The teaching the apostles handed down on salvation
is that salvation is: “this great gift of God which is liberation from everything that oppresses man but which is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One, in the joy of knowing God and being known by Him, of seeing Him, and of being given over to Him.” Evangelium nuntiandi
Scripture is a witness to this teaching.
“He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,”** Luke 4:18. **
"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. " **Matthew 20: 28** To ransom means to free a slave, prisoner, or a captive for a price. By His suffering and death out of love, Jesus earned the grace that frees us from being a slave to sin, from being a prisoner to sin, from being a captive to sin, from being blinded by sin, from being oppressed by sin. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
"Our old self was crucified with him so that…we might no longer be enslaved to sin"
16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Therefore the Church teaches that the PRIMARY meaning of salvation is to be set free from the slavery of sin, starting here and NOW, not just in the next life.
Adam lost original grace, thus man become inclined to evil, inclined to sin, thus we became slaves to sin, prisoners to sin. Jesus, the new Adam, reversed what Adam has done, and He has merited the grace that frees us from the slavery of sin, that ransoms us from being prisoners, to sin, so that we can obey Him and share in His life. Of course we receive this grace, from the sacraments, also from prayer, mortification, obedience. Since the Law of Moses could not confer this grace, then the Law could not save anyone, that is, it could not give the grace which frees man from the inclination to sin, from the slavery to sin.
The man-made tradition that “faith alone” is sufficient means that Jesus died for nothing. Because if Jesus died to free us from the slavery of sin, and if sin can no longer keep us out of heaven, and if sin does NOT separate us from God, then
Jesus died uselessly.
Why suffer and die to free us from the slavery of sin, if sin makes no difference to our salvation?
Therefore the doctrine of “faith alone” makes void the cross of Christ. Jesus suffered and died for naught.