness. In other words what if my faith is not absent, but merely disordered? Is my disordered faith not sufficient for God to come upside my head with a big wake up call? Sheesh isn’t that what happened to Saul of Tarsus?

Is the ‘fallen’ faith of each of us then not refined – or, if you will, redeemed or resurrected or sanctified by our encounters with God? And though we may encounter God in all things as the Jesuits claim, or in the faces of those who have fallen through the cracks in society as Mother Teresa claims, do we also not encounter God in the simple reality of the Eucharist?

Is there a place in all humans where faith resides? If so then if Faith Alone saves, then what need is there for Baptism? Ah, but we have different forms of Baptism, don’t we? Baptism of Water, Baptism of Blood, Baptism of Desire, Invincible Ignorance. So maybe Faith Alone can save afterall?

But what is Faith Alone? Well, faith is a grace. That place in all humans where faith resides is part of our nature. Our nature is a gift from God. So too is faith a Divine gift and not a human work.

I guess we can decide not to use that gift. That would be a work. Or we can destroy that gift outright. That would be a work. But these works are not salvific works.

Of salvific works, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my Law.” So a salvific work is the keeping of the Law of Jesus which buds and grows from the roots of our love for Him. Those roots are faith.

So, can we be saved without faith? Don’t think so. And faith cannot be separated from salvific works, so Faith Alone doesn’t make sense. We can, however, be unsaved by a repudiation of the faith which we have been given. That repudiation of faith is a work which is not salvific.

So unsalvific works = the exercise of free will to undo salvation.

salvific works flowing naturally from the gift of faith = salvation.

Faith alone = a logical impossibility.


#16

I don’t believe that this is what the OP was asking.
He said FAITH, not CO-OPERATION.

It is possible to be saved without faith, such as the Buddhist monk in the middle of Tibet who has never heard of Jesus or the Abrahamic God, yet has lived a life or complete virtue.

However, to not want to be saved.
To be saved against the will is an oxymoron.
God cannot force anyone into heaven. To not want to be in heaven is evil, and nothing evil at all can enter heaven.


#17

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