Faith alone and the rich man


Lk 18:24-25:
Jesus looking at him said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!
For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

I can’t square this with sola Fide. Why should a rich man have any more problem believing that Jesus is the Messiah, Son of God, Savior of the World, and thus be able to enter the kingdom of God?


Obviously, sola fide is a bunk theory. The ACTUAL statement made in the Bible is that we are saved by GRACE (not faith).

Here is how the doctrine should (and, in the catholic church, does) go:
Saved by Grace
through our Faith
which is made living by our Works
which are not motivated by salvific benefit, but rather by Christian Love and Charity.


As a Catholic I certainly reject faith-alone, but there are millions who believe it, and I would like a few of those folks to explain why it is harder for a rich man to believe in Jesus than it is for a poor man. Why should simple belief in Jesus have any correlation with one’s wealth?


I have been told by those that believe totally in “saved by grace” that the reason that a “rich man” will have such difficulty entering the Kingdom of Heaven is that such a man is so consumed with his wealth and possessions that those things become his “god” and therefore there is no room in his life for the true God.

In the description given in the first post, the assumption is that a “rich man” would not truly be able to follow the teachings of Jesus because he would be constrained by his concerns about his property.

I am reminded of the quote (bear with me here, it may not be perfect) that we are all reminded in scripture not to “lay our treasures up” in the world, but rather to lay them up in heaven. Following that example, the original posted quote would suggest that the “rich man” lays his treasures up in the world, where (following my attempt at a quote) “moth and rust doth corrupt”.

Bottom line, it’s a question of priorities & whether some people’s priorities are such that a true Christian life is even possible for them.


Sounds quite reasonable, but “faith alone” specifically rejects needing to follow the teachings of Jesus to gain salvation. That’s why I’m hoping to get an explanation of Christ’s words from the “faith alone” perspective.


All I can tell you is that is what I heard, nearly word for word, in a “faith alone” Evangelical church. Go figure.

Doesn’t make sense to me, but then a lot of Evangelicalism doesn’t!


You have found Protestantism weakness…the WORDS of Jesus HIMSELF.

Its NO mistake that Protestants hardly ever quote from the Gospels. They have been trained to think after a few verses in Romans all the rest of the Scripture is an appendix.

I like to bring up the Perfect Sermon (Matt 5-Matt7) and that always gets the spinning…


Yep, I understand. I’m hoping some Protestant will connect the two (faith-alone and Christ’s words here) for me, because I sure can’t see the connection.


John 6:28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”

29Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”


Love is heard by faith.

Faith comes by hearing.

Love is heard by faith.

We must believe in love, I Cor. 13.

I Cor. 13 is just for starters.

God is love.

We must accept, consent, assent or believe in all of God’s love, not just one loving action of Jesus Christ, true God and true man.

The faith that saves is the faith that accepts all of love.

After we accept what God’s love has spoken, then we long to have the things we have heard such as sobriety and patience. In other words, we hope or long for meekness and all of the parts of love.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for. My soul longs for God’s love–generosity and humility.

Faith hears of these things from love. Hope desires what faith has heard from love.

Again, love is heard by faith.

In the Greek, disobedience is bad hearing.


We all know this verse. But why can’t the rich man believe in Him whom He has sent just as easily as anybody else? How does wealth prevent one from believing in Christ? That is my question.

Remember, the rich man didn’t walk away sad because Jesus said “believe in me”. That wasn’t what happened, and that wasn’t what caused Jesus to say that it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.


Because the he was unable to remove the idol of riches and be willing to give up everthing to put Jesus first.

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”


The rich man loved money too much.

But as God promised in the prophet, God’s love will convert his heart.

Ezekiel 36: 26 I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. 27 I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees.


So it is not enough to believe. To be saved one must also do something. How does that square with faith-alone?


By putting Jesus first to the exclusion of all else. Jesus is both Lord and Savior. We become His Child when we fully believe in Him as Savior. We also believe He is Lord! All actions result from belief or Faith.

Works are the effects of salvation, not to gain salvation. The RCC has confused Justification with Sanctification.


your generalizations are not proof of anything.


HOGWASH. If you read my post (the first response on this thread) you will see that you are woefully misinformed as to the teaching of the Catholic church. Next time try sticking to telling us what you believe, since you’re obviously not an expert in what WE believe.


Repentance is a necessary element of the presentation of the gospel, is it not? This goes hand in hand with discipleship…when one repents, they are turning from sin to Christ as Lord. What are the implications of this?? Most people want to do their own thing and live the way they want - their dreams, their desires, their relationship with mankind…the parable of the sower shows that the only one who was saved was the one who put all of these relationships behind them, and had a heart that would receive the gospel properly allowing for perseverance and fruitbearing…the others would not…

Lu 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Coming to Christ is humble submission to Him as Lord as well as full trust in His great sacrifice as the payment for sin.

Lu 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Mt 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:

Coming to Christ is a “selling out” of sorts…and is a matter of the heart that manifests itself in a changed life. Selling all you have means - you come to God as He is…He is the authority over your life now.

Where you stumble is that faith must be defined…repentant faith in Christ is the conversion and is based on the hearing of the law first (which produces repentance in the elect) followed up by the good news. There must be a proper response to the hearing of the law to get the seed of the word of the gospel to penetrate for salvation. And it is all the working of God in the heart.


Sorry - but kaycee is right. The CC does mix justification and sanctification which is taught nowhere in scripture. THIS IS WHAT IS TAUGHT AND DOCUMENTED AND IT IS YOU WHO ARE WOEFULLY MISINFORMED. We are condemned by the CC for making them separate…sanctification flows out and from justification.

Does your faith change the way you behave?? Does it cause different decisions to take place in your life?? If you BELEIVED that you were going to die today, would you act differently? THAT is the message of James 2. Is your faith living or dead? FAITH PRODUCES WORKS…WE ARE JUSTIFIED ON THE BASIS OF FAITH THAT WORKS NOT FAITH AND WORKS. And that is the clear message of James 2. Stop twisting it!


Very nice!

Also, notice in verse 26 when those who heard ask “Who then can be saved?” The paradigm then was those who were “blessed” where the ones who were rich and had lots of possessions.

It all goes back to the rich mans question-“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Verse 27, Jesus replies to those who ask in verse 26-“What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

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