Faith Alone disrupted in 3 easy steps!


If your a Catholic who gets bogged down when Protestants bring up Romans 4 to “prove” that Abraham was saved by faith alone, dont be worried…simply remember these three verses:

Hebrews 11:8 (quoting Genesis 12)
Romans 4:3 (quoting Genesis 15)
James 2:21-24 (quoting Gen 22)

These verses show that Abraham had saving faith long before the event in Romans 4, from this we see Protestantism cannot be right in claiming Abraham was justified once and for all by a single act of faith in Romans 4 (Gen 15:6). On top of that we see Abraham being justified later in his life as James 2:22 teaches. The reason this can happen is because you can increase in justification/righteousness as you continue to obey God, which proves the Catholic understanding of salvation. This is summarized in Galatians 5:6 as “faith working through love,” not a one time act of faith.


Right. Also I’ve never heard an answer as to what kind of faith Abraham had in Gen 12:1-4? Since Heb 11:8 is referrencing it as a true faith as all those in Hebrews 11 have true faith, then obviously Abraham did also. This is of course before Gen 15:6 which is the supposed time that he was justified.


Very good


Wow good post. Thank you! :thumbsup:


I talk to non-practicing protestants and virtually all of them thought the faith alone on an intellectual level never made sense and presented a sort of spirititual end all for them, ok I have faith now what else? I got my salvation ticket but the pastor keeps asking everyone to get saved and to believe every single week, I believe now what, where’s personal holiness? Now since they are ex-protestants they have all sorts of anti-catholic baggage that I have not been able to overcome. But doubting the faith alone doctrine and embracing catholic soteriology is probably the easiest of catholic tenets for them to believe I think in the heart of many protestants something just doesn’t ring right about it and to those spritual seekers the catholic explanation makes a lot of sense and knocks down at least on major obstacle for them. Now Mary and the Pope etc is whole other ball of wax they don’t get at all but at least we got one seed planted.


:thumbsup: :slight_smile:


Those that use Romans 4 forget one piece of critical information. The Law was not in existence at the time of Abraham.


Plus Abraham performed a work when he placed his son on the altar for a sacrafice. “Faith working Through Love”:thumbsup:


Hi There

Yes, the act of faith is a continous process till the day we die…and the more you follow God, the more your faith will manifest out from you. And if you put God ist more then any other thing, your faith can even be more stronger then you can ever imagine. Unfortunately no many of us can do that:blush:


The truth according to the scripture:

Works or obedience, are a consequence of the faith that justifies which is itself a free gift of the grace of God bestowed on the believer prior to God’s act of creation.

It comes not as a consequence of your actions but inspite of them, because the grace of God is irresistable.

Romans 8: 28-30

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. **29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. **


Sure many can do that, as long as you focus your life on doing God’s Will you can grow in love and increase in righteousness. Nobody said it was easy street, but at the same time we have a duty to live the best Christian life we can.

No, works are not a “consequence of faith” in the sense you describe. Your describing the Calvinist understanding where the “justified” person cant help but do good works. The bible flatly contradicts the notion good works are guaranteed to flow and in fact makes them a responsibility. St Paul’s letters to the Corinthians are prime examples of Christians turning to sin and not doing good works and having to be warned to repent and get back on track.

As for your verse above, its interesting you didnt highlight a key passage “for those who love him”, in other words the Christian has to display LOVE, it is not guaranteed. The Bible is very clear how you show love for Jesus, “obey His Commandments.”

Further, your post in no way addresses my Opening Post, infact your protestant theology of faith alone cant work in light of those verses.


Of course when one does not include the all so important context of the free will to love God you creat a monster of God who predestinates some Men for Heaven and some Men for Hell and thus the Columbines and Virginia’ tech murderers were actually predestined by God to do evil an absurd conclusion but one has to come to in following the tenets of classic Calvinsim. God has a plan for those who love him (predestination); the question is do we love him enough to follow his plan? (free will)


Let’s start with the Apostolic teaching in Romans 4:

Romans 4
Abraham Justified by Faith
1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? **2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[a]
4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7"Blessed are they
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
8Blessed is the man
whose sin the Lord will never count against him."

9Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? **We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! **11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

13It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, 15because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”[c] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”[d] 19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Can a man, dead in his sins love God and believe. NO! God, by grace gives faith to the dead man, and the sinner becomes just, not by doing the works of the law, but by receiving the faith God gives him freely. Only then can man obey Jesus commandments.**


Romans 9:14-24
**14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? **Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f] 16It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g] 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19One of you will say to me: **“Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ "[h] 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? **
22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?


My dear brother,

Please let’s not through labels around. My view on faith is certainly as valid as yours and consistent with the historical catholic teaching (see Augustine v. Pelagius) on the matter. Certainly it is in line with the recent Joint Declaration on Justification between the Lutheran and RC churches.

Let the Word of God speak for Himself on the matter. The readers can decide for themselves, whether you or I am bearing true testimony based on facts and the testimony of the scripture.

your servant,


actually I always use James 2:24. Usually like this:

me: You know, the concept of faith alone (sola fide) is in the bible! It’s specific about it!

them: Really? Where?

Me: James 2:24. It says: “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.”

see, it specifically says NOT BY FAITH ALONE.

ML should have read scripture a little more closely when he was translating.


Wow, this sounds familiar

My wife was not a practising Christian who began attending a small Baptist Church in her home town.

After several weeks she felt compelled to make her alter call.

Then she came back the next week, and then thought…ok…“I’m saved, now what.”

She returnd to watch the process repeat itself for several weeks and then eventually “backslid” into her old habits.

Her, RCIA, experience had a markedly different effect.



Catholics never said a man can turn to God apart from grace.

As for how this answers my OP, I still havnt see you interact with the passages I provided (eg Heb 11:8).

I dont know what “labels” I threw around…but the idea that two conflicting view points are just as valid is a contradiction.
The Protestant understanding of salvation is not consistent with historical catholic teaching, especially not with St Augustine. I have read many of St Augustine’s anti-pelagian writings and they are certainly not protestant.

As for the Joint Declaration, I have read that too and in my opinion it didnt really say anything of substance, it danced around actually defining anything.

Let the Word of God speak for Himself on the matter. The readers can decide for themselves, whether you or I am bearing true testimony based on facts and the testimony of the scripture.

your servant,

I would LOVE to see this happen, I started in the Opening post by providing 3 verses showing why the Protestant understanding is wrong and so far no protestant has addressed those verses.


Scroll back and read #13, It deals directly with your first point. The Text of Romans 4:3 in context.


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